Nats’ Gon­za­lez: Re­demp­tion time?

Tampa Bay Times - - Baseball - Times wires

WASH­ING­TON — Left-han­der Gio Gon­za­lez was picked to start Game 5 for the Na­tion­als on Thurs­day in their NL Di­vi­sion Se­ries against the Cubs.

The Na­tion­als an­nounced the move on Twit­ter a lit­tle less than six hours be­fore the de­cid­ing game was sched­uled to be­gin at their sta­dium.

Ex­actly five years ago to the day, Gon­za­lez was the starter in Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS against the Car­di­nals, a game Wash­ing­ton led 6-0 be­fore los­ing 9-7.

“Didn’t do too well,” Na­tion­als man­ager Dusty Baker said, “so I’m sure re­demp­tion is on his mind.”

Gon­za­lez, 15-9 with a 2.96 ERA dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son, was the choice for this Game 5 over righthander Tan­ner Roark, who has not made a start in the play­offs this year.

Righty Kyle Hen­dricks was slated to start for the Cubs. He was the win­ning pitcher in their 3-0 vic­tory in Game 1 at Na­tion­als Park, al­low­ing only two sin­gles in seven in­nings.

Gon­za­lez started Game 2 of the se­ries, al­low­ing three runs in five in­nings of what be­came a 6-3 vic­tory for the Na­tion­als.

On Thurs­day, Wash­ing­ton stuck with the lineup Baker used for Game 4, a 5-0 win at Wrigley Field. That in­cluded Jayson Werth in left and bat­ting sec­ond, although Baker said he con­sid­ered sit­ting the 38-year-old who is in the last sea­son of a $126 million, seven-year con­tract. Werth is hit­ting .071 in the NLDS.

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