Gio Gonzalez to start NLDS Game 5

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 07: Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) prepares to pitch during game two of the NLDS between the Chicago Cubs and the Washington Nationals on October 7, 2017, at Nationals Park, in Washington D.C. (Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire)
Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire

Washington Nationals left-handed starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez will take the hill for his team during Game 5 of the National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday evening, the club has formally announced. Gonzalez pitched Game 2 of the same series, giving up three runs and two home runs on three hits in five innings of work

The Nationals ultimately came away victorious by the score of 6-3.

The 32-year-old southpaw was brilliant this season, going 15-9 with a 2.96 ERA. Over 201 frames of action, he allowed 158 hits and 21 home runs while striking out 188 strikeouts. He did issue a league-leading 79 walks, but the fact that he only permitted 7.1 hits per nine innings mitigated his lack of control.

Gonzalez is now in his sixth year with Washington.

He was originally selected by the Chicago White Sox in the first round (38th pick overall) of the 2004 MLB June Amateur Draft. He then had an interesting journey after that. The White Sox proceeded to trade Gonzalez to the Philadelphia Phillies in a deal for Jim Thome in December 2005. Then, nearly a year to the day later, the Phillies dealt Gonzalez back to Chicago for Freddy Garcia. Then, in January 2008, the White Sox traded Gonzalez again, this time to the Oakland Athletics for Nick Swisher. Gonzalez broke into the majors with the Athletics in 2008 and spent his first four big league seasons with the team, reaching an All-Star Game in 2011.

He was then dealt to the Nationals that offseason. Gonzalez posted 21 wins and a 2.89 ERA during his first year in Washington, resulting in his second All-Star Game appearance. He has been a steady fixture in the rotation ever since.

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