We’ve had a sacrifice bunt which scored a runner from first and left the bunter standing on third base.
We’ve had a leaping catch against the wall in left-center which was one of the best grabs you’ll see all season.
We’ve had a sacrifice fly called back because the pitcher was called for a balk, scoring a run.
We’ve had two extra-inning games in consecutive nights played between the best team in the majors and the worst team in the majors.
Now, we have Gio Gonzalez crushing a two-run, no-doubt-about-it bomb to left for his first major league home run.
The strangest series ever continues to get weirder.
One batter after his batterymate and former A’s teammate Kurt Suzuki was drilled in the backside by an Armando Galarraga fastball (which prompted a bit of a stare and some unhappy head nods by Suzuki, who might have felt the pitch was intentional) Gonzalez turned on a first-pitch Galarraga slider and crushed it out to left to make it a 3-1 Nationals lead.
Gonzalez had just four hits in 39 at-bats this season entering today, and he’ll be the first guy to tell you that he really isn’t much of a hitter.
But he got all of that thing, nearly hitting it off the wall beyond the left field box seats. The longball was the first of Gonzalez’s major league career, and ties the lefty with his good buddy Stephen Strasburg in the big league home run category.
Nationals pitchers, while having the major league lead in ERA, also now lead the bigs or are tied for first in batting average, home runs, hits, extra-base hits and RBI among pitchers.
Decent numbers, I guess.
Update: It’s been the Gio Show tonight, as he’s smoked a two-run homer, worked seven strong innings on just 82 pitches and given the Nationals a much-needed deep outing from a starter.
With the guys in the bullpen running on fumes after playing four games over the weekend and then having two straight extra-inning affairs the last two nights, Gonzalez has set himself up to work very deep into this game and save the ‘pen tonight.
The Nats lead 4-2 after seven despite some awful situational hitting. Washington is 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position, but they’re lined up for their third straight win over the Astros.
Update II: Despite yet another dramatic ninth inning, Gonzalez recorded the first nine-inning complete game of his career in the Nationals’ 4-3 win.
Gonzalez threw an eight-inning complete game back on Aug. 1, 2010, but tonight, he recorded an out in the ninth inning for the first time in his career. He made things interesting in the final frame, allowing a run and putting the potential go-ahead run in scoring position, but he struck out Matt Downs swinging to end it.
It’s the Nationals’ second complete game of the season; Edwin Jackson recorded the first.
The Nats have taken three thrilling games from the Astros, won five games in a row overall and will send the reigning NL Pitcher of the Month, Jordan Zimmermann, to the mound in tomorrow’s series finale.