The prospect of a rainout couldn't have been particularly appealing to the Nationals, who only five days after winning a lopsided matchup between Gio Gonzalez and Bartolo Colon had to be licking their chops at tonight's scheduled rematch.
But after waiting out a 1-hour, 7-minute delay to start their series opener against the Mets, the Nationals found themselves on the wrong end of a lopsided game, unable to touch Colon while New York's lineup battered Gonzalez all around the park during a 7-1 trouncing on South Capitol Street.
It was a stunning reversal of fortunes from Wednesday night's initial matchup between these same two pitches at Citi Field, which resulted in a flip-flopped 7-1 victory for the Nationals.
This time, the Mets were ready for Gonzalez, particularly during a five-run top of the third that included David Wright's three-run homer and five consecutive base hits off the left-hander.
Two innings later, Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker went back-to-back off Gonzalez, giving New York three homers in the game and turning this game into a rout.
Gonzalez, who lasted only five innings, surrendered seven earned runs for the first time since May 11, 2014. His ERA, which at the start of the day was 1.86, now stands at 2.87.
The Nationals did score a quick run off Colon, getting singles from Jayson Werth, Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman in the bottom of the first to take a brief 1-0 lead. But they were silenced the rest of the way, managing just two singles and two walks from the second through the seventh innings against the big right-hander who turns 43 at midnight.
With the loss, the Nationals saw their lead over the Mets in the National League East drop to 1/2 game. They'll need a win Tuesday night in another rematch between Stephen Strasburg and Matt Harvey to retain their hold on to first place in the division.