The Fall & Rise Of A 20 Game Winner
Gio Gonzalez had one of the best 2012 seasons of any pitcher in the Major League. While most people expected Stephen Strasburg to be the ace that carried the Nats to the playoffs, much of the credit went to the pitching of the newly acquired Gio Gonzalez.
Gio had a very fun season, filled with a lot of smiles and a lot of crazy antics off the field. The former Athletic finished with 21 wins and was third in the voting for the National League Cy Young award.
In classic Gio Gonzalez fashion, during a September 22nd game against the Milwaukee Brewers, the day he became the first Major League pitcher to record 20 wins on the season, he tripped while he was pitching and embarrassingly fell flat on his face as the pitch flew about 20 feet wide of home plate. (Gif down below)
As the Nats top pitcher went crashing to the ground, there was a moment of panic that could be felt throughout the DC metro area. The TV & Radio announcers thought the worst as the fans held their breaths waiting for Gio to get up and show them he was fine.
Instead, Gio just stayed on the ground, flat on his face for a few seconds, adding dramatic effect to what turned out to be just an embarrassing and injury free moment.
Gio finally picked himself up a bit, stretched out, and then buried his head into his glove to hide from the world as his teammates and coaches came out to the mound to make sure he was fine and to poke fun at him.
Meanwhile the fans at Nats Park were loving it, and gave Gio a standing ovation that the pitcher acknowledged with a tip of the cap.
When it was all said and done the Nats helped Gio pick up the 10-4 win and Gio spoke about his fall with a big smile on his face after the game.
Gio said his pride was hurt but he was happy he could give the fans a show. What a guy.
Here are some of our blog posts from the actual time of the event: