Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nationals-Yankees (6/9-6/10)
By Ricky Keeler
Jun 4, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) throws to the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Gio Gonzalez (4-3, 4.57) vs. Nathan Eovaldi (5-1, 4.16) – 1:05 PM ET, MASN
Wednesday afternoon’s game is a rematch of a matchup that took place on May 19 at Nats Park. Both pitchers had a rough outing, but neither pitcher had a decision in this game. This was the game in which Ryan Zimmerman had the walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the tenth against Andrew Miller.
Gio Gonzalez got off to a rough start in his last outing against the Chicago Cubs on June 4. He gave up a run before he retired a single batter and gave up two runs in the first inning. However, he rebounded well and kept Chicago off the board for the remainder of the night. He went six innings, gave up two runs on four hits, struck out six, and walked four in a 2-1 loss.
While Gonzalez’s command was off, the fact that he kept a good offense to just two runs was encouraging. That being said, his start against the Yankees on May 19 was the opposite. After retiring the first nine Yankees in order, he gave up six combined runs in the fourth and fifth inning. Those six runs were tied for the most runs he has given up in a start this year.
Against the Yankees, Gonzalez is 1-5 with a 7.30 ERA in seven starts. He has not defeated the Yankees in a start since 2009. Teixeira is 6-for-18 against the Nats left-hander with two home runs and five RBI’s. Yankees’ third baseman Chase Headley is another player to watch in this game. He is 3-for-11 with two doubles, a home run, and three RBI’s against Gio.
In that outing on May 19, the Yankees gave Nathan Eovaldi a 6-2 lead, but he could not hold the lead nor finish the fifth inning. He went 4.1 innings, gave up five runs on seven hits, struck out two, and walked two. He gave up two home runs in that outing, one to Ian Desmond and one to Bryce Harper.
While the former Marlin right-hander does have five wins this season, opponents have hit .314 against him. In addition, he is coming off a start against the Angels where he walked four batters and could not get out of the sixth inning in a game that the Yankees led 8-1. In his 11 outings this season, he has only made it out of the sixth inning three times.
Eovaldi does have experience facing the Nationals from his time in the NL East. He has a 2-4 record in eight starts against the Nats with a 5.32 ERA. Anthony Rendon is 7-for-17 against Eovaldi with a RBI, but the guy to watch is Bryce Harper. Harper is 6-for-14 lifetime with a RBI against him.
Advantage: This is a matchup where I expect both teams to put up a ton of runs. It is expected to be in the upper 80’s in terms of temperature, which means the ball could be flying out of the stadium. If the Yankees have to use Miller and Betances Tuesday, I think the Nationals have the edge in a very close game. Give me the Nats to get the split in this series by a final score of 9-7.