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The solution for Bronson Arroyo

The Washington Nationals tend to do for opposing pitchers' ERAs what, say, organic cucumber facials do for the skin. The Nats can pretty much cure any pitcher's blemish. Bronson Arroyo? He entered the day as, arguably, the least effective starter in baseball. The guy had a 6.19 ERA -- tops among all qualifying pitchers. Some of that is attributable to his historic combustion on June 24 (one-plus inning, 10 runs), but he was lousy before that start, too. Take that start out of the arithmetic, and his ERA is still higher than premium gas.

Then, Arroyo faces the Nats, throws six shutout innings and slims his ugliest number down to 5.82.

This game (a 3-0 sleepwalk) was the 10th time this season Washington has been shut out.

But afterward, the Nats gave most of the credit to that for Arroyo, saying that he kept everybody off balance and had his off-speed stuff working.

"Arroyo did a good job," Manny Acta said. "Arroyo could be having a high ERA right now, but that doesn't take anything away from what he's done in the past and what he's able to do. And, uh, he did a great job."

Enjoy the fireworks tonight. You got absolutely none of them in 2:22 of baseball this afternoon.

By Chico Harlan  |  July 4, 2008; 7:35 PM ET
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