Sunday, September 16, 2007

You: Complete Me!

Never before has a major league team gone through a season without a complete game. Yet, the Nationals find themselves, with just two weeks left, one of three teams (Atlanta, strangely, and Florida the others) without a complete game from their pitching staff.

About a year ago, the Nationals found themselves in a similar spot when Pedro Astacio (remember him?) threw an inexplicable complete game shutout against these same Braves. By game score, it was the second best pitching performance by a Nats starter since the move.

Will the Nats finish the year with a complete game? It's likely going to take a blowout win, and today, if any day, seems as likely a chance, against a team that's only on the fringes of competition.

Shawn Hill goes, but he's not an overly efficient pitcher. His career high in innings came earlier this year, when he went 8 against the Phillies. He started the 9th, but a leadoff walk earned him a hook. Five other times he's gone seven innings, with three of those coming this year. Looking at it the other way, unless he's terribly efficient -- lots of first pitch hacks, which is always possible on a get-away day -- he's only thrown 100 pitches in a game six times, and 110 once.

Give his arm history, the Nats haven't shown a willingness to extend him.

Is he our best chance? Our last chance to avoid one part of history? Will the offense give him enough? Or do we have to wait for him to go on the road and "hope" for one of those 8-inning complete games?

  • UPDATE: Jinx!

  • SECOND UPDATE: C'mon guys! You gotta give me partial credit for calling a complete game! And one of the three remaining teams, even!

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