Seems like I just complained about this last week. Because I did. It is about time that Gio Gonzalez is not only discussed for the Cy Young, but given strong consideration.
No doubt, right now, he is the best pitcher in major league baseball.
As the Nats continue a monumental roll toward the National League East division Championship. Gonzalez is on a roll himself. In leading the Nats to a 9-1 rout over the Cubs last night, Gonzalez through 7 shut out, sparkling innings, allowing just 3 hits while fanning 9 Cubs. Gonzalez took a no hitter into the sixth inning before it was broken up on a single by Darwin Barney. Through 7 innings, Gonzalez threw 93 pitches, 61 for strikes. He notched his 18th win of the season, improving to 18-7 and lowering his ERA to below
Last night was Gonzalez's second consecutive start with not allowing a run. He pitched a complete game shutout against St. Louis. Over his last two games, Gonzalez has not allowed a run in 16 innings, while only scattering 8 hits while striking out 17.
Gonzalez has not been without offensive support. During those two games, the Nats offense has pounded opponents for 19 runs. Last night the Nationals offense poured 13 hits, 6 home runs, and 9 runs on Cubs pitching. Bryce Harper jacked two solo home runs to lead the Nats power barrage. Harper homered in the third and sixth innings, giving him 17 homers on the season. Harper continues a late season surge, going 13 for 33 (.393) with 5 home runs over his last 9 games. Adam LaRoche ha sbeen on fire over his last two games. Last night, LaRoche went 3 for 4 and smacked a two run home run in the third inning and ended the night with n 3 runs. Over the last two games, LaRoche is 7 for 8 with 3 homers and 5 RBI and over his last 10 games, LaRoche is 14 for 41 (.341) with 4 home runs and 12 RBI. LaRoche lifted his season batting average to .270 and is tied for fourth in the National League with 28 home runs and fifth with 90 RBI.
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The Nats also got home runs from Ian Desmond (21), Roger Bernadina (4), and Danny Espinosa (16). Bernadina, Harper, and Espinosa had 2 hit nights. Espinosa is another hot bat at the plate, going 12 for 28 with 5 runs scored and 4 RBi over his last 7 games. His two hit night extended his current hitting streak to 6 straight and raised his batting average to .258. The again, with the club, when one is hot, several are hot. Ian Desmond has 6 two games over his last 9.
With the win over the Cubs, the Nats extended their winning streak to four consecutive and have won 8 out of their last 9 games. The Nats maintained their 7.5 games lead over the Atlanta Braves for the NL East crown. The Nats will look for the series sweep against the Cubs tonight in Chicago, sending Jordan Zimmermann to the mound to face Justin Germano.
Nats Current Streaks:
* Nationals have won FOUR in a row.
* Danny Espinosa has a SEVEN game hitting streak.
* Ian Desmond has a FOUR game hitting streak and a TWO game home run streak.
* Bryce Harper has a THREE game hitting streak and a THREE run scoring streak.
* Adam LaRoche has a THREE game hitting streak and a THREE game home run streak.
Here are your current Hot Bats at the plate
|Bryce Harper||9||34||13||.382||5 Homers|
|Danny Espinosa||7||28||12||.429||5 runs|
|Adam LaRoche||10||37||15||.405||12 RBI|
|Ian Desmond||8||33||13||.394||5 runs|