While a lot was made of the number of Chicago Cubs fans in attendance last night in the nation’s capital, the Washington Nationals themselves didn’t seem to think much of the large representation for the visiting team.
“Phillies come to town, same thing. LA. Same thing. It’s just part of the game, part of two teams playing well, and just another game in June.”
Gio Gonzalez, who started the first game of four in D.C., was asked if the atmosphere and excitement in the park was different from what he’s used to.
“You mean more Cubs fans, is that what you’re trying to say?” Gonzalez asked.
“Ninth inning, that’s when we made some noise. We fought, we gave our Nats fans, the ones that came to the game, we gave them something to watch and you’re definitely going to like watching more of these games, because we’ve got more to give.”
“We definitely gave the fans their money’s worth,” Gonzalez added.
Nats’ skipper Dusty Baker downplayed the significance of the series being some sort of test, since the Nationals were facing the defending World Series champs.
“I view it the same as I do every other series,” Baker said before the game. “We’ve got to win. We’re trying to increase our lead. We’re trying to get to 50 [wins]. We’re trying to win 15 [games] this month. This is a big series for us. I think we’re at 12 now.”
Tonight, the Nationals send Max Scherzer to the mound as they look to avoid a third straight loss overall. Jake Arrieta starts for the Cubs.