Saturday, July 7, 2012

Gio leads Nats over Rockies for 12th win

Photo by US-Presswire
For Nationals’ starter Gio Gonzalez, a native of Hialeah, Florida, triple-digit heat and humidity is just part of the game of baseball. On Saturday afternoon he battled through 102 pitches in record heat, but left with his 12th victory of the season in the Nationals’ 4-1 win over the Colorado Rockies in front of 28,032 on South Capitol St.

“In Florida we know that heat. I was just trying to adapt to it and keep going. I’ve lost a ton of weight from it, but at the same time I got my liquids in me, that’s for sure. Just got to keep fighting right through it,” he said.

Gonzalez left after the sixth inning with the game tied at one. He allowed just one run on three hits and struck out six, all along the way tying Livan Hernandez for the Nationals’ record for wins heading into the All-Star break. He is now tied with R.A. Dickey for the major league lead.

“I don’t know what kind of run support he got over there in Oakland, but he’s been stingy giving up runs here, and hits,” manager Davey Johnson said. 

“He’s been very consistent. He’s been fun to watch. My whole staff’s been fun to watch. But these last two times out, in the heat, he’s pitched well. Against very good offensive clubs.”

Gonzalez’ only earned run came in the fourth inning. Michael Cuddyer led off with a double down the third base line, a hard grounder that found its way just under the glove of a diving Ryan Zimmerman. Cuddyer then advanced to third on a fielder’s choice by Gonzalez. He was brought home by Jordan Pacheco on a sacrifice fly to right field, a play that ended close at home on a throw attempted by Michael Morse.

Despite allowing one run, the Rockies made solid contact on Gonzalez throughout his outing. He benefitted from some good defense including diving stops by Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche.

“It was unbelievable that each one of these guys came in today with hot weather and they still came out and competed. They did a great job. I was just doing my best to just keep us along in the game and save the arms in the bullpen,” he said.

Gonzalez was relieved by Ryan Mattheus who struck out the side in the seventh inning. Sean Burnett escaped the eighth with a runner in scoring position and Tyler Clippard earned his 13th save of the season after allowing two to reach base.

Even though the last two innings were made interesting, Gonzalez said he never doubts the men behind him.

“Each one of those guys are All-Stars in my mind and I’m honored to have them right behind me. Every time they come in there it almost feels like you can close your eyes and guarantee it.”

The Nationals took the lead initially off an Ian Desmond solo homer to right-center field in the second inning. It was Desmond’s 16th of the year which ranks sixth in the National League and tops all N.L. shortstops.

Washington scored their other three runs in the sixth inning during an interesting sequence with relief pitcher Josh Roenicke on the mound. Rockies starter Jeff Francis started the inning and let up a leadoff double by Danny Espinosa off the out-of-town scoreboard. He then allowed a floating single by Harper to move Espinosa to third, Harper almost got caught going for a double on the play but reached first safe because no one was covering the bag.

Roenicke replaced Francis to face Zimmerman who quickly pelted a line drive into left-center field. Espinosa scored on the play and Harper advanced to third. Then, on a wild pitch by Roenicke, catcher Wilin Rosario attempted to pickoff a stealing Zimmerman. The throw was off, Zimmmerman was safe, and Harper reached home for the team’s third run.

Ian Desmond grounded to second later in the inning and was safe at first as the Rockies couldn’t pull the double play on he and a walked Adam LaRoche. Roenicke, Desmond’s brother-in-law, then tried to pick off Desmond at first. Zimmerman, who was standing at third, scored the team’s fourth run as the ball got past Cuddyer at first.

The Nationals took the win and now sit at 49-33 on the season. They will go for the series win on Sunday afternoon with Jordan Zimmermann on the mound against Jeremy Guthrie of the Rockies. As the weather is expected to cool down slightly, the Nats will look to continue their momentum heading into their midseason break.

51 comments:

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

Harper almost got caught going for a double on the play but reached first safe because no one was covering the bag.

Chase, I don't think that's right. He went most of the way to second because he could SEE no one was covering behind him. Alert play on his part.

SonnyG10 said...

Back to 16 over .500. Let's make it 17 over tomorrow. GYFNG!!!!

Swift Eagle said...

Exactly Sofa! Bryce KNEW nobody would cover 1st b/c with a runner at 2nd the 1st baseman has to be the cutoff for a throw home...It was actually a very smart play...to go along with his always great hustle

NatsNut said...

Also, this was Clippard's 14th save.

And folks, we've surpassed Texas for day for the #2 record in all of baseball.

GYFNG!

natsfan1a said...

Atta way, Gio! Atta way, NATS!! Hope it will be cooler tomorrow, as I'll be there for that one. :-)

Thanks for all of the posts today, Chase. Nice to have the coverage while Mark's away.

ehay2k said...

Nice outing by Gio. Hoping Zimnn pitches well tomorrow in slightly cooler conditions.

Sad to learn Desi won't play in the ASG. Very happy to know he is putti ghis body and the team first. Not exactly happy to hear Harper will play. Happy for him to have the experience, sad to know he will not get much needed rest.

Swift Eagle said...

He's 19, it's unlikely he would have been resting back home...Besides, he only gets one chance to be an All-Star as a rookie...

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

Thanks, Eagle. Depot Master pointed it out before I did, in the Instant Analysis post. Evidently Mark didn't see that.
_____________________________
Depot Master said...

Correction - Bryce did not almost get thrown out. There was no one at first. Had he gone to second that might have happened but the guy is pretty game-aware.
July 07, 2012 7:27 PM

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

Excuse me, CHASE didn't see that. I was thinking "Chase" but I was typing "Mark."

Swift Eagle said...

The play by Bryce is just another heads up, hustle play that I wish more guys would try...With all the hype around Harper and his talent, I never knew until he got the Show that he has so many intangibles...

baseballswami said...

Swift Eagle- I know what you mean. It's not just the intangibles, which are significant, but he just learns so very fast! He makes mistakes only once. I wasn't really a doubter, but I really expected him to have a lot more trouble. My biggest surprise has been the way he carries himself. I am very proud that he is part of the Washington Nationals franchise.

MicheleS said...

Sofa and Chase.. Thanks for the in game updates. People that don't have cable and piss poor cell service are now off my list of places to go to during a game!

Glad Ian is resting, happy for Bryce (although I wish he was resting)! So happy for GIO's win today!

GYFNG!!!

MicheleS said...

And the good news.. The DVR was on and I can watch the replay of the game!!

SCNatsFan said...

I think the heat is taking a toll on the staff

baseballswami said...

He is 19, how much rest can he need? It's not like it's going to be the same daily grind - there are lots of fun things going on that are a good mental health break.He shouldn't be doing as much physically ,either. I don't think they will be busy Wednesday or Thursday. For a guy like him, this will be truly inspiring. He will be just another geeky fan Monday night. Every camera will be watching him.

Swift Eagle said...

Swami, Bryce plays like a guy trying to make the team and nothing like a guy who was on the cover of SI at 16...

MicheleS said...

SC.. the good news is that the 4 games in Miami are in AC (they will close the roof), hopefully when the team comes back it won't be so oppressive in DC

mick said...

12 pitchers, 13 IN, OF, C on roster. So... when Tracy and Werth are back, are we looking at 2 of the following 3 players going down to minors among Ankiel, Bernadina and Derosa?

When Storen is back are we looking at Gonzales or Matthues going down and if Lannan is called up before Strass is shut down, are we looking at Gorzo going down.

thoughts....

mick said...

clearly, the only trade I see, if any would be for a starting pitcher.

mick said...

I think Lannan will be called up and he could be a great asset

MicheleS said...

Mick.. as we have seen, there are "creative" ways to make room on the roster.. don't count anything out. Someone will tweak a muscle, someone will slam a finger in a door, pull a groin, etc.

mick said...

agreed Michele and with that, are 2 of the 3 I mentioned the ones most likley to tweaka muscle, lol?

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

Swift and Swami, agreed. I didn't really disregard the hype until I saw him play regularly, this spring. You have to see him to get it. The obvious stuff is, well, obvious, but the really impressive part is his baseball sense. He knows stuff MLB veterans don't seem to show, and he hustles like almost nobody else.

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

The impressive part about the play at first is his field sense--to do that, you have to know where the fielders are supposed to be, which is more than a lot of players do, but also where they actually are.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Take it easy, Mick. There's less than eight weeks before rosters expand. Mike "I've never met a body part that I couldn't devise a fake injury for" Rizzo will be able to juggle the DL long enough to take advantage of the expanded roster ... just in time for Werth to be activated, LannEn recalled from Siberia and other late-season pennant moves.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Off-topic, but Micah Owings is pulling a Rick Ankeil:

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Injured San Diego Padres pitcher Micah Owings will attempt to return to the majors as a position player on Monday.

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

Sunshine, he always could hit some. Might work. Good luck to him.

Jimmy said...

The toddler and I strolled into a place called Southern Hospitality (formerly Adams Mill Bar) at the top of Adams Morgan at about the mid-point in the game in search for some much needed refreshment during our afternoon walk (the make a mean Mint Julep). Turns out there was a decent crowd watching the game and all were cheering for the Nats. Nothing crazy numbers wise, but its always worth noting friendly territory when you find it. Made for a fun atmosphere, the kind I'll be going back to soon and often.

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

Good to know, Jimmy, thanks.

JaneB said...

One of my favorite moments today was when the team took the field, after the win. Davey came out, pointing a finger at Gio, and smiling, like, "you, you, you!" and Gio just laughed and ducked his head. It was delightful to watch. Now I realize it was Davey telling him they were gonna get him the win and they did.

Gosh I love these guys! Even in 102 degree heat!

natsfan1a said...

He's 19 but he's playing a man's game just about every day. Then there are his comments before he got the nod. It sounded to me like the kid could be a little bit homesick. Sounds like his parents will be there, though, and maybe they'll bring his pup, too. No kicking back and just being Bryce, though, what with all the media there. That said, make us proud, kiddo! :-)

baseballswami said...

He is 19, how much rest can he need? It's not like it's going to be the same daily grind - there are lots of fun things going on that are a good mental health break.He shouldn't be doing as much physically ,either. I don't think they will be busy Wednesday or Thursday. For a guy like him, this will be truly inspiring. He will be just another geeky fan Monday night. Every camera will be watching him.
July 07, 2012 10:52 PM

baseballswami said...

I agree that. Bryce sounds homesick like kid at summer camp or the first year of college. At least he will have "wingmen" there with him if all the activities lean towards over 21 establishments.he will probably hang out with his 20 yr old buddy fro Arizona fall league Mike Trout. What a pair for the cameras, huh?

Mr. Doggett said...

Just realized something ... I'm actually going to WATCH the ASG this year.
Still haven't gotten used to the whole "rest of the world acknowledging our existence" thing.

baseballswami said...

And our guys this year will be the center of attention . I am betting that last year when clip came into the game , tons of people had no idea who he was. That will not be the case this year.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I may actually watch some of the ASG live but will DVR it for true enjoyment.

I'm actually looking forward to tonites Futures game more.

Another_Sam said...

Swammi -- I admint that I was a bit of a doubter, especially on BH's ability to play the outfield. But no more. Yes on quick learner. Yesterday he didn't dive that one time late in the game but made the correct play; he's no longer prone to airmailing a hopeless throw allowing a runner to advance, and so on.

MicheleS said...

I am actually going to watch the ASG as well. And will stay up and watch it too see when all our guys make an impact on the game! this is great!

zregime said...

I am reading this blog now almost every day and love you guys' comments...Swami, Michele, the Eagle, 1A, you're starting to feel like family. And, I am already starting to visualize a crisp night in October, where you can see your breath, when people are bidding for tickets to Natties Stadium like they were Van Gogh paintings. The place will sound like RFK during the game, and the entire city will go ba-NA-nas as our guys win one for Walter. Hoist the trophy. Shower Bryce with bubbly. Davey will be crying and stuff. It'll be insane.

This team is that good. GYFNG!

natsfan1a said...

Good point on his wingmen, swami. Also, maybe his folks can rent a place with a kitchenette so he can have some home cooking. Sheesh, listen to me. I'm planning the whole thing out for the kid. :-)

baseballswami said...
I agree that. Bryce sounds homesick like kid at summer camp or the first year of college. At least he will have "wingmen" there with him if all the activities lean towards over 21 establishments.he will probably hang out with his 20 yr old buddy fro Arizona fall league Mike Trout. What a pair for the cameras, huh?
July 08, 2012 6:52 AM

natsfan1a said...

Thanks, zregime, I'm happy to be claimed as Insider family. Also, I like your scenario. :-)

I always watch some of the ASG, and I like to see our guys in the intros. Will be watching this year and have the DVR as backup for the late innings, in case I fall asleep. Who am I kidding? As backup for *when* I fall asleep. With MLB Network there, I enjoy the red carpet show as well, and Intentional Talk will have All-Star coverage.

baseballswami said...

Have to go out of town to stay with my elderly mother while my siblings take a well-earned vacation - no mlb network or masn for over a week, boo. Will be glued to my smart phone, though, and at least the festivities are on Fox. Once Friday hits, it'll just be the tiny screen. zregime -- yes, a Nats-fan family, but the truly affectionate term is "imaginary friends" !!! Love having all the voices, and yes, the opinions, too.

mick said...

best of luck to you swami, hope your mother is OK

mick said...

agree with swami, peric, ghost, gonat are like siblings you love to battle with, lol

Faraz Shaikh said...

you guys should read some of Nats fans comments on yesterday's game wrap at mlb.com, they are hilarious.

Mr. Doggett said...

I think zregime's comment should be "clipped and saved" for the end of the year (pardon the pun). It'd be fun to see that stuff come true. A lot of us feel like we've invested a lot of time and energy into this team...

NCNatsie said...

Is Gonzalez the most common name in baseball? Seems like every team has one, and we've got two.

zregime said...

Mr. Doggett: Amen to that. I have now started planning my days around the games. Invested? Yeah, like Warren Buffett, baby...

Safe travels, swami, and prayers for your mom.

One of our hurlers is gonna twirl a no-no before this season is through. J-Zim, today, perhaps? Well, gotta bounce to Giant and restock the fridge we cleaned out after five days with no power. Enjoy the game, y'all!

sm13 said...

Great to see a full morning of positive posts. There is so much to love about this first half. 16 Games over 500, 14 games up on the Phil's, 9 ahead of the free-spending Marlins...the list goes on.

I agree with Sunshine that Rizzo will figure out a way to juggle the roster until it expands in September. There is no need to give up young talent for Cranky Greinke or any of the other rental pitchers out on the market

NatsLady said...

Any word on Metro delays? Have to make quick decision when I get off work, drive or Metro?

Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa said...

NatsLady, the Green Line is still out north of Ft Totten, but that shouldn't affect the game travel as much as the general heat-related slower train speeds. They aren't doing track work today.

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