Washington Nationals: 10 greatest individual seasons

rjuckett
Washington Nationals
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GIO GONZALEZ 2012

Expectations were high when the Nats traded for Gio Gonzalez before the 2012 season. Washington shipped four prospects to Oakland for him, A.J. Cole, Tommy Milone, Derek Norris and Brad Peacock. In search of their first postseason trip, they hoped Gonzalez would make the difference.

With the Athletics, Gonzales won 15 games in 2010 and 16 the next year. He came to DC as the ace.

Gonzalez delivered.

With a 21-8 record, Gonzalez anchored a pitching staff that brought playoff baseball back to Washington for the first time since 1934. He led the league in wins and set the franchise record.

He earned an All-Star nod, his second. A third-place finish followed in the Cy Young voting and his performance netted Gonzalez a 20th place finish in the MVP race.

Although he had two 10-strikeout games on his ledger, his best start of the season came on September 5. In a 9-1 pounding of the Chicago Cubs, Gonzalez scattered three hits over seven innings. He whiffed nine and kept the Cubbies off the scoreboard to earn his 18th win.

His resurgence in 2017 was crucial to the Nats returning to the playoffs, but his first season in Washington will go down as special.

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