Former Teammates Square Off Washington Nationals Battle Arizona Diamondbacks

Nationals vs. Diamondbacks

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

From 2009 through 2011, Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill were teammates, accounting for 40 percent of the Oakland Athletics pitching staff.

In 2010, they both had breakout seasons. At the tender age of 23, Cahill had a 2.97 ERA and was named to the American League All-Star team. Gonzalez, who was just 24-years of age, finally started showing the stuff that had made scouts rave about him as a prospect, going 15-9 while logging 200 innings for the first time in his career.

2011 saw Gonzalez get even better, but Cahill struggled to stay healthy and his ERA ballooned up to 4.16. During the offseason, the A’s sent shockwaves throughout the league when they dealt both pitchers away in separate deals. Tonight, the two pitchers will be taking the mound for their opposing teams.

The Arizona Diamondbacks send Cahill to the mound tonight after he was forced out of his last start in the second inning. On Wednesday, Cahill was hit in the hip by a line drive in the first, and was pulled with no outs in the second when the Diamondbacks coaching staff felt that he didn’t look right on the mound.

It’s been an up-and-down season for Cahill. He started the season poorly, rebounded and pitched very well for a month, and now he is struggling again. Excluding his last injury-shortened start, Cahill has received the loss in four of his last five games.

On the other side, the Washington Nationals have to feel good with Gonzalez taking the mound for them tonight. After a rough April when he posted a 5.34 ERA, Gonzalez has been excellent over the last two months. However, the Nationals have struggled to give Gonzalez much run support. He has already had three starts this season in which he has pitched seven innings while giving up 1 run or no runs, only to watch as the Nationals were defeated 2-1.

If Cahill can get back to the form he was showing earlier in the season, the D-Backs and the Nats could be in for a low-scoring duel tonight.

Nolan Lees writes about MLB  for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @NolanLees or add him to your network on Google.

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