Gio Gonzalez was cruising right along through the first five innings of tonight’s game against the Marlins.
He’d given up just two hits, faced only one over the minimum and had registered five strikeouts.
Gonzalez had a 1-0 lead going into the sixth, and seemingly in the blink of an eye, trailed 3-1.
The Marlins notched five singles in a six-batter span in the sixth inning, bringing in three runs to take the lead. It all started with a single to deep right by Marlins starter Josh Johnson, and then Donovan Solano, Jose Reyes, Carlos Lee and Greg Dobbs all followed with base-knocks of their own.
Gonzalez has pitched really well, spotting his mid-90s fastball and showing off a hard, biting curve. His stuff has been excellent, but he still trails.
That’s because Johnson has been excellent, as well. The righty, who is 8-1 in 17 career games against the Nationals, has surrendered just three hits through six, and has held the Nats out of the run column since Ryan Zimmerman’s first-inning sac fly plated Steve Lombardozzi.
The quicker the Nats can get to the Marlins bullpen, the better off they’ll be.
Update: Reyes’ heads-up play has gotten the Marlins a big insurance run in the eighth inning.
After reaching on a double to right, Reyes was moving on a Gonzalez pitch, and when Lee grounded a ball to short, Reyes took a big turn around third and just kept running.
As Danny Espinosa’s throw to first cut down Lee, Reyes motored down the line and scored easily, with LaRoche’s throw home not nearly coming in time.
It’s 4-1 Marlins going to the ninth, and Johnson is showing no signs of slowing down.
Update II: Miami added another run in the ninth and jumped on the back of their starter, who threw a masterpiece.
Johnson allowed just two runs (one earned) and five hits over 8 2/3 innings as the Marlins won the nightcap of today’s doubleheader, 5-2.
The Braves beat the Astros tonight, so the Nationals’ lead in the NL East is now down to two games.