Washington Nationals at Rockies Preview (8/15-8/17)
By Ricky Keeler
Gio Gonzalez (8-9, 4.24) vs. Chad Bettis (10-6, 5.27) – 8:40 p.m, MASN2
Even though Gonzalez got the win in his last start against the Indians on August 11, it wasn’t one of his better performances. He went five innings, gave up four runs on seven hits, struck out five, and walked one, but he did get the win.
With that win, Gonzalez is now 4-2 over his last seven starts and is one win away from a .500 winning percentage. He did throw only ten first pitch strikes to the 23 batters he faced and the four runs he gave up was the most in any start since June 30 against the Reds.
Gonzalez has faced the Rockies twice in his career and he is 2-0 with a 3.75 ERA in those outings. However, those starts occurred in 2012 and none of them were at Coors Field. If Ryan Raburn plays, he is 7-for-13 with three home runs and four RBI’s against the Washington Nationals left-hander.
Tomorrow, Gonzalez will go up against a pitcher in Bettis who has not lost in his last seven starts. Against the Rangers on August 11, Bettis went five innings, gave up five runs on nine hits, struck out two, and walked three in a no-decision.
Bettis has received some excellent run support in these games as the Rockies have scored double digit runs three times in his last seven outings. The five runs against the Rangers were the most the 27-year-old right-hander has given up in a game since June 26.
Coors Field is a tough ballpark to pitch in, but Bettis does a good job of getting hitters to hit groundballs. According to Fangraphs, his 51.3% groundball percentage is the eighth best in the National League and second on the team behind Tyler Chatwood (56.8%). In two relief appearances against the Washington Nationals, Bettis has a 6.75 ERA. Anthony Rendon is 1-for-2 against him with a double and two RBI’s.
Prediction: This is an interesting matchup because Gonzalez and Bettis have each pitched well of late. I’m expecting a well-pitched game on both sides because of the lack of familiarity on each side, but I like the Rockies to win this game with their offense against Gonzalez.
Next: Wednesday's Pitching Matchup