After displaying surprising power for most of this season, Gio Gonzalez had an odd night at the plate Friday night. He did not take any swings, and he twice bunted with no men on base and two strikes. Today, Manager Davey Johnson revealed the reason.
The Nationals instructed Gonzalez not to swing because he still has swelling in his right, non-pitching hand. He sustained the injury making an awkward slide into third base during his previous start.
Third base coach “Bo Porter and I both agreed, and he told him, ‘You’re not allowed to swing,’ ” Johnson said. “His glove hand was still a little swollen. We don’t want him to swing and aggravate that thing and maybe cause some problems with his pitching. Plus we had enough offense. But he wasn’t real happy about it.”
Gonzalez, Johnson said, is also receiving treatment on his pitching hand because of the slide. But the Nationals do not consider it a serious issue, especially after Gonzalez had his usual velocity last night. Gonzalez struck out nine, including six in a row, but he also labored, throwing 115 pitches as he allowed two runs in five innings.
“Little soreness, that’s all it was,” Gonzalez said. “It’s just trying to get a grip of it, but it feels great now. I mean, it felt fine. I didn’t want to go out there and try to swing or anything like that, try to irritate it. Just, I’ve been in there training, doing all my stuff, it’s nothing really bothers me now. It feels good.”