After the game, I decided to go out to the right field gate since that's where the Nationals' bus was going to load up from. My pal Scott Bultman who was there the night before told me that Gio didn't take the team bus. Someone told him that. Since Gio was scheduled to pitch game one of the doubleheader Saturday, I figured in order to see him I needed to wait for the team to come out. My persistence usually pays off. After waiting a short time, I noticed some players including Stephen Strasburg who boarded the bus. On the concourse area, I saw Gio standing around talking to a few people. I got his attention. He waved his hand hinting that he'll be out soon. It turned out that he was waiting for a car service to pick him up.
After patiently waiting, Gio came out. He came right over to me & he showed me love. He shook my hand & he asked how I was doing. Since he was in a rush I had to make it quick. I got him to personalize the ball he threw me back in April. I told him I'll see him again in August. He told me to look for him Saturday even though he was pitching. True to my word, I did get to see him warm up. I gave him words of encouragement as he got prepared for the task at hand. Apparently, my words of wisdom work wonders. For the fourth straight time that I saw him warm up, he went out & pitched a great game. I wish I could see him pitch in person more often.
Gio shined bright in game one of the day/night doubleheader that Saturday. He threw seven shutout innings as he gave up just two hits while walking two & striking out seven Cubs as he picked up the victory. The Nationals' bullpen combo of Tyler Clippard & Rafael Soriano each threw a scoreless inning to preserve the Curly W.
Being able to see Gio again made my visit complete. He's a down to earth person, I only want to see him do well. Despite his struggles from inflammation in his shoulder, it was nice to see Gio back on the mound where he belongs.
Stay tuned as I will write a special post about the Friday night post game meal we enjoyed.
Thank you for reading & following along.