Gio Gonzalez gave up a run on four hits in five innings of work, and Erick Fedde took over after that and threw 3 2⁄3 innings in which he struck out four as Washington’s Nationals rallied from an early 1-0 deficit with a four-run sixth inning that was all they needed in a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in West Palm Beach, FL’s Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
G-O: In his last Grapefruit League start, back on March 4th, Gio Gonzalez threw a total of 53 pitches, giving up six hits and two earned runs in a three-inning outing against Detroit.
Gonzalez told reporters after he was done for the day that afternoon that he and catcher Matt Wieters had been working on some things, and though he wasn’t particularly sharp, he was happy to get the necessary work in.
“There were a lot of things I was working on with [Wieters],” Gonzalez said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
“It was tough to get a feel for certain pitches, things were a little flat, a little straight. That’s why I say it’s a positive day: Stuff I wanted to work on in certain counts.”
After taking his next turn in the rotation in a minor league game last week, Gonzalez was back on the mound in Grapefruit League action this afternoon.
The Nationals’ left-hander worked around a leadoff walk in a scoreless, 15-pitch first, a leadoff single in a 16-pitch second, and a one-out single in an 11-pitch third, completing three scoreless on [checks math] 42 pitches.
There was no working around the 3-2 fastball Jedd Gyorko hit out to deep left field for a leadoff home run in the Cardinals’ fourth, putting St. Louis up 1-0, but Gonzalez kept the score there, stranding a runner after a two-out single to center field in what ended up a 20-pitch frame.
Gonzalez was up to 72 pitches with two out in the fifth when he reacted awkwardly after a pitch and called trainer Paul Lessard out for a quick conversation, but he stayed in to get the final out of a 14-pitch inning, that left him at 76 total, with help from a diving Anthony Rendon at third base.
Here's your friendly reminder that Anthony Rendon led the NL in fWAR last season. pic.twitter.com/TrfmeD74Jj— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 16, 2018
Gio Gonzalez’s Line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 76P, 7/3 GO/FO.
No-ffense: Cardinals’ righty Miles Mikolas, a former San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers’ prospect, who debuted in the majors in 2012, but spent the last three season pitching for the Yomiuri Giants in the Japan Central League before signing a 2-year/$15.5M deal with St. Louis this winter, held Nats’ hitters off the board through four scoreless innings this afternoon.
Howie Kendrick doubled to start the bottom of the fifth inning, How-ever, and took third on a long fly to center by Andrew Stevenson, before he was stranded there two outs later as the Cards took a 1-0 lead into the sixth.
5th Spot Fedde?: In camp competing for the fifth spot in the Nationals’ rotation, 2014 1st Round pick Erick Fedde, who debuted in the majors last season, was throwing in the high-90s (up to 97 according to MASN’s hot radar gun), and he got some help from his defense on an inning-ending 6-4-3 DP after giving up a leadoff single and a one-out walk in a 13-pitch frame.
Best seat in the house. pic.twitter.com/sDY8mOvxyY— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 16, 2018
Scoring: Brian Goodwin lined a single to right off lefty Ryan Sherriff, and Trea Turner hit a broken-bat single into right-center in the first two at bats of the Nationals’ half of the sixth, and Bryce Harper went the other way for the third straight hit, an RBI single through short that tied things up at 1-1. Anthony Rendon walked (naturally) in the next AB, and an RBI single by Matt Adams put the Nats on top, 2-1.
Kendrick sent a sac fly to right field with Josh Lucas on the mound for the Cardinals, and a wild pitch with Pedro Severino at the plate allowed Matt Reynolds to score from third after he came on as a pinch runner for Rendon, 4-1.
5th Spot: Fedde was up to 28 pitches in two scoreless after he worked around a two-out single in the top of the seventh, and he came back out for the eighth, and struck out the side in a 17-pitch, 1-2-3 inning that left him at 45 total after three scoreless.
Fedde came back out for the top of the ninth and gave a leadoff single by Yairo Munoz, who scored from third, after a groundout and a wild pitch moved him around the bases, to make it 4-2. A two-out single ended his outing after 61 pitches total for Fedde on the day.
Tim Collins took over on the mound with one on and two out and got a grounder to short for the final out of the game (with help from Reid Brignac on a jump throw from the hole). Ballgame.
Final Score: 4-2 Nationals.