Over his last eight starts, the 30-year-old southpaw was just (1-6), however, with a 8.10 ERA, 19 walks, 57 Ks and a .314/.396/.509 line against in 43 ⅓ innings pitched heading into tonight's start against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Gonzalez gave up a run in the first inning of that outing against Cincinnati, then tossed four scoreless before the Reds scored three more on four hits and a walk in the sixth.
In between those innings Gonzalez said he felt good on the mound.
"I felt a little more extension on the arm," Gonzalez said, "felt like my velocity was up and all three of my pitches were working to my favor, just ran into a little hitch in that sixth inning."
When he faced the Brewers in Miller Park during the Nationals three-game series there last week, Gonzalez gave up six hits and six runs in three innings of work in a 6-5 loss.
Tonight in D.C., the Nationals' lefty allowed just one run through five innings, but a one-out, two-run, home run to right in the sixth by Brewers' outfielder Hernan Perez, who hadn't homered in 41 games, was the difference in what ended up a 5-2 loss.
Gonzalez worked around some shoddy defense early and completed two scoreless on 29 pitches before the Nationals gave him a lead to work with when Anthony Rendon drove Daniel Murphy in from second with a line drive single to left, two outs after Murphy's single started the frame. 1-0.
It was a 1-1 game pretty quickly, however. Jonathan Villar doubled to right on a fly ball Bryce Harper tracked to the wall but couldn't/didn't catch, stole third, and scored on an RBI single to right by Aaron Hill to even things up after two and a half innings.
Jonathan Lucroy singled to start the Brewers' sixth, and one out later right fielder Hernan Perez hit his first home run in two months out to right and over the out-of-town scoreboard for a two-run blast that made it 3-1 Milwaukee.
Gio Gonzalez's Line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 102 P, 57 S, 6/2 GO/FO.
Aaron Hill hit a two-run home run to left-center off Blake Treinen in the seventh after an error on a grounder put a runner on to start the frame. 5-1.
Three straight two-out singles for the Nationals chased Zach Davies in the seventh with the Brewers up 5-2 after Ben Revere drove Danny Espinosa in from second with a low liner to center.
Carlos Torres took over with two on and two out and Jayson Werth at the plate and walked the bases loaded to set Bryce Harper up with an opportunity to chip away.
Left-hander Will Smith took over on the mound and got Harper looking with a 1-2 fastball low and away for out No. 3 though, and the Brewers cruised to their second straight win.
Jeremy Jeffress finished the Nats off in the ninth. 5-2 final.
Nationals now 50-35
- A win today would give Milwaukee their first series win against Washington since 2010 after the Brewers took two of three in Miller Park and the series opener yesterday in Nationals Park.
- Washington is 1-3 against the Milwaukee so far this season, and 39-41 against the Brewers since 2005, but they're 23-16 in Nationals Park since it opened in 2005.
- Brewers' infielder Scooter Gennett starts the night 12 for 42 (.286) with a .286 AVG vs LHPs this season and 11 of those 12 hits in his last 28 at bats against left-handers (.393 AVG).
- Nationals' infielder Danny Espinosa was named the NL Player of the Week today after going 11 for 26 (.423 AVG) with two doubles and five home runs last week.
- In today's Washington-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Since June 1st, the Nationals, as a team, have scored 168 runs, with a .455 SLG and a .340 OBP, first in the NL in all three over that stretch.
- Milwaukee's win on Monday left them 14-26 on the road this season.
- Brewers' starter Zach Davies went five innings against the Nationals when he faced them in Miller Park last month, giving up seven hits and three earned runs in five innings, receiving no decision in what ended up a 5-3 win.
- Nationals' starter Gio Gonzalez started the night (2-2) with a 5.04 ERA in six career starts against the Brewers.
- Daniel Murphy and Wilson Ramos rank first and second, respectively, in AVG in the NL heading into tonight's game, with a .347 and .340 average, again, respectively.
- Murphy also ranks first in the NL in hits (108), multi-hit games (35).
- In today's Brewers-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy is 38 for 117 (.325 AVG) with four home runs and 22 RBIs... over his last 32 games, taking his average from .275 to .296.
Nationals now 50-35