Results tagged ‘ Gio Gonzalez ’

Inside the Numbers: Starting Rotation

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by Mike Feigen

startersnldsWhen the Nationals take the field for Game 1 of the National League Division Series this Friday, whichever pitcher Matt Williams entrusts with the starting assignment will give the team a tremendous chance to win.

That’s what the eye test tells us.

Fans of the Nationals saw Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg, Doug Fister, Tanner Roark and Gio Gonzalez win game after game — or at least help the club earn win after win — throughout the regular season. Those core members of the starting five owned a collective record of 69-42 (.622) and the Nationals went 94-55 (.631) when one of them received the ball.

However, wins and losses really don’t tell a precise story of how well a pitcher performed. Too many external factors come into play in each win and loss, such as run support, batted ball luck and bullpen performance.

Instead, we look at the types of things a pitcher can control, such as walks and strikeouts. In the case of the 2014 Nationals, no pitching staff did it better — in the history of baseball.

This season, Washington pitchers struck out 1,288 opposing batters and walked 352. That’s a ratio of 3.66-to-1, a better rate than any of the other 2,391 teams to play a full season of baseball since 1901.

In fact, only 60 other teams in history had even managed a 2.66-to-1 ratio, underscoring just how well the Nationals struck batters out and limited free passes.

But the 3.66-to-1 figure only scratches the surface.

When considering only starting pitchers, the Nationals’ figure leaps to an astounding 4.05-to-1. And when excluding the 13 spot starts posted throughout the year by Blake Treinen, Taylor Jordan and Taylor Hill — leaving just the core five of Zimmermann, Strasburg, Fister, Roark and Gonzalez — the limits of the statistical stratosphere are tested.

The final ratio? An incredible 4.30-to-1.

So, when the going gets tough and runners are on base in the postseason, Williams, pitching coach Steve McCatty and the rest of the Nationals have the numbers on their side to back up what we’ve seen in the regular season. Notching a timely strikeout instead of issuing an inopportune walk can make or break a team in October — and one team is better equipped to do it than any other.

 Name K BB K:BB ratio
Zimmermann 182 29 6.28
Strasburg 242 43 5.63
Fister 98 24 4.08
Roark 138 39 3.54
Gonzalez 162 56 2.89
TOTAL 822 191 4.30

Nationals Game Notes — June 18 vs. Houston Astros

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Game #70: Washington Nationals (36-33) vs. Houston Astros (32-40) | 7:05 p.m. | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Ups: LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-4, 4.62 ERA) vs. RHP Scott Feldman (3-4, 3.98 ERA)
Washington Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez jumps back into the Nationals’ rotation for his first big league start since May 17 after dealing with a bout of shoulder inflammation. 
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM, also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised on MASN
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

  • Gio Gonzalez was placed on the 15-Day Disabled List on May 18 (though he’s rejoined the roster for tonight’s finale vs. the Astros). At the time Gonzalez was placed on the DL, the Nationals ranked No. 19 in all of the Major Leagues with a 3.99 ERA from its starting pitchers. In the 27 games since Gonzalez went on the DL, Nationals starters are 14-10 with a Major League-leading 2.41 ERA (47ER/175.2 inn.) and 20 quality starts. Washington now ranks fifth in MLB with a 3.32 starters’ ERA.
  • Washington’s starting pitchers since May 18:
  • Doug Fister (5-1, 2.58 ERA, 6 GS), Tanner Roark (3-3, 1.85 ERA, 6 GS), Stephen Strasburg (3-2, 2.50 ERA, 6 GS), Blake Treinen (0-2, 2.89 ERA, 4 games/3 starts), Jordan Zimmermann (3-2, 2.36 ERA, 6 GS)

Here are the lineups for tonight’s match-up:

NATIONALS (36-33)

2 Denard Span (L) CF
6 Anthony Rendon 3B
28 Jayson Werth RF
25 Adam LaRoche (L) 1B
11 Ryan Zimmerman LF
20 Ian Desmond SS
8 Danny Espinosa (S) 2B
41 Sandy Leon (S) C
47 Gio Gonzalez LHP

ASTROS (32-40)

22 Dexter Fowler (S) CF
27 Jose Altuve 2B
4 George Springer RF
28 Jon Singleton (L) 1B
30 Matt Dominguez 3B
15 Jason Castro (L) C
2 Jonathan Villar (S) SS
19 Robbie Grossman (S) LF
46 Scott Feldman (L) RHP

Here are tonight’s game notes, courtesy of the Washington Nationals PR department. Enjoy!

Nationals reinstate LHP Gio Gonzalez, option LHP Xavier Cedeno to Triple-A Syracuse

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by Amanda Comak

Gio Gonzalez officially returned to the Washington Nationals’ active roster on Wednesday, as the Nationals returned from rehab and reinstated the left-hander from the 15-Day Disabled List, and optioned left-handed reliever Xavier Cedeno to Triple-A Syracuse.

Gonzalez will start Wednesday night against the Houston Astros.

Gonzalez, 28, returns to the Nationals after missing 29 games with left shoulder inflammation.

He rejoins the Nationals’ active roster after making two rehab starts with Potomac of the Single-A Carolina League, amassing 7.2 innings and allowing nine earned runs on nine hits and eight walks.

In his final rehab start, June 12 vs. Winston-Salem, Gonzalez was touched for just one earned run off two hits, and struck out seven over four innings of work.

Prior to the first Disabled List trip of his career, Gonzalez was 3-4 with a 4.62 ERA in nine Major League starts this season, spanning 50.2 innings. The 2012 Cy Young Award finalist is 35-20 with a 3.29 ERA in 73 starts since being acquired by the Nationals before the 2012 season.

Cedeno, 27, tossed 1.0 scoreless inning in his most recent call-up, pitching a perfect frame against the St. Louis Cardinals on June 14. On the season, Cedeno has allowed two hits and no runs in 2.1 Major League innings.

Nationals place LHP Gio Gonzalez on DL, recall RHP Ryan Mattheus

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by Amanda Comak

The Washington Nationals placed left-hander Gio Gonzalez on the 15-Day Disabled List with left shoulder inflammation on Sunday morning and recalled right-handed pitcher Ryan Mattheus from Triple-A Syracuse. Gonzalez, who was undergoing an MRI-arthrogram on Sunday morning, is making the first trip to the Disabled List of his career.

San Diego Padres v Washington NationalsGonzalez, 28, is 3-4 with a 4.62 ERA (26 earned runs in 50.2 innings pitched) in nine starts for the Nationals after pitching three innings and taking the loss in Saturday’s 5-2 defeat by the New York Mets.

“We put him on the DL because he’s having an MRI-arthrogram and it’s a five-day no-throw program once you get the die,” Nationals President of Baseball Operations and GM Mike Rizzo said of the procedure, which involves an injection of die into the area to give the doctors a better picture. “We’ll find out what’s going on and we’ll go from there.

“Combine having a little soreness (Saturday) with having soreness a month ago, we felt this was the prudent way to do it: give him the arthrogram so we can what’s going on in there, put him on the DL for 15 days, give him some rest and relaxation and once we find out what’s going on, we’ll take it from there.”

Since joining the Nationals in 2012, Gonzalez is tied with the Angels’ C.J. Wilson for the Major League lead among left-handed pitchers with 35 wins.

“He’s a durable starter,” Rizzo said. “That’s worth a lot. It helps the ballclub a lot when you can take the mound every fifth day. It’s something the manager and GM really like. He’s a big key to the ballclub so we’d like to get him back, but we’re going to take our time and be careful with him because he’s vital to our team.”

Gonzalez is the eighth member of the Nationals’ Opening Day 25-man roster to land on the DL already this season.

062111-688 ryan mattheus“It’s part of baseball,” Rizzo said of the injuries that have cost the Nationals in total five members of their starting eight position players and two starting pitchers. “That’s why you build depth in the organization. We’re not going to use it as an excuse. We haven’t mentioned it. We’ve got our 25, we’re going to go to battle with those guys and it’s time for guys to pick up the slack and play like they’re supposed to play.”

Mattheus returns for a second stint with the Nationals this season. In two appearances from April 29 – May 5, Mattheus spun 3.0 scoreless innings, scattering 3 singles and a walk, while fanning one.

The 30-year-old Mattheus is 7-7 with 32 holds and just three blown saves in 140 career appearances spanning portions of four seasons (2011-14) with the Nationals.

In 13 appearances with Syracuse this season, Mattheus has two saves (April 16 vs. Lehigh Valley, April 6 vs. Scranton/W-B) and a 5.93 ERA. He has walked four and struck out 11.

Nationals Game Notes — May 17 vs. New York Mets

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Game #42: Washington Nationals (22-19) vs. New York Mets (19-22) | 4:05 p.m. | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Ups: LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-3, 3.97 ERA) vs. RHP Bartolo Colon (2-5, 5.84 ERA)
Washington Nationals lefty Gio Gonzalez has a lower career ERA in the month of May (2.72 ERA in 24 games/22 starts) than any other month.
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM, also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised on MASN
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

Thanks to the efforts of Adam LaRoche (31 starts), Tyler Moore (eight starts) and Kevin Frandsen (two starts), Nationals first basemen have registered the third-highest OPS (on-base plus slugging) in Major League Baseball this season at .911. The Colorado Rockies and Detroit Tigers are tied for the MLB lead at .920.

For comparison’s sake, last year the Nationals’ first basemen recorded a .742 OPS, which ranked No. 17 in MLB.

Here are tonight’s game notes, courtesy of the Washington Nationals PR department. Enjoy!

Nationals Game Notes — May 11 at Oakland Athletics

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Game #37: Washington Nationals (19-17) at Oakland Athletics (22-15) | 1:05 p.m. PT; 4:05 p.m. ET | O.co Coliseum
Pitching Match-Ups: LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 2.91 ERA) vs. LHP Scott Kazmir (4-1, 2.64 ERA)
Washington Nationals left-handed Gio Gonzalez  returns to Oakland for the first time since the Dec. 2011 trade that sent him to D.C. In 46 career starts at the O.co Coliseum, Gonzalez went 21-14 with a 3.56 ERA and the A’s played .609 (28-18) ball.
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM, also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised on MASN2
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

Gonzalez faces his former team for the first time, and he’s back where he established himself as a top-echelon Major League pitcher. From 2008-2011, Gonzalez went 38-32 with a 3.93 ERA in 95 games (89 starts) and he represented the A’s in the 2011 All-Star Game. From 2010-2011, Gonzalez’s final two seasons with Oakland, he was one of only six Major League starting pitchers to record back-to-back 15-win seasons and work in excess of 200 innings in both. (C.C. Sabathia, Roy Halladay, Tim Hudson, Justin Verlander and C.J. Wilson were the others.)

From all of the Washington Nationals, we’d like to wish all mothers a Happy Mother’s Day. Here are today’s game notes, courtesy of the Washington Nationals PR department. Enjoy!

Nationals Game Notes — May 4 at Philadelphia Phillies

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Game #31: Washington Nationals (17-13) at Philadelphia Phillies (14-14) | 3:05 p.m. ET | Citizens Bank Park
Pitching Match-Ups: LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-1, 3.25 ERA) vs. RHP Roberto Hernandez (1-1, 5.74 ERA)
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM, also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised on MASN
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

Washington Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez has a lower career ERA in the month of May than in any other month of the season. In 23 games (21 starts) in May in his career, Gonzalez has worked to a 2.30 ERA. He’s making his first May start of the 2014 season today.

Additionally, in 77 career starts (in any month) in which Gonzalez has received two runs or more of run support while he’s in the game, the left-hander is 62-2 with a 2.94 ERA.

Here are tonight’s game notes, courtesy of the Washington Nationals PR department. Enjoy!

 

Nationals Magazine preview: Gio Gonzalez; Line in the Water

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The following is an excerpt from the April/May issue of Nationals Magazine. To read the full story, visit nationals.com/publications to find out how you can subscribe. The April/May issue of Nationals Magazine is on sale now, can be purchased at the Main Clubhouse Team Store at Nationals Park and is also available inside Nationals Park on gamedays.

by Amanda Comak

Gio Gonzalez, the Nationals’ affable left-hander, is at peace as he begins his third season in Washington, a demeanor he’s arrived at with time spent with a fishing pole in hand. 

gio line in the water1There is a spot just off the Pineda Causeway, before the bridge reconnects with U.S. Route 1 and just far enough into the Indian River, where it’s easy to feel like you’re away from the rest of the world for a while. The waves crash against the base of the bridge and the breeze tempers the late afternoon sun.

It is a spot that Gio Gonzalez found during his first Spring Training with the Washington Nationals, now three camps ago. He used to come to this small pull-off with teammates. Sometimes Michael Morse, other times Edwin Jackson or Yunesky Maya, whose knack for fishing Gonzalez still hasn’t forgotten. They’d park their cars mere feet from the water and spend a few hours letting their minds focus on the fish.

On one idyllic afternoon this February, Gonzalez came here with his father, Max. They pulled off the causeway and dropped a few lines into the water. Max lit a cigar. They gazed into the horizon and relaxed.

“Any problem you have, you come out and fish and it’s like it disappears,” Gio said.

He smiled easily as his father joked with him and told stories.

There was the time Max took Gio and his brothers to the Florida Keys for a few days when they were kids. They slept in a tent right on the shore and spent the days fishing and swimming. One afternoon, moments after they’d gotten out of the water from a swim, “the biggest manatee I ever saw swam by,” Max recalled, separating his arms to emphasize his point. “They flipped,” he added with a chuckle.

Not 10 minutes after he’d told the manatee story, Max, standing about 15 feet from his son, spotted a familiar creature and shouted excitedly to Gio. Three manatees swam by, playing with one another as they went.

“Wow,” Gio said as they passed, a smile crossing his face. “You can’t beat that with a stick.”

Just as he seemed on that afternoon, Gonzalez begins his third season in Washington with a sense of peace about him. He has put a tumultuous 2013 season — the first in his career in which he did not improve upon what he’d done the year before — behind him. The potential for greatness remains ahead.

Asked if he’s excited for the upcoming season, Gonzalez is firm.

“I am,” he said without hesitation. “We just look focused — even our young guys in camp. Everyone has a focus about them… It just feels right.”

Cover-Mag1-webTo continue reading “Line in the Water” on Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez, along with more great content from Nationals Magazine, please visit nationals.com/publications, or pick up a copy at the Main Clubhouse Team Store at Nationals Park, as well as inside Nationals Park on gamedays.

Opening Day Memories

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by Amanda Comak

NEW YORK — The wait is almost over. In less than 24 hours, Opening Day of the 2014 baseball season will be upon us.

opening weekThis will be the Washington Nationals’ 10th Opening Day since baseball returned to D.C., and there have been plenty of memorable Opening Day moments in that span.

Who could forget Ryan Zimmerman christening Nationals Park with a walk-off on Opening Day in 2008? Or Bryce Harper smashing two home runs on his first Opening Day in the Major Leagues  — becoming the youngest player ever to do so — just last year.

But each player has their own memories of Opening Day, and it’s a special day in the baseball world. Some stand out for obvious reasons. Craig Stammen said the most memorable Opening Day for him was his first, and it also happened to be one President Barack Obama attended at Nationals Park. He shook the President’s hand. That in itself was pretty memorable.

Here are a few others, in their own words:

Adam LaRoche: “It was in Chicago (in 2012). I had like four punch-outs with the bases loaded. Luckily we won or it wouldn’t be real funny. I’ve got to be the first guy to leave like 20 guys on base through one game. I remember thinking after that game ‘Whoa, this might be a rough year.'”

To be fair to LaRoche, he was only 0-for-3 in that game, and he walked to load the bases in the eighth inning which led to the Nationals’ first run. He also went 5-for-9 with two home runs in the final two games of that opening series against the Cubs, and went on to have one of his finest seasons in the Major Leagues. 

Gio Gonzalez: “(My most memorable Opening Day) was at home against Cincinnati (in the 2012 home opener). That was when I got my first Major League hit and when I was warming up, to stretch and go out there, I thought I had plenty of time to just stretch, hear my music, get ready to go. I ended up telling (pitching coach Steve McCatty), ‘I got this. I’m ready to go.’  He said, ‘You know, you’ve got to stretch a little early because of (all the ceremonial events that go on before the game on Opening Day).’

“Next thing you know it was like 12:55 p.m. and the game was at 1 p.m. and I turned to Cat and I was like, ‘Cat, I don’t think I got this.’ I ended up not even long-tossing or throwing just went straight from stretching to the bullpen… Show and go. Sometimes it works.”

Gonzalez threw seven shutout innings that day, allowing just two hits and striking out seven.

Doug Fister: “I got called up in 2009. My first Opening Day was in 2010 in Seattle. There were a couple of us who were fairly new and our biggest thing was trying not to trip on the red carpet. They had carpet that ran from center field all the way to the line (that we had to run down during introductions).”

Matt LeCroy (bullpen coach): “My first one (in the Major Leagues). That was my debut. My first at-bat I hit a double and got a standing ovation. We were in Minnesota at the Metrodome. I made the team out of spring. I was 23 or 24 years old. It was awesome. My whole family was there. I’d just gotten married. I don’t remember (the other at-bats). But that first one was pretty cool.”

Daily Wrap: Treinen continues to impress, second base competition ongoing, & more

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by Amanda Comak

The Washington Nationals‘ Grapefruit League slate was whittled to six remaining games on Friday afternoon when they fell to the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-0. Gio Gonzalez tossed 4.2 innings before a high pitch count cut his day a bit short, but the Nationals’ relievers did well against the Cardinals’ lineup after his departure.

Player of the Day: Right-hander Blake Treinen

Right-hander Blake Treinen is impressing in Major League camp.

Right-hander Blake Treinen is impressing in Major League camp.

Blake Treinen has been garnering a bit more attention of late, as the Nationals’ make cuts to their roster in Major League camp and the young, flamethrowing right-hander remains. Treinen, acquired from the Oakland Athletics in the trade that sent Michael Morse to the Seattle Mariners in January, 2013, has allowed just one run in his last 8.2 innings and scouts have continued to rave about his electric arsenal of pitches.

In a conversation with reporters on Friday afternoon, after he got two outs against the Cardinals, Treinen called the fact that he remains in Major League camp a “pleasant surprise.”

“My intentions and expectations coming into spring training were just to leave an impression,” Treinen told reporters. “And the fact I’m still around is an absolute blessing. I can’t thank them more for giving me the opportunity they’ve given me so far. I’m just trying to make the most of it, go day-by-day. Whatever their decision is at the end of spring training, it’s their decision. But I feel like I’ve done my absolute best to leave an impression with the big club.”

Quote of the Day: Manager Matt Williams on the ongoing competition for the starting second base job between Anthony Rendon and Danny Espinosa

“I’m not ready to make that decision yet. We’ve got a week left. They’ll continue to play and get at-bats. I like what I’ve seen. They’ve competed well. Anthony has played really well. His swing is right on. Danny’s swing is right on right now. They’re both quality defenders in the infield. They both play multiple positions. So, there’s options there.”

Video highlights:

Caleb Ramsey makes a phenomenal play to throw out Kolten Wong at third base from deep in right field foul territory:

Notables:

The Nationals will play their penultimate home game on Saturday afternoon when the Miami Marlins visit Space Coast Stadium. Doug Fister will start for the Nationals… Jordan Zimmermann will pitch in a Minor League game on Saturday as well.

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