Washington Nationals: Gio Gonzalez slumps back to his old ways

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ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 14: Gio Gonzalez #47 of the Washington Nationals reacts after giving up a two-run home run against the St. Louis Cardinals second inning at Busch Stadium on August 14, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 14: Gio Gonzalez #47 of the Washington Nationals reacts after giving up a two-run home run against the St. Louis Cardinals second inning at Busch Stadium on August 14, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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The Washington Nationals are slumping again at the worst possible time, and Gio Gonzalez couldn’t stop reverting to his 2018 norm on Tuesday.

Well, at least the Washington Nationals didn’t lose on a walk-off home run this time. The Nats slumped to another defeat on Tuesday, as Gio Gonzalez put the team in a hole early that they couldn’t climb out of.

Gonzalez have up five runs on five hits and three walks in just four innings of work. His ERA on the season has now inflated to 4.12 after he flirted with a low two figure early on.

While his FIP early in the season was low, he had an obscenely low HR/9 figure which has corrected itself over the summer months. His HR/9 is up around 1.0 and could beat his highest figure as a National.

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While Tanner Roark has figured things out, fans are still waiting for Gio Gonzalez, who is the clear weak link in the rotation. Although Tommy Milone won’t bump him from his spot, the return of Erick Fedde in a couple of weeks may pose a threat.

With the Nats looking like they’re out of contention, they’d be best served giving Fedde an extended look. That would leave pending free agent Gonzalez as the odd man out. We’ll see how it plays out, but it may not be promising for the lefty.

Eaton desperate to break his slump

Mired in a horrid slump, outfielder Adam Eaton is now desperate to try anything to break out of it. Even taking a leaf out of Tanner Roark‘s book and going for some eccentric facial hair.

It came out with a Mario-esque mustache and even drew one on a fan who was too young to grow his own in a cool moment before the game. He went 1 for 4, which is pretty much in line with his current performance level.

In his last 17 games, Eaton is hitting just .196 with just two extra-base hits and has struck out twice as much as he’s walked. Part of it could be down to the inconsistent playing time, but he could also be wearing down after missing almost the entire 2017 season.

A flurry of roster moves pre-game

After the events of the last few days, the Nats opted to make a whole host of moves before the game. The bullpen got a makeover with a couple of new additions.

Sammy Solis capped off a rough couple of days with a demotion to Triple-A, where he hopes to figure things out. Ryan Madson was sent to the disabled list after owning up to being injured on Sunday night and sitting out on Monday.

In their place, the Nationals recalled Trevor Gott and selected the contract of Tim Collins. Bring Collins back up seems long overdue, to give the team a true lefty specialist given Solis’ reverse splits. The team also needed fresh arms with a gassed bullpen, so these switches seem smart.

Next. Nats must develop more pitchers internally. dark

The Washington Nationals face another tricky test as Jeremy Hellickson square off against Austin Gomber. The Nats could fall below .500 for the first time since July 30th as they slip further and further back in the NL East.

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