Washington Nationals Reaction: Gio Gonzalez Shows No Rust
Gonzalez Keeps His Focus
When I was previewing this game on Monday, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Gonzalez in this game because of the long layoff. However, I liked the mentality that the Nats’ left-hander had in this outing. For starters, I like that new pitching coach Mike Maddux has the starter who is pitching the next day track the other starter like Gonzalez did for Scherzer on Monday.
As for last night’s start, Gonzalez had good command on all of his pitches. He threw 61 of his 95 pitches for strikes and he had his good command from the get go when you look at the fact that he threw 18 first pitch strikes to the 23 batters he faced and had seven three-ball counts (three of them against Freddie Freeman).
Plus, he avoided the crooked inning, which usually keeps him from going deep into games. The inning that stood out last night was the second, which began with a Jeff Francoeur single and Erick Aybar reaching on an error by Danny Espinosa. However, Gonzalez regrouped and struck out Tyler Flowers, got Gordon Beckham to fly out to right, and Chacin to pop out to second to get out of a big jam.
While it is only one outing and against a Braves lineup with no big offensive threats outside of Freeman, it was interesting to see the impact that Maddux is having in Gonzalez and for Nats’ fans. Hopefully that impact leads to more consistency during the rest of this season.
Next: Harper Comes Up Clutch