Gonzalez almost left near no-hitter early to be with expectant wife

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez is high-fived in the dugout after being relieved during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins. (Lynne Sladky/AP)

Gio Gonzalez delivered for the Washington Nationals on Monday, but there would have been no hesitation on his part in leaving mid-game if his wife had gone into labour.

After taking a no-hitter into the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins, Gonzalez revealed his wife Lea was days away from delivering the couple’s second child.

And when asked if he would have left his chance at history early to fly back to Washington for the birth, Gonzalez didn’t hesitate.

“Absolutely,” he said. “It’s definitely one of those things, I don’t care what situation I’m in, I want to be there to see my kids.”

Emotions were high for Gonzalez throughout Monday. Originally from Miami, Gonzalez and his brother were very close friends with former Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident in September.

Monday would have been Fernandez’s 25th birthday.

Before the game, Gonzalez visited with Fernandez’s grandmother, mother, girlfriend and five-month-old daughter.

And when he was warming up for the start, his bullpen catcher gave him a baseball with Fernandez’s initials and his No. 16 on it.

“It was a heavy dose of a lot of emotion today,” Gonzalez said. “Today was just one of those special days… and a game you just have to fight through and pitch.”


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