With yesterday’s rain-out, today is a day/night doubleheader with separate admission. Manager Dave Martinez will stay with the same line-up as yesterday for Game #1. The Nationals had a choice to use a spot starter as their 26th man to reseed the rotation to strategically match-up in the Braves series which begins with a doubleheader on Tuesday.
We’ve all seen that look on Gio Gonzalez‘s face and so have his teammates. Frustration has been too commonplace with Gonzalez lately. Trends since mid-June for Gio have translated to little run support while he is on the mound. The Nats have been shutout 3-times in Gio’s last seven games plus two more games they have only scored 1-run in support. Saturday in Miami was one of those games, Gio exited the game with a 1-0 deficit, and the Nationals tied the game in the 9th inning only to lose 2-1. Gonzalez has received 0.86 runs while he is in the game over that 7-game span. The team’s record in Gio’s last 8-games is 1-7.
There is no statistical correlation as to why some pitchers receive more run support than others except for opposing pitcher ERA, but Gio Gonzalez has not faced a string of aces lately. You could understand struggling offensively if the Nationals were facing Clayton Kershaw or Jacob deGrom. Instead, they faced pitchers like Trevor Richards, Jhoulys Chacin, Trevor Williams, Dan Straily, and Andrew Cashner in 5 of Gonzalez’s last 7 starts. Those pitchers had a combined 4.26 ERA. There has to be some intangibles as to why Gio’s teammates don’t play well for him. In his last start, Gonzalez walked the bases loaded, and you could see the frustration. His circles around the mound with that contorted look of frustration on his face while he talks to himself has become a staple of Gio starts. It has to be more painful for his teammates than the fans who watch the games.
Gio’s new nickname could be the “anesthesiologist” since he can put you to sleep. He seems to have that effect on the other team also. He does not give up many runs, but unfortunately in the last two months the other team has tallied more runs than the Nationals which is why the Nats have lost 7 of his last 8 starts. Surely Gio’s manager Dave Martinez has seen the statistics. They are dismal and unacceptable for a team with post-season aspirations. It has to be the time to turn them around.
This new line-up configuration with Turner-Rendon-Harper bunched together has been paying big dividends. In the last 3-games the team has averaged 13.33 runs per game with Turner as the catalyst and in Trea’s recent surge, he is 8-for-8 in steal attempts. Turner has scored 8-runs in the last 3-games.
With Gonzalez on the mound, the Reds send righty Anthony DeSclafani. The Nationals will sit Matt Adams and go righty/righty with Ryan Zimmerman and this time Dave Martinez has moved Zim to the 7-spot in the line-up. Reds’ manager Jim Riggleman moved lefty Joey Votto up in his line-up to the 2-hole to face the lefty Gio Gonzalez.
Cincinnati Reds vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 1:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN; MLB.TV app out-of-network
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app
Line-ups subject to change without notice: