Washington Nationals Defeat Twins 8-4: 3 Takeaways

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Apr 22, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth (28) celebrates with catcher Jose Lobaton (59) after his fifth inning solo home run against the Minnesota Twins at Nationals Park. Washington Nationals defeated Minnesota Twins 8-4. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 22, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth (28) celebrates with catcher Jose Lobaton (59) after his fifth inning solo home run against the Minnesota Twins at Nationals Park. Washington Nationals defeated Minnesota Twins 8-4. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Apr 22, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) pitches during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

Gonzalez Continues To Stay Consistent

The theme for Gio Gonzalez’s first three starts of the 2016 season has been consistency, something he wasn’t last season. Yes, it is only April, but the left-hander put up another quality outing against the Minnesota Twins last night.

Gonzalez went six innings, gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits, struck out eight, and walked one on 90 pitches (60 strikes). Right out of the gate, Gonzalez struck out five of the first nine batters he faced. Out of the eight K’s that he had, six of them ended on off-speed pitches, including four curveballs.

In addition to his good night on the mound, Gonzalez also had a RBI at the plate when he hit a sacrifice fly to left in the third inning that drove in Lobaton. While the back-to-back eight strikeout games are impressive by Gonzalez, the best thing about his good start is the fact that he has only four walks in his first three outings after a wild spring.

Even though he loaded the bases in the top of the seventh and Shawn Kelley eventually allowed two of those runs to score, Gonzalez was able to throw strikes and pitch to the scoreboard when given that early 4-0 lead.

So far, Gonzalez’s 1.42 ERA in three starts this season is much better than how he started last season when he went 1-2 in four April starts with a 5.01 ERA and the opponents were hitting .312 against him (.186 this season).

Next: Another Multi-Hit Game For Murphy

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