Apparently, revenge is a dish best served on a warm 78-degree afternoon. And yesterday, the Washington Nationals (92-59), led by left-hander Gio Gonzalez, got their revenge on a Milwaukee Brewers (78-73) team that usurped a win in the ninth inning of Friday night’s four-game series opener.
For Gonzalez, the outing was a perfect response to an earlier July 29 outing in which the Brewers handled his repertoire by belting five runs on five hits and earned seven free passes on five walks and two hit batsmen. The fact that yesterday’s win marked number 20 for Gonzalez, who is the only pitcher to have reached that mark this year, was icing on the cake.
“This is like a dream,” Gonzalez said, “and I feel like I’m still sleeping in it.”
This afternoon, the Nationals will look to ensure, at least, a series split as they take on red-hot right-hander Yovani Gallardo. On the mound for Washington, making just his fifth start of the year is sinkerballer Chien-Ming Wang. Continue reading
Against a Milwaukee Brewers team that had outscored opponents by 36 runs in the first two innings, the Washington Nationals reversed the roles by putting up four runs in the second to the Brewers’ zero last night in the first of a four-game series. They would go on to win 8-2, notching their major-league leading 59th win and setting a franchise high of 20 games over .500.
The four runs came with two outs at the hands of a hot Nationals offense that has now scored 117 runs in the month of July – more than any other team. It did not hurt that Brewers’ right-hander Yovani Gallardo walked opposing pitcher Edwin Jackson in the frame to load the bases, bringing second baseman Steve Lombardozzi to the plate, who promptly pulled a three-run triple down the right field line.
It did not hurt either that Jackson, traditionally a slow starter, was able to locate his fastball early in the first inning and continued to do so for seven shutout innings while striking out four and giving up no runs on eight hits and one walk. Continue reading