Gio Gonzalez was coming off of a clunker of a start against the Houston Astros last week, in which he gave up four runs in five innings. Despite his usual command issues, Gonzalez absolutely dominated Milwaukee Brewers (47-31) hitters on Monday, allowing just three hits in six innings en route to a 3-0 win for the Washington Nationals (40-35).
Gonzalez walked four betters and struck out five, which isn’t an ideal strikeout to walk ratio, and he threw 114 pitches in just six innings, but he was able to use his excellent curveball to confuse Brewers hitters all night. He was able to keep Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Gomez, both of whom are having career seasons, at bay, going a combined 1-for-7 with a walk.
The Nats offense didn’t do much either, but a big third inning was enough to give them the victory. Anthony Rendon walked and Jayson Werth singled in the inning before Adam LaRoche crushed a 421 foot home run, according to ESPN Home Run Tracker, to deep center field to give them a 3-0 lead they would hold onto for the rest of the game.
Washington’s bullpen continued to be absolutely dominant, just like the rotation. Aaron Barrett, Drew Storen, and Tyler Clippard worked the seventh, eighth, and ninth, respectively, and didn’t allow a base runner. Barret struck out two in the seventh, and Clippard struck out the side in his first save of the season. Rafael Soriano got the night off after pitching three days in a row.
We’re seeing exactly what we expected to from the Nationals all season. They’ve now won three straight and are five games above .500, which is just one game worse than their season high. They also extended their lead in the NL East to two games with an off-day for the Atlanta Braves.