5. G.I.O. in N.Y.C.: In his last five outings before tonight, including a win over the NL East's second-place New York Mets in Washington D.C., Nationals' lefty Gio Gonzalez was (4-0) with a 1.45 ERA, eight walks (2.32 BB/9) and 24 Ks (6.97 K/9) in 31 innings pitched, over which he's held opposing hitters to a combined .226/.276/.313 line.
Last time out on the mound, the Nats' left-hander held the Pittsburgh Pirates to three runs, one earned, on five hits in five innings of work in what ended up a 9-3 win in PNC Park.
'"I thought he pitched well," WIlliams said. "I thought Gio pitched well and gave us what he could. He wasn't feeling great today either, he was a little sick. He may have run out of gas a little bit."
After beating the Mets in Nationals Park two starts back, Gonzalez took the mound tonight with a (6-1) record, a 1.66 ERA and a .171/.277/.195 line against in 59 ⅔ innings in Citi Field in his career and a (9-4) record, a 2.88 ERA and a combined .200/.276/.300 line against in 15 starts and 90 ⅔ innings against New York overall.
Gonzalez's third start of the year against the Mets, and his second in NY after he shut them out for seven innings in Citi Field when he faced them back on May 2nd, began with single to right-center field by Curtis Granderson.
Ruben Tejada K'd swinging in the next at bat, however, and Granderson was cut down trying to steal second for a strike'em out, throw'em out double play. Daniel Murphy battled for seven pitches, but K'd looking at a 2-2 fastball outside. 17-pitch frame. 0-0 after one.
Juan Uribe walked to start the Mets' second, but three outs later he was stranded on the base paths at the end of a 15-pitch frame. 32 total after two.
A 16-pitch, 1-2-3 third left Gonzalez at 48 pitches. Juan Uribe walked for the second time tonight with two down in the Mets' fourth and Travis d'Arnaud took a second straight free pass to put two on in front of Wilmer Flores, who hit one through short for an RBI single that made it 1-0 Mets. Juan Lagares drew the third walk of the inning, loading the bases in front of Eric Campbell, who K'd looking at a 3-2 fastball. 41-pitch frame. 89 total.
Ruben Tejada singled to left-center with two down in the Mets' fifth and took third base on a two-out line drive double to right by Daniel Murphy. That was it for Gonzalez.
• Gio Gonzalez's Line: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 6 Ks, 105 P, 59 S, 1/4 GO/FO.
4. The Dark Knight Rises?: New York Mets' right-hander Matt Harvey took the mound against the Nationals last week in the nation's capital for the third time this season, after shutting NY's divisional rivals out over 13 IP in the previous two starts, with a 0.68 ERA in six starts and 40 innings pitched against Washington in his career.
After the Nats put up five hits and five runs, four earned, in seven innings pitched, in which he walked four and threw a total of 99 pitches, Harvey had a 1.34 ERA and a .186/.244/.269 line against in 47 innings pitched against the NL East's first-piace Nationals through three major league seasons.
Before his fourth start of the year against the Nats tonight, the 26-year-old, 2010 1st Round pick out of UNC was (9-7) on the year with a 3.16 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 31 walks (2.23 BB/9), 116 Ks (8.33 K/9) and a .225/.281/.377 line against after 125 ⅓ innings pitched since he returned to the Mets' rotation following Tommy John surgery.
Harvey was facing the Nationals in the Mets' home this time, where New York is 35-18 this season and he's (6-2) in ten starts with a 2.91 ERA, a 3.59 FIP and a .232/.273/.388 line against in 68 innings pitched before tonight.
The right-hander's fourth start of the season against the Nationals began with a quick, 12-pitch, 1-2-3 first which ended when Jayson Werth K'd looking to end a nine-pitch battle.
Harvey collected two Ks in a quick, 12-pitch, 1-2-3 second that left him at 24 total after two. After a 15-pitch, 1-2-3 third, he was up to 39 pitches and nine-straight Nationals retired to start the game.
He was up to 12-straight outs after he set the Nats down in order in a 10-pitch fourth that left him at 49 pitches. An eight-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth gave him 15 straight outs on 57 pitches.
Harvey was up to 16 straight outs with one down in the top of the sixth when Jose Lobaton hit a one-hop liner by second for the Nationals' first hit of the game.
Tanner Roark K'd trying to bunt with two strikes for the second out of the frame, but Anthony Rendon kept the inning alive with a blooper to right that fell in for the Nats' second hit. Both runners were stranded, however, when Yunel Escobar grounded into a force at second. 24-pitch frame, 81 total.
Jayson Werth hit an opposite field double to short right to start the seventh with the Nationals' third hit of the game, but Bryce Harper grounded out to third for out no.1, failing to advance the runner.
Ryan Zimmerman sent a fly to right for out no.2, and Ian Desmond lined out to center to end Harvey's seventh scoreless. Still 1-0 Mets. Nine-pitch frame, 90 total.
Harvey "hit" pinch hitter Clint Robinson on the foot with two down in the top of the eighth, though it didn't appear to actually hit him. It was upheld upon review, however, costing the Mets their challenge.
Danny Espinosa came on to run at first and advance to second on a grounder to third by Anthony Rendon, beating a throw to second by Juan Uribe after he made a diving play. Yunel Escobar came up with two on and two out, and hit a single to center to tie it up at 1-1. That was it for Harvey... [ed. note - "Skip to no.1 for the exciting conclusion."]
• Matt Harvey's Line: 7.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 Ks, 109 P, 74 S, 6/6 GO/FO.
3. Random Game Notes: Mets' catcher Travis d'Arnaud was activated from the DL today, returning to action for the first time since June 21st, when he was placed on the Disabled List with a "left elbow sprain".
• The Mets are 4-6 against the Nationals this season, which matches their win total in 19 games against the Nats in 2015, when they were 4-15 against their NL East rivals from D.C.
• Through seven games of their 10-game homestand, the Mets were 3-4 after losing last night, and 35-18 overall in Citi Field this season.
• Curtis Granderson took a 14-game on-base streak into the series opener tonight, and the veteran outfielder has a .400 OBP over that stretch. He extended it to 15-straight games with a leadoff single in the bottom of the first.
• Matt Harvey started the night with a streak of 25 consecutive home starts in which he's gone at least six innings.
• Former National Tyler Clippard has thrown two scoreless innings for the Mets since they acquired him from the A's in a pre-deadline deal.
• Ryan Zimmerman's home run was all the Nationals needed to beat the Marlins yesterday. He's the only player in Nats/Expos' history to hit a home run in a 1-0 victory twice.
• Bryce Harper's on-base streak is up to 26 straight overall and 45 straight on the road. He also has the second-highest OBP in the majors heading into tonight's game at .463 on the season.
2. Turning Point(s): Gio Gonzalez threw almost as many balls as strikes in the first four innings (89 P, 47 S) and gave up back-to-back, two-out walks in the bottom of the fourth to bring Wilmer Flores to the plate with a runner in scoring position.
The Mets' shortstop started down 0-2, fouled off three fastballs, spit on a curve in the dirt and then singled through short to drive the first of the two walked batters. Juan Uribe scored to make it 1-0 New York after four.
• The Nationals finally got to Harvey with two down in the eighth inning. A questionable hit by pitch on pinch hitter Clint Robinson started the rally. Danny Espinosa came on to run for Robinson, took second on an infield single by Anthony Rendon and scored on a single to center by Yunel Escobar. 1-1 after seven and a half.
WATCH: Yunel Escobar ties the game with an RBI-single to center! http://t.co/ByL4nuHMs7— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 1, 2015
1. The Wrap-Up: Tanner Roark took over in the Mets' fifth with runners on second and third and two out and sawed Juan Uribe off with a 1-0 slider, inducing a ground ball to second that ended the frame. Still a 1-0 game.
Roark retired the Mets in order in a 14-pitch sixth inning that kept it close. He came back out for the bottom of the seventh after the Nationals wasted a leadoff double by Jayson Werth and retired the Mets in order on 12 pitches.
WIth two on and two out in the Nationals' eighth, Jayson Werth battled Tyler Clippard, working the count full in an epic battle that ended after 13 pitches when Clippard got a called strike three with a low fastball. Still 1-1.
Aaron Barrett came on for the Mets' eighth and gave up a leadoff single by Ruben Tejada on a hanging slider, but stranded him at first three outs later. 11-pitch frame.
Clippard came back out for the ninth and walked Ryan Zimmerman with one down, and Ian Desmond with two down to bring Michael "RISP" Taylor who stepped in 12 for 32 with a .375 AVG with runners in scoring position this season.
The Mets went to Jeurys Familia, who got Taylor swinging at a slider in the dirt for out no.2. 12 for 33 w/ RISP. Jose Lobaton's fly to left-center kept it tied at 1-1 after eight and a half.
Barrett came back out for the ninth and retired the side in a six-pitch frame.
Familia retired the Nationals in order in the tenth.
Felipe Rivero came out for the bottom of the inning and retired the Mets in order on nine pitches.
Hansel Robles threw a 1-2-3 eleventh to keep it tied... and Harper got tossed in the process.
With the Harper ejection...Dan Uggla enters the game at first base. Zim moves from first base to left field. Werth moves from LF to RF.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 1, 2015
Rivero came back out and threw a scoreless 10-pitch eleventh.
Carlos Torres struck out the side in the top of the twelfth.
Felipe Rivero... gave up a walk-off home run by Wilmer Flores.
Nationals now 54-47