Complete game shutouts are rare. So rare, in fact, it’s only been done 8 times by a pitcher wearing a Nationals uniform. That averages out to one per season. So don’t expect another until after the Cicadas are long gone.
Here are the 8 complete game shutouts in Nationals history, dating back to 2005.
John Patterson–August 4, 2005
Pedro Astacio–August 15, 2006
John Lannan–July 21, 2009
Livan Hernandez–April 17, 2010
Jason Marquis–April 29, 2011
Livan Hernandez–June 15, 2011
Gio Gonzalez–August 31, 2012
Jordan Zimmermann–April 26, 2013
But which performance was the most dominant? Jordan Zimmermann allowed only one hit and one walk combined, a distinction shared with Pedro Astacio, who allowed two hits and zero walks in his 2006 shutout (Zimmermann also allowed a runner to reach base via error). Patterson struck out 13 batters in 2005, far more than any other pitching performance on the list (Zimmermann had four). Astacio needed only 89 pitches to record his 27 outs in 2006. Zimmermann needed 91 tonight. Marquis delivered only 96 pitches in his 2011 shutout. Astacio and Hernandez in 2011 faced only 29 batters each in their shutouts; Zimmermann faced 30.
The advanced metrics clearly conclude that Patterson’s performance was the most dominant. Using Wins Probability Added, a metric that calculates a pitcher’s contribution over a replacement player, Patterson’s shutout added .474 “wins” to his team’s season win total. Using Game Score, a metric developed by Bill James to establish the dominance of a particular pitching performance, Patterson also had the most impressive game with a Game Score of 92 (Astacio was the next closest with 88).
However one measures dominance, a critical question emerges. When you allow zero runs over nine innings, does it really matter?
- Washington Nationals Game 23 Review: Nats write history with second consecutive one-hitter vs. Reds (districtsportspage.com)
- The Nationals, The 1900 Reds, and Corky Miller is Fantastic (halfstreetheartattack.com)
- One-Hit Wonders (curlyw.mlblogs.com)