Adam Wainwright, who as I mentioned earlier had pitched to a 1.74 ERA and gone 6-1 over his last eight starts, didn’t make it out of the third inning tonight.
Gio Gonzalez, on the other hand, didn’t allow a baserunner through his first three innings of work.
The Nationals lead 6-0 after three, and frankly, the Cardinals are lucky that margin isn’t even more lopsided.
Two Nats runs came around in the first on Adam LaRoche’s single to left, giving the Nationals first baseman 81 RBIs on the season. The Nats then got four more in the third, batting around and knocking Wainwright out after just 2 2/3 innings.
The Cardinals righty allowed nine hits and six runs. It could’ve been even worse, as the first pitch Trevor Rosenthal threw in relief of Wainwright was crushed to the wall in left by Ryan Zimmerman.
Zimmerman came up about three feet short of a grand slam, which would have been the death blow for the Cardinals this evening. Instead, it’s just (just!) a 6-0 Nats lead as we go to the fourth.
This gives the Nationals 24 runs over their last 21 innings. They put up eight in Miami on Wednesday, eight on the Cardinals last night and six more through just a third of tonight’s game.
Gonzalez hasn’t exactly been dominant, but he’s gone nine up, nine down to start this ballgame.
With a six-run lead, he can attack the Cardinals hitters now and try and work deep into the ballgame.
Update: Gonzalez walked the first two hitters he faced in the fourth, but got out of the jam unscathed.
Having to wait around through a long bottom of the third might have affected the Nationals lefty a bit, but no harm done. It’s still 6-0 Nats.
Update II: Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper are on some kind of tear.
The No. 1 and No. 2 hitters in Davey Johnson’s order are now a combined 12-for-24 with four home runs, 12 RBIs and four walks over their last three games.
Tonight, Werth has reached base all four times he’s come to the plate, going 2-for-2 with an RBI and two walks, while Harper is 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a walk.
Harper’s two-run single in the sixth has made this an 8-0 game. Gonzalez is cruising and the Nats keep on piling up runs.
Someone should probably write about how dynamic Werth and Harper have been at the top of the order lately.
Update III: With chants of, “Let’s go, Gio!” echoing through Nats Park in the ninth inning, Gonzalez put the finishing touches on a complete-game shutout in the Nationals’ 10-0 win.
Gonzalez was spectacular, allowing just five hits and striking out eight. He threw 119 pitches in notching his second complete game of the season and his first career complete-game shutout. He improves to 17-7 on the season.
The Nats have outscored the defending World Series champs 18-1 over the first two games of this four-game series. That is all.