Hialeah, Florida-born lefty Gio Gonzalez likes the Big Apple. Heading into tonight's matchup with the Mets, the 30-year-old southpaw was (6-1) in 11 outings in Citi Field, with a 1.54 ERA, 27 walks, 73 Ks and a .163/.248/.233 line against in 70 ⅓ career innings pitched in New York.
He earned another win tonight, improving to (7-1) in the Mets' home in his career as Washington evened up the three-game series with their NL East rivals with a 7-1 win after dropping the opener on Tuesday night.
The Nationals' lefty started the night with 3 ⅔ scoreless, but he fell behind Yoenis Cespedes 3-1 and gave up a solo home run to left on a changeup that ended up in the Party City dot com Deck.
Cespedes, who started the night with a .381/.567/.762 line, two doubles and two home runs vs lefties this season, hit his third homer off a left-hander and his 13th overall on the year to tie the game up at 1-1 after four.
Gonzalez was up to 84 pitches and five strikeouts after six and he ended up going 6 ⅓, leaving the game with after a base-loading single in the seventh...
Mets' righty Bartolo Colon issued four walks in 41 ⅓ IP this season before tonight's outing (0.83 BB/9), but he gave up four in three innings this evening, issuing back-to-back walks (for the first time in nine years) to Nats' left fielder Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper in the top of the first and third innings.
The Nationals failed to make him pay for the free passes in the first, but Daniel Murphy hit a two-out single by/off a diving David Wright at third in the third to drive Werth in from second and make it 1-0 Washington after three.
Werth singled and Harper walked for the third time in the first two at bats of the fifth, and both runners moved up on a groundout to first by Murphy before scoring on a two-out single to left by Anthony Rendon that made it 3-1 and ended Colon's night after 107 pitches.
Mets' lefty Antonio Bastardo hit Ben Revere and gave up a double to right-center by Jayson Werth in the top of the seventh. Revere scored on a sac fly to center by Murphy that put the Nats up 4-1.
Logan Verrett took over with two on and two out and issued back-to-back walks to Rendon and Danny Espinosa to load'em up and force in a run, 5-1.
Felipe Rivero took over on the mound for Gio Gonzalez in the bottom of the seventh, with the bases loaded and one down against Mets' catcher Kevin Plawecki and got a weak grounder back to the mound that allowed him to take the force at home. Michael Conforto grounded out to first to end the threat.
• Gio Gonzalez's Line: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 94 P, 62 S, 8/3 GO/FO.
Jayson Werth took his third walk of the night with two down in the eighth, leaving him 2 for 2 with three walks and three runs scored on the night.
Rivero and Shawn Kelley combined for a scoreless eighth, and the Nationals added two runs on a two-out single to right by Wilson Ramos that made it 7-1.
Sammy Solis worked a scoreless ninth to end it. Ballgame. 7-1 final.
Nationals now 24-16
• NATS NOTES:
- With the win last night, New York improved to 10-6 at home in Citi Field this season, with the Mets winning 9 of their last 11 in their home park.
- New York is now 20-5 when scoring the first run of the game this season, after scoring on the first pitch Max Scherzer threw in the bottom of the first last night.
- With last night's win, the Mets improved to 9-3 in their last 12 games against the Nationals.
- The Nationals are 23-16 against the Mets since the start of the 2014 season.
- With two home runs last night, the Mets have 55 total on the year after 38 games. It took them 68 games to reach 55 home runs last season.
- Former Met, current National Daniel Murphy leads the majors with 19 multi-hit games this season in his first 38 games with the Nats. Murphy started the night leading the majors in average as well (.399).
- Mets' pitchers currently have the third-lowest ERA in the majors (3.01). The Mets' bullpen leads the majors with a 2.39 ERA so far this season, allowing just 29 runs in 109 innings.
- Mets' closer Jeurys Familia is 13 for 13 in save opportunities this season, and he's retired every batters he's faced in seven of his last ten outings.
- In today's Mets-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: New York's starters have a 71.9 strike percentage vs right-handers, which is the highest percentage in the majors... over the last 30 days.
- In today's Nationals-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Washington catcher Wilson Ramos is 17 for 45 .370 AVG, with three doubles and two home runs... since returning from the bereavement list on May 3rd.
Nationals now 24-16