BOSTON - In the second inning of today's game, I looked down at the stat sheet beneath my scorebook here in the press box.
Gio Gonzalez's 2012 numbers jumped off the page and smacked me in the face.
The lefty entered today with a 7-2 record and a 2.31 ERA on the season.
I obviously knew Gonzalez has been exceptional this season. After all, he was named National League Pitcher of the Month for May. But the stats Gonzalez has posted this year have been fantastic.
They've only gotten better today, as Gonzalez has tossed six scoreless innings so far against the Red Sox, allowing just two hits and one walk.
He's struck out five and is at 84 pitches through those six innings.
It hasn't been the kind of dominant, 13-strikeout performance that we saw from Stephen Strasburg last night, but man, Gonzalez has been sharp.
He got some help from his friends in the second and fourth innings, as Adam LaRoche got the Nats on the board with a solo home run leading off the second inning, and Michael Morse and Ian Desmond combined to knock in three runs a couple frames later.
The Nats lead 4-0 in the seventh, and are set up to earn yet another series win.
Update: As great as Gonzalez has been this season, possibly his one flaw is that he has trouble working deep into games. Today, the lefty starter was pulled after 6 1/3 innings having thrown 98 pitches, this after he got through his first four frames on just 46 pitches.
Gonzalez left in a jam, with runners at the corners and one out, and reliever Craig Stammen immediately walked Ryan Sweeney to load the bases.
Davey Johnson then went with a quick hook, yanking Stammen in favor of lefty Michael Gonzalez, who gave up a two-run single to pinch-hitter Jarrod Saltalamacchia on the first pitch he threw.
That closed the book on the left-handed Gonzalez who started the game. Gio allowed two runs on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
Michael Gonzalez bounced back by retiring Daniel Nava and Dustin Pedroia to end the inning, keeping it a 4-2 game. This one has gotten a lot more interesting here at the Fens.