Washington Nationals: 5 to watch in 4-game visit to Citi Field

Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

Gio Gonzalez

Gonzalez had one of his best starts of the season last Saturday afternoon against the Texas Rangers. He went six innings, gave up one run on three hits, struck out nine (season high) and walked one on 105 pitches. But, he got a no-decision.

Now, the bullpen has blown games for all of the starters at some point, but you could make the case that the Nats lone left-handed starter could have eight or nine wins if the ‘pen had held the lead.

It’s only been two starts this month, but Gonzalez has only walked three batters in 12 innings. Despite the high walk total this year (38), he has given up three runs or fewer in eight of his last ten starts.

The key to limiting the runs being scored against him is how Gonzalez has fared in runners in scoring position situations. This year, teams are hitting .111 against him in those situations and they have yet to hit a home run.

Back in April, Gonzalez faced the Mets at Citi Field and gave up one run on two hits over 6.1 innings in a win. In 14 starts in that ballpark, he is 9-1 with a 1.62 ERA and is 4-0 in his last six starts. Yoenis Cespedes is 6-for-10 against Gonzalez with a pair of solo home runs against him in his career.

Tonight, Gonzalez will go up against Robert Gsellman, who has pitched well enough to make the Mets go to a six man rotation for the time being. In his last four starts, he has won three of them and given up a total of six runs. But, he has walked two batters in each of his last three starts. Zimmerman is 3-for-5 against him while Anthony Rendon has the lone RB