May 21, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) delivers to the plate during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
Nationals' left-hander Gio Gonzalez beat the New York Mets last time out, giving up seven hits and one earned run in 5.2 IP over which he threw a total of 110 pitches. The win improved Gio's record to (16-6) after 25 starts. On the year, the 26-year-old has a 3.23 ERA, a 2.80 FIP, 58 walks (3.40 BB/9) and 161 Ks (9.45 K/9) in 153.1 IP. After putting up a 4.59 ERA and a 4.24 FIP with 17 walks (4.59 BB/9) and 29 Ks (7.83 K/9) in 33.1 IP in July, Gonzalez has posted a 3.07 ERA, 2.62 FIP, six walks (1.84 BB/9) and 24 Ks (7.36 K/9) in 29.1 IP over four August outings. Gonzalez has won four of his last six starts with the Nats 5-1 over the same stretch, and he's (2-0) in two career starts against the Phillies he faces tonight in Philadelphia with four walks (2.77 BB/9), 16 Ks (11.08 K/9), a 0.69 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and a .156 BAA in 13.0 IP against the Nats' NL East rivals.
Last time out in Citizens Bank Park, back on May 21st, Gonzalez threw 6.0 scoreless, giving up three walks and three hits while striking out nine. Though he beat the Mets in his last start before tonight's, Gonzalez struggled on the mound throwing 20+ pitches in three of six innings starting with a 27-pitch first. But it was also a game which had its start time delayed by rain for nearly two and a half hours. "He stretched at 12:30 and he was ready to go," Davey Johnson said after Gonzalez had earned his 16th win, "And then it was going to be 3:15 and then it was 4:00. That's not easy for anybody. You kind gear up mentally, then shut it down. You gear up mentally... but he held us in there, did alright, but not to his standards."
Gonzalez has beaten Philles' starter Vance Worley and Kyle Kendrick in his two previous starts against Philadelphia. Tonight he's matched up with Roy Halladay, who is (11-2) in 17 games (16 starts) against Montreal/Washington with two complete games, one shutout, 16 BB (1.23 BB/9), 99 Ks (7.64 K/9), a 2.55 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and .240 BAA in 116.2 IP against the Expos/Nationals over his 15-year career with one of the two career losses back in 2002 in Toronto and the other the last time he faced the Nats in Nationals Park back on May 22nd when he surrendered nine hits and five runs in 6.0 IP, giving up home runs by Ian Desmond and Rick Ankiel, neither of whom will be backing Gio Gonzalez up tonight in the Nats' lineup. Bryce Harper did hit a triple off Halladay, however.
• Here's the Nats' lineup for game two of three in CBP:
Davey's Lineup-Sat. @ PHI/G126: Lombo 2b, Harper cf, Zimmerman 3b, LaRoche 1b, Werth rf, Bernadina lf, Espinosa ss, Suzuki c, GGonzalez lhp.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) August 25, 2012