Sep 11, 2012, 4:32 AM EST
US Presswire photo
Gio Gonzalez walked five but emerged with his MLB-leading 19th win.
NEW YORK — It was by no means his best performance of the season, but it didn’t need to be. Thanks to some early support from what has suddenly becomes baseball’s most power-laden lineup, Gio Gonzalez needed only navigate his way through six quality innings Monday night to emerge as baseball’s first 19-game winner of 2012.
And the Nationals, despite failing to record a hit after the fourth inning, still managed to pull off a thoroughly convincing, 5-1 victory over the Mets that moved them yet another step closer to October baseball.
Combined with the Braves’ loss in Milwaukee, the Nationals saw their lead in the NL East grow to 6 1/2 games with 21 to play, their magic number drop to 15. The number to secure their first-ever postseason berth dropped to single digits: 9.
“Great win,” manager Davey Johnson said. “And I think we eliminated the Mets from the pennant race, didn’t we?”
Indeed, they did. Two days after knocking the Marlins officially out of contention for the division title, they did the same to New York.
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Nationals 2014 minor league spotlight: Wilmer Difo
- Nationals 2014 minor league spotlight: A.J. Cole
- Report: LaRoche signs 2-year deal with White Sox
- Souza explains gift from Zimmermann: 'It was his moment'
- Nats sign RHP Billings for minor league depth
- Braves seen as 'dark horse' for next Cuban star Tomas
- When should Nats' wave of prospects arrive?
- Nationals linked to top free agent Max Scherzer
- Nats add 4 players to 40-man roster, drop pair
- Report: Nationals consider Zimmermann & Fister 'available'