ATLANTA - Two of the National League East’s top starters are duking it out here at Turner Field tonight, as Gio Gonzalez and Tim Hudson have both allowed just a single run and two hits through five innings.
The Nationals and Braves are knotted 1-1 as we go to the top of the sixth.
Gonzalez has five strikeouts to Hudson’s two thus far, but Hudson has needed just 72 pitches to get to this point, while Gonzalez has thrown 81 pitches through his five frames.
The Braves got on the board first tonight, with Andrelton Simmons’ RBI groundout bringing in Dan Uggla in the third inning to put Atlanta on top. Uggla walked leading off the inning, and you know what they say about leadoff walks.
If you don’t actually know what they say about leadoff walks, they say that nothing good ever follows them.
And now you know.
The Nats evened the score in the fourth when Ian Desmond’s line drive single to center plated Steve Lombardozzi, who had reached on an error leading off the frame.
You know what they say about leadoff errors, don’t you? They don’t say anything, really. That’s not a topic that draws much discussion.
Lombardozzi made a heads up baserunning play to put pressure on Hudson, moving from first to third on Ryan Zimmerman’s groundout to short with none out. Desmond then followed with a big two-out RBI two batters later, tying the game.
Gonzalez worked out of a jam in the fifth, stranding Chris Johnson at third after Johnson had doubled leading off the inning and then moved to third with one out.
A portion of the crowd here at Turner Field booed their $75 million man, B.J. Upton, after he popped up with one out in the fifth, failing to bring in Johnson in a big spot.
On a muggy night, with the players wearing old-school throwback Negro League jerseys, we’ve got an old-school type of pitchers’ duel going.
Update: Gonzalez has been pulled after seven innings of one-run ball, having allowed just three hits, walked one and struck out seven. The left-hander was due up to lead off the eighth, and so his night is over after 105 pitches, with Jeff Kobernus coming on to pinch-hit for Gonzalez in a 1-1 game.
The pitchers’ duel continues tonight, as Gonzalez and Hudson have combined to allow just six hits through seven innings.
The Braves’ 1-5 hitters are 1-for-15 with six strikeouts. The Nats’ 6-8 hitters are 0-for-9 with two strikeouts.
If you like good pitching, this game’s been for you.