Gio Gonzalez on September 1st was a legitimate Cy Young candidate. The greatness of Gio’s first five months of his resurgent 2017 season must be channeled today because if it is not — for all intents and purposes the Nationals 2017 season could be all but over.
The Nationals backs are against the wall as they lost last night and in 5-game series you cannot lose the first two games and expect a positive outcome in the end. Yes, one team was going to lose last night and the original plan was to pitch Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg back-to-back but those plans were trashed when Scherzer injured his hamstring last week. Instead, the Nationals turn to Gio Gonzalez who has struggled down the stretch pitching to a 5.47 ERA in his final 5 starts.
If there is any encouraging signs, a Washington Nationals win today gives the Nationals the momentum going into game #3 with Max Scherzer pitching against Quintana. Last year the Nationals faced a similar circumstance and lost game #1 and won back-to-back games in game #2 and game #3.
The Nationals and their veteran leadership will need to dig deep, but there also has to be more urgency. There has to be a “short leash” on Gio Gonzalez. The Nationals face Jon Lester who has not been sharp this season but he has shown the ability to show-up in big games. Who wants this game more?
Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 5:30 pm EDT
TV: TBS, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® XM 89 Sirius 209 (Internet 869)
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) October 7, 2017