Gio Gonzalez showed signs of life in a seven-inning outing against the Miami Marlins two starts back, holding the Fish to one run in a 2-1 loss, but he got roughed up the next time out, giving up 10 hits and six runs (five earned) in just 3 2⁄3 IP in what ended up a 7-1 loss against the Cincinnati Reds.
The Nationals’ 32-year-old southpaw took the mound this afternoon in the nation’s capital in the midst of an 11-start winless streak, which went back to May 28th.
He was (0-6) with Washington 3-8 in his outings, with a 6.37 ERA and a .303/.388/.483 line against in 53 2⁄3 IP over that stretch.
Gonzalez fell behind early on Thursday, giving up a solo home run by Nick Markakis on a 2-0 fastball in the first at bat of the second, 1-0 Braves.
The left-hander singled to start a third-inning rally, however, as the Nationals scored two on a bases-loaded walk and sac fly, and Michael A. Taylor made it 3-1 with a solo shot in the fourth as Gonzalez he held the Braves to one run through five innings on 75 pitches, and he threw just 10 in the sixth before the Nats added to their lead, 4-1, then came back out in the top of the seventh, with a nine-pitch frame that ended his outing.
Gio Gonzalez’s Line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 94 P, 60 S, 8/4 GO/FO.
Gio Gonzalez spun 7 innings of 1-run ball this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/dY1HSQXFv8— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 9, 2018
“That was awesome,” Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez said after Gonzalez earned the “W” in what ended up a 6-3 win. “He picked us up. Like I said before the game, if he keeps us in the ballgame, we have a chance to win and he did that. I wanted to get him out, make sure he felt really good. He had a great day. And like I said, he kept us in the game, we were able to score some runs, and we held the lead.”
Gonzalez, as he’s wont to, praised the work his teammates did in earning the win.
“Everyone did a great job today,” the southpaw said.
“Everyone made great plays. I can’t stress enough how [Matt] Wieters did behind the plate.
“I think I have the best command when I don’t have to think. Credit the big guy behind the plate. He made it less stressful.”
“He was just pounding the strike zone, like what we always talk about,” Martinez added when asked what was working for Gonzalez this time outs.
“He threw all his pitches, but he kept consistent, and I don’t know if you guys paid attention, but he didn’t walk anybody, which was pretty awesome.
“So as long as he does that... he doesn’t get many hard-hit balls, he really doesn’t and he keeps the ball on the ground for the most part, so hopefully we found something on him and he keeps going.”
“We just had a hard time getting ahold of Gio,” Braves’ skipper Brian Snitker told reporters after taking two of four in the nation’s capital. “That was the biggest thing. We couldn’t do anything with him.”