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With division title clinched, Gio Gonzalez won’t make final start for Nationals

Oct 2, 2012, 1:45 PM EDT

Gio Gonzalez Getty Images

The Nationals have scratched Gio Gonzalez from his final regular season start tonight after clinching the NL East title last night.

Washington is still fighting Cincinnati for the No. 1 seed, but manager Davey Johnson has decided that resting Gonzalez for a Game 1 start in the NLDS is more important. Tom Gorzelanny will take his place against the Phillies.

Making a 33rd start also could have helped Gonzalez’s case for the Cy Young award, but instead he’ll finish two-thirds of an inning short of cracking 200 innings for the third straight season and ends the year 21-8 with a 2.89 ERA.

  1. runyetirun - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    I believe this makes him the first player ever with 200+ strikeouts in less than 200 innings?

    • runyetirun - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:59 PM

      I corrected myself below- it was the 20 wins thing, not the 200 strikeouts thing. Apologies.

      • thefalcon123 - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:17 PM

        Pedro Martinez won 20 games in 2002 with 199.1 innings.

        Storm Davis *almost* did it in 1989, going 19-7 in 167 innings (with an 85 ERA+. He was really pretty terrible that year).

      • Gobias Industries - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:19 PM

        You misled me. I will never forgive you for this.

  2. kkolchak - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Smart move. No reason to pour more innings onto Gio’s arm in a meaningless game (home field advantage is not nearly as big a deal in baseball as it is in football). He’s still fairly young (26) and hasn’t gone much beyond 200 IPs in a single season yet.

    According to Mark Zuckerman last week, Gio will now be the first pitcher in MLB history to finish with 20 wins in a season while pitching less than 200 innings. Cy Young Award or not, Gio has had an amazing season. :)

    • runyetirun - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:58 PM

      ah, it was probably the wins thing I was thinking of, not the strikeouts thing

    • thefalcon123 - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:18 PM

      Mark Zuckerman is wrong. Pedro Martinez did it in 2002. See above reply runyetirun.

  3. gerryb323 - Oct 2, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Well did Zuckerman say first with 20 wins in less than 200 innings? Or first with more than 20 wins in less than 200 innings?

    Also, is that something that is good? Wouldn’t you rather have a quality starter pitching more innings? For example, Ian Kennedy last year going 21-4 in 222 innings with a nearly identical ERA…

    I mean, Gio was great this year, but wouldn’t more innings per start be better?

    • gerryb323 - Oct 2, 2012 at 4:23 PM

      He said 21 wins…

  4. natstowngreg - Oct 2, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Mike Rizzo has said he wants the best record. Davey doesn’t seem to care. He’s looking to rest players and get his rotation set up, whether the first 2 games are in San Francisco, Atlanta, or St. Louis (or even Los Angeles). Wonder if they had one of their little, ahem, conversations. :)

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