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Facing the Chicago Cubs in the decisive Game 5 of the National League Division Series Thursday, the Washington Nationals will use Gio Gonzalez as their starting pitcher.
Nationals manager Dusty Baker announced Gonzalez as his starter for the winner-take-all game, per MLB.com.
After the Nationals defeated the Cubs, 5-0, in Game 4 on Wednesday to even the series at two, Baker hadn’t decided if he would turn to Gonzalez or Tanner Roark for Game 5.
“Whoever it is, I hope they pitch like (Stephen Strasburg) today,” he said, via ESPN’s Eddie Matz.
Roark was originally scheduled to start Game 4, but a rainout on Tuesday allowed the Nationals to bring back Strasburg on regular rest. Strasburg was terrific against the Cubs yesterday with 12 strikeouts over seven innings.
Gonzalez started Game 2 of the series, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks with six strikeouts over five innings. The Nationals scored five runs in the eighth inning to earn a 6-3 victory.
The Cubs will turn to Kyle Hendricks, who allowed two hits in seven shutout innings during Friday’s Game 1 win.