NEW YORK - Gio Gonzalez has pitched well throughout the early portion of this season. And he has always pitched well throughout his career at Citi Field.
Those two trends seem to be converging this afternoon in a positive way for the Nationals: Despite some early wildness, Gonzalez has not allowed a hit through four innings against the Mets.
The left-hander battled through a ragged bottom of the first, issuing two walks and requiring 30 pitches to complete the frame. But he has retired 10 batters in a row since then, needing only 35 pitches to complete his next three innings.
Gonzalez entered the game with a 1.33 ERA in three starts so far this season, and an 8-1 record and 1.64 ERA in 13 career starts at Citi Field.
The Nationals have rewarded their lefty for his efforts by staking him to a 3-0 lead.
The Nats flailed away at Jacob deGrom through the first three innings; seven of their first 11 batters struck out. But they started to figure out the Mets right-hander in the fourth, taking advantage of two walks to mount a rally.
Daniel Murphy, who had been in a 1-for-21 slump over the last week, lined his second single of the day up the middle. And Matt Wieters, batting with the bases loaded, lined an RBI single to right, bringing home Bryce Harper.
The Nationals might have produced more from that rally, but third base coach Bob Henley aggressively waved Murphy around on the Wieters hit, and Curtis Granderson easily threw him out at the plate.
No worries, though, because they brought the bats back out in the top of the fifth. Adam Eaton and Trea Turner hit back-to-back doubles, then after Harper was intentionally walked, Ryan Zimmerman singled to left to bring home Turner on a bang-bang play at the plate.
Update: The no-hitter is over, but the Nats still lead 3-1 thanks to some clutch pitches from Gonzalez. After he gave up a run in the sixth on a pair of singles and a walk, he was teetering on the brink. But he managed to strike out both Jay Bruce and Neil Walker on changeups, and so he’s through the sixth on 104 pitches.
Update II: Gonzalez re-took the mound for the seventh, but only to face Granderson, whom he retired. Blake Treinen then entered for his first appearance since losing the closer’s job and quickly got two outs on three pitches. Enny Romero retired the side on nine pitches in the eighth, and so the Nationals will take a 3-1 lead into the ninth. Keep in mind: With Shawn Kelley likely unavailable after pitching three of the last four days, Koda Glover probably will be closing today.
Update III: Nats win, 3-1. Romer actually began the ninth, getting two outs, before Glover took over to record his first career save. The Nationals have won six in a row and tomorrow night will be seeking their second consecutive road series sweep against a division rival.