Gio Gonzalez was completely prepared to take on the New York Mets, a question about a possible Cy Young Award? That threw him.
Gonzalez earned his big league-leading 19th victory and the Washington Nationals backed him with 3 home runs to beat the listless New York Mets 5-1.
Gonzalez is definitely a prime contender for the top pitching prize. But he playfully put up his hands when the subject was broached after the game.
”When you start looking at one thing, it’ll drive you crazy,” he said. ”If it comes, it comes.”
Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey has 18 wins and a better ERA than Gonzalez, and starts against the Nationals. Asked whether he was eager for Washington to face Dickey – and maybe dent his Cy Young chances – manager Davey Johnson had a simple answer.
”Not really,’ ‘ he claimed.
Kurt Suzuki put the Nationals ahead with a home run right after catcher Kelly Shoppach dropped his wind-blown foul popup for a error. Ryan Zimmerman launched a 2-run shot later on in the 3rd inning and Ian Desmond added a 2-run drive in the 4th.
That was plenty for Gonzalez (19-7) and the team with the best record in the majors. The lefty gave up three hits over 6 innings; none till Scott Hairston homered in the 4th. Basketball scores
Gonzalez worked around 5 walks and extended his career high for wins. He appeared relaxed enough, talking with fans in the front row while waiting in the on-deck circle in the 6th as Suzuki batted.
Gonzalez matched a season high for walks, yet decreased his ERA to 2.93.
”Couldn’t find the strike zone,” he claimed. ”Drank a touch too much coffee. I’m not sure what it was.”
The Nationals opened a 6-game swing that ends this weekend in Atlanta, where they’ll play their closest pursuers in the National League East.
The Mets lost their 4th in a row, deepening their drought at Citi Field. They tied a team record by scoring 3 or fewer runs for the 11th straight game at home, matching the mark last done in 1979.
”I’ve done this long enough to know that you don’t ever give up,” manager Terry Collins announced. ”You don’t ever stop; you don’t ever stop grinding it out. You don’t ever stop walking through the locker room every day ensuring the guys are optimistic, that they’re positive, trying to move forward. That doesn’t change one bit.”
David Wright and his squad have gone 106 straight innings at home without scoring more than one run.
Collins tried a timing adjustment, changing when his starters took batting practice. He had them hit later, needing to cut down the 2 1/2-hour gap between BP and game time.
”We’re sort of grasping at straws,” Collins admitted.
Suzuki hit his 4th, Zimmerman got his 21st and Desmond connected for his 22nd, all off the 25-year-old righty making his 3rd big league start.