Two ground ball outs moved Mark Ellis around the bases from first to second and then on to third after Washington Nationals' starter Gio Gonzalez walked the Los Angeles Dodgers' leadoff man in the first at bat of tonight's game. Home plate ump Chad Fairchild said Gonzalez "missed" with a 1-2 curve outside to LA shortstop Hanley Ramirez in the fourth at bat of the opening frame, but the Nats' lefty's 2-2 curve got the Dodgers' infielder swinging to end a 17-pitch top of the first in the second of three of this weekend's series in the nation's capital.
Anthony Rendon walked with one down in the Nationals' half of the frame, then took second when Ryan Zimmerman singled through short. Bryce Harper fouled off a 3-0 pitch from Zack Greinke, but took a 3-1 pitch outside to load the bases for Jayson Werth. Werth spit on a first pitch cutter in the dirt and took a 1-0 fastball outside for a ball. Greinke got a visit from catcher Tim Federowicz, and after throwing two strikes went to a full count with the Nats' slugger before popping up Werth up with a fastball up high. Ian Desmond stepped in next, but popped up too to let Greinke off the hook in a 24-pitch bottom of the first.
Gio Gonzalez threw a 92 mph 1-2 fastball by Juan Uribe for the first out of the Dodgers' second. Andre Ethier K'd swinging at 1-2 curve that dove away from his bat outside for a swinging strike three. Gonzalez missed inside with a full-count fastball to Scott Van Slyke, issuing a two-out walk to the LA outfielder, but got a weak grounder to third/short that Ryan Zimmerman handled for the third out of the inning.
Chad Tracy lined a double to right to start the Nats' half of the second with his third two-base hit of the year, but Wilson Ramos grounded out and Gio Gonzalez bunted/gave up an out to get Tracy over to third with two down and Denard Span, who was 0 for 1 tonight and 9 for 29 career vs Greinke, swung at a 3-0 pitch and connected but flew out to center field to end the bottom of the inning. Still 0-0 in D.C.
Zack Greinke doubled to center on a first-pitch fastball from Gio Gonzalez to start the top of the third, allowing Mark Ellis to bunt his pitcher over to third/give up an out, but Gonzalez threw a 94 mph 2-2 fastball by Yasiel Puig and induced an inning-ending groundout with a 1-1 fastball to Adrian Gonzalez to wrap up an 11-pitch third that had the Nationals' starter at 45 total after two and a half.
Anthony Rendon took a 95 mph 2-2 fastball for a called strike three and out no.1 of the Nats' third. Ryan Zimmerman was 2 for 2 tonight after his second single to left in two at bats. Bryce Harper sent a 2-0 fastball outside screaming back up and through the middle of the infield to put two on for Jayson Werth, but after working the count full, Werth lined out to Yasiel Puig in right-center. Ian Desmond missed a 94 mph 3-0 fastball and went to a full count as well before popping up on a full-count curve to strand two more runners. Still 0-0 in D.C.
Hanley Ramirez took an 0-1 change to center for a leadoff single in the fourth. Juan Uribe K'd swinging for the second time tonight when Gio Gonzalez threw a 93 mph 1-2 fastball by the Dodgers' infielder. Andre Ethier battled for nine pitches before taking a 3-2 curve for a called strike three, out no.2 and Gonzalez's 6th K in 3 2/3 IP. Scott Van Slyke's fly to center on a 1-0 fastball ended a 17-pitch fourth that had the Nationals' starter at 62 total after four scoreless frames.
Chad Tracy was 2 for 2 tonight after lining a 3-1 fastball to right-center to start the Nationals' fourth, but he was forced out at second on a sharp grounder to short by Wilson Ramos. Gio Gonzalez bunted into a force at second when he dropped a weak one in front of home plate that Dodgers' catcher Tim Federowicz jumped on. Denard Span grounded to second to end a 14-pitch inning that had Zack Greinke up to 71 pitches total after four.
Tim Federowicz was way out in front of a 2-2 curve from Gio Gonzalez, who collected his 7th K in 4 1/3 IP. Zack Greinke was 2 for 2 tonight, however, when he lined an 0-1 fastball to center with one down. Mark Ellis K'd swinging through a 3-2 change for Gonzalez's 8th K and Yasiel Puig was victim no. 9 when he K'd swinging at another full-count changeup to end a 21-pitch fifth and five scoreless for the Nationals' lefty. 83 pitches total after five. Eight pitches and three quick outs later, Zack Greinke was through five scoreless of his own on 79 pitches.
An 0-2 curve to Adrian Gonzalez got the Dodgers' first baseman swinging for Gonzalez's 10th K. Hanley Ramirez was 2 for 3 tonight after lining an 0-2 fastball to center for a one-out single. Juan Uribe flew to center on a 2-2 heater for out no.2 of the top of the sixth. Ramirez stole second with Andre Ethier at the plate, but K no.11 of the night came on a 1-2 curve in the dirt that got Ethier swinging to end a 15-pitch sixth by the Nationals' starter. 98 total after six. Still 0-0 in D.C.
Jayson Werth hit the second pitch of the bottom of the sixth out to right where Yasiel Puig caught it on the track. Ian Desmond K'd swinging through an 0-2 fastball up high. Chad Tracy, however, was 3 for 3 tonight after he lined a two-out single to center off the Dodgers' starter. Wilson Ramos walked, prompting Nats' skipper Davey Johnson to bring on a pinch hitter. Roger Bernadina started ahead 2-0 and sent the next pitch from Zack Greinke to right for a broken-bat single and a 1-0 lead. The Shark got thrown out trying to take second on the play, but not until after Chad Tracy had scored. 1-0 Nationals after six in D.C.
• Gio Gonzalez's Line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 11 Ks, 98 P, 61 S, 8/2 GO/FO...
Scott Van Slyke couldn't help himself and he K'd on a check-swing strike three on an 0-2 fastball outside from right-handed Nats' reliever Drew Storen. Ian Desmond picked a one-hop liner at his hip and threw to first in time to get Tim Federowicz for out no.2. Pinch hitter Skip Schumaker took over for Zack Greinke, and doubled to the right-center gap with two down before scoring when Mark Ellis lined an 0-2 fastball to left to bring the tying run in. 1-1 game after six and a half.
Denard Span singled to start the Nationals' seventh off Dodgers' right-hander Jose Dominguez, but Span was forced out on a bad call at second on an Anthony Rendon bunt. Davey Johnson argued, but the ump surprisingly didn't change his call. Ryan Zimmerman was 3 for 4 tonight after he sent a 99 mph 2-1 fastball from Dominguez back up the middle to put two on with one out. Paco Rodriguez came out of the bullpen to face Bryce Harper and the 22-year-old left-hander got the Nats' 20-year-old outfielder swinging with a 1-2 slider for the second out of the inning. Ronald Belisario came on to face Jayson Werth and got a force at second on a grounder to short. 1-1 after seven.
Tyler Clippard came on to pitch the top of the eighth. Hanley Ramirez thought he hit a one-out home run, but it fell into Denard Span's glove for the second out of the inning. Juan Uribe reached safely when Ryan Zimmerman double-pumped and threw one over first and into the stands on a bounce. E5. Uribe took second on the error and Clippard walked Andre Ethier to put two before he got a groundout to first from Carl Crawford to end the Dodgers' eighth.
Ian Desmond singled off Ronald Belisario to start the Nats' half of the inning, then stole second with Chad Tracy up. A groundout by Tracy moved Desmond to third, and a one-out walk by Wilson Ramos put runners on the corners for pinch hitter Scott Hairston, who K'd swinging through a 2-2 fastball outside. J.P. Howell came on to face Denard Span, lefty vs lefty with two on and two out and got a weak fly to center to end the eighth.
Rafael Soriano gave up a leadoff single to left by Dodgers' backstop Tim Fedorowicz on an 0-2 slider. Nick Punto flew out to right with the catcher running for out no.1. Jerry Hairston, Jr. came on to pinch hit and grounded to first. Chad Tracy made the play and tossed to the covering pitcher for the second out. Yasiel Puig stepped in with two down and K'd swinging on three-straight sliders. Chris Withrow took over for LA in the bottom of the ninth. Anthony Rendon grounded sharply to third. Ryan Zimmerman flew to left for out no.2. Bryce Harper? Harper worked the count full and took a full-count fastball for a called strike three.
Craig Stammen took over in the top of the tenth and left a 2-2 curve up for Adrian Gonzalez, whose double to left put the go-ahead run on. Hanley Ramirez was 3 for 5 tonight after he doubled in the next at bat and the Dodgers were up 2-1 with no one out. Juan Uribe bunted Ramirez over to third and after Ian Krol came on for the Nationals, Ramirez scored on a sac fly to left by Andre Ethier. 3-1 Dodgers after nine and a half.
Kenley Jansen came on to close it out. Jayson Werth K'd looking at a 2-2 fastball. Ian Desmond worked the count full and took a full-count fastball inside for a called strike three. Chad Tracy? Groundout to first. Ballgame. 4 hours and seven minutes later...
Nationals now 48-49