Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Gio Gonzalez And Bryce Harper Help Lead Nats To 4th Straight Win

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Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Gonzalez Shuts Out Braves For Six Innings

While Gonzalez’s last outing against the Cardinals was a quality start, he ran into some trouble in the fourth inning and gave up all three runs. Last night, it looked like Gonzalez was going to have that kind of inning in the top of the first. He walked Pedro Ciriaco and Freddie Freeman with one out. It looked like Gonzalez had an inning-ending double play when Nick Swisher grounded out to third, but Yunel Escobar made a bad throw to first to continue the inning.

Normally, you would see the 29-year-old get rattled in a situation like that, but Gonzalez kept his composure and got Cameron Maybin to ground out to short to end the inning. After that first inning, Gonzalez got into a groove. He struck out eight of the next 13 batters he faced and he was able to escape out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth inning without giving up a run. He went six innings, gave up no runs on two hits, struck out ten, and walked four on 106 pitches (63 strikes).

According to Brooks Baseball, Gonzalez threw 70% of his four-seam fastballs for strikes, but another pitch that he dominated with was his changeup. Out of the ten changeups, eight went for strikes and only one was put in play.

That being said, he did have four walks last night (tied a season high) and only threw 11 first pitch strikes to the 24 batters he faced. While Gonzalez did a good job of keeping the line moving for the starting pitchers, the amount of walks have to go down, especially when pitching with a 7-0 lead.

Next: Harper Is Finally Getting Pitches To Hit