We are headed to the Mediterranean for part 3 of our many, many part series on Nationals who made some sort of impact on the ballclub in the past 6 years.
The winner is....
You may remember him from his fantastic, Italian name. Or you may remember him for being a mediocre pitcher. You may remember that he was the pitcher the Nats invited to Spring Training in '07 after not pitching in the big leagues since '04...
Simontacchi pitched 13 games for the 73-89 Washington Nationals. Brought to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee, he was projected to make the rotation out of camp but was sidelined for several weeks due to a groin injury. Though when Jerome Williams and John Patterson went on the DL, Simontacchi was ready to step right in.
His first start was May 8th vs the Brew-Crew, and he picked up the loss. 6 IP, 4R, 4ER, 1BB, 2K. Not too bad.
Lets take a quick look at his best and worst starts in a Curly W.
June 24th vs the Cleveland Indians. Simontacchi, facing an AL team in an NL ballpark, went up against an Indians team that was 12 games above .500. He went 6.0 innings, giving up only 4 hits, surrendering only 1 R (an ER). Somehow, he struck out 6 batters while walking just 1. He ended up picking up the win, as the Nationals won the game 3-1 on the bats of Flores and Langerhans.
Without question it was the start right before his best, June 19th vs the Tigers of Detroit. Simontacchi lasted a grand total of 3.0 innings, while giving up 10 earned runs on 10 hits; raising his ERA from 4.84 to 6.31. The Nats went on to lose the game 15-1 in front of 22,227 strong at RFK.
His last start in a Major League uniform was on July 15 where he came down with elbow soreness and was done after 5 ER in 4.1 innings.
Released at the end of the season, Simontacchi racked up a 6-7 record (earning a decision in each start). Some of his more memorable stats include his 6.34 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, and a .343 BABIP. What most impresses me is that his WAR (Wins Above Replacement) was only a -0.1, making him pretty much the exact definition of a replacement player.
For 13 glorious games in 2007 the Nationals were graced with Jason Simontacchi's presence. And if he never pitches in another Major League game (Odds: HIGH), he will still be the owner of a having a winning record over his 4 year career (26-17).
Congrats on joining Termel Sledge and Antonio Osuna as Former Nats Greats. I will enjoy a bottle of cheap Italian wine in your honor!