After last night’s loss, the Washington Nationals will have to settle for tying the franchise mark for regular season wins if they can take the series finale with the Pittsburgh Pirates this afternoon. A 98-win season would match the 2012 Nats.
Speaking of wins... If Gio Gonzalez can earn one, (and I know “pitcher wins, right?”) he can match his second-highest win total, tying his 2011 mark when he went (16-12) in his final season in Oakland before he was traded to the Nationals that winter.
Gonzalez won 21 games in his first season in D.C. in 2012, when he went (21-8) with a 2.89 ERA, a 2.82 FIP, 76 walks (3.43 BB/9), and 207 Ks (9.35 K/9) in 199 1⁄3 innings, over which he held opposing hitters to a .201/.283/.299 line against.
He takes the mound this afternoon with a (15-8) record on the season, a 2.75 ERA, 3.90 FIP, 76 walks (3.48 BB/9), 186 Ks (8.51 K/9), and a .209/.292/.341 line against in 196 2⁄3 IP.
What kind of lineup will Dusty Baker run out there behind Gonzalez in the finale of the regular season?
Baker talked last night, after lifting Ryan Zimmerman late in the game, about wanting to get at bats for some of his bench players, when he was asked if there was anything wrong with Zimmerman that led to that decision.
“I’ve got to get all of these guys some at bats,” Baker explained, “cause if I didn’t get [Adam] Lind any at bats today or tomorrow then it would be a week of not having at bats, so nothing happened to Zim, just trying to get everybody else an at bat, and he’d already had a good day going.”
This afternoon, the Nats’ skipper is running out a lineup that looks like the one that will start the NLDS, though there are sure to be substitutions galore as this one goes along.