Washington’s Nationals dropped their fourth straight overall and were held off the board until Daniel Murphy homered in the top of the ninth in what ended up a 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Jeremy Hellickson gave up three of the Cards’ four runs, and left the game after injuring his right hand/wrist when he collided with Cardinals’ outfielder Harrison Bader on a play at the plate on a wild pitch/E:2 in the fifth.
Hellboy vs the Cards: Jeremy Hellickson tossed 5 2⁄3 hitless against the Cubs last weekend, but gave up three consecutive two-out walks in the bottom of the sixth that forced skipper Davey Martinez’s hand.
Martinez lifted the right-hander, and two of the three batters Hellickson put on scored in what ended up a hitless outing in a 3-2 loss in Chicago.
In four starts out of the All-Star Break before tonight, the righty was (1-1) with a 4.29 ERA and a .238/.307/.400 line against in 21 innings pitched, leaving him with a (5-2) record, a 3.54 ERA, and a .232/.287/.392 line against in 17 starts and 84 IP as part of the Nationals’ rotation this season.
Hellickson fell behind early tonight when Marcell Ozuna hit a 1-0 curve out to left field on a line for a solo home in the first at bat of the second, 1-0. Ozuna’s 14th of 2018.
At 113.8 mph, this is the hardest home run hit by a Cardinal at Busch Stadium since @Statcast began tracking in 2015! pic.twitter.com/OuW5T4wTiY— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) August 16, 2018
A pop-up by Kolten Wong in the fourth got Hellickson out of a bases-loaded jam in a 26-pitch frame that left him at 65 pitches total after four.
Harrison Bader doubled to start the Cards’ fifth, and moved up on a bunt by Austin Gomber, so the Nationals walked Matt Carpenter in front of Yadier Molina putting runners on first and third with one out, and a wild pitch + E:2 brought Bader in to make it a 2-0 game.
Hellickson hurt his right hand/wrist when he collided with Bader and fell behind the plate, and the righty tried two practice pitches before he was lifted from the game...
Jeremy Hellickson’s Line: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 Ks, 1 HR, 76 P, 46 S, 6/2 GO/FO
Gomber vs the Nationals: Cardinals’ starter Austin Gomber, 24, and a 2014 4th Round pick, made his MLB debut in early June, working out of the pen in his first 15 appearances, but in three starts this season, the left-hander had a 3.52 ERA and a .224/.308/.397 line against in 15 1⁄3 IP before tonight.
In back-to-back starts in his last two appearances, Gomber gave up a total of seven hits, three walks, and four earned runs in four innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates and then tossed five scoreless against the Kansas City Royals in which he gave up four hits.
The gangly 6’5’’ lefty tossed 3 2⁄3 hitless, walking Anthony Rendon twice, before a two-out single to center by Ryan Zimmerman broke up the nascent no-hit bid tonight in St. Louis.
Gomber’s third walk of the game, to Daniel Murphy, loaded the bases with two out, but he got Michael A. Taylor looking with an 0-2 fastball to end a 24-pitch frame, and his fourth scoreless. Still 1-0 St. Louis.
Harrison Bader will make your jaw drop on a nightly basis! pic.twitter.com/npSkp0gIC2— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) August 16, 2018
Trea Turner tripled to right on a 2-1 fastball from Gomber with two out in the fifth, and Juan Soto walked, but a fly to right from Anthony Rendon ended a 13-pitch frame. Five scoreless.
Bryce Harper doubled to right field to start the top of the sixth, connecting for his 21st two-base hit of 2018, but Ryan Zimmerman, Daniel Murphy and Michael A. Taylor went down in order, all swinging, in the next three at bats, as Gomber completed a sixth scoreless frame.
Austin Gomber’s Line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 6 Ks, 99 P, 64 S, 6/4 GO/FO.
Going @AustinGomber's 2018 ERA is lowered to 2.89 after 6 shutout innings! pic.twitter.com/BQfkkCFzpP— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) August 16, 2018
BULLPEN ACTION: Wander Suero took over on the mound with a runner (Matt Carpenter) on third and one out after the Cardinals scored their second run of the game, and an RBI single by Yadier Molina brought the third run of the game home to put St. Louis up, 3-0.
Suero came back out for the bottom of the sixth, and gave up a two-out single to right by Kolten Wong, who stole second, and scored on a line drive single to left field by Harrison Bader, 4-0. Tim Collins came on to get the final out of the game.
Daniel Poncedeleon needed just 15 pitches in a 1-2-3 top of the seventh. Matt Grace worked around a hit-by-pitch in a 12-pitch bottom of the seventh.
Poncedeleon gave up back-to-back, one-out singles by Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper in the top of the eighth, but Ryan Zimmerman grounded into an inning-ending 6-4-3 in the next AB.
Grace came back out for the Cardinals’ eighth, and gave up a leadoff walk and a two-out single, but stranded both runners.
Poncedeleon gave up a leadoff home run by Daniel Murphy in the first at bat of the ninth, as the Nationals avoided getting shut out for the 12th time this season, 4-1. Murphy’s 6th.
Michael A. Taylor doubled in the next at bat, so the Cards went to the pen for Bud Norris.
Taylor moved up on a wild pitch and scored on a sac fly, but that was as close as the Nats got.
Final Score: 4-2 Cardinals
Nationals now 60-61