Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Bryce Harper’s Ejection Highlights Wild Night At Citi Field

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Jul 31, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) pitches during the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Gonzalez’s Command Shaky, But Holds Mets To One Run

In a rotation that has Max Scherzer and Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez has arguably been the best starter in the Nats rotation this month. Gonzalez has a tall task going up against Matt Harvey, who has dominated the Nationals over his career.

Even though Gonzalez held the Mets to one run in a no-decision, he was not able to give the team length in this game. The left-hander went five innings, gave up the lone run on four hits, struck out six, and walked four on 105 pitches (59 strikes).

The one stat that stands out was the walks. In the five starts Gonzalez had in the month of July, he had no walks in two of them. In the other three starts, he walked ten. The one inning that gave Gonzalez trouble was the fourth inning.

Out of the 41 pitches he threw in that fourth inning, only 20 of them went for strikes. After getting the first two batters out, Gonzalez walked Juan Uribe and Travis d’Arnaud to keep the inning going. Then, Wilmer Flores would get the first of his two big hits as he hit a ball that went off Ian Desmond’s glove and into left field for a base hit that scored Uribe.

While you have to give Gonzalez credit for keeping the Mets to one run, he has to do a better job of keeping his command, especially when Jose Lobaton is behind the plate. Lobaton should be his catcher because that’s when he pitches at his best, but the Nats need Gonzalez to avoid giving up too many free passes.

Even though Gonzalez had a rough night, give the bullpen a lot of credit. Even though Felipe Rivero gave up the walk-off to Flores, the Nationals’ bullpen gave up two hits over the final 6.1 innings and struck out seven Mets.

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