Nationals' skipper Matt Williams on Gio Gonzalez's shoulder tightness last night

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The decision to pull Gio Gonzalez with two on and no one out in the sixth inning of last night's game was a surprising one. After the Washington Nationals' comeback win, Matt Williams explained that the left-hander was dealing with shoulder tightness.

After last night's game, Gio Gonzalez was not too interested in talking about the tightness in his left shoulder which led to Washington Nationals' Manager Matt Williams lifting the left-handed starter after just five+ innings and 83 pitches.

"I feel fine now," Gonzalez said. "Did all my exercises. Feel great. On to the next question."

"Going out for the fifth inning, it's a little cold night tonight, Gio had a little shoulder tightness tonight..." - Matt Williams on lifting Gio Gonzalez early last night

"Going out for the fifth inning, it's a little cold night tonight, Gio had a little shoulder tightness tonight," Williams explained afterwards.

"Ordinarily I wouldn't take him out of the game there, but we want to make sure that he's okay for our future too. So, cold and windy and he had a little bit of tightness so we wanted to make sure he's okay."

Williams said it was the first time the Nats' 28-year-old lefty experienced any issue with his shoulder.

"He was good before the game," Williams said. "He's never really had an injury, so we don't expect this one to be an injury. But there's a little tightness there, so we don't take any chance with him."

"He's never really had an injury, so we don't expect this one to be an injury. But there's a little tightness there..." - Matt Williams on Gio Gonzalez last night in D.C.

Gonzalez said he was sure he would make his next scheduled start and he understood why the Nationals took him out of last night's game when they did.

"You understand it," he said. "We all are sitting down, going over it. We had a great understanding about it."

The Angels loaded the bases on Gonzalez in the first inning of last night's outing, but a double play on a line drive to short got him out of a 20-pitch frame.

He retired 11-straight batters after a two-out walk to LA outfielder B.J. Shuck in the second, then walked Mike Trout in the sixth and gave up an RBI double by Albert Pujols before he was lifted, having failed to retire a batter in the inning.

Pujols scored with Aaron Barrett on the mound, for the second of two runs Gonzalez was charged with in his fifth start of the season.

Gonzalez said his first inning struggles were just a matter of settling in.

"Just trying to find the strike zone," he told reporters. "Trying to warm up a little bit, especially with the weather. So, a little difficult trying to get a feel for it and after that just wanted to be aggressive and attack the strike zone."

It was the first time this season that Gonzalez did go at least six innings.

"It's not an ideal situation to take him out," Williams explained. "Like I said, ordinarily, he'd stay in that game, but we have to make sure that he's healthy."

• We talked about Gio Gonzalez, the Nats' big comeback and more on the latest edition of Nats Nightly, listen here:

Online Baseball Radio at Blog Talk Radio with District Sports Page Nats Nightly on BlogTalkRadio
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