Gio Gonzalez earned a win with 6 1⁄3 innings of work on the mound in Citi Field in April, over which he allowed just two hits, three walks and one earned run, improving to (9-1) in 14 career starts in the New York Mets’ home. He took the mound tonight in Flushing, Queens, NY, with a 1.62 ERA, 35 walks (3.55 BB/9), 87 Ks (8.38 K/9) and a .165/.251/.248 line against in 88 2⁄3 IP in Citi Field.
Gonzalez was asked after his win in April what was working for him on the mound that night.
“I was just trying to be aggressive with them,” Gonzalez told reporters, as quoted by Washington Post writer Jorge Castillo.
“I don’t want to let up. I wanted to keep throwing my pitches and attacking the strike zone.”
A reporter, noting that the left-hander didn’t like to talk about it much, asked manager Dusty Baker, who was only with the Nationals for one season of Gonzalez’s starts in NY, if he had any theories as to why Gonzalez performed so well in Citi Field.
“I don’t know,” Baker said.
“I don’t have any clue. Like I said, I was just here last year, my first year and he wasn’t 9-0, 9-1 all of last year.
“You’ve got to ask him that, and if he don’t want to talk about it, there’s not much I can add to it.”
Gonzalez took the mound against the Mets on Thursday night with a 1-0 lead, courtesy of a laser of a homer by Bryce Harper in the top of the fifth inning, and he had a 7-1 lead to work with after four and a half innings in the series opener in Citi Field.
Rene Rivera took the Nats’ lefty deep to right for an opposite field blast in the fifth, for the Mets’ second run of the game, but Gonzalez held New York to two runs over seven innings, earning his 10th win in 15 starts in Citi Field with a 106-pitch effort.
Gio Gonzalez (W, 6-1): 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 106 P, 70 S, 3/5 GO/FO.
Gonzalez, as he’s wont to, credited his catcher, Matt Wieters, with guiding him through the outing.
“These guys were being very aggressive,” Gonzalez said, as quoted by MASN’s Byron Kerr.
“They weren’t letting me try get into a deep count or anything like that. They were trying to get going, working quick. Matt was quick to pay attention to that and try to switch up here and there.
“I have to give credit to Murphy. Murphy did a great job of paying attention, and kind of slowing the game down for me every time I looked back.”
“What stood out is that he didn’t have any walks,” Baker told reporters
“That’s what permitted him to get into the seventh. He threw the ball great tonight.
“You like that when his tempo is good, our defense was sharp and we got some timely hits.”