File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Gio Gonzalez faces the Rockies this afternoon at Nationals Park.
The Rockies will look for two straight and a series win as manager Jim Tracy sends lefty Jeff Francis to the mound. Francis is 2-1 this season with a 5.16 ERA, but has earned the win in each of his last two outings. He has allowed two runs or less in four consecutive starts.
COLORADO ROCKIES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 4:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Mostly clear, 103 degrees, Wind 10 mph LF to RF
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Michael Morse
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
LF Tyler Moore
C Jesus Flores
LHP Gio Gonzalez
CF Dexter Fowler
2B Marco Scutaro
LF Carlos Gonzalez
1B Michael Cuddyer
RF Tyler Colvin
3B Jordan Pacheco
C Wilin Rosario
SS Jonathan Herrera
LHP Jeff Francis
HP Mike Dimuro
1B Jim Reynolds
2B James Hoye
3B Jim Joyce
2:00 p.m. -- At Nationals Park after Davey Johnson spoke to the media and the heat is as advertised. Johnson said he will probably work the pitchers a little less than usual to cater to the weather, but that overall the temperature doesn't mind him. He is worried about the pitchers more than anyone.
4:17 p.m. -- Gio Gonzalez let up a leadoff single to Dexter Fowler, but gets out of the first frame without any real action. 19 pitches, 12 of them strikes.
4:27 p.m. -- Nationals get a man on base in the first on a walk to Ryan Zimmerman. Morse draws three straight balls but then grounds out on a full count. Francis' fastest pitch was 87 and threw only eight strikes on 19 pitches. At 101 degrees it isn't the best day to not have your command.
4:38 p.m. -- Gio's second inning started out interesting with a quick walk to Tyler Colvin on four fastballs. He recovered with a Pacheco popout and a strikeout of Wilin Rosario on a 2-2 buckling curveball. The third out was a beautiful diving catch by Adam LaRoche down the first baseline. Davey remarked before the game how his defense reminded him of Keith Hernandez, good timing.
4:44 p.m. -- Ian Desmond takes Francis' fastest pitch of the day so far, a 90 mph sinker, opposite field for his 16th home run of the year. 1-0 Nats.
4:56 p.m. -- Gio Gonzalez allows another walk in the third inning, but leaves the runner on base after striking out Carlos Gonzalez on a 2-2 breaking ball. 20 pitches to get out of the inning leaves the Nats' lefty with 57 (31 strikes) after three. Davey said before the game the leash on his pitchers may be shorter due to the heat so we could see an early call to the bullpen at some point.
5:11 p.m. -- The Rockies get on the board to tie the game at 1-1 after a leadoff double by Michael Cuddyer and a sac fly to right by Jordan Pacheco. Morse caught the ball a few steps in of where he was standing, but just barely missed the throw at home on a close call. Ryan Zimmerman ended the top of the fourth with a diving stop to his left and a quick throw to beat Rosario. Gio threw 12 pitches that inning and is now at 69 (39 strikes) after four.
5:37 p.m. -- Sorry for the delay on updates, but the team announced that Ian Desmond will not participate in Tuesday's All-Star game due to soreness in his oblique. For more on the story go here: Ian Desmond out of ASG
5:52 p.m. -- New pitcher for the Rockies in Josh Roenicke. Francis leaves after 77 pitches (49 strikes) with 1 ER, 6 H, 5 SO, and 1 BB.
5:56 p.m. -- Ryan Zimmerman hits a hard line drive to left-center to score Danny Espinosa from third. Bryce Harper moves to third with zero outs. Another earned run for Francis.
5:59 p.m. -- Harper scores on an errant throw by catcher Wilin Rosario to second. Zimmerman headed for second on a wild pitch and Rosario missed the bag with the throw. Harper made the heads up play to head home. 3-1 Nats with one out (Morse GO) in the 6th.
6:11 p.m. -- The Nats added another run on an bad pickoff attempt by Roenicke to get Ian Desmond at first. Zimmerman scored from home and Desmond advanced to second. The inning ended on a Tyler Moore line out. Ryan Mattheus in to replace Gio Gonzalez who leaves with 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 BB, and 6 SO. He threw 102 pitches (60 strikes) and lowered his season ERA from 3.01 to 2.92 after today. 4-1 Nats heading into the 7th.
6:35 p.m. -- Nothing to write home about in the 7th inning. Ryan Mattheus struck out the side and then Bryce Harper grounded into a double play to send us to the 8th. Still 4-1 Washington with Sean Burnett now in for Mattheus.
6:55 p.m. -- Tyler Clippard enters in the ninth for a save attempt. 4-1 Nationals.
7:09 -- Clippard closes it out for his 14th save on the year, Nats win 4-1. Another win for the Nationals who now sit at 49-33. One more game before the All-Star break.