Tony Armas, RHP (8-12, 5.22)
..... Steve Trachsel, RHP (15-7, 4.96)
Armas had a quality start in the Nationals' 6-1 loss to the Braves on Monday night, pitching 6 2/3 innings and giving up three runs on six hits. But that doesn't mean his problems on the mound are solved. Armas, who has been inconsistent for most of the 2006 season, has to figure out what kind of pitcher he wants to be. His mentor, former teammate Livan Hernandez, has already told him that he relies too much on his fastball and should become more of a sinkerball pitcher. Armas' career as a member of the Nationals could come to an end. He is a free agent after the season, and it seems unlikely that he will return. In the meantime, his plan is to throw the sinker a lot during winter ball in Venezuela, with the hope that he can become a better pitcher.
Trachsel shut out an opponent -- albeit for 6 1/3 innings -- for the first time in 29 starts this season when he defeated the Marlins in the Mets' clincher Monday night. He threw first-pitch strikes to 16 of 23 batters, which had been a problem for him. And he was more economical. Trachsel now has won more games for the Mets (66) in this decade than any pitcher, while also having won more games for the Cubs (60) than any pitcher in the 1990s.