The Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds square off for the second time in the month of April for a four-game series, this time at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. The Reds were able to take 2-of-3 from the Nationals in their first meeting and are coming into a town to face a struggling team in DC.
Gio Gonzalez will try and right the ship for the Nationals on Thursday evening after Stephen Strasburg stumbled on Wednesday afternoon. Gonzalez is 1-1 with an ugly 5.85 ERA and 20 strikeouts over 20 innings of work this season.
During the recent struggles for the Nationals offensive run support has been an issue. In Gonzalez’ last start against the New York Mets he tossed a great first three innings of the ballgame and his team gave him three run lead to work with. However, with two outs in the fourth, the left-hander allowed five earned runs, as 10 batters came to the plate in the inning. Luckily, his complete meltdown in the fourth ended up not hurting team in the long run as they were able to come back and beat the Mets, 7-6.
Gonzalez has tossed 19 innings against the Reds over his career and has posted a 1-0 record with a 0.95 ERA and 25 strikeouts.
The Nationals needed to call up Anthony Rendon last week to replace the injured Ryan Zimmerman and have yet to be impressed with his offense. Over his first four games, Rendon is 2-for-15 (.133) with five strikeouts. With no extra room on the roster, it is likely a temporary call-up and the prospect will be optioned when Zimmerman returns.
The Reds will call upon Bronson Arroyo to start on Thursday night. Arroyo is 3-3 with a 3.92 ERA and 44 strikeouts over 66.2 innings in his career against the Reds.
First pitch for Game 1 of the four-game series is set for 7:05 p.m. eastern and will be broadcasted on the MLB Network.