Bullpen means business

With the improved pitching of Jason Marquis, who has given up just six runs in his last four starts (24.0 innings), the Nationals hope they do not have to go to the bullpen early today. But if they do, they are in good hands. Washington’s bullpen has fired 17.0 consecutive scoreless innings over its last five games to lower its collective ERA to 3.48. That’s its lowest point since it stood at 3.48 on July 9. It’s also good enough for seventh in the Majors. What else is the bullpen ranked seventh in the Majors for? Strikeouts per 9.0 innings. If the current pace of 8.33 batters fanned per 9.0 innings is maintained, this year’s bullpen would hold the top single-season mark posted in the franchise’s 42-year history.


Now this guy might not have much to do with the bullpen’s ERA on the season or the number of strikeouts it has accumulated, but last night, Joe Bisenius took the Major League mound for the first time since April 7, 2007. He pitched a scoreless inning for the Nationals, and one that showcased his upper-90’s fastball–constantly. Of his 22 pitches, 18 were fastballs, most them coming in at 97 and 98 mph. “The velocity speaks for itself,” said Manager Jim Riggleman. “Just very encouraged by what I saw out there.” But his location wasn’t too shabby either. 16 of Bisenius’ 22 pitches were thrown for strikes. Bisenius said it “felt good to get out there, get under the lights,” but after more than six years of playing mostly in the Minors and a move from the Philadelphia franchise to Washington, “good” is probably an understatement for Bisenius.


Marlins (71-69):

1.    Emilio Bonifacio – 3B

2.    Logan Morrison – LF

3.    Hanley Ramirez – SS

4.    Dan Uggla – 2B

5.    Chad Tracy – 1B

6.    Mike Stanton – RF

7.    Cameron Maybin – CF

8.    Brad Davis – C

9.    Anibal Sanchez – SP (11-9, 3.45 ERA)

  Nationals (60-81):

1.      Danny Espinosa – 2B

2.      Ian Desmond – SS

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Roger Bernadina – LF  

6.      Michael Morse – RF

7.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

8.      Wilson Ramos – C

9.      Jason Marquis – SP (2-7, 7.14 ERA)

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