What is Gio Gonzalez rebelling against? I'm fairly sure the Washington Nationals' 27-year-old left-hander would respond to that question with one of his own. "What have you got?" Gonzalez, a Hialeah, Florida-born starter and normally well-groomed and dressed young pitcher has apparently cut back on the regular haircuts, which came with such frequency that Davey Johnson once remarked, "I know guys that eat pancakes on the day that they pitch, but I've never met one who had a haircut every time he pitched."
Had Gonzalez gotten over to cover on a grounder to first by Buster Posey, he might have had a double play on a one-out grounder to Adam LaRoche by the Giants' catcher that would have completed a quick top of the first for the Nationals' lefty. But the Nats and their left-hander settled for a force at second after the two San Francisco batters of reached base on a one-out double by Joaquin Arias and a walk to Brandon Belt. Well, the Nats settled for the force after Ian Desmond got the out at second on Posey's grounder and threw behind Arias at third in an attempt to catch the Giants' outfielder sleeping that only succeeded in making Nats' third baseman Ryan Zimmerman dive for a low throw. No dice. It was first and third with two outs instead, but Gonzalez got a groundout to second from Hunter Pence to end a 19-pitch first. 0-0.
Anthony Rendon doubled for the 16th time this season, sending an 0-1 fastball to right for a one-out, opposite field, two-base hit off Madison Bumgarner, but the Giants' left-handed starter got a line drive to left out of Jayson Werth that Giants' left fielder Jeff Francoeur caught to end a 21-pitch bottom of the inning.
Gio Gonzalez and Jayson Werth apparently had words in the dugout after the first, with both shouting and getting in each other's faces. Was it because Gonzalez didn't get over to cover? Was it the way Werth played Arias' double to right? Who knows? Gonzalez went back out to the mound and got three quick outs on 18 pitches on a fly to right from Pablo Sandoval, an angry 2-2 curve to Jeff Francoeur that got Frenchy swinging and a full-count fastball to Brandon Crawford that the shortstop lined to Denard Span in center field. 33 pitches in two scoreless by Gonzalez.
Gio Gonzalez, Jayson Werth argue in Nationals' dugout (GIFs!) http://t.co/q494BhWMyf— Baseball Nation (@sbnbaseball) August 13, 2013
Madison Bumgarner retired the Nationals in order in a 16-pitch bottom of the second that had the Giants' lefty up to 37 pitches overall after two scoreless.
Bumgarner walked to start the top of the third, but the Giants' lefty was thrown out trying to advance on a wild pitch when Wilson Ramos played the carom quickly and threw a strike to second that beat the slow-footed pitcher to the bag. An Andre Torres grounder to second and a Brandon Belt liner to Scott Hairston in left ended a 15-pitch third that had Gio Gonzalez up to 52 pitches.
Scott Hairston and Denard Span hit singles around a botched sac bunt attempt by Gio Gonzalez to put runners on first and second with one down in the Nats' third. Anthony Rendon K'd looking for out no.2 on a 2-2 slider from Madison Bumgarner, but Ryan Zimmerman walked to load the bases for Jayson Werth... only to have Werth K swinging through a 92 mph 1-2 fastball to leave'em loaded. Scoreless after three in D.C. 21-pitch inning, 58 overall for the Giants' left-handed starter.
Buster Posey lined to right on a 94 mph 2-2 fastball for a leadoff single in the top of the fourth, but he was forced out at second on a weak grounder to third by Hunter Pence. Pablo Sandoval popped to second for the second out of the Giants' fourth, but Anthony Rendon failed to come up with grounder up the middle by Jeff Francoeur that got by the Nats' second baseman's backhanded attempt. Brandon Crawford stepped in with two on and two out, but went down looking at a 1-2 fastball outside on Gio Gonzalez's 17th pitch of the inning. 69 overall for Gonzalez after four. Still 0-0 in the nation's capital..
Ian Desmond doubled off the out-of-town scoreboard in right, starting the bottom of the inning with his 32nd two-base hit of 2013. Adam LaRoche hit a first-pitch slider to right for a single that moved Desmond over to third, and Wilson Ramos brought him in with a grounder back to the mound that bounced off Madison Bumgarner's lower leg/shin and bounced over to third where Pablo Sandoval made the play to get an out at first. 1-0 Nationals after four in the nation's capital.
The rain started as the Nationals took the field for the top of the fifth...
To be continued...