Left-hander Gio Gonzalez was looking to build off a seven-inning, one-run performance Saturday at Cincinnati. He took a hard luck 1-0 loss, but still managed to pitch well, allowing the Reds only four hits and striking out eight.
But in his first game back at Nats Park since July 20, Gonzalez struggled against the Phillies, giving up five runs in 3 2/3 innings in a 10-4 Nationals loss.
He allowed eight hits and recorded only 11 outs. In the five-run fourth inning, the Phillies were able to get the first four men up on base with three hits and a walk.
Gonzalez said he felt good in the start, but the Phillies were able to hit the ball well.
“Just some ground balls didn’t go my way, they found the holes,” Gonzalez said. “I got the pitch I wanted, I got the result I wanted, they just found their way through (for) base hits. Fourth inning just got me.”
Gonzalez said he had to stick with the game plan even though the Phillies kept getting base hits.
“You just got to keep grinding through it. Hopefully something snaps and it goes your way,” he said. “Unfortunately it was just that kind of night. Nothing was going our way.
“Even the pitch I threw to (Grady) Sizemore, I thought it was a good pitch down and away. He still got it. Got some good wood on it. You just tip your cap. Sometimes it goes that way.”
Catcher Wilson Ramos said Gonzalez’s pitches got to where the Phillies could see them well and they connected.
“A lot of pitches in the strike zone, middle of the zone,” Ramos said. “A lot of pitches up in the zone, too. Those guys hit the ball well. All the credit for them.
“That was a bad day for everything. Defense, offense. It happens. You just come back tomorrow and try play hard. That’s it.”
Ramos said it was tough to see Phillies starter Cliff Lee go down with a left flexor pronator strain, the same injury he suffered in May.
“He’s one of the best pitchers for that team,” Ramos said. “(But) it’s not good when you see player like that get hurt. It’s hard. Hopefully nothing bad.”
First baseman Kevin Frandsen, subbing for late scratch Adam LaRoche, talked about seeing a former teammate get hurt early in the game.
“One of the ultimate baseball players you’ll play with,” Frandsen said of Lee. “Not just a pitcher, he’s a good dude. He goes out there every fifth day. Unfortunately, this year he’s been injured. It’s tough to see cause when it’s a buddy of yours and all that. But at the same time, he’s on the other side. You don’t like seeing anyone get hurt. He’s good for the game. You hope for the best.”
Frandsen was happy to collect two hits and score two runs, but said it doesn’t feel like it means as much when his team falls.
“For me, a good night is when you do something positive when your guys win,” Frandsen said. “You take advantage of any opportunity. I come to the park every day ready to play. Playing for the first time since probably May.”
The Nationals have now lost four of their last six, played Thursday without Ryan Zimmerman and LaRoche, and endured a tough night at the plate by Jayson Werth, who went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. But Frandsen said there is no excuse and that the Nats just have to prepare now for a bounceback on Friday.
“We just came from a long road trip, 5-4 on a tough road trip as far as just the cities and travel,” Frandsen said. “So many teams have to do that. You come home, you hope to get off to a good start. We didn’t. We didn’t against the Brewers. The last two games of that series we played well. Hopefully, the last three games of this series we can play well. But it starts with tomorrow. We got to play well from the first inning on.”