I got a text message from a buddy during the fifth inning of last night’s beatdown in San Francisco.
“This is a turnover or two away from becoming an interesting football game,” he said.
At least the 49ers were able to register a safety to avoid a shutout at the hands of the Skins. That would’ve been embarrassing for Jim Harbaugh (I mean, Bruce Bochy) and the boys.
Not much went wrong for the Nationals last night in their 14-2 win, outside of Jayson Werth being scratched because of right ankle soreness and Michael Morse leaving the game with a right thumb injury. Davey Johnson told reporters after the game that neither injury appears to be anything serious, but Werth will undergo an MRI on the ankle just to be sure.
In last night’s game, the Nats set their season high for largest margin of victory, established a new single-game mark for most hits in AT&T Park’s 1,032-game history and increased their National League East lead to 5 1/2 games, tying the largest division advantage the Nats have had since baseball returned to D.C.
For those who stayed up late enough to catch the action, yeah, there was quite a bit to have you smiling.
After throwing 117 pitches in a complete-game win his last time out, Gio Gonzalez had plenty left in the tank for last night’s start, going 6 2/3 innings, allowing just two runs and picking up his 15th win.
That ties him with four others for the most wins in the majors and knots him with Livan Hernandez for the most single-season wins in Nationals history.
Gonzalez was pretty sharp for much of last night, but he didn’t really need to be. The Nats took control of the game for good with a seven-run third inning, then added three more in both the fourth and fifth.
Remarkably, despite plating 14 runs, the Nats had just one home run all night and just one extra-base hit in the third inning, which seemed like it went on for an hour.
If not for two Gonzalez strike outs in that frame, the game might still be ongoing.
While Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche have provided a number of monster offensive games so far this season it was the Nationals’ 6-8 hitters that did the heavy lifting last night.
Kurt Suzuki, who had just three hits and no RBIs in his first 21 at-bats as a National, had three hits and four RBIs yesterday alone.
I guess all you need to get jumpstarted is have Dan Kolko write about how you’re scuffling.
Danny Espinosa boosted his batting average six points in a day, and is now hitting .250 after going 4-for-6 with a homer and three RBIs.
Roger Bernadina, who wasn’t expecting to start yesterday, came into the lineup as a late replacement for Werth and then went on to smack four hits, drive in three and make another ridiculous diving catch, this one in what was then a 14-0 game.
What was billed as a top-notch pitchers’ duel turned into a rout very quickly. Even road games against first-place opponents can’t do much to slow down these Nationals right now.
Update: Anthony Rendon, the Nationals’ top pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, has been promoted to Double-A Harrisburg.
Rendon played just seven games at Single-A Potomac after returning from a badly sprained left ankle which kept him out much of the season. In those seven games, he went 7-for-23 with a double and two triples.
He now finds himself at Double-A, able to get in about three weeks of experience at a much more advanced level before his first full professional season comes to an end.