Yesterday marked the first time in Kurt Suzuki’s Nationals career that he experienced a loss.
I hope the guy made it through the night OK.
After eight straight wins to kick off his tenure as a Nat, Suzuki and his new teammates were on the losing end of things yesterday in Arizona.
They battled back from a 7-0 deficit to make things interesting in the ninth inning, bringing the tying run to the plate and allowing manager Davey Johnson to utter one of his favorite lines about there being no “give-up” in this team.
They’ve now finished the first two legs of a lengthy road trip and are set to take on the Giants for the first game of a three-game set tonight. After this series in San Francisco, the Nationals will get to enjoy their first off-day in seemingly 12 years, which comes this Thursday.
Yesterday’s game put them 31 days into a stretch in which they play 35 games in 34 days. So far, they’re an impressive 22-10 during that span.
Speaking of Suzuki, for whatever reason, he’s gotten off to a pretty slow start since being acquired by the Nationals.
The 28-year-old catcher is batting just .143 (3-for-21), but his early struggles with the Nationals haven’t just been present at the plate, but behind it, as well.
Suzuki is 0-for-8 throwing out runners since joining the Nationals, and his throwing error while trying to catch a runner stealing yesterday allowed an unearned run to score.
When the Nats traded for Suzuki, they lauded his defensive abilities. He has a great track record throwing out runners, blocking pitches and handling a pitching staff.
Six games played is obviously a small sample size, but so far, Suzuki has had trouble against National League pitching and experienced the same trouble cutting down runners that all other Nationals catchers have had this season.
Meanwhile, tonight’s pitching matchup should be an absolute dandy, pitting two of baseball’s top hurlers against each other. Gio Gonzalez looks for his 15th win of the season for the Nats, while the Giants will send Ryan Vogelsong to the hill.
Vogelsong has the second-best ERA in the majors going into today (2.27), just a spot above Jordan Zimmermann (2.35). The Giants righty has gone at least six innings in every start this season, while Gonzalez is coming off the first nine-inning complete game of his career.
Get that coffee brewing when you get home this evening. This’ll be one you’ll probably want to stay up for.