On October 12, 2017, Dusty Baker had a choice who to start on the mound between Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark with the season on the line. Gio was staked to a 4-1 lead but quickly gave back 2-runs and departed after the 3rd inning leaving his bullpen to cover 6 innings. We will never know if Roark would have done better. Today, Dusty’s replacement, Dave Martinez, had a similar decision when setting up his rotation for this week. Because Saturday was a doubleheader with both Jeremy Hellickson and Gio Gonzalez pitching, each would be available today on regular rest. Martinez chose Gonzalez over Hellickson. We will see how this unfolds in real-time today at Nationals Park and on Facebook Live for those watching the broadcast.
An ex-Nats beat writer, Bill Ladson, weighed in on Gio after his last start on Saturday when he was yanked at 3 2/3 innings after allowing 6 runs:
Gio is a great person, but he was never a big-game pitcher. His postseason record proves it. I would love to see him complete a game for change. #Myopinion https://t.co/besTFBY9Pe
— William Ladson (@ladsonbill24) August 4, 2018
Is Ladson wrong? It is hard to disagree as Gio has pitched in 6 post-season games for the Nats and has not factored in one decision in all four NLDS series in Nats history. Gio has averaged only 4 1/3 innings in his 6 NLDS starts including two Game 5 heartbreaks. Is Davey Martinez making the kind of choice that could change the Nats season?
So here we are with another Facebook Live game. Gio actually started the last Facebook Live game for the Nats. For the Braves, they are starting righty Anibal Sanchez.
Last night’s game had plenty of drama. A strike zone that moved around that certainly impacted the game that included a Juan Soto ejection plus another plunking of Bryce Harper.
Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, DC
1st Pitch: 1:05 pm EDT
TV: FACEBOOK ONLY
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app
Line-ups subject to change without notice: