If Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez wasn't already being considered a serious contender for the National League Cy Young award, than Monday's performance assured that. Gonzalez, even battling his own command, tossed six strong innings to become the first pitcher to 19 wins in the major leagues and dropped his ERA under 3.00.

Gonzalez was already an all-star in Oakland before the Nationals traded away four of their best prospects for the left-hander in the offseason. Yet, in his first year in the National League, he has flourished. He has always possessed dominating stuff — sneakily explosive fastball and biting curveball — but he has grown as a pitcher this season, learning more when to use what pitch and chug through a start when his command suffered. And as a result, he is posting career-high marks and rates in many pitching statistical categories.