Washington Nationals: Takeaways From 4-3 Loss To Cubs
Gonzalez Has Success With Curveball
Even though Gio Gonzalez put together his second straight quality start against a Chicago baseball team, he still ran into some trouble against a good Cubs lineup.
His first issue came in the third inning. Gonzalez had only allowed one hit through the first eight hitters of the game, but then he surrendered a two out single to Lackey. That would be followed up by a double from Dexter Fowler and a single from Heyward that put the Cubs up 2-0.
In the top of the fourth, the Nats’ left-hander walked a pair of Cubs and allowed Ben Zobrist to steal third on the second walk of the game. David Ross, the number eight hitter, would make Gonzalez pay for the walks with a base hit to center to put Chicago in front, 3-1.
All in all, it wasn’t a terrible game from Gonzalez, but he failed to pitch out of some key jams in the game. He went 6.1 innings, gave up three runs on five hits, struck out nine, and walked four on 111 pitches (68 strikes) in the loss.
Despite those bad innings, Gonzalez did have nine strikeouts and he has now had three straight games of eight strikeouts or more.
His put away pitch in this game was the breaking ball, which ended up being the final pitch in seven of his nine strikeouts. According to Brooks Baseball, 23 of the 37 curveballs he threw went for strikes and only three breaking balls were put into play.
Even though Gonzalez still hasn’t won a game since May 2 against the Kansas City Royals, he has shown signs of improvements in his last couple of outings after giving up 18 runs in a three-start stretch (May 23-June 3).
Next: Lackey Stifles Nats Once Again