Washington Nationals at Braves Series Preview (8/18-8/21)
Gio Gonzalez (8-9, 4.28) vs. Joel De La Cruz (0-6, 3.72) – 1:35 p.m, MASN/WUSA9
Gonzalez’s quest for the 100th win of his career on Tuesday was cut short due to a long rain delay. The left-hander went three innings, gave up two runs on four hits, and struck out two on 60 pitches in a no-decision.
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The lone mistake that Gonzalez made during the game was a two-run home run in the third by DJ LeMahieu. Gonzalez has pitched well in the second half (3-1, 2.97 ERA in six starts), but he has not won a road game since May 18 (eight starts since). He is 3-5 with a 4.41 ERA on the road this season.
Back on April 12, in his first start of the season, Gonzalez went six innings, gave up three hits, struck out four, and walked one at Nats Park in a win. Freeman is 9-for-31 (.290) with four doubles, two home runs, and ten RBI’s against him.
On Sunday, De La Cruz will be making the seventh start of his Major League career, but he has yet to record his first Major League win. Against the Twins on Tuesday, the 27-year-old right-hander went 5.2 innings, gave up one run on four hits, struck out four, and walked two in a loss.
Back in November, the Braves signed De La Cruz to a minor league deal after being in the Brewers, Nationals, and Yankees organizations since 2006. At triple-A Gwinnett, he only made five starts (21 appearances). He only had 20 strikeouts this season and has not gone past six innings in any game.
Prediction: The question will be whether or not Gonzalez will have a strong road outing and pick up the road win. If the Washington Nationals offense can adjust and have success against De La Cruz, I will take the Nats to win this game and take three out of four in the series.