Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Nats Unable To Dig Out Of Early Hole Vs. Padres
By Ricky Keeler
Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Gonzalez’s August Struggles Continue
After Stephen Strasburg’s solid start on Tuesday night, it was up to Gio Gonzalez to take the ball last night and keep the momentum going. Unfortunately, the Nats’ left-hander was not able to get the job done. Gonzalez went 4.2 innings, gave up five runs (four earned runs) on seven hits, struck out six, and walked two on 86 pitches (56 strikes).
While Gonzalez did throw first pitch strikes to 17 of the 23 batters he faced, he was not able to have a single 1-2-3 inning. The closest he came to that came in the fifth inning, but Jedd Gyorko would single to left with two outs and would end up being Gonzalez’s final batter of the evening.
Gonzalez played with fire the whole night, but he ended up getting burned in the third inning. With one out and Tyson Ross on first, Melvin Upton Jr. hit a groundball to third that Yunel Escobar bobbled and made a bad throw to first on. Then, the damage would happen as a Matt Kemp two-run double and Justin Upton two-run homer put the Padres ahead 4-0 before Gonzalez could even blink.
Before the game, Williams made the decision to put Wilson Ramos behind the plate instead of Gonzalez’s personal catcher, Jose Lobaton. I agree with that decision because Ramos was coming off the home run the night before and he’s been swinging the bat better. Plus, when you have been as bad as Gonzalez has been lately (14 ER in last three starts and a 5.68 ERA in August), the personal catcher isn’t going to make that much of a difference.
Next: Upton Continues To Be Thorn In Nats' Side