The final score probably does not tell the full picture of how fortunate the Nationals were to only lose tonight 7-4. Gio Gonzalez struggled most of the night, and he faced a watered down line-up with Freddie Freeman injured. Gio gave up 4 earned runs while the Braves accumulated 9 hits with 3 walks against him. The other 3 runs were charged to Enny Romero in the 8th inning.
Look at the batting averages for Johan Camargo (.167), Dansby Swanson (.190) , Jace Peterson (.210), Kurt Suzuki (.231), and of course the pitcher and you have 5 batters who weren’t hitting their weight and 3 under Mendoza in tonight’s line-up! Ender Inciarte is having a mediocre season and batting .261 and Brandon Phillips was at .282.
The one batter you must be careful on is Matt Kemp, but since everyone in this line-up is a pro batter you still have to execute. Gio Gonzalez gave up a 2-run HR and a double to Dansby Swanson and walked him twice.
The scouting report is to pitch him outside and let him try to pull the ball. Gio threw center of the plate and Swanson got him for the 2-run HR.
The Nationals are now mired in a 3-game skid with both Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark struggling as well as this bullpen. Dusty Baker was asked about tonight’s starter Gio Gonzalez on how he thought he did and he responded “pretty good”. You can hear Dusty Baker’s thoughts on his bullpen also.