Tale of the Tape: Nats-Giants, Game 4
A breakdown of Gonzalez vs. Vogelsong for their NLDS matchup
Gio Gonzalez, Nationals
Against the Giants
2014: Did not face
Career: 7 GS, 2-2, 2.59 ERA
Loves to face: Hunter Pence, 1-for-12, 2B, 2 BB, 2 K
Hates to face: Brandon Crawford, 2-for-6, HR, 2 RBIs, K
Why he'll win: Gonzalez hit his stride down the stretch, posting a 2.36 ERA and .191 opponents' average during a streak of seven straight quality starts to end the regular season. He could match up well against a lefty-heavy San Francisco lineup.
Pitcher beware: Gonzalez made his only two previous postseason starts against the Cardinals in the 2012 National League Division Series and lasted five innings in both, walking a total of 11 and surrendering five earned runs.
Bottom line: The Nats are depending on Gonzalez to be sharper than that, even though it'll be 12 days since his most recent game action, on Sept. 25. If he's not, the bullpen could get involved early, with the season on the line.
Ryan Vogelsong, Giants
Against the Nationals
2014: 2 GS, 0-1, 7.15 ERA
Career: 9 G, 5 GS, 1-2, 6.16 ERA
Loves to face: Bryce Harper, 1-for-8, 0 XBH, 4 K
Hates to face: Ian Desmond, 4-for-10, 2B, 3B, HR, 6 RBIs, 2 K
Why he'll win: Vogelsong is 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA in four career playoff starts, all in 2012. He was a much better pitcher at home this season, with a 3.06 ERA and a 3.7 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Pitcher beware: The Nats hit Vogelsong well both times they saw him this season, pounding him for six runs in six innings on June 9 at AT&T Park. Current Nationals are batting .299/.371/.494 in 97 plate appearances against him.
Bottom line: Vogelsong, who last pitched on Sept. 26, also will be dealing with an extended layoff as he tries to recapture the postseason magic he found in 2012. A Washington lineup that's had his number -- and woke up late in Game 3 -- will make that a tougher task.