Broadcasting live from Nationals Park, Holden and Danny were joined by Starting Pitcher Gio Gonzalez Tuesday.
In an interview that was left very open and light, Gio answered any and all questions regarding the pitching staff, what it’s like playing for Davey and how Bryce Harper’s family treats the rest of the team, all while weaving in Dumb and Dumber movie references.
He was asked if there’s anything that can be said to a young, struggling pitcher like Henry Rodriguez, who has 8 saves on the season, but has blown 3, including his most recent blown save against Cincinnati. Rodriguez had a 1-run lead Sunday in the bottom of the 9th with 2-outs and the bases loaded, when he gave up a Grand Slam to Mr. Votto-matic, Reds 1st-Baseman, Joey Votto.
Gio Gonzalez responded.
You let him work it out. All you can do is feed him words of encouragement. It’s just one of those things where he has to mentally break through.
Rodriguez was pulled Monday against San Diego after walking three-of-four batters.
Gio talked about how much of a player’s manager Davey really is. “He’s the type of manager that you can’t stop wanting to win for him.” Gonzales continued, “When I grab the ball I want to go out there and pitch 9 innings for him every start.”
Trying to corner him with a slip of the tongue, Holden tried to catch Gonzalez off guard by asking him about Strasburg, particularly if the team plans to keep him on a pitch count all season if he continues to throw well. Unfortunately, Gio was tight-lipped.
We never talk about how many innings he’s going to have. We never talk about what’s going to happen in the outcome. We don’t look that far ahead.
Asked if he goes out and dines with the other starters on the road, he said trying to get a hold of them is like trying to get a hold of the President to go out to eat. He went back and specified that’s because the other starters are either married or seem to have family to meet out in each of the opposing teams’ cities.
The former American League pitcher does have some catching up to do with some of those guys in the hitting department, whose .143 batting average pails in comparison to the .267 posted by fellow starter Edwin Jackson, and especially to the .308 Strasburg currently owns.
The being said, he did take a moment to mention how good of hosts Bryce Harper’s family were to him this Spring down in Viera.
His mom and dad are incredible parents. They were nice enough to invite me over for Spring Training and bake me cookies. If I was hungry they’d ask if I wanted to eat with them. What a great family. Great people all around.
Gio wrapped up the interview paying homage to the bullpen. He said that sometimes he forgets to pay attention to his pitch count because he’s so confident in his bullpen, that he doesn’t feel pressured to burn innings by throwing deep into games.
In his appearance on The Fan, Gio Gonzalez proved that aside from being a reliable (4-1) starter, he’s reliable for a fun, quality interview, with a personality that surely rubs off on his teammates in the locker room.