Filtering by Tag: Gio Gonzalez

A Reminder that Baseball is Great

Gio Gonzalez tossed his second one hitter of the season this time a completegame and a shutout. It was a masterful pitching performance with only three total base runners allowed and eight strikeouts it was one of the best pitching performances in Nats history. The father of sabermetrics, Bill James, has a stat to measure the greatness of a pitching performance. It is called gamescore and Gio Gonzalez earned a 91 last night. John Patterson's 13 K game in 2005 is still the top all time for the Nats with a game score of 92, but 91 is very close and both Zimmermann and Strasburg have games that scored an 88 this season. In total five of the top ten performances by a Nats pitcher have come in 2013, and that is what makes this season so strange.   

The pitching has been good. Strasburg, Gonzalez, and Zimmermann have all looked great at times, but they have also had some very bad games. All of them have pitched the best and worst games of their careers in 2013. Gio Gonzalez in his ten run three and one third inning effort in Detroit earned a gamescore of 0. It was the worst start of his career and both Strasburg and Zimmermann have had games almost just as bad. It is hard to look at 2013 and rationalize how good the Nats have looked some days and how bad they've looked on others. Baseball is a game of inconsistencies, but the pendulum swings of the 2013 Nats have been maddening. 

 

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The Nats Ceiling is Scary

...the blackness of space illimitable; unimaginable space alive with motion and music, and having no semblance of anything on earth. --H.P. Lovecraft The Music of Erich Zahn 

​Welcome to 2013 where Washington Nationals fans can stare into the void of unimaginable heights. Nats fans stand at the base of the mountains of madness ready to ascend in search of some forbidden knowledge. For the Washington Nationals on paper are the best team in baseball, but that is if everything goes according to plan, and all the Nats players play to their career averages. There are of course other options. Frightening and scary options. Options that should lift the spirits, but instead bring great fright. It is a siren's call. Beautiful music from an unknown source to lure us to stare at the sky and attempt to discover where it ends. 

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Team USA & Nationals Pitchers

Tonight, Team USA will play itsfirst game of the 2013 World Baseball Classic. It is exciting, as the United States has long been considered to be the premier baseball country of the world. This should not come as too much of a surprise, people come from all over the world in hopes of making it in Major League Baseball. Japan, Taiwan, Curacao, Venezuela, and too many other countries to name all have a player or two in Major League baseball. That being said, Team USA will battle some tough and proven opponents. What is exciting about the 2013 WBC and Team USA is that they have a helping hand from the Washington Nationals.

In years past, it would be difficult to see a lot of players from the Nationals make it onto the WBC’s team USA roster. In 2013, the Nationals have representatives Gio Gonzalez and Ross Detwiler. The two Nationals representatives join an all-star cast of characters, including David Wright, Giancarlo Stanton, Ryan Braun, and many, many other highly talented players. Having both Gio and Detwiler on the USA roster says a lot about their talents and abilities and how good the Nationals pitching staff is. A simple look at the roster will tell you that the players Joe Torre picked were the best of the best. To have some of D.C.’s own hand-picked to represent the greatest country in the world is a compliment to the players as well as to what the organization has done to put together not only an excellent pitching staff, but an excellent roster overall.

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Gio Gonzalez and the Cy Young

Last night, before Gio Gonzalez's shutout start against the Cubs, I was looking at the NL WAR leaders for pitchers. At the top were five names; Clayton Kershaw, Stephen Strasburg, Johnny Cueto, Gio Gonzalez, and Robert Allen Dickey. Looking at other stats and a few things stand out. Clayton Kershaw is already at 199 innings, Strasburg and Gio haven't pitcher nearly that many innings, and if it wasn't for the knuckleball it would be a lot easier to go ahead and give Dickey the Cy Young.

Looking at some of the other names on the list and it is amazing that Cueto has put up the numbers he has in Great American Ballpark, and while Strasburg and Gio have pitched the fewest innings they lead the NL in FIP at 2.64 and 2.76 respectively. More importantly and maybe most importantly Gio Gonzalez is now tied atop the NL in WAR after his dominating start last night, and as unimportant as wins are as a stat Gio is also tied atop the NL in that. Gio also has the second highest K/9 behind teammate Stephen Strasburg. 

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Where Would the Nats be Without Gio

This past off-season Gio Gonzalez could have easily ended up on the Red Sox. What if the Nationals felt that AJ Cole was too good of a prospect to deal to the A's for Gio and the Red Sox had ended up out bidding the Nationals? Gio Gonzalez has arguably been the best pitcher on the Nats staff with a 3.13 ERA over 118 innings and a 10.14 K/9 rate. Gio has been a masterful pitcher and has amassed 3.4 WAR while doing so, but so where would the Nats be without him. 
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