If you believe that the one-run performance Gio Gonzalez posted up 5-days ago in 7.0 innings of work against the Mets is an indication that Gio is primed to finish up his tenure with the Nationals as an ace then tonight should be a good time for Gio to pitch his best. In that game against the Mets, the Nationals could not score a run against Jason Vargas, and the scoring droughts when Gio Gonzalez is on the mound is all too familiar while he is in the game.
Since June 1st, the Nationals have only tallied 4 wins against 11 losses in games started by Gio Gonzalez. His 6.25 ERA in that period has been difficult to overcome. In fact, in those 15 starts by Gonzalez there has been a negative run differential of -36 runs (37-73) while averaging just 2.46 runs per game in Gio starts.
Bryce Harper is out ill with that persistent cough and body aches that has plagued several of his teammates. It seemed like a good day to rest Harper and play him off the bench anyway as his stats versus Phillies starter Jake Arrieta are not stellar. Unfortunately, Mark Reynolds who has hit Arrieta well could not work his way into the lineup either at 1st base, 2nd base or 3rd base.
The goal tonight is for the Nationals to continue this winning streak and get on the board early in support of Gio Gonzalez. Jake Arrieta certainly has had his share of struggles this season while depending on his pitch to contact approach as his strikeout totals continue to decline.
The Nationals have a much needed day-off tomorrow before they begin a weekend series with the Milwaukee Brewers. Check the weather reports for the weekend in Washington, D.C. as storms are in the advanced forecast.
Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Stadium: Citizens Bank Ballpark, Philadephia, Pennsylvania
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN2; MLB.TV app out-of-network
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app
Line-ups subject to change without notice:
- Adam Eaton RF
- Trea Turner SS
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Juan Soto LF
- Ryan Zimmerman 1B
- Matt Wieters C
- Wilmer Difo 2B
- Michael Taylor CF
- Gio Gonzalez LHP