Gio Gonzalez looks for his 100th victory of his career today as the Nationals try for the rare four-game sweep of the Braves on the road. The Washington Nationals enter this game at a season-high 24 games over .500 at 73-49 with just 40 games remaining in the regular season.
The Atlanta Braves are going in a different direction from the Nationals and are in the competition for the worst record in baseball and the coveted #1 draft pick in 2017. The Braves are now in a seven game losing streak. Here is what the bottom of the MLB looks like: 1. Atlanta 44-79 2. Minnesota 49-74 3. Angels 51-72 4. Diamondbacks 51-72 5. Tampa Bay 51-70 Of all those teams, only the Braves held fire sales this year. The Nationals are going for the best record in the MLB, and are only behind the Cubs who are 78-44.
The Nationals also enter this game with an 11-1 record this season against the Atlanta Braves. The Nationals could really use a Gio Gonzalez complete game today as Dusty Baker had to use five relievers last night, and Mark Melancon has pitched in three games in a row. Blake Treinen, Matt Belisle, and Koda Glover have pitched two games in a row. Only Oliver Perez and Yusmeiro Petit have not been used this weekend.
While Gio Gonzalez seeks win #100, Braves’ starter Joel De La Cruz is looking for his 1st win of his career. The Nats have never faced the rookie right-hander before. De La Cruz is looking like the best pitcher the Braves have after the All-Star break. De La Cruz has allowed only 1 run or less in three of his last four starts.
Here is Gio Gonzalez’s stats against the Braves:
Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves
Stadium: Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia
1st Pitch: 1:35 pm EDT
TV: MASN, WUSA9, FOX Southeast, MLB.tv
Line-ups (subject to change without notice):
- Trea Turner CF
- Danny Espinosa SS
- Daniel Murphy 2B
- Bryce Harper RF
- Wilson Ramos C
- Ryan Zimmerman 1B
- Chris Heisey LF
- Wilmer Difo 3B
- Gio Gonzalez LHP
Here are three charts to guess the Nationals hitters: