Gio Gonzalez, Nationals look to make it six in a row [POSTPONED]


Sep 18, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher

Gio Gonzalez

(47) throws against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

After last night’s 4-2 victory over the New York Mets, the Washington Nationals are back in action tonight as they look to earn a series win against their division foes and inch closer to securing the best record in the National League.

With the start of the NLDS less than two weeks away, the Nationals are playing at full force and have a relatively low number of pressing issues heading into the postseason. But one thing that manager Matt Williams and the Nationals do have to decide in the next several days is who will get the last spot in October’s four-man rotation.

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The competition for that spot will likely go down to the wire between right-hander Tanner Roark and left-hander Gio Gonzalez. Both pitchers have pitched well of late and the skipper’s decision will likely be based on their performance over their last couple of starts.

Roark certainly did his part last night, holding the Mets to just two runs on five hits over 6 1/3 solid innings. It’ll be Gonzalez’s turn tonight as the left-hander looks to build his case to make the postseason rotation.

Gonzalez (9-10, 3.74 ERA) pitched one of his best games of the season his last time out, holding the Phillies to just two runs on six hits over seven innings. Gonzalez has won four of his last three starts and appears to have moved on from his early-season struggles.

“I just think he’s got a better feel,” Williams told after Gonzalez’s last start. “You look back to not too long ago, where his slot was a little bit off and he was losing control of the fastball up and away to righties. He didn’t have a feel for his curveball. But he’s got that back, which is important for him. If he can do that, he can roll through the lineup.”

For the better part of the summer, Gonzalez was the least reliable pitcher on one of the best rotations in baseball, posting a 7.98 ERA in May and 3.77 ERAs in July and August. In the month of september, however, Gonzalez’s season has taken a turn for the better. Gonzalez has a 3.16 ERA this month and appears to be getting stronger as the playoffs get closer.

In his career against the Mets, Gonzalez is 6-4 with 66 strikeouts and a 3.44 ERA over 70 2/3 innings.

The Mets will counter with right-hander Dillon Gee (7-8, 3.88 ERA), who gave up four runs on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings his last time out against the Marlins. In his career against the Nationals, the Mets’ right-hander is 8-4 with 68 strikeouts and a 3.51 ERA in 95 innings. 

Prior to tonight’s game, the Nationals are 92-64 on the season and are riding a five-game win streak. The Nationals lead the Dodgers (90-68) by three games and the magic number to clinch the best record in the NL and home field advantage in the playoffs is down to 2.

Here are the lineups for tonight’s game:

New York Mets @ Washington Nationals, 7:05 P.M. ET

  1. LF: Eric Young
  2. 3B: Daniel Murphy
  3. RF: Eric Campbell
  4. 1B: Lucas Duda
  5. 2B: Wilmer Flores
  6. CF: Curtis Granderson
  7. C: Anthony Recker
  8. SS: Ruben Tejada
  9. SP: Dillon Gee


  1. 3B: Anthony Rendon
  2. LF: Ryan Zimmerman
  3. RF: Jayson Werth
  4. 1B: Adam LaRoche
  5. SS: Ian Desmond
  6. CF: Bryce Harper
  7. C: Wilson Ramos
  8. 2B: Asdrubal Cabrera
  9. SP: Gio Gonzalez