Washington Nationals: Five Reasons They Will Lose NLDS

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Sep 7, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth (28) reacts after losing to the New York Mets 8-5 at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 7, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth (28) reacts after losing to the New York Mets 8-5 at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

GIO GONZALEZ’S START

You hate to say one player makes the difference between winning and golf season, but Gio Gonzalez’s bad September will cause a few headaches in the organization and adult beverage purchases in the District.

Forget his ability to get left-handed hitters out. When you throw 90 and flat and have a vacant look behind the eyes, there is reason to be concerned.

How awful was September? In five starts, Gonzalez went 1-2 with an ERA of 7.43. He pitched under five innings a game, working 23 innings and allowing 34 hits. Those 25 strikeouts are fool’s gold. When the NL made contact off him, the BABIP was .444.

If you think he is a master of lefties, guess again. They hit .247 against him. When making contact, the BABIP is .298. Not awful numbers, but not the stuff of legends either. Righties hit .267, .327 when putting the ball in play.

If Strasburg could start, Gonzalez would be bullpen bound with Joe Ross healthy. Instead he will throw around five heartburn inducing innings. When he wins, the ERA is 2.55. Those losses though are brutal as his ERA balloons to 7.22.

Watch the body language. A quick start can fall apart fast.

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