This morning I talked about Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS and the Nationals’ heartbreaking collapse and loss therein. Gio Gonzalez started that game, which took place five years ago this very night. Now Dusty Baker has announced that Gio Gonzalez will start Game 5 tonight as well.
Gonzalez allowed three runs over five innings in Game 2 of the NLDS (he also gave up three runs in 2012’s Game 5, but I suppose I can let that go now). Regardless, he seems like the best choice here and if I was in Dusty’s shoes I’d pick him over Tanner Roark, I think.
Ultimately, though, this will be an all-hands-on-deck game for Washington, with Roark, Max Scherzer and basically every member of the Nats bullpen available thanks to Tuesday’s rainout and yesterday’s strong start from Stephen Strasburg.
No word yet as to whether Drew Storen will be arrested on sight if he is within 100 miles of Nats Park at game time.
Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Nick Pivetta will rejoin the Phillies’ rotation, starting Tuesday’s series opener at home against the Cardinals. Vince Velasquez will remain in the bullpen.
Pivetta, 26, allowed 17 earned runs on 31 hits and eight walks with 16 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings across his first four starts of the season. The performance resulted in a demotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In six starts there, Pivetta had a much better 3.41 ERA with a 50/20 K/BB ratio in 37 innings of work.
Velasquez, 26, was solid as a starter, posting a 3.99 ERA across six starts. However, he averaged under five innings and 92 pitches per start. The right-hander tossed two scoreless innings out of the bullpen on Friday against the Brewers but was torched for four runs in two-thirds of an inning on Sunday. Mixed results, to say the least. The Phillies are trying to do what they can with their bullpen, currently missing David Robertson, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, and Vìctor Arano.