Suzuki comes up big again (Gonzalez nearly melts down in the second)

ST. LOUIS - Remember this note for trivia question purposes: Kurt Suzuki drove in the first run in Nationals playoff history.

General manager Mike Rizzo’s trade for Suzuki after the non-waiver trade deadline continues to pay major dividends. The catcher came through with a big two-out RBI single to left field in the second inning, bringing in Adam LaRoche to give the Nats a 1-0 lead.

LaRoche, far from the swiftest guy on the team (and that’s putting it nicely), had gone first to third on Ian Desmond’s single with one out. After a Danny Espinosa strikeout, Suzuki took a hanging 0-1 Adam Wainwright curveball and hammered it into left to give the Nationals the lead.

Nats starter Gio Gonzalez then walked on four pitches, loading the bases for Jayson Werth with two outs and a chance to do some major damage early. Werth grounded out to end the inning, chasing a Wainwright curve down around his shoe tops.

It’s a wasted opportunity, but the Nats will take the lead and give Suzuki a few appreciative high-fives and butt-taps on his way back to the dugout.

What an addition he’s been.

Update: Today in misleading sentences, Gonzalez hasn’t allowed a hit through two innings.

He has, however, given up give five walks, allowed two runs to score and thrown a whopping 55 pitches. The Nats trail 2-1 after two frames after a near meltdown from Gonzalez gave the Cardinals the lead.

Gonzalez walked four hitters in the second (including Wainwright) and threw a wild pitch nearly two feet inside off the plate that allowed a run to score. He got out of the inning by getting Carlos Beltran to fly out to center, leaving two runners stranded.

It’s not the first time this year that Gonzalez has struggled early, but this is by far the wildest I’ve ever seen him. He was clearly rattled in that inning, and couldn’t locate his fastball at all.

He still trails by just one run, however. As bad as that inning looked, Gonzalez was able to keep it from getting away from him.

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