This is, of course, the REAL reason they’ll never let Teddy “the Trustbuster” win…
If Major League Baseball were Little League, and I were the helicopter parent of, say, Kansas City’s Luke Hochevar, I would be upset and bitter that the coaches of the Washington Nationals conspired to get all the good pitchers on their team. Also, I’d be totally ashamed of my son … a 6.57 ERA, Luke? Papa doesn’t love you anymore. Maybe he never did.
Let’s start with Edwin Jackson. On Monday night, he faced the Toronto Blue Jays in a battle of capital cities. Unless Toronto isn’t Canada’s capital city, in which case I don’t really have an angle here. Regardless, the Blue Jays are one of the most potent offenses in the American League. They’ve scored 296 runs in a division (AL East) with a plethora of good-to-great pitchers. What did Jackson do? Eight innings, four hits, two runs.
The win moved the 28-year-old Jackson to 3-3 on the season, but the record doesn’t tell the full story. His ERA after 12 starts is 3.02, on pace to be his lowest ever in a full season. His FIP (fielding-independent pitching, a metric used to assess a pitcher’s overall effectiveness) is in the National League’s top 30. His walk rate and home run rate are lower than they’ve ever been (again, using full-season stats), and his 16 percent line drive rate is sixth-lowest in the league, and also the lowest of his career.
You get the point. There’s no way the Nationals could have expected this when they signed Jackson to a one-year deal in February.
But here’s the crazy part: He is their fourth starter.