Last night, the Washington Nationals (68-43) were led to a 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros (36-76) by All-Star left-hander Gio Gonzalez, who threw the second complete game of his career. Gonzalez tossed a total of 117 pitches through nine innings, striking out seven and giving up three runs on nine hits and two walks. Tonight, the Nationals will look to right-hander Jordan Zimmermann to nail down a four-game sweep as he opposes Astros’ right-hander Lucas Harrell.
In his last start, Zimmermann (8-6, 2.45 ERA) took a no-decision in his worst outing of the season thus far. Zimmermann lasted just five innings in the nightcap of a doubleheader with the Miami Marlins, giving up five runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out three. Prior to the start, Zimmermann had pitched six or more innings in each of his 21 starts, 19 of which were quality starts.
In three career games against the Astros, Zimmermann has posted a record of 0-2 with a 4.91 ERA through 18.1 total innings pitched.
Lucas Harrell (9-7, 3.98 ERA) is coming off of a strong showing in Atlanta – a win in which the pitcher threw six innings, giving up two runs on four hits and five walks while striking out five. Earlier this season, Harrell faced the Nationals in Washington and earned a no-decision after throwing 6.2 innings, giving up just one run on four hits and three walks while striking out four.
Harrell’s only other appearance against the Nationals came in 2011. He pitched 1.1 innings of relief and took the loss after surrendering an unearned run on three walks.
With last night’s win, the Nationals moved to a franchise-best 25 games over .500. Tomorrow, the Nationals will be in Arizona for the start of a three-game series against the Diamondbacks.
It was drama as usual in the Washington Nationals’ 4-3 win over the Houston Astros last night – their third in as many games in a four-game series that will come to a close tonight. The game, characterized by balks, blown calls and general bad blood, brought new meaning to the term “Killer B’s.”
No amount of drama, however, could detract from the performance of Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez, who threw a complete game on 117 pitches to earn his 14th win of the season. With the win, Gonzalez is now tied with three other pitchers for the National League lead.
Bob Levey — Getty Images
It would be an understatement to say that the first three games in this week’s four-game series between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros have been anything but usual.
Game one, which seemed to be played under the Big Top rather than at Minute Maid Park, was capped off when one of the worst defensive teams in the league gift wrapped a win for the Nationals on one of the more bizarre plays you are likely to see this year or any year for that matter.
Game two, the second extra-innings affair in as many games, ended with a Roger Bernadina catch that has garnered the attention of the entire baseball community and has received serious considerations for catch of the year.
Game three? Well, let us just say that game three saw the Nationals take on two opponents – a rare occurrence indeed. Continue reading
After two wins in as many extra-inning games, the Washington Nationals (67-43) are just hours away from meeting the Houston Astros (36-75) for the third game of a four-game set. Last night, Nationals’ center fielder Roger Bernadina saved the game in the bottom of the 12th inning with an amazing catch that has already made its rounds. Tonight, Nationals’ left-hander Gio Gonzalez takes the mound opposite Astros’ right-hander Armando Galarraga.
In his last outing against the Miami Marlins, Gonzalez (13-6, 3.34 ERA) made his lengthiest appearance of the season, going eight strong innings and tying a season-high for strikeouts with 10. Despite a strong showing, Gonzalez was saddled with the loss. He looks for his 14th win tonight, which would tie him with three others for the National League lead.
Gonzalez’s only other start against Houston came at home on April 17 – a 1-0 win that saw the pitcher throw seven shutout innings on two hits and two walks while striking out eight.
Galarraga (0-1, 5.23 ERA) began the year with the Astros’ Class A affiliate Lexington Legends after signing a minor league contract on May 21. In his last outing, his second with the Astros, Galarraga suffered a loss to the Atlanta Braves after throwing just 5.1 innings, giving up four runs on five hits and seven walks while striking out four.
Galarraga has never made an appearance against the Nationals.
Last night’s win left the Nationals with the best record in all of baseball. It also extended their lead over the Braves in the NL East to four games. Jayson Werth will be back in the lineup, as will Kurt Suzuki, who will catch Gonzalez for the first time since the two were teammates in Oakland.
It is probably safe to assume that many fans of the Washington Nationals are going to take this morning as an opportunity to discuss the team’s thrilling 12-inning win over the Houston Astros, which came in the early morning hours on a spectacular game-ending catch that sent outfielder Roger Bernadina crashing into the fences. The win extended the Nationals’ lead over the Atlanta Braves in the National League East to four games and left them in sole possession of the best record in all of baseball. Go ahead and take a minute to relive the excitement. If you missed it, you can check out all the action right here.
But in an attempt to offer some less-circulated content, this time will instead be used to discuss Nationals closer Tyler Clippard, his recent performance in a relatively new role and how his confidence has played a part in that performance. Continue reading
Tonight’s matchup between the Washington Nationals (66-43) and the Houston Astros (36-74) will see the Nationals’ power-lefty Ross Detwiler face off against the Astros’ 21-year-old right-hander Jordan Lyles.
Detwiler (6-4, 3.02 ERA) is coming off one of the most dominant outings we have seen from the lefty so far. In last week’s 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, Detwiler threw seven shutout innings, striking out three batters while yielding just three hits and two walks. Impressive is the fact that the pitcher accomplished all of this without relying on his off-speed pitches. Of his 88 total pitches, 78 were fastballs.
Detwiler has only faced the Astros on one other occasion – a win in which he threw six innings and gave up just two runs on two hits and two walks.
Lyles (2-8, 5.09 ERA), who began the season with the Class AAA Oklahoma City RedHawks and was 5-0 with a 3.54 ERA, is coming off one of worst outings of his young career. Lyles was saddled with a loss in Milwaukee last week, a performance that saw the pitcher throw just five innings while surrendering nine runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out three.
In his career against the Nationals, Lyles is 0-1 with a 4.35 ERA in 10.1 innings pitched.
The Nationals will be looking to take the second game of a four-game series after edging out the Astros in 11 innings last night. Jayson Werth will not be in the starting lineup as manager Davey Johnson gives him a chance to rest his legs.
After a four-game series with their divisional opponent Miami Marlins this weekend, a series that saw the Washington Nationals take three games to hold a three-game lead in the National League East over the Atlanta Braves, the Nationals began a 10-game road trip in Houston last night that will see the likes of the Astros, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Francisco Giants. With four games set against the basement-dwelling Astros, who currently hold the worst record in baseball with just 36 wins opposite 74 losses, the Nationals have an opportunity to extend their lead in the NL East before coming home to begin an 11-game run that will pit them against each team in the division. But the future is a discussion for another day. For now, let us revisit last night’s unusual win and chat about a few stories you may have missed. Continue reading