Gio Gonzalez took the mound on Tuesday night with a three-start unbeaten streak going, over which the 31-year-old left-hander was (2-0) with a 1.00 ERA, seven walks, 21 Ks, and a .200/.274/.277 line against in 18 innings pitched, which left the southpaw (4-2) in seven starts with a 2.22 ERA, 19 walks, 55 Ks, and a .238/.311/.337 line against in 44 2⁄3 IP on the season.
Gonzalez held the offensively-challenged San Diego Padres to a run on five hits over six innings last time out before facing the New York Yankees, striking out eight of 25 batters faced in a 110-pitch, 61-strike outing.
“He struggled with throwing strikes a little bit there, but he battled, battled through, gave us six innings and gave us an opportunity to win the game,” Davey Martinez told reporters after what ended up a 2-1 loss in Petco Park in which Gonzalez received no decision.
Going up against the Yankees in the first game of two in D.C. last night, Gonzalez worked his way out of a second and third, two-out jam in the first, and a second and third, no-out jam in the second for two scoreless on 35 pitches, leaving opposing hitters 4 for 45 (.098 AVG) with runners in scoring position against him so far in 2018.
Gonzalez set the Yanks down in order in the third, but a misplay by Andrew Stevenson and Matt Adams on a weak fly to left field in the fourth (E:8) set New York up with another runner in scoring position, and Tyler Austin hit a two-run home run to right field on a 3-2 curve for the fifth hit (5 for 46) and first home run off the Nationals’ lefty with RISP in 2018.
Walks to both Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez around a bloop single to short right field by Giancarlo Stanton loaded the bases with no one out in the top of the fifth, and Austin’s sac fly to center tied it up at 3-3.
That was it for Gonzalez, and the sky opened up in the middle of the sixth inning, bringing a halt to play. It will resume today at 5:05 PM EDT.
Gio Gonzalez’s Line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 111P, 65 S, 7/3 GO/FO.
Though he was in an out of trouble all night, as Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez said, that’s kind of Gonzalez’s thing.
“That’s what he does, and he’s good at it,” Martinez told reporters after play was suspended.
“And he kept us in the ballgame. That’s all I always ask him to do, and he does it. I talk to him every day before the game and tell him, ‘Don’t walk the leadoff hitter,’ but Gio is Gio and he gets out of it.
“He did well. He was a little upset after the game because he wanted to at least get through the six innings, but I told him the weather had a lot to do with that too.”
Gonzalez declined to talk about the start.
“It’s still 3-3,” Gonzalez said, as quoted in the New York Post. “See you tomorrow.”
Martinez stuck with his starter through the fifth in spite of the fact that his pitch count was climbing.
“I felt he could get through that inning, I really did,” he explained. “Like I said, Gio is Gio. I bet you Gio could throw 130 pitches if you let him, hopefully we don’t ever have to go there, but I thought he could get through that inning, and for the most part he did, the biggest thing was the missed pop-up cost us an extra run, so and that stuff happens, I don’t blame [anyone], it was loud, they didn’t hear each other and they collided.”