Gio Gonzalez and the defending NL East champion Washington Nationals take on the 2017 World Series champion Houston Astros at 1:05 PM EDT this afternoon from the two teams’ shared Spring Training home, the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Gio Gonzalez goes for the Nats this afternoon against Lance McCullers, Jr. in Grapefruit League action that’s on both MASN and ESPN 2 (and MLB.tv).
Gonzalez, 32, makes his fourth start of the Spring today, after giving up 11 hits, two walks, and three earned runs in 10 innings in his previous three starts, over which he’s struck out six batters, with opposing hitters putting up a .275 AVG against him.
Last time out, the left-hander held the St. Louis Cardinals to one run on four hits over five innings, walking one and striking out three in a 77-pitch effort that included a brief scare, when Gonzalez stretched awkwardly on the mound after fielding a grounder and made his manager wonder if something was wrong.
There wasn’t. Gonzalez told Dave Martinez that he was just stretching. It’s something he does.
“Well, I don’t like it,” Martinez told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, when he realized nothing was wrong with the lefty. “Don’t do that to me.”
Gonzalez will try to avoid inducing panic in his new skipper today, when he takes on the Astros.
He’s batting eighth as Martinez goes with the back-to-back leadoff hitters thing again.