Pitcher Gonzalez will start Nationals’ Game 5

WASHINGTON — Pitcher Gio Gonzalez will start for the Nationals Thursday in Game 5 in the National League Division Series.

The Nationals made the announcement Thursday afternoon. Before Gonzalez got the nod, Manager Dusty Baker said, “Whoever it is, I hope they pitch like Stras.”

Stras is Stephen Strasburg who was “feeling under the weather” before Wednesday night’s game, but then responded with 12 strikeouts in seven innings. Initially Tanner Roark was named to pitch on Wednesday because of concern over Strasburg’s health.

Before the announcement that lefty Gonzalez would pitch, Baker said it was a decision between Roark and Gonzalez for Thursday’s night winner-take-all encounter.

Roark was rested, but had not started in 15 days. Gonzalez will be pitching on normal rest after allowing three runs in five innings of Game 2.

While only one pitcher will start the game, Baker didn’t rule out the possibility of both Roark and Gonzalez pitching at some point. Pretty much everyone except for Starsburg would be available out of the bullpen for Thursday night’s game.

The Nationals are trying to win their first playoff series since 1981, when they were the Montreal Expos.

Sarah Beth Hensley

Sarah Beth Hensley is the Digital News Director at WTOP. She has worked several different roles since she began with WTOP in 2013 and has contributed to award-winning stories and coverage on the website.

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson is Senior Sports Director and morning sports anchor. He first arrived at WTOP in 1989, left in 1992 and returned in 1995. He is a three-time winner of the A.I.R. award as best radio sportscaster in D.C. In 2008 he won the Edward R. Murrow award for best writing for sports commentaries.

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