Last night’s win behind Gio Gonzalez made the frustrating loss on Monday just one of those games that is now easier to forget, and last night’s game one you want to remember for a while as Gio never relinquished the lead and worked in-and-out of trouble in his “bend but don’t break” style he has done all season plus the offense put up 6 runs between the 8th and 9th innings to make it a laugher at the end.
Yes, Gio Gonzalez teeters on the edge sometimes, but really clamps down when runners are in scoring position where the opposition has an MLB worst batting average and that makes Gio the best pitcher with 20 innings or more as he is at a .107 batting-average-against (BAA).
By the way, Gio Gonzalez has exited 11 of his 15 games this season with his team ahead and 2 other games he departed in a tie game which is another reason he is back to being one of the elite pitchers again in baseball. Gio is now 7th in NL ERA at 2.96, and Gio’s official record is now 7 wins and 1 loss (7-1) but the team is only 9 wins and 6 losses in games he has pitched in and that is what has to improve as much of that is predicated on how deep Gio Gonzalez goes into games but also on the amount of run support he receives.
This afternoon, the best pitcher in all of baseball takes the mound if you trust what Brian Kenney of MLB Network has to say to about Max Scherzer:
— Brian Kenny (@MrBrianKenny) June 21, 2017
Scherzer takes the mound almost 4 1/2 days after his 8 inning performance on Friday night in New York where he came back on the mound for the 8th inning seemingly laboring with a 4-0 lead before surrendering a home run and continued in the game as he was audibly grunting from pitch number 104 to pitch number 118 when he finished the inning. Serena Williams was known for her loud grunts which became a popular ringtone, but Scherzer may have topped Serena on the decibel level on Friday night.
We just hope Max Scherzer is alright as that was a new season high in pitch count at 118 pitches and it also moved Scherzer into the lead of most pitches thrown through 14 starts at a total of 1,496. One suggestion was to move Scherzer to Friday for his next start to give him 2 extra rest days since tomorrow is a day-off but that clearly wasn’t an option that was considered by the Nationals.
The Dodgers and Dave Roberts just adjusted their pitcher workloads again for all of their pitchers during their long stretch of consecutive games and inserted Kenta Maeda back in the rotation for one start to push everyone back a day. Clayton Kershaw just made his 15th start and has now thrown a pitch efficient 1,491 pitches in total over 103 1/3 innings.
With the day-off tomorrow, Dusty Baker is wisely resting Daniel Murphy, Ryan Zimmerman and Matt Wieters. You may have noticed that Wieters has been scuffling with the bat and his batting average dropped to .249. Wieters was batting .278 just 2 weeks ago. Since Opening Day, Wieters had not been below the .700’s on his OPS and he has now dropped to a disappointing .690 OPS. That has moved Wieters to 23rd on qualified catchers on OPS, and unfortunately his fWAR is now a -0.1.