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When the Nationals traded for Gonzalez, they landed a pitcher that was highly coveted on the trade market this winter. It was a nice acquisition for them.
Gonzalez has proven himself to be a solid starting pitcher, winning 31 games for the Oakland A's over the last two seasons (38 in total) while posting a 3.18 ERA over the same time period. His 1.324 WHIP over that time is significantly better than the 1.694 WHIP (average) he posted in his first two Major League Seasons.
While many will argue that Gonzalez has been able to produce the numbers he has in a pitchers park, a closer look reveals that he has put up some solid numbers while facing some of the toughest teams the AL has to offer.
Against some of the best hitting teams in the American League—Anaheim Angels, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays and the Toronto Blue Jays—Gonzalez has a record of 17-12 (seven wins coming against the Angels, and four losses coming against the Yankees), in 39 games, of which he started 35.
His ERA against those clubs averages out to 4.39 with a 1.415 WHIP. That's not too bad, all things considered.
Gonzalez should not doubt be a solid piece in this Nationals rotation in 2012.