Gonzalez blames lack of usual control in shorter start vs. Giants

Left-hander Gio Gonzalez did not have his usual control and that cost him against the Giants on Saturday.

“The control was a little bit off a little bit after the second inning,” Gonzalez said. “After that, it was just trying to finish the inning. Trying to get through it.”

Gonzalez walked four, allowing six hits and four runs in only 3 1/3 innings. Justin Miller relieved and allowed a sacrifice fly to center field, but recorded two outs to get out of the threat in the fourth inning.

Gonzalez tried to explain why his control wasn’t what it had been. Prior to Saturday, he had walked more than three only one other time: against the Yankees on May 15. The 3 1/3 innings marked his shortest outing of the season.

Gonzalez-Throw-White-Sidebar.jpg“It’s tough to say,” Gonzalez said. “It’s the first noon game of the season. Maybe (if) I had a routine or something like that on a day like this, I’d feel a little bit better. But then again, you got to give credit where credit is due. They were swinging the bat, they were doing a good job. They just finished playing the same game we played last night and they had to come in and do the same thing.”

Gonzalez’s teammates had built a 5-0 lead, but watched as it was whittled down to 5-4 as the fourth inning closed.

Fortunately, Bryce Harper hit a home run in the bottom of the fourth, and the Nationals added one more run to go on to win 7-5. The series is even at one game apiece.

San Francisco recorded at least one hit in every inning against Gonzalez. The biggest hit was Nick Hundley’s three-run shot in the third that got the Giants back into the game.

“It is very frustrating,” Gonzalez said. “They were just working me to a point where they let me go out there and nitpick a little bit of the corner. (I) wasn’t getting it. I had to make an adjustment to their account. That wasn’t my game plan. It was just one of those games. You move on, scratch it, on to the next one.

“It was a tough day for myself. Every now and then, those are going to happen. But the real credit goes all to the bullpen. Those guys stepped up big time and carried the way.”

Unlike injuries sustained recently by Stephen Strasburg and Brandon Kintzler, it appeared Gonzalez just needs a minor tweak in his mechanics and the uneven outing was not a sign of fatigue or wear and tear.

The Nationals will most likely have to reach out to pitchers like Jefry Rodriguez, Erick Fedde or Austin Voth to bridge the next couple of weeks with Strasburg to the disabled list.

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