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The images from Gio Gonzalez’s wild Game 1 performance, when he walked seven batters in just five innings, may prompt concern. If his regular season is any kind of guide, though, it bodes awfully well for the Nationals tonight.

This season, Gonzalez has made six starts that lasted five innings or less. In the six starts following those clunkers, he dominated every time out. Gonzalez totaled 40 1/3 in those six starts and allowed six earned runs – good for a 1.34 ERA – with 37 strikeouts, 10 walks and 17 hits allowed. That’s 10 fewer baserunners allowed than strikeouts and a cool 0.669 WHP.

The stakes are different now, and he will have to face the same fearsome Cardinals lineup. (It is also bone-chillingly cold at Nationals Park tonight.) But that, too, may work in the Nationals’ favor. The Nationals have seen Adam Wainwright this series. The Cardinals haven’t really seen Gonzalez, at least not the usual version. Judging by his ability to bounce back from bad starts, that’s the Gonzalez the Cardinals will get tonight.