Today’s game feels like an audition for Gio Gonzalez for the post-season—sort of. Mike Rizzo has already said Gonzalez will be on the post-season roster; however, he would not commit to whether that would be as a starter or in the bullpen for Gio Gonzalez. The theory on the Dodgers is that they do not hit left-handed pitchers well which would mean Gio Gonzalez would certainly start against the Dodgers. Not so fast, the Dodgers just pummeled lefty Matt Moore for six runs, and that was one inning of work. Left-handed rookie sensation Corey Seager ended Moore’s day in the 2nd inning after he singled off of Moore.
Gio Gonzalez was the ace of aces in April of this season. He took an aggressive approach, and credited the tutelage of new pitching coach Mike Maddux, and great advice from Jonathan Papelbon, but then Gio Gonzalez seemed to slam his ex-manager Matt Williams with this statement:
“It’s crazy how it is when a manager lets you pitch more than 3 innings,” said Gonzalez. “When your manager believes in you so much. I’m just happy to see he has all the confidence in the world to let me pitch. I’ve been doing this for quite a while. I’m just grateful that he believes in me every inning and he lets me go out there and become the pitcher I am. I’m glad he’s giving me a little more rope.”
From the day that Gio said that, he fell on hard times, and it was because he could not finish innings as his new manager, Dusty Baker, gave him more rope. Gonzalez’s ERA shot up in May and June. In July and August, Gio appeared to have found his groove, and Dusty Baker had a quicker hook. Now in three starts in September, it includes two short starts where Gio has given up six runs in those two starts. In those two combined starts, Gio lasted 7 1/3 innings total while throwing a combined 173 pitches.
Tonight’s game features Pittsburgh Pirates rookie Jameson Taillon who at one point a Top 10 prospect in the Minor Leagues, and then in ran into injury problems.
Missing from today’s line-up is Daniel Murphy who has not started a game since September 17th. This is not the time to panic as the NLDS does not start until exactly two weeks from today which is Friday, October 7th.
Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates
Stadium: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN, ROOT Sports Pittsburgh, MLB.TV
Line-ups (subject to change without notice):
- Trea Turner CF
- Jayson Werth LF
- Bryce Harper RF
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Wilson Ramos C
- Stephen Drew 2B
- Ryan Zimmerman 1B
- Danny Espinosa SS
- Gio Gonzalez LHP