Manager Davey Johnson expects Gio Gonzalez to start the final game of the Nationals’ season, but the decision has not been made yet. “Nothing is final yet,” Johnson said. “We’ll see how he came out of last night.”
Gonzalez struck out six and walked none as he allowed the Cardinals two runs over seven innings last night. Johnson wants Gonzalez to start Game 162 and does not believe there is any reason he won’t.
“Not that I know of,” Johnson said. “But Gio is Gio.”
Whatever that means. If Gonzalez for some reason cannot start, Tanner Roark would make the final start of the season. Gonzalez would be jumping ahead of Roark in the rotation, but an off day tomorrow would allow Gonzalez to pitch on regular rest. Both Roark and Gonzalez have said they have not been told who will start.
Johnson hopes to give Gonzalez a chance at two milestones. Gonzalez can still reach 200 innings and 200 strikeouts – he’s only 4 1/3 innings and eight strikeouts away. Gonzalez reached the 200-inning mark in 2010 and 2011 but missed last season by two outs. He set a career high with 207 strikeouts last year, the only time he has recorded 200 in his career.