Gio Gonzalez allowed more earned runs last time out (seven in five innings) than he had in his previous five starts and 29 ⅓ innings pitched and the three home runs he allowed in the outing matched his total over 48 ⅓ innings before thato night.
Gonzalez lost for the first time since April 27th in what ended up a 7-1 loss to the New York Mets in that outing, and saw his earned run average jump from 1.86 to 2.87 on the year.
It was up to 3.42 by the end of the second inning tonight... and 3.57 by the time he was done for the night in what ended up a 9-4 loss.
Gonzalez surrendered four runs in the second, in his first start of the year against the St. Louis Cardinals, giving up two walks, an RBI single by Greg Garcia, a two-out, two-run double by the opposing pitcher, Adam Wainwright, and an RBI double by Matt Carpenter that put the Cards up 4-0 at the end of a 40-pitch frame. 55 total in two innings.
Ryan Zimmerman cut the Cardinals' lead in half with one swing in the bottom of the second, sending a 2-1 sinker out to right-center for a two-run blast that followed a dropped catch on a pop fly to right off Daniel Murphy's bat. Zimmerman's 7th made it 4-2 St. Louis.
Two pitches into the third, it was 5-2 Cards after Matt Holliday hit an 0-1 fastball out to left for a solo blast that landed in the visiting team's bullpen.
A two-out rally against Gonzalez in the fifth led to the Cardinals' sixth run of the game scoring as Holliday walked with two down, Stephen Piscotty singled and Randal Grichuk doubled to make it 6-2 on Gonzalez's 98th and final pitch.
Gio Gonzalez's Line: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 6 Ks, 1 HR, 98 P, 59 S, 5/2 GO/FO.
Blake Treinen finished off the Cards in the fifth and Oliver Perez struck out two in a scoreless, 14-pitch sixth.
Bryce Harper made it a three-run game with his 13th home run of the season in the sixth, sending a 1-1 fastball from Wainwright to the putting green in center field for a two-out solo blast.
Zimmerman's second blast of the night made it a two-run game. Zimmerman took an 0-1 cutter from Wainwright to left-center for a solo bomb in the first at bat of the Nationals' seventh. 6-4.
Yusmeiro Petit gave up a ground ball and a bunt single in the Cardinals' eighth, however, and Matt Adams hit a pinch hit double to right off Sammy Solis to drive both runners in and make it 8-4 St. Louis, and Randal Grichuk tripled and scored on a sac fly in the ninth to make it 9-4. That's how it ended.
Nationals now 29-21
- Heading into tonight's game, Washington had the second-best run differential in the National League at +48, behind only the Chicago Cubs (+123).
- St. Louis is currently 5th in the majors and 3rd in the NL in run differential at +44.
- With runners in scoring position this season, St. Louis has an NL-best .297 AVG and 22 home runs, four shy of their total for the entire season in 2015.
- Daniel Murphy tied the Nationals' record (2005-present) for hits in a month with his 40th hit in May on Friday night.
- Murphy currently leads the majors in multi-hit games (with 24), total hits (70) and batting average (.393).
- Murphy has also hit safely in 23 of the last 27 games, going 43 for 105 over that stretch (.409 AVG) with seven doubles, five home runs and 16 runs scored.
- The Cardinals have 67 HRs as a team thus far, good for the second-most in the National League, behind only the New York Mets and St. Louis currently leads the NL in slugging percentage (.456) and extra base hits (177).
- Anthony Rendon is getting the night off tonight, but he's been red-hot in the last few weeks (even earning a fire emoji in the Nationals' game notes), going 22 for 59 (.373 AVG) with six doubles, a triple, 12 walks and nine runs scored in 17 games.
- In today's Nationals-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Washington's relievers have a 1.01 ERA... over the last 17 games, going back to May 9th. They haven't allowed of their 22 inherited runner to score over that stretch.
- Gio Gonzalez was (2-1) with a 1.54 ERA over 35 innings heading into tonight's start against St. Louis, which was his sixth career start against the Cardinals.
- Adam Wainwright was (4-0) in his last six starts before tonight with the Cardinals 6-0 in that outing, over which they have scored 45 runs in support of the right-hander.
- Wainwright was (7-3) with a 2.78 ERA in 13 games, 11 games started against the Nationals before tonight, and he was (3-2) with a 3.29 ERA in 38 ⅓ in Nationals Park heading into the outing.
Nationals now 29-21