As the Colorado broadcast of tonight’s game noted, the two starters in tonight’s series opener in Washington, D.C. were at very different stages of their respective careers.
Nationals’ lefty Gio Gonzalez was looking for his one-hundredth major league win, and Jeff Hoffman, a 2014 1st Round pick, was looking for his first in the majors after debuting for the Rockies earlier this month, two years after he was drafted (by the Toronto Blue Jays, who subsequently sent him to the Rockies in the Troy Tulowitzki deal).
Gonzalez threw just 85 pitches over six innings, walking one and striking out five and got the win, No. 100 of his career in what ended up an 8-5 game in the Nats’ favor.
Here’s how it happened:
Jayson Werth absolutely crushed a hanging-a$$ 0-2 curve from Jeff Hoffman in the Nats’ half of the first, sending a solo home run to left field. No-doubter. 1-0.
Werth’s 18th of the season and second in two nights.
Given a lead to work with, Gio Gonzalez gave up back-to-back, one-out singles and a sac fly by Daniel Descalso that tied it right up in the top of the second, 1-1.
Trea Turner’s speed forced Rockies’ shortstop Christhian Adames to rush a throw on a weak grounder to short in the first at bat of the Nationals’ third. Adames sailed it.
Turner took second on the E:6, and third on a pick attempt that got away from second baseman Daniel Descalso, E:4, before scoring on a one-out groundout to first by Daniel Murphy, 2-1 Nats.
Ryan Raburn (2 for 2 tonight, 9 for 16 vs Gio career) and Nick Hundley hit back-to-back, two-out doubles in the Rockies’ fourth, tying the game back up at 2-2.
Anthony Rendon doubled to left to start the bottom of the fourth, (double No. 33), and took third base on a single by Ryan Zimmerman before scoring on a bases-loaded 4-6-3 double play off Jose Lobaton’s bat. 3-2.
Murphy’s 25th home of the season gave the Nationals a two-run lead. Murphy hit a 3-2 slider from Hoffman out to right and over the out-of-town scoreboard to make it 4-2.
Gio Gonzalez’s Line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 85 P, 52 S, 8/2 GO/FO.
Koda Glover handled the seventh, striking out two in a 14-pitch frame.
Turner singled to start the Nationals’ seventh, stole second base, took third on an error on the throw to second and scored on a double to left-center by Jayson Werth, 5-2.
Turner’s 16th stole base. Werth’s 26th double. Werth took third on a passed ball with Murphy at the plate. Murphy walked and both runner scored on a triple to center by Bryce Harper, 7-2, and 8-2 when Harper scored on a sac fly by Rendon.
Glover recorded an out in the eighth before Dusty Baker called on Marc Rzepczynski, who retired a batter and hit a batter before Shawn Kelley came on to end the eighth.
Kelley came back in the ninth to wrap it up, but gave up a three-run home run by Nick Hundley before he could. Kelley recorded two outs before Nats’ skipper Dusty Baker brought Mark Melancon on to get the third out, which he did. Ballgame. 8-5 final.
Nationals now 75-53
- With Washington’s win last night, the improved to 74-53, the second-best record in the NL, behind only the Chicago Cubs (81-45).
- Colorado took 2 of 3 from Washington in Coors Field earlier this month, improving to 46-32 all time vs the Nationals.
- The Rockies are 23-14 in Nationals Park.
- In today’s Nationals-themed “Fun with Arbitrary End Points” segment: Washington leads the majors in runs scored (93) and AVG (.292).... since August 10th.
- Washington’s +139 run differential on the season is the second-best in the majors as well, behind only, again, Chicago (+217)... Colorado has a +8 run differential.
- Daniel Murphy currently leads the NL in AVG (.346), SLG (.610), OPS (.999) and multi-hit games (49).
- Anthony Rendon leads all NL third baseman in doubles (32), and ranks third in runs scored (75) and walks (56).
- Rockies’ infielder D.J. LeMahieu is (30 for 77, .390) in 21 career games against the THe Nationals.
- Rockies’ third baseman Nolan Arenado leads all NL hitters with 34 HRs and leads the majors with 108 RBIs.
- In a bonus Nationals-themed “Fun with Arbitrary End Points” segment: Bryce Harper is 18 for 46 (.391 AVG), with four doubles, two homers, nine walks, nine runs scored and a .609 SLG... since returning the lineup on August 14th.
Nationals now 75-53