As we all try to recover from "No Snowmageddon" and trying to digest massive amounts of holiday food, you get to also try to stomach the (not so) brilliant performance of our 5th installment of Former Nats Greats.
And on this Day, I announce to you that the next winner is...
Day was a holdover from the Montreal days and he began the 2005 season as the Nats #2 starter. This, however, didn't last too long...
His first start in a Curly W was for the Nationals first win in franchise history. And though he didn't record a decision he pitched a respectable 5.2 innings while only allowing 3 earned runs, with 3 strikeouts and 1 walk. The rest of his time in 2005 had a very roller-coaster-like feel to it, some good starts, some bad; a grand total of 12 appearances. Lets look at a couple of his 2005 greatest/worst hits.
April 20th vs. Atlanta - 7.0 IP. 3 hits. 0 R. 0 ER. 4 BB. 1 K.
May 23rd vs Cincinnati - 1.0 IP. 0 hits. 0 R. 0 ER. 0 BB. 0 K.
April 11th vs Atlanta - 4.1 IP. 9 hits. 7 R. 7 ER. 1 BB. 0 K.
May 7th vs San Fransisco - 1.1 IP. 2 hits. 4 R. 4 ER. 1 BB. 1 K.
May 25th vs Cincinnati - 2.0 IP. 4 hits. 5 R. 5 ER. 3 BB. 2 K.
Ouch. I find it amazing that his 2 best starts and 2 of his worst starts were against the same team... Just fantastic in his ineffectiveness. That May 25th start would be his last appearance in a Curly W in 2005, as he would be sent to the Rockies with JJ Davis for "slugger" Preston Wilson.
Day would stay with the Rockies for the rest of 2005 and would start 2006 as a member of their starting rotation. Things change quickly, however, when a starter allows 16 earned runs in just 3 starts. Day was placed on waivers and the Nationals jumped at the chance for another reclamation project. He made his 2006 Nationals Debut on April 30th. Here is a quick rehash of his 5 appearances.
April 30th vs St. Louis - 5.0 IP. 6 hits. 4 R. 4 ER. 3 BB. 1 K.
May 5th vs Pittsburgh - 7.0 IP. 4 hits. 0 R. 0 ER. 1 BB. 5 K.
May 11th vs Cincinnati - 7.1 IP. 7 hits. 1 R. 1 ER. 1 BB. 3 K.
May 17th vs Chicago (NL) - 4.0 IP. 8 hits. 4 R. 3 ER. 3 BB. 3 K.
May 22nd vs Houston - 3.2 IP. 4 hits. 6 R. 6 ER. 3 BB. 3 K.
May 23rd vs Shoulder Soreness
June 6th vs Rotator Cuff Surgery
October 3rd vs Release
2005 Nationals Stats: 12 Games. 6.75 ERA. 1.83 WHIP. 0.64 BB/K. 61 ERA+.
2006 Nationals Stats: 5 Games. 4.73 ERA. 1.50 WHIP. 1.18 BB/K. 92 ERA+.
Zach Day's career in a Nats uniform seemed to be on the upswing in 2006 until he came down with the dreaded "shoulder tendonitis". His WHIP was down, his walk to strikeout ratio was much improved and he seemed to have turned the corner. But at 27 years old, with a history of ineffectiveness and mediocrity, Day wasn't worth the trouble anymore. He would never again pitch in the big leagues.
I remember at the end of the Nationals' RFK era in 2007, your player shirt was displayed proudly, and at $5, next to another Former Nats Great - Termel Sledge. Congratulations to you, Zach Day, for joining the immortals in becoming a Former Nats Great.