SAN FRANCISCO — Dave Martinez visited Gio Gonzalez’s locker in the visitors’ clubhouse at AT&T Park for a few minutes Tuesday afternoon. There, the two, rookie manager and veteran starting pitcher, had an animated conversation discussing the frustration Gonzalez had — and expressed — the night before after he exited in the sixth inning of the Nationals’ loss to the Giants.

Gonzalez thought he should’ve stayed in the game after walking the leadoff batter with his 94th pitch as the Nationals trailed 2-1 on Monday. Martinez thought differently as Gonzalez worked his way through San Francisco’s lineup for the third time. So he pulled him in favor of Shawn Kelley, who allowed a two-run home run on his first pitch. After the game — and over an hour after getting pulled — a fuming Gonzalez said he “100 percent” believed he should’ve stayed in the game.

“I’m a starting pitcher, if I could go perfect every game I would, but right now sometimes I got to hit some walls to break through,” Gonzalez said Monday. “Apparently, I just got to someway somehow convince I can go past five innings.”


On Tuesday, he effusively praised his manager’s willingness to approach him and talk it out.

“It’s beautiful that our skipper speaks to us,” Gonzalez said. “It makes a huge difference knowing what’s going on. That was a situation that if people keep to themselves, it’d be a different story. Communication. That’s all we want. Once we have communication, everything is nice and calm and everything plays out the way it should play out.”

Martinez called the conversation “good.” He said he told Gonzalez that he gave the Nationals “a great chance to win” but the bullpen was fresh and he wanted to go to it. The decision came a night after Jeremy Hellickson, Washington’s No. 5 starter, stumbled the third time through the Dodgers’ lineup in a loss Sunday.


Gonzalez, 32, logged six innings in his first start of the season but has alternated between 5 1/3 and 5 innings each of his past four outings. He’s reached the 100-pitch threshold once — in his third start. Last season, Gonzalez logged at least six innings and twice pitched at least seven in his first five outings en route to logging 201 innings in 32 starts with a 2.96 ERA. He’s pitched a 3.04 ERA this season.


Trea Turner SS
Howie Kendrick 2B
Bryce Harper LF
Ryan Zimmerman 1B
Moises Sierra LF
Michael A. Taylor CF
Adrian Sanchez 3B
Pedro Severino C
Tanner Roark RHP

GIANTS (10-12)
Gregor Blanco Cf
Joe Panik 2B
Andrew McCutchen RF
Buster Posey C
Brandon Belt 1B
Evan Longoria 3B
Mac Williams LF
Brandon Crawford SS
Ty Blach LHP


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