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Game 44: Phillies at Nats

May 24, 2015, 11:44 AM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

The Nationals aim for their eighth consecutive series win on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park. Coming off a blowout loss to the Phillies, the Nats will send Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 4.94) to the mound.

Gio ended up allowing six earned runs in five innings of work his last time out against the Yankees despite retiring the first nine batters he faced on groundballs. He has allowed at least five earned runs in three of his last five appearances.

Right-hander Aaron Harang (4-3, 1.82) will pitch for Philadelphia. The 6-foot-7 veteran is off to a fantastic start this season and hasn’t allowed an earned run in two straight outings, a stretch of 14 innings.

Check back for updates…

Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, Ch. 9,
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 184
Weather: Sunny, 78 degrees, Wind 6 mph RF to LF

CF Denard Span
SS Ian Desmond
3B Yunel Escobar
RF Bryce Harper
1B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Clint Robinson
C Jose Lobaton
2B Danny Espinosa
LHP Gio Gonzalez

PHILLIES (19-26)
LF Ben Revere
SS Freddy Galvis
1B Darin Ruf
3B Maikel Franco
RF Jeff Francoeur
2B Cesar Hernandez
CF Odubel Herrera
C Cameron Rupp
RHP Aaron Harang

HP Ben May
1B Bruce Dreckman
2B Alfonso Marquez (cc)
3B Dan Bellino

 1:56 p.m. — No runs to report on in the first inning, though each team got runners on base. The Phillies had Revere lead off with a single, but he was part of a double play to end the inning. Gio threw 10 pitches. Span then led off with a double and moved to third on a single by Harper. No runs, however, as Zimmmeran struck out to end the frame. Harper’s single was on a line drive that bounced off Harang’s right hip. That’ll hurt.

2:10 p.m. — Still a 0-0 game after two innings. The Phillies saw Francoeur single with one out, but a double play prevented them from scoring. Espinosa reached on a bunt single with two outs before Gio struck out to end the frame. Gio has thrown 21 pitches, Harang has tossed 25.

2:32 p.m. — We remain scoreless after three, though the Nats did get a runner in scoring position. Desmond singled with one out and Harper walked with two outs. A Zimmerman groundout then ended the frame, however. Gio is at 35 pitches, while Harang is at 47.

2:57 p.m. — Both teams scored a run in the fourth inning, making this a tied 1-1 game heading into the fifth. The Phillies got their run on a Francoeur RBI single to center field. He brought home Galvis, who reached on a high throw by Desmond to first. It wasn’t an error, just a very difficult play up the middle. The Nationals scored on a Lobaton single. Robinson came home from second on that one after leading off with a double to right-center. Gio has thrown 54 pitches, Harang has 69.

3:17 p.m. — The Nationals took the lead in the bottom of the fifth on a rally started by a leadoff triple by Escobar. He quickly scored on a groundout by Harper to shortstop. Zimmerman then struck out and Robinson popped up to short to end the frame. It’s 2-1 Nats.

3:27 p.m. — Gonzalez responded with a shutdown inning to keep the Nats lead at 2-1. However, they couldn’t add a tack-on run inthe bottom of the sixth. We go to the seventh inning with the Nats up by a run.

3:57 p.m. — After allowing a one-out single in the sixth, Gio was taken out of the game to a loud ovation. Bryce Harper made the defensive play of the afternoon thus far after he gunned down a hesitant Odubel Herrera at second base on a Rupp single. Gio’s final line: 6 1/3 innings, 7 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, and 7 strikeouts on 94 pitches. The Nats then added a few insurance runs in the bottom of the frame after Harper and Zimmerman’s RBI hits to extend to the lead 4-1.

4:13 p.m. —Relievers Matt Grace and Casey Janssen combined to pitch a shutout eighth inning. The offense went quietly in the bottom of the frame to keep the score at 4-1 heading into the ninth inning. Here comes Drew Storen.

4:23 p.m. — Game over. Nats win 4-1 and take the series from the Phillies. They’ll head to Chicago next to face the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

  1. Ghost of Steve M. - May 24, 2015 at 11:49 AM

    “Ghost of Steve M. on May 24, 2015 at 9:11 am
    I expect a roster move today with either Strasburg going to the DL for an “ankle” or Cole optioned back to AAA and Taylor Jordan getting the call-up. He’s been one of the best starters in Syracuse.

    With Solis on the DL and Cole spent and Roark pitching tomorrow, the Nats have few options with Gio pitching today to back him up as Blake Treinen is the only viable long man today and if you spend him, there is nobody to back-up Gio.

    Taylor Jordan is scheduled to pitch today for Syracuse on an extra days rest since they had an off-day on Thursday. No word if he’s been scratched yet.”

    There you go. Cole sent to AAA for Taylor Jordan.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 24, 2015 at 11:52 AM

      Dangerous move by Rizzo as Strasburg is chewing up long men and Gio not much better.

      The right move would have been Strasburg to the DL but he may have fought that move. I guess he will keep getting chances to work it out.

      • ccallahan15 - May 24, 2015 at 1:17 PM

        They can bring Cole back up if they DL Stras.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 24, 2015 at 1:35 PM

        Yes they can and probably would.

      • hitmeimopen - May 24, 2015 at 1:40 PM

        What if we started the season relying on SS and Gio? Thinking we didn’t need to go after Max. Rizzo sees all this stuff. Thank heaven! We’d be looking up at the rest of the division. 2 guys we’ve watched go straight to heck! I think Gio doesn’t work out – he looks flabby and he runs out of steam around the 4th inning. Guy doesn’t take his profession seriously.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 24, 2015 at 1:57 PM

        I think in this case it was Scott Bless to Mr. Lerner and Rizzo praying it happens.

  2. Eugene in Oregon - May 24, 2015 at 12:22 PM

    Given the pitching match-up, today’s game is not a gimme. GYNFG!

  3. ehay2k - May 24, 2015 at 12:26 PM

    Gio needs a solid outing, plain and simple. This is not a great hitting lineup he’s facing, so he doesn’t have to be perfect. Meow is the time to just try to be very good.


    • ArVAFan - May 24, 2015 at 1:50 PM


  4. Eugene in Oregon - May 24, 2015 at 1:28 PM

    You know, you can actually look that kind of thing up and you don’t have to rely on opinions, humble or not…

    Max Scherzer: Started 9 games, Nats 6-3 in those games (67%)
    Jordan Zimmermann: Started 9, Nats 6-3 (67%)
    Gio Gonzalez: Started 8, Nats 6-2 (75%)
    Doug Fister: Started 7, Nats 3-4 (43%)
    Stephen Strasburg: Started 9, Nats 3-6 (33%)

  5. stoatva - May 24, 2015 at 1:36 PM

    No Utley, Howard or Ruiz. Wow.

  6. Danny - May 24, 2015 at 1:48 PM

    Denard should have tripled if he was running.. Missed another chance to be on 3rd on the GO

  7. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2015 at 1:50 PM

    I really disagree with FP on that play. If Span had tried to get to 3rd the SS would’ve gunned him down.

    • Danny - May 24, 2015 at 1:54 PM


    • dcwx61 - May 24, 2015 at 1:54 PM


      • dcwx61 - May 24, 2015 at 1:57 PM

        i really agree with JS

      • Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2015 at 1:59 PM

        I was surprised Denard didn’t get a triple, but the ball hit by Desi was hit too sharply. I really think he’d have gotten snagged.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 24, 2015 at 2:01 PM

        Right, wasn’t worth it. You’re already in scoring position. With no outs Desi has to get it right side to advance Span with bo question.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2015 at 2:08 PM

        And I am usually a big believer in being ultra-aggressive, but not on that one.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 24, 2015 at 1:59 PM

      Desi needed to inside out that. That’s his job and he didn’t do it.

  8. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2015 at 2:06 PM

    Great hustle, Espinosa!

    Ghost, you’ll get a kick out of this: Billy Burns 2-2 today with a home run.

  9. mauimo22 - May 24, 2015 at 2:28 PM

    Time to step up and hit the ball hard somewhere R Zimm.

  10. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2015 at 2:30 PM

    Rookie home plate ump looks like one. Rookie, that is.

  11. unkyd59 - May 24, 2015 at 2:31 PM

    Ryan with RISP, no bueno, today…

  12. hitmeimopen - May 24, 2015 at 2:37 PM

    This is right where I predict mister flab (Gio) begins to melt down. His stamina sucks. I think it’s because he doesn’t work out. Now maybe he does but he looks flabby to me, and he starts to lose effectiveness this early in a game.

    • masterfishkeeper - May 24, 2015 at 3:36 PM

      Well, your prediction was completely wrong. nice start for Gio.

    • Steady Eddie - May 24, 2015 at 4:50 PM

      Wrong as usual. Go back to Balamer, troll.

  13. Drew - May 24, 2015 at 2:41 PM

    The damn walk drives me crazy.
    Gio cruises then loses concentration. Now Clint boots the base hit.
    But Gio gets a big K to avoid the meltdown inning.

  14. Ghost of Steve M. - May 24, 2015 at 2:44 PM

    2 changeups in a row to Francouer. Ugh.

    • Danny - May 24, 2015 at 2:46 PM

      Throws it too often now. Wasn’t even a big part of his repertoire in 2012.

  15. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2015 at 2:47 PM

    The Loboton is truckin’

  16. Drew - May 24, 2015 at 2:48 PM

    Nice redemption for Clint. The catchers are a two-headed monster.

  17. mauimo22 - May 24, 2015 at 2:51 PM

    runners on 1st and 2nd no outs.
    MUST find away to get some runs in. Good teams always do (STL Cards).


    • mauimo22 - May 24, 2015 at 2:52 PM

      Nice job Gio.

  18. AlexandriaNatFan - May 24, 2015 at 2:52 PM

    Holy crap one of our pitchers just got a bunt down! 🙂

  19. Danny - May 24, 2015 at 2:54 PM


  20. Danny - May 24, 2015 at 2:55 PM

    Nice swings…

  21. Danny - May 24, 2015 at 3:00 PM

    Gio nibbling to Cameron Rupp..

  22. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2015 at 3:05 PM

    Great job by the flabby (not!) Gio.

    • Eugene in Oregon - May 24, 2015 at 3:13 PM

      Wish I were that kind of flabby.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2015 at 3:23 PM

        Me,too, Eugene.

  23. Drew - May 24, 2015 at 3:11 PM

    Atta boy!

  24. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2015 at 3:25 PM

    Gio at 84 pitches through the top of 6th. Not bad.

  25. mauimo22 - May 24, 2015 at 3:31 PM

    R Zimm and Gio only Nats without hits so far.
    Need the FoF to step it up and drive the ball hard somewhere.
    I think the book on him is he will ALWAYS take strike 1. Lately he’s been chasing the next pitch out of the zone.



    • dcwx61 - May 24, 2015 at 3:58 PM

      and he does

    • mauimo22 - May 24, 2015 at 4:06 PM

      Thata way Ryan!

  26. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2015 at 3:37 PM

    A definite quality start by Gonzalez.

    • npb99 - May 24, 2015 at 4:05 PM

      He came through. We need reliable starters and he did his part today.

  27. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2015 at 3:38 PM

    Great throw by Harper!!! OMG!!!

  28. Drew - May 24, 2015 at 3:56 PM


  29. Drew - May 24, 2015 at 4:12 PM

    Janssen is a huge addition after Treinen’s struggles in the 8th inning.

    Remember Harper’s recent allusion to Rendon and Janssen – before Fister and Werth went on the DL.

    He said the Nats still had a couple of guys out and when they return: “It’s gonna be stupid.”

    As in Crazy Good.

  30. mauimo22 - May 24, 2015 at 4:22 PM

    Eat ’em up Drew!

  31. Eugene in Oregon - May 24, 2015 at 4:24 PM

    Nats win, Mets about to lose.

  32. hitmeimopen - May 24, 2015 at 4:48 PM

    OK, I was wrong re: Gio melting down. He and SS give me the willies.

    • Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2015 at 5:35 PM

      I think that you were wrong about that, along with saying that he is flabby, and that he doesn’t take his profession seriously. As far as what you said about him in the post that was removed, I wouldn’t know, but you were way out of line,imho.





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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