A nice start to the second leg of this road trip as the Washington Nationals ratchets the winning streak to 4-games on the arm of Gio Gonzalez who threw a 7 2/3 inning shutout and received all of the offense needed on an Anthony Rendon 3-run home run. With this win, the Nationals reached the 30-win plateau before the 1/3 season mark which is a key in a marathon season.
In this 6-to-0 win, the Nationals dominated in all facets of the game including defense where Bryce Harper robbed an Andrew Susac home run and the middle infield turned 3 doubleplays. Also, Michael Taylor and Juan Soto had some nice running catches. Shawn Kelley pitched the final 1 1/3 innings to complete the shutout. Gonzalez induced 13 groundballs for outs to go with 3 strikeouts among his work today which helped push his ERA down to 2.10.
Bryce Harper said, "Nay." pic.twitter.com/bya34vIVIQ
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) May 28, 2018
With a 3-0 lead in the 8th inning the Nationals pieced together 3 RISP hits to run the score up to 6-to-0. Every batter got on base at least once except for Spencer Kieboom who did his part calling and receiving a great game behind the plate. Recent call-up Juan Soto had another 2-hit game pushing his batting average to .320. For Michael Taylor, he took his hot series in Miami with him today and added two more hits and nudged his batting average to .199 as he edges closer to offensive respectability. Matt Adams continued his clutch hitting with a 2-for-5 game.
Gio now has the 3rd best ERA in the NL for qualified pitchers and has the best ERA on the staff. Only Jacob deGrom and Carlos Martinez are in front of him in ERA. Gio did a much better job of pitching to contact and getting groundball contact. It allowed him to go deep into this game.
“We’ve been all over [Gio Gonzaelz] about throwing strikes,” Dave Martinez said. “Strike one. Getting ahead of hitters…It’s been working out for him. He’s going deep in games, and he feels really strong. Kudos to him for allowing us to help him, and for him going out there and do what he’s supposed to do.”
When Gonzalez came out of the game with a smile, he was later seen hugging his manager. They had a previously agreed to pitch count of 110, and Martinez allowed Gio to go to 114 pitches.
The attendance for this game in Baltimore was 36,139 and that was the largest attendance since opening day where their largest crowd before today was 29,706 against the Phillies. There attendance was bolstered by a very large showing of Nationals fans clad in red. The cheers for the Nats could be heard throughout the entire game, and Gio Gonzalez received a standing ovation around the Nats dugout when he exited the game from the Nats fans in attendance.