Best Washington Nationals Pitchers

Maria Garcia
• Monday, 23 November, 2020
• 7 min read

After taking a look at the best single seasons by a Nationals position player, it’s time to explore the top individual years by pitchers. These rankings were deep with memorable performances, and there are pitchers who could have practically filled up a list on their own.

nationals washington winterfest bullpen things pitching park closer
(Source: washington.org)


Scherzo also topped National League pitchers in WHIP (0.911), opponents’ batting average (.188), strikeouts per nine innings (12.2), and he tied for first in wins (18-7 in 33 starts). Scherzo also earned his sixth straight All-Star nod and finished second in the NL CY Young Award voting.

Strasbourg set the stage for his spectacular World Series by leading the NL in wins (18-6, 3.32 ERA) and innings (209) over 33 regular-season starts. He pitched three shutout frames out of the bullpen to advance the Nationals past the Brewers in the NL Wild Card Game.

His career- best 2.52 ERA (third in the NL) was 0.01 shy of matching Scherzo for the franchise best, and his NL-leading 2.72 FIP was fourth- best in Nationals pitching history. Strasbourg also tied Scherzo for the Nat's’ best ERA+ (178) in a single season, led the NL in opponents’ slugging percentage (.317) and was worth 6.4 WAR.

Only Johnny Wander Meet (1938), Allie Reynolds (‘51), Virgil Trucks (‘52) and Nolan Ryan (‘73) had accomplished the feat. Scherzo was the fifth Modern Era pitcher to allow one hit or less in consecutive complete games.

After taking a look at the best single seasons by a Nationals position player, it’s time to explore the top individual years by pitchers. Before moving to Washington after the 2004 season, the Montreal Expos were known as one of the most star-crossed franchises in baseball history.

(Source: cubbiescrib.com)

Despite the team's amazing talent and some of the best players ever, the Expos were never able to win a championship. The Expos of the early '80s featured two of the top players in Expos/ WashingtonNationals history in Gary Carter and Andre Dawson.

The 1994 Expos team was broken up due to the player's strike and economics. At the time of the strike, the Expos had the best record in baseball and appeared to be on a collision course with the New York Yankees or Chicago White Sox in that year's World Series.

That team featured some of the best players in team history including Pedro Martinez, Larry Walker, Marquis Frisson, John Wetland and Moises Aloud. After the strike, the team never recovered and moved to Washington and became the Nationals.

At this early stage in Nationals history, Zimmerman is considered one of the best players to play in Washington D.C. The Nationals have their hopes pinned to youngsters Stephen Strasbourg and Bryce Harper, both of whom were a part of the team's first National League East Division title in 2012, the franchise's first since 1981 in Montreal.

No one loves a good debate quite like baseball fans, and with that in mind, we asked each of our beat reporters to rank the top five players by position in the history of their franchise, based on their careers while playing for that club. Here is Jessica Camera to’s ranking of the Top 5 starting left-handed pitchers in Nationals /Expos franchise history.

nationals washington dodgers game pitcher ross joe mlb nats postseason wtop baseball national division email
(Source: wtop.com)

González also paced Major League Baseball with a 2.82 FIP and 0.4 home runs per nine innings. His overall 21-8, 2.89 ERA performance in 32 starts (including two complete games) with 207 strikeouts earned him his second straight All-Star selection and third place in National League CY Young Award voting.

He also appeared in four postseasons for Washington, starting in eight games (0-0) and accumulating 27 strikeouts and a 4.91 ERA over 29 1/3 innings. Faster began his Major League career at age 28 out of the Expos' bullpen.

On Aug. 11, 1996, against the Cubs, he fanned 14 batters over eight innings and set the franchise mark for most strikeouts in a game by a left-handed pitcher. Faster’s 16.1 war, 58 wins, 850 innings and 750 strikeouts are second to only González among franchise lefties.

Last year, he led all lefties by holding opposing left-handed hitters to a .190 batting average and .248 slugging percentage, while his 238 strikeouts paced all NL southpaws. Corbin’s regular-season performance was a buildup to the Nationals World Series championship run.

In a standout Game 4 NL Championship Series performance -- in which he reached the 200-strikeout mark -- he fanned 12 Cardinals batters in just five innings. With that, Corbin became the first pitcher in Major League playoff history to strike out 12 without tossing more than five frames.

washington nationals players baker dusty current mark five mlb mandatory rebilas credit usa sports today calltothepen
(Source: calltothepen.com)

Pérez began his Major League career in 1995 with a splash -- a 10-8 record and 3.69 ERA that garnered an All-Star nod and a fourth-place finish in NL Rookie of the Year Award voting. With that mark, he is tied with Steve Rogers, Dennis Martinez and Bill Stone man for most shutouts in a single season in franchise history.

Pérez ranks first among the franchise's left-handers in shutouts (6), second in complete games (13), sixth in war (6) and innings pitched (511 1/3), and seventh in strikeouts (298). On May 25, 1989, the Expos acquired him in a deal that sent future Hall of Fame Randy Johnson to the Mariners.

Langston would only play the remainder of that season with the Expos before signing with the Angels as a free agent, but he made a strong showing in a short time. That year, Langston was 12-9 and led the Expos with a 2.39 ERA and 175 strikeouts, in spite of starting in the fifth-most games (24).

Jon Lester (pictured) will fit in behind Max Scherzo, Stephen Strasbourg and Patrick Corbin in the WashingtonNationals rotation after he agreed to a one-year deal with the team on Monday. Jon Lester, who agreed to a one-year deal on Monday with the WashingtonNationals, had a 5.16 ERA and a 3-3 record in 12 starts last season.

Jon Lester (pictured) will join fellow left-handed pitcher Patrick Corbin in the WashingtonNationals rotation next season after he signed a one-year deal with the franchise on Monday. Lester posted a National League- best 18 wins in 2018 to earn his last All-Star nod.

cardinals louis st martinez carlos
(Source: redbirdrants.com)

The 15-year veteran has also suited up for the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics. With CY Young Award winners, All-Stars and Hall of Fame-caliber pitchers having taken the mound for the Nationals, there is no shortage of noteworthy performances in franchise history.

There were plenty of options to choose from Scherzo, and he earned the top spot on this list by becoming the sixth pitcher in Major League history to throw two-no hitters in a single season. Scherzo nearly had a perfect game, except Kevin Planck reaching on a sixth-inning throwing error by June Escobar.

Max Scherzo, June 20, 2015, vs. Pirates 9 IP, 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 10 strikeouts, 106 pitches-82 strikes Coming off a one-hit, 16-strikeout complete game against the Brewers, Scherzo carried that momentum into his first career no-hitter by shutting out the Pirates at Nat's Park.

He threw 8 2/3 perfect innings before hitting Jose Tabata on the left elbow with a slider in a lengthy at-bat. Scherzo shook it off, and got now-teammate Josh Harrison to fly out Michael A. Taylor in left field.

Zimmermann capped off the Nationals 2014 regular season with the first no-hitter in team history -- and a dramatic ending at Nat's Park. Down to two outs in the top of the ninth, future-MVP Christian Relics rocked a line drive to left field.

(Source: twitter.com)

Zimmermann’s performance was the first no-hitter thrown in Washington since Bobby Burke on Aug. 8, 1931, at Griffith Stadium for the Senators against the Red Sox. Facing his former team, Scherzo set the Nationals franchise record in strikeouts in front of the home crowd.

With CY Young Award winners, All-Stars and Hall of Fame-caliber pitchers having taken the mound for the Nationals, there is no shortage of noteworthy performances in franchise history.

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