Saturday, December 16, 2017
Sports

Nats' Gonzalez: Redemption time?

WASHINGTON — Left-hander Gio Gonzalez was picked to start Game 5 for the Nationals on Thursday in their NL Division Series against the Cubs.

The Nationals announced the move on Twitter a little less than six hours before the deciding game was scheduled to begin at their stadium.

Exactly five years ago to the day, Gonzalez was the starter in Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS against the Cardinals, a game Washington led 6-0 before losing 9-7.

"Didn't do too well," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said, "so I'm sure redemption is on his mind."

Gonzalez, 15-9 with a 2.96 ERA during the regular season, was the choice for this Game 5 over right-hander Tanner Roark, who has not made a start in the playoffs this year.

Righty Kyle Hendricks was slated to start for the Cubs. He was the winning pitcher in their 3-0 victory in Game 1 at Nationals Park, allowing only two singles in seven innings.

Gonzalez started Game 2 of the series, allowing three runs in five innings of what became a 6-3 victory for the Nationals.

On Thursday, Washington stuck with the lineup Baker used for Game 4, a 5-0 win at Wrigley Field. That included Jayson Werth in left and batting second, although Baker said he considered sitting the 38-year-old who is in the last season of a $126 million, seven-year contract. Werth is hitting .071 in the NLDS.

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