|Photo by USA Today|
Game in a nutshell: Gio Gonzalez and the Nationals were in trouble right from the first pitch of the game. B.J. Upton took a fastball to left field for a leadoff double and the Braves never looked back. An Evan Gattis double two batters later took the lead and a Chris Johnson single two batters after that made it 3-0 in the first. Matters got even worse for Gonzalez in the third inning with a leadoff homer by Justin Upton and a three-run shot later in the frame by Andrelton Simmons. Seven earned runs later and Gonzalez had his worst day in a Nats uniform.
Hitting lowlight: The Braves are not only hot at the plate, but have one of the hottest pitchers in baseball right now in Paul Maholm. The Atlanta lefty tossed 7 2/3 scoreless innings to extend his streak to begin the season to 20 2/3 innings without a allowing a run.
Pitching lowlight: Gonzalez, as mentioned earlier, had his worst day as part of the organization, surpassing his previous Nationals high of 6 ER in July of last year (vs. Mets 7/19). His career high for ER is 11 on 7/20/09 against the Twins.
Key stat: Ryan Zimmerman committed another throwing error, making that three in his last three games. This one wasn’t nearly as costly as the other two as the game was already out of hand, but still a concern.
Up next: The 7-5 Nationals head to Miami to begin a six-game road trip. Jordan Zimmermann will try to turn the page vs. the Marlins in a 7:10 p.m. start on Jackie Robinson Day.