In five starts this month heading into his outing tonight in Citizens Bank Park, Gio Gonzalez is (3-0) with a 4.05 ERA and a .230/.271/.410 line against in 26 2⁄3 innings pitched.
Washington’s 30-year-old left-hander is (5-1) in his last nine as well, and say what you will about “win” as a stat, but the Nationals’ starter is finally back to .500, something skipper Dusty Baker said was a goal of his over the last few weeks.
Gonzalez is coming off a six-inning outing against the Colorado Rockies in which he gave up four hits and two runs in an 85-pitch effort he was lifted from when Baker tried to push a couple runs across in what ended up an 8-5 win.
“Gio had some more in the tank, but we had to try to get those runs,” the Nationals’ skipper explained.
“Gio kept his pitch count low, [Jose Lobaton] navigated him through the game.
“He had a very, very good breaking ball and located his fastball well, especially down in the zone. That’s his key to his success. Not getting runners on base and not walking people.”
“His last couple games, a few games have been good,” Baker added.
Tonight in Philadelphia, Gonzalez was facing the Phillies for the third time this season and the first time since April, when he went (0-1) with a 1.35 ERA and a .200/.275/.289 line against in 13 1⁄3 IP.
The Nationals take an eight-game winning streak against Phillies overall and a five-game winning streak in Citizens Bank Park into tonight’s series finale.
Here’s the lineup for tonight’s game: