PHILADELPHIA - Ian Desmond has provided the offense. And despite a quickly rising pitch count, Gio Gonzalez has done the job on the mound.
The Nationals have a 2-0 lead after four innings thanks to a solo home run and RBI single by Desmond and a really sharp start by Gonzalez, who has struck out eight Phillies hitters.
Desmond is now 5-for-8 with four RBIs since being moved into the No. 5 spot in the Nats order.
Gonzalez, meanwhile, has needed 76 pitches to get through four innings, but he's been mowing the Phils down with ease. The lefty struck out two in the first, then rattled off five Ks in a row before loading the bases with two outs in the third.
He got out of the jam by getting Hunter Pence to ground out on a hot shot to shortstop and then benefitted from a smooth 5-4-3 double play turned by Ryan Zimmerman and Danny Espinosa to end the fourth.
Bryce Harper is 2-for-2 in his Citizens Bank Park debut and has his second career stolen base, as well.
Anyone remember the first? Cole Hamels sure does.
Update: With a strikeout of Kyle Kendrick in the fifth - Gonzalez's ninth of the game - he now has 69 Ks on the season, tops in the majors.
Justin Verlander is now one behind Gonzalez with 68. Stephen Strasburg is now fourth in the bigs with 64 Ks.
Update II: With the help of some exceptional defensive plays, Gonzalez is through six scoreless innings, and having thrown 108 pitches, this is where his night will end.
After putting runners on second and third with none out in the sixth, Gonzalez was aided by a sliding grab in center by Rick Ankiel, which saved a run when Placido Polanco failed to tag up from third. Adam LaRoche then made a great pick of a Carlos Ruiz grounder to first and gunned home to cut down Polanco at the plate for the second out.
Gonzalez got John Mayberry Jr. to fly out to right to end the jam, keeping the Phillies scoreless.
He'll turn it over to the 'pen from here and we'll try and navigate the rain drops the rest of the way out.