Gio Gonzalez did all he could tonight. He threw six scoreless innings, tied a career high with 11 strikeouts and lowered his ERA to 2.89.
Drew Storen surrendered back-to-back two-out hits in the top of the seventh, allowing the Dodgers to tie the game at 1-1.
Skip Schumaker doubled off the wall in right-center, then came around on Mark Ellis’ single to left. The boos that we heard in the fourth inning last night and the first inning tonight returned again.
Storen was able to get out of the inning without any further damage, but the Nats’ lead is now gone, wasting another tremendous outing by Gonzalez.
That’s nothing new, however; Gonzalez has been in the vast majority of his starts since the end of April. He allowed just four hits, walked two and recorded seven of his 11 strikeouts in his final three innings of work.
Since a start May 5, Gonzalez has a 2.04 ERA and 89 strikeouts in 92 2/3 innings.
He won’t get a decision tonight, however. It’s 1-1 going to the bottom of the seventh.
Update: Denard Span singled leading off the bottom of the seventh, but things kind of fell apart from there.
Anthony Rendon dropped down a sacrifice bunt attempt, but Span was cut down at second base on a bang-bang play that manager Davey Johnson argued vehemently. Span looked safe live and looked out on slo-mo replay, but regardless, I don’t like the sac bunt there. You’re giving outs away.
Ryan Zimmerman singled to center with one out, pushing Rendon into scoring posiiton, but Bryce Harper struck out on four pitches thrown by Dodgers lefty Paco Rodriguez and Jayson Werth then grounded into a force-out to end the inning.
The Nats are now 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position tonight and 2-for-18 in such situations in this series.
It’s still 1-1 going to the eighth.
Update II: Make that 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position tonight and 2-for-21 this series.
Ian Desmond singled leading off the bottom of the eighth and stole second on the first pitch to Chad Tracy. Tracy’s groundout to second moved Desmond to third with one out, but he moved no further. After a Wilson Ramos walk, pinch-hitter Scott Hairston struck out swinging and Span then flied out to left to end the inning.
We go to the ninth, with the game still tied. Rafael Soriano comes in for the Nats, pitching the ninth in a tie game for the second straight day.
Davey Johnson hopes this goes a little better tonight than it did a little over 24 hours ago.
Update III: Soriano stranded a runner in scoring position in a scoreless ninth, and Rendon, Zimmerman and Harper went 1-2-3 in the bottom-half of the inning.
The Nats and Dodgers have played nine innings of a 1-1 game in 3:37. How about extras, folks?
Update IV: Craig Stammen allowed back-to-back doubles to Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez leading off the top of the 10th, giving the Dodgers a lead, and they tacked on another run on an Andre Ethier sac fly, giving them a 3-1 lead.
Stammen went just 1/3 of an inning and got stuck with both earned runs allowed. He had a 2.70 ERA through his first 22 games this season but has pitched to a 9.00 ERA over his last 10 appearances.
The Nats scored just once in nine innings so far tonight. They need two in the bottom of the 10th to avoid falling below .500 again.
Update V: That’ll do it. The Nats fall to the Dodgers 3-1 in 10 innings, dropping them back below .500 at 48-49.
The Nats went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position, left 12 men on base and wasted a really strong start from Gonzalez.
Should be a fun clubhouse postgame.