Friday, August 3, 2012

Game 106: Marlins at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Gio Gonzalez goes up against Josh Johnson the nightcap of today's doublheader.
And we're back for the nightcap. Following a 7-4 victory in Game 1, the Nationals look to pull off a doubleheader sweep and improve to 22 games over .500 for the first time since the franchise arrived in D.C.

Bryce Harper and Michael Morse, who sat out the first game, are back in there for the nightcap. Jayson Werth, who reached base four times in the opener, will sit this one out to rest his healing wrist.

Gio Gonzalez gets the start, and after Davey Johnson had to use four relievers to close out the first game, the Nats could certainly use an effective and deep outing from the left-hander.

Plenty more updates to come from the ballpark, so please keep checking back...

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 8:05 p.m. EDT
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 183
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 90 degrees, Wind 9 mph RF to LF
2B Steve Lombardozzi
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Michael Morse
SS Danny Espinosa
CF Roger Bernadina
C Sandy Leon
LHP Gio Gonzalez

MARLINS (48-58)
2B Emilio Bonifacio
3B Donovan Solano
SS Jose Reyes
1B Carlos Lee
LF Greg Dobbs
RF Austin Kearns
CF Gorkys Hernandez
C John Buck
RHP Josh Johnson

HP Adrian Johnson
1B Mike Muchlinski
2B Fieldin Culbreth (cc)
3B Toby Basner

8:06 p.m. -- And we're underway. Again.

8:12 p.m. -- An 11-pitch top of the first for Gio Gonzalez, the only blemish a bunt single by Jose Reyes. Can't really fault Gio for that.

8:23 p.m. -- And the Nats are right back on top again. Steve Lombardozzi gets things started with a triple to left-center, then scores on Ryan Zimmerman's sac fly to right. That gives Zim 56 RBI for the season, which is a pretty remarkable total considering how bad he was for the first two months. He's got 34 of those RBI over his last 35-plus games. Nats lead 1-0 after one.

8:40 p.m. -- Gio cruising along. Though three scoreless innings, he's allowed only the Reyes bunt single and has struck out four. Still 1-0 in the middle of the third.

8:57 p.m. -- Speaking of cruising along ... Josh Johnson is doing it himself. Has retired 12 in a row since the Lombardozzi triple in the bottom of the first. It remains a 1-0 lead for the Nats as we move to the fifth.

9:03 p.m. -- Wow, Gio has completed five scoreless innings on 49 pitches (39 of them strikes). Doesn't get any better than that. Especially in Game 2 of a doubleheader when Davey had to burn more relievers than he wanted in the opener.

9:14 p.m. -- Well, there's one you don't see too often: Michael Morse was standing on second base after a leadoff double in the fifth when Roger Bernadina lofted a bloop single just inside the left-field foul line. And Morse never left second base, never advanced. He either thought that ball would be caught or land in foul territory. It wasn't a tremendously costly play, but it was an odd play to say the least. Still 1-0 as we move to the sixth.

9:27 p.m. -- That turned ugly in a hurry. Gio served up five singles in the top of the sixth, four of them in succession with two outs. Looked like he was starting to leave his pitches up in the zone and was paying the price for it. Just like that, the Nats trail 3-1 and need to mount a rally against Josh Johnson, who has been dealing himself.

9:40 p.m. -- Gio bounces back in the top of the seventh, striking out three more to give him nine on t he night. But the Nats still trail 3-1 and have nine outs left to make up that deficit.

9:51 p.m. -- Danny Espinosa has fallen right back into his old habits from the left side of the plate, and it's not pretty. He's now 3 for his last 36 with 16 strikeouts, including two tonight. The Nats still have only three hits off Johnson as we now head to the eighth, with Gio back on the mound.

10:00 p.m. -- Well, I have to say I saw that one coming all the way from up here in the press box. Unfortunately, Espinosa didn't see it at all. Jose Reyes broke from second base on Carlos Lee's grounder to short and then came all the way around to score. Gio Gonzalez let out as much of a reaction as I've ever seen from him, and it looked like it was all directed at Espinosa (who should've looked Reyes back to third base before throwing to first). So it's now 4-1 as the Nats are down to their final six outs.

10:06 p.m. -- And now they're down to their final three outs.

10:22 p.m. -- And the deficit grows larger as the Marlins add an insurance run in the top of the ninth off Craig Stammen. Johnson will get the chance to complete his start, taking the mound for the bottom of the ninth with the Nats trailing 5-1.

10:42 p.m. -- That'll do it. The Nats lose this one 5-2 after scoring a run in the ninth on a play in which it appeared Emilio Bonifacio seriously injured his left wrist. Johnson was pulled with two outs but Steve Cishek finished it off to give the Marlins a split of the doubleheader. And with the Braves holding on to win tonight, the Nats' lead in the NL East is down to 2 games.


Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

As Ernie Banks would say, "Let's play two!!"

As I would say, "Let's win two!!"




NatsJack in Florida said...

This is the best I've seen Gio throw this year.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

WAYYYYYYYYYYY off-topic, but suitably weird:

Brothers Justin Upton and B.J. Upton both hit career homer No. 100 on Friday night, just about an hour apart and in different leagues.

MicheleS said...

They are starting the wave in my section. UGH

Anonymous said...

Gio's all fired up waiting for his pal Suzuki to get here. Amanda has a post about it.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Five Marlins hits in a row.

Didn't see that coming.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Six straight hits. Somebody drug-test the Marlins.

mick said...

I wish Cat had visited Gio after the bases were first loaded

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Gio goes 3 balls to the pitcher. That changed everything.

mick said...

we should be able to score some runs once Johnson is out

mick said...

if we keep it 3-1 we have a good shot of scoring some runs

NatsJack in Florida said...

Hey what's your take on the Suzuki addition?

djinFl. said...

Johnson is only at 74 pitches. He will not be leaving until we knock him out.

mick said...

well i prefer a Honda myself, lol

mick said... FP said, if Johnson had pitched like this a week ago he would have been traded to a contender

mick said...

Gio could probably go 8 tonight, what do you all think? save bull pen?

Nats212 said...

Mick i can see 9 The way he is pitching!

NatsJack in Florida said...

9 outs left. The Nats need to treat everyone of them like they're gold.

Let's score some friggin runs!

NatsJack in Florida said...

what the heck was that?

mick said...

johnson is on

mick said...

Gio only at 84 pitches

mick said...

thinking... Werth coming back is huge and I think that is just what this young team needed... going to be interesting with new catcher. man I wish Desi could come back!

Exposremains said...

Everytime I look it seems like the Braves are playing a bad team. It also seems like only the Nats can beat them.

rogieshan said...

Danny K. Espinosa. Jekyll and Hyde.

peric said...

Looks like they handled the catching situation and went for defense over offense ... plus Zach Walters apparently is the solution to providing depth for Espinosa and Lombardozzi.

Sophmore year jinx for Espinosa ... hopefully that's what it is.

peric said...

They have to find a way to win games against these teams that have raised the white flag especially in their division.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Lombardozzi looked totally incompetent during that at bat.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Have I mentioned lately I cannot stand Emilio Bonifacio?

rogieshan said...

Yes, Josh Johnson is pitching a gem. However, it would be nice to see some of the players - particularly the struggling ones - come up with ways to manufacture a run or two when the dealing is tough and not give away at-bats so easily. I'm still hoping for some small ball from Davey Johnson. Can't win in October just by swinging for the fences.

ExposedinDC said...

Nationals bullpen today.....scary ....not in a good way

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Most of the time, I hate to see players get hurt...Most of the time.

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