Yesterday, the Nationals starter Taylor Jordan allowed 7 earned runs, 4 of which where in the top of the first. That and Mark Buehrle pitching well proved to be way too much for the Nationals to overcome. The Blue Jays would go on to win 8-0 and take the series from the Nationals. Tonight, Gio Gonzalez will take the hill and oppose the visiting Jake Arrieta for the Cubs.
The Nationals and their fans know Arrieta well from the time he was with the Orioles. While the right hander always seemed to have great stuff, he just never had a lot of success in Baltimore. Since he has been in Chicago though, he seems to have put it together. Through 5 seasons in Baltimore, he never had an ERA below 4.66 or a FIP below 4.05. In the season's he's spent with the Cubs he has seen career lows, most notably last season when he had a 2.53 ERA and a 2.26 FIP. He comes into today's game having pitched at least 6 innings in his last 4 games and having gone 7 innings twice and 8 in another. Considering he's pitched so well in 2015 he figures to give the Nationals some trouble. The good news is that in 89 plate appearances, the Nationals have hit him fairly well.
Arrieta vs. Current Nationals
Gio has a fairly high ERA at 4.73, but his FIP sits at 3.05. There is reason to remain optimistic when you see this, but one problem he's had is staying in games lately. His last 4 starts have seen him make it past the 6th inning only once and he's allowed quite a few hits in that time. Gio will need to work to remain calm and keep opposing hitters off the bases tonight. Gio is a very good pitcher, but when he doesn't get a strike call he has a tendency to come unwound a bit. If he can keep his cool and pitch like Gio, it'll be a good night. More to the point, Gio has seen the Cubs in 71 plate appearances and he'd done pretty well.
Gio vs. Current Cubs