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Milestone man

Sep 22, 2012, 10:39 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Gio Gonzalez tips his cap to a sellout crowd at Nationals Park.

Two winters ago, Miami personal trainer Sergio Pacheco handed client Gio Gonzalez a folder. Inside was a detailed conditioning plan, but what the young left-hander remembers more was what was written on the outside.

It read: “Project 20.” The goal: Turn Gonzalez into a 20-game winner in the big leagues.

“I sit back and I laugh about it, but that’s every day, when I worked out with him, it was … something we wanted to strive for. In a way, you kind of smile about it, because we finally reached our goal, and now it’s time to change it up and continue to try and get better goals and higher goals.”

Gonzalez will have to set a greater standard for himself in 2013, because he’ll forever be etched into the 2012 record book as the majors’ first 20-game winner after a dominating performance Saturday during the Nationals’ 10-4 victory over the Brewers.
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  1. 5c3cd06e-cef8-11e1-abe6-000bcdcb2996 - Sep 22, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    DeRosa also had a "project 20" folder. It had a conditioning plan for him to have 20 hits in a season.

  2. Alex Howard - Sep 22, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    i also heard chien ming wang also hhad a "project 20" folder, make 20 starts in the minors this season

  3. ehay2k - Sep 22, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    Ouch guys, so cruel after a win. Congrats to Gio for putting the work in and having the faith it would pay off. Kudos to Rizzo for the trade and the immediate signing of Gio to a long-term deal. I wonder if that took pressure off of Gio? Good question to ask if anyone gets a chance to talk to him face to face. ;-)

  4. Drew - Sep 22, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    Gio's been outstanding!As for milestones, it looks like the Washington Senators' own Buddy Lewis scored exactly 100 runs at age 19 in 1936.I haven't found any other teen who has come close. Bryce Harper has 89 runs scored with 12 games to play. I hope he'll be the second teenage Nat to reach the century mark.

  5. natsfan1a - Sep 22, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Just got home as we stayed for the concert. All I'm going to say for now is that was fun! Atta way, GIO!! :-)

  6. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Sep 22, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    Guy totally deserves it. Way to go, Gio. As one who was in his corner from Day 1 of this blockbuster trade, I say, "Let's go, Gio." And way to go, Rizzo.You people can have Tommy Milone, et al. This is the guy who makes us tick.

  7. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 22, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Way to gio.my project. 20 days Maloox free. At 11.

  8. mick - Sep 22, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Drew… Tony C with Red Sox back in 1964, he hit 24 HR, 52 RBI's in 111 games

  9. Drew - Sep 22, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    Mick: I'm talking about runs scored, not homers.Tony C. has the record of 24 homers at age 19, but he only scored 69 runs.

  10. Faraz Shaikh - Sep 22, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    by the way, anyone got a picture of team poster that was the giveaway in today's game? thanks.

  11. baseballswami - Sep 22, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    Bryce seems to have settled in with his hitting. You can tell how much he respects Jayson Werth, too. He is still learning in the outfield, but his arm is becoming Ankiel- like already. Congrats to Gio, a great guy and always humble and giving credit to his teammates. You have to love a guy who can face plant, get up and throw a strike, then laugh at himself.

  12. mick - Sep 22, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. mick - Sep 22, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Drew…. OK

  14. MicheleS - Sep 22, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    Reposting…Kilgore's gamer on WaPo has a pic of Gio's Face Plant and if you are on twitter Cindy Boren has been tweeting out a couple of other shots of Gio's face plant..Swear to god, my heart stopped when he went down.https://twitter.com/CindyBoren

  15. RickH - Sep 23, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    Way to go, Gio!!! Magic number to 6!

  16. baseballswami - Sep 23, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    I also stopped breathing for a minute. So glad it was just embarrassing and not harmful. Those folks got out of that dugout very, very fast! Relief all around. Sure the guys will have a chalk outline for him by tomorrow. He is pretty funny but fierce on the mound.

  17. natsfan1a - Sep 23, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    Indeed, that was a scary moment. Glad that only his pride was hurt. :-)

  18. Gonat - Sep 23, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    Matt Gelb ‏@magelb 48m Halladay saw doctor yesterday. Said he had mild spasms in his shoulder. No MRI. Believes he can finish season.

  19. NCNatsie - Sep 23, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    If he pitches like he did today, his season is pretty much finished anyway, spasms or no spasms.

  20. MicheleS - Sep 23, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    Gonat.. Wait? Can we see Halladay on Thursday? Seriously, we can add to the misery (you know after our boys do a champaign /sparkling apple cider celebration after Tuesday's game)

  21. Gonat - Sep 23, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    MicheleS, the Phoolies have an off-day on Thursday and my guess is Halladay will pitch for them Friday.

  22. Gonat - Sep 23, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    I would still rather see Lannan pitch Monday vs the Brewers and JZim on Tuesday vs. the Phoolies.Nats line up vs the Phoolies: Lannan vs. Hamels, EJax vs. Cloyd, Gio vs. Kendrick.

  23. baseballswami - Sep 23, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    One game at a time. I am still enjoying today's.

  24. Gonat - Sep 23, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    baseballswami said… One game at a time. I am still enjoying today's. September 22, 2012 9:38 PM _______________________________One game at a time? The Braves reporters are saying that Freddi Gonzalez will adjust his rotation on Tuesday to setup Medlen for the Wild Card game as his starter.

  25. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 23, 2012 at 2:09 AM

    The one game at a time is so cliché. With Davey announcing days ago that Wang was pitching Sunday tells you how far in advance you have to think.ahead.Don't be surprised if the Phillies lefty stackup with Lannan isn't a better look for Davey for a possible Atlanta matchup in the playoffs.I wouldn't be shocked to see Gio-Detwiler-Lannan in games 1-3.

  26. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Sep 23, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    No, not LannEn against the Phillies. Please, no.

  27. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 23, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    Bobby, yep.

  28. baseballswami - Sep 23, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Reverse lock? It could happen. Maybe even tomorrow. Wang. Have mercy.

  29. Drew - Sep 23, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    A postscript about Buddy Lewis, who scored 100 runs for the Senators at age 19 in 1936.I did not know his story. This man — who just died last year at 94 — lived a remarkable life. He made the All-Star team as a kid, then lost three prime years in World War II, in which he flew more than 350 transport missions. After the war he became an All-Star again in 1947.He became a car dealer in North Carolina, where he coached a local ball club with the help of the real Crash Davis.I wish I could make the link work, but Lewis' 2011 obit in the Post is a great read. It includes great quotes from Shirley Povich writing about Lewis when He was this town's 19-year-old phenom.Sounds like quite a guy.

  30. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 23, 2012 at 2:36 AM

    Umpire Hall ofShame for umps nominee Ed Hicox. Called balk becauuse Kererko was not holding at first on pickoff throw. Rules says if fielder headed for bag at time of toss he is deemed to be covering. Ump said he wasnt moving but he was. Hswk Harrelson giving ump the business.love warching white sox games when Nats arent playing rspecially when ump screws up.

  31. hiramhover - Sep 23, 2012 at 3:23 AM

    You play one game at a time, but you don't plan one game at a time.Of course, we're just fans, so we're not doing either.

  32. peric - Sep 23, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    But I kind of doubt that anyone will strike out 313 over 370 innings as the Big Train did …

  33. peric - Sep 23, 2012 at 3:28 AM

    I wouldn't be shocked to see Gio-Detwiler-Lannan in games 1-3.In the playoffs? Over world series veteran EJax? No way that's just ridiculousness at its height. Lannan? Why not Chien-Ming Wang? He looks better than EJax and Zimmermann … that's how ridiculous that sounds.

  34. peric - Sep 23, 2012 at 3:32 AM

    No, not LannEn against the Phillies. Please, no.Bobby, yep.And they gave me grief for liking Trevor Holder's bull dog approach? This LanNen worship is ridiculous. Lannan is suddenly a 20 game winner with 200 strike outs like Gio? Ridiculous rubbish.This time I'll be sure to be here to give you a shout out when the Phillies have their way with him yet again.

  35. peric - Sep 23, 2012 at 3:34 AM

    Great Caesar's Ghost! May the shades of lanNen disappear with the hopefully completely clean bill of health of mssrs Purke and Solis next season.

  36. JaneB - Sep 23, 2012 at 3:36 AM

    Anyone notice that the team photo had everyone in it EXCEPT Gio? Seriously!What a great story about him, Mark. LannEn has proven himself against the Phil's. I just hope Daveynreally does read this and knows to fill out the lineup card the right way.GYFNG!

  37. peric - Sep 23, 2012 at 4:54 AM

    LannEn has proven himself against the Phil's. We'll see. He just isn't as good as everyone wants him to be. Every time I watch Zach Duke, a 15-5 record in AAA as a starter, come out and be very effective in relief, in spite of being a soft-tosser … it makes me wonder even more about Lannan and how much he is way overhyped, and his talent level way over estimated.There really are other guys who have busted their butts and have talent. Lannan's one hold on that slot is his past contributions to this franchise while it was losing. Keep in mind that the aged wonder, Livan Hernandez, came back as a last-minute minor league signing and beat Lannan out for ace of this team. He started yet another opening day for this franchise as a result. And Livo must be pushing 40. Do you think LIvo could beat out any of Strasburg, Zimmermann, Detwiler, or Jackson in the same situation? I don't.

  38. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Sep 23, 2012 at 5:34 AM

    All of a sudden, I'm worried. First off, I agree with peric, which is some sort of new record.I'm going game-by-game and I'm worried:Today and Monday vs. the Brewers: I am afraid we're going to lose both. CMW will be lucky to see the fourth inning against this lineup. I can't see Stammen too early.I certainly hope the Phillies have Pholded by Tuesday, but there's no way I like our chances in a LannEn vs. Colbert matchup.That leaves Wednesday: Det is our best chance.Thursday: EJax vs. Kendrick, tossupThen we go into St. Louis, which figures to be fighting for its playoff life.Then we finish with three against the Phils. I hope we have it wrapped by then. I really hope it doesn't come down to those three.Meanwhile, Barves have the Marlins-Mets-Pirates finishing kick.I certainly hope we're not counting on the Barves losing too many more. Somewhere, somehow we have to find six wins. Anything the Barves give us is gravy. I'm worried. The bourbon and Maalox is out… and it's not even the ninth inning.Worried in Bethesda.

  39. sjm308 - Sep 23, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    Woke up early and will post here although it pretty much has nothing to do with Gio. Feel ok about that since the thread has shifted to LannEn.What I wanted to mention might help Sunshine Bobby just a bit. In the very first inning, Braun had singled & Ramirez was up. He hit a slow roller to short and Desmond made the throw to 2nd. Braun was literally jogging into 2nd, loafing might be a better word. I looked at my son and said, its the first inning and they have already stopped hustling. Later, Bryce singled sharply to left and went waaay wide on his turn hustling like we have come to expect. Earlier, he stole 3rd after distracting Peralta to death. We attack on the basepaths with Werth & Harper, while their superstar jogs to an easy out. So Sunshine, you can worry but our lads are hustling and that usually means good things.Now LannEn is another story. I also agree with Peric that what I saw in person from LannEn his last start and Wang in the same game was the reason Davey is pitching CM today. Wang was up to 93/94 at times and after a rough start, he settled in. The Dodgers did get a couple hits but everything was on the ground. I am not delirious enough to think that either of these men will be on the playoff roster. I think our four starters are set and I while one might be added as a long man, I think Gorzo and Stammen have that covered.This is long but its early AM & most of you pass up what I write anyway. My last point is, I am glad we will be playing meaningful games until the end. We have not been as sharp lately and I think it will help us to get ready by playing teams that are still in the hunt. DeRosa gets a lot of grief here but when you listen to the players, he almost always gets mentioned as one of our leaders. Not sure he will be on the playoff roster but I can bet he will be in the dugout giving advice throughout the WORLD SERIES!Off to make coffee.Go Nats!! Score First!! Win the Division!!

  40. baseballswami - Sep 23, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    On Tuesday, when it rained, the magic number seemed eternally stuck on 11. Now, five days later it is six. Exhale just a tiny bit. Six good things have to happen out of 22 games( 11 each team, I think). Those are decent chances. Never a given. Oh, September, you have become a gauntlet.

  41. sjm308 - Sep 23, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Swami, I might be wrong but I think Atlanta still has one day off. Still, your thoughts are right on.

  42. Anna Peregrina - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:10 AM

    Coming in late again … can someone explain the LannEn spelling? GO NATS!

  43. natsfan1a - Sep 23, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    I always read and enjoy your posts, sjm. Now, about that coffee. :-)And it's in this thread, Anna.

  44. natsfan1a - Sep 23, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    Yes, Atlanta is off on Monday.Off to have coffee now. :-)

  45. MicheleS - Sep 23, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Sadly.. off to the pointy ball game. I am going to have Charlie and Dave on the radio. Even have my Curly W earrings on. Lord save me from the pointy ball…So with that in mind…GO CMW! GO BATS!!! GYFNG!!! Beat the Brewers!

  46. Joe Seamhead - Sep 23, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Anna, LannEn comes from a Riggleman gaffe on a lineup card. I wouldn't want the last eleven days to be anything less then a dog fight until the end.I also can't help but to smile when I hear that McCatty and Johnson saw CMW's bullpen sessions as "lights out." I sure would love for him, against all odds, to pitch a good game today.SJM308, Mark DeRosa, if nothing else, got Bernadina to reduce his bat weight. I really would love to be a fly on the wall to hear what all he has to say to command such respect from the guys.Tyler Clippard? Is he hurt? I personally don't know what to think, but he pitched a great 9th in the first game of the double header. Then we he was brought back out for the second game and he got 2 strikes on Kemp and threw the high fastball, but Kemp got around on it and made solid contact. Clipp's not the first guy that Kemp has hit a HR off of. The other night when Clipp came in for the ninth in the then 2-1 game I had a feeling of "uh-oh." I have seen Tyler seem to lose his self confidence for a spell several times since he's been here. He's, if not hurt, in one of those spells now. I hope that Davey and Cat can nurse him through this one. We need him strong for the playoffs.This has been an amazing season for all of us. This board makes me feel a little better that there are a few other people that are as all-consumed by what's going on as I am. I really did think before the season started that we would win the division this year. Actually, my confidence in that happening started the day Johnson decided to take over the manager's job. I also thought when Johnson was a "team adviser" that he could be heir-apparent to take over from Riggleman. My suggestions that could happen before Riggleman even quit were ridiculed here. So, now here we are, with a 5 1/2 game lead with 11 to go, and you know what? I really have a hard time grokking that this is really actually happening. I look at this board about a zillion times a day. I look at the standings almost as many times, just to make sure that something hasn't somehow changed.I am mortgaging a huge percentage of my savings for playoff tickets. I think that I, along with a bunch of you, need therapy. Maybe we can get a group rate.GYFNG!!!

  47. zregime - Sep 23, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    SJM — great point about our schedule. It will help us keep the blade sharp. I luv all of y'all here who post but sometimes the chronic worrying is too much of a buzzkill. We got this!

  48. Another_Sam - Sep 23, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    sjm308 -I don't pass up what you write.

  49. natsfan1a - Sep 23, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Will be heading to the game after my a.m. kitty-care volunteer gig. In anticipation of the game thread: Go, CMW!! Go, NATS BATS!!

  50. Another_Sam - Sep 23, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Seamhead – I know what you mean. I too have a hard time believing this. I check the standings using many sources, several times a day. At the office I keep the spots page folded open to the standings. I glance at 'em often during the day, to make sure. I've run that loss column in my head many many times.

  51. Gonat - Sep 23, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Today is Wang's audition for next season as he will be a Free Agent.Here's hoping for the best!

  52. Anna Peregrina - Sep 23, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    Thanks, Joe and Natsfan! I like Wang because I make anagrams of all the players' names and GNAW is a great one, along with THREW and CHORALE.

  53. Gonat - Sep 23, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    Anna, cute Gnaw A Wang is great just like Threw A Werth.

  54. Theophilus T. S. - Sep 23, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Sorry to be late to the party but did CBS Radio just dump the Nats in the middle of the game so they could carry some college FB game that nobody cares about?

  55. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 23, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Theo, I listened on MLB radio and Charlie and Dave were still calling the game. They have an alternative feed during Nats games if you go thru Radio.com

  56. NatsNut - Sep 23, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Ohmygosh, could the weather be any nicer? Today really is a great day for a ballgame!

  57. natsfan1a - Sep 23, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    You're welcome, Anna. Interesting about the anagrams.

  58. mick - Sep 23, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Theophilus T. S WTOP radio went to Navy football

  59. zregime - Sep 23, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Natsfan1a: Represent my brothah/sistah. Wifey and ich were thereyesterday and you are exactly right…our bats are heating up again. Cmw may not lock em up but if 15 hits are in the mix…who cares?GYFNG!!!

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