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Game 17: Cardinals at Nats

Apr 18, 2014, 3:17 PM EST

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

Matt Williams wanted his players to be upset about last night’s debacle, but he also wanted them to leave it behind when they left the ballpark and return today committed to playing better ball. We’ll find out how they respond in a few hours.

Williams is going with the same lineup that managed only two hits off Adam Wainwright, hoping it can have more success against Michael Wacha. Wacha, you’ll remember, nearly no-hit the Nationals last September, losing his bid on Ryan Zimmerman’s infield chopper with two outs in the ninth.

Gio Gonzalez gets the start for D.C., which made a tweak to its bullpen. Blake Treinen, who threw 58 pitches in relief last night, was optioned back to Class AAA, with Xavier Cedeno recalled. Cedeno thus becomes the third left-hander in the Nationals’ bullpen for the moment, with Jerry Blevins and Ross Detwiler. (For those wondering: Aaron Barrett isn’t eligible to be recalled until Tuesday, 10 days after he was sent down in exchange for Treinen.)

Updates to come…

 Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183,
Weather: Cloudy, 56 degrees, Wind 5 mph RF to LF

3B Anthony Rendon
LF Bryce Harper
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Nate McLouth
C Jose Lobaton
LHP Gio Gonzalez

3B Matt Carpenter
SS Jhonny Peralta
LF Matt Holliday
1B Allen Craig
C Yadier Molina
2B Mark Ellis
RF Shane Robinson
CF Peter Bourjos
RHP Michael Wacha

HP Vic Carapazza
1B Adam Hamari
2B Greg Gibson
3B Bill Miller (cc)

7:07 p.m. — And we’re underway on another unseasonable chilly evening in the District. Fifty degrees as Gio Gonzalez delivers his first pitch to Matt Carpenter.

7:16 p.m. — A little bit of a shaky top of the first for Gio, but he got through it unscathed. A one-out walk to Jhonny Peralta and a two-out single by Allen Craig put the Cardinals in position to take an early lead again. But Gonzalez struck out Matt Holliday on a 94-mph fastball up and away, then managed to barely keep Yadier Molina in the park, with Bryce Harper tracking the ball down at the warning track.

7:22 p.m. — An 11-pitch, 1-2-3 bottom of the first from Michael Wacha, who blew away Harper with a high 96 mph fastball. Scoreless after one.

7:35 p.m. — OK, there will be no no-hit bid by Wacha tonight. Danny Espinosa beat out a bunt with two outs in the bottom of the second, ending that potential drama. Still, Wacha has now allowed only two hits in 11 career innings against the Nats: Ryan Zimmerman’s infield chopper last September and Espinosa’s bunt just now. Still 0-0 after two.

7:43 p.m. — Gio seems to be finding a groove now. He has retired seven in a row and struck out a pair in the top of the third, getting Carpenter to whiff at a beautifully placed 93 mph heater on the outside corner. Forty-five pitches for Gonzalez through three scoreless.

7:52 p.m. — Well, the Nats finally have a “real” hit off Wacha. And a run. Anthony Rendon pounced on a first-pitch curveball in the bottom of the third, launching his third homer of the season and giving the Nats a 1-0 lead.

8:05 p.m. — Gonzalez gave the run right back in the top of the fourth, but it could’ve been worse. After allowing three straight hits to Allen Craig, Yadier Molina and Mark Ellis, Gio wriggled his way out of the jam by striking out Shane Robinson and Peter Bourjos in succession. That’s five K’s now for him in four innings, most on his fastball. 1-1 game, middle of the fourth.

8:26 p.m. — Still 1-1 after five, with both pitchers in control right now. Wacha hasn’t allowed anything since Harper’s single in the third. Gonzalez has retired five straight since Ellis’ RBI single, four via strikeout.

8:35 p.m. — Meanwhile, Denard Span went 1-for-2 with a walk and played three innings in center field tonight at Hagerstown. Assuming all went well, he will come off the DL tomorrow and return to the lineup.

8:45 p.m. — Gio continues to cruise. He has retired 11 in a row and is through the seventh on 101 pitches. At this point, there’s no movement in the Nats’ bullpen, so it looks like he’ll be back out there for the eighth. Stretch time now, the game still knotted 1-1.

8:58 p.m. — Well, that’s one way to rally to take the lead. The Nats loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the seventh, then saw McLouth strike out and Lobaton tap a little dribbler in front of the plate. That left it up to pinch-hitter Zach Walters to deliver. Except Walters didn’t need to, because two runs scored on Wacha’s wild pitch and Molina’s wild throw to the plate. So that’s three errors for the Cards tonight. Hey, how come they can’t ever handle the pressure playing the Nationals?????!!!!! 3-1 Nats now as Tyler Clippard enters for the eighth.

9:23 p.m. — Wow, high drama in the top of the eighth. Clippard needed 26 pitches(?!) to face only three batters, retiring only one. So Drew Storen had to come in and get out of the jam, which he did on only five pitches. Impressive. It remains 3-1 as we go to the bottom of the eighth.

9:29 p.m. — OK, here we go. It’s Rafael Soriano vs. Molina, Ellis and Robinson in the ninth. You could certainly argue for Storen to have stayed in, considering he only needed five pitches to get out of the eighth. We’ll see.

9:39 p.m. — That’s it. Nats win, 3-1. It’s their first win over the Cardinals since Game 4 of the 2012 NLDS. They had lost eight in a row in between.

  1. Eugene in Oregon - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:24 PM


    • snerdblurter - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:59 PM

      Alright, I must know:

      Get Your Nats Fever Going?
      Go You Nats, Freakin’ Go!?
      Gio, You’re Needed For Grins?
      Great Year Near (for) Fredi Gonzalez?
      Grisly Year for Nats’ Fans’ Gastrointestines?
      Gulp Your Nearest Full Guinness?

      • Eugene in Oregon - Apr 18, 2014 at 4:05 PM

        Sorry – from early 2012, if I remember correctly…

        Go You F…[insert your choice of several options]…ing Nats Go.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Apr 18, 2014 at 4:06 PM

        There was also a typo in my original post.

      • snerdblurter - Apr 18, 2014 at 4:19 PM

        haha – got it. I hadn’t yet discovered this great site back then. Thanks!

      • Section 222 - Apr 18, 2014 at 4:52 PM

        There’s lots of good and entertaining NatsInsider explanations and other lore on the Glossary tab of the NIDO Spreadsheet:

        GYFNG was the very first entry. And I’m pretty sure Sofa is responsible for the graphic depiction of “beating a dead horse.” Horrible!

      • ArVAFan - Apr 18, 2014 at 5:37 PM

        Although I like the Guinness interpretation. That could be useful no matter how the game is going. Or even if there’s no game going on at all . . .

  2. NatsLady - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    No reason our boys can’t beat these guys. Just don’t drop the ball! :)

  3. Doc - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    Yeah, NL.

    These are the 2014 Cardinals, not the 1927 Yankees!!!!!

    • NatsLady - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:59 PM

      We have the edge over them (statistically) in bullpen and offense. Did the stats here

      Now just have to get a good start from our Gio and DON’T DROP THE BALL.

  4. Sonny G 10 - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    New day, new game. Make me happy today, boys!


  5. chaz11963 - Apr 18, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    #YouGotThisDesi !!!

  6. tcostant - Apr 18, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    Boswelll is correct, Barrett being sent down was not right.

    • adcwonk - Apr 18, 2014 at 4:15 PM

      I have a vague recollection that he got sent down on the day when we were utterly short of relievers, and if the starter that day was knocked out early, our choice would have been to use some relievers for their fourth consecutive game (not a good idea in April), or do what the White Sox did (use a position player).

      Am I remembering right?

      And, once Barrett is send down, he has to stay down 7 days?

      Something like that? Anybody?

      • Eric - Apr 18, 2014 at 4:41 PM

        I believe it’s 10 days

  7. tcostant - Apr 18, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    BTW – some great $5 tickets left for tonight and tomorrow:

    • Section 222 - Apr 18, 2014 at 4:54 PM

      You mean for next weekend I think. I’ll bet this weekend’s games against the Cards are pretty full.

      • tcostant - Apr 18, 2014 at 5:10 PM

        Correct – brain freeze.

  8. rmoore446 - Apr 18, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    Mark, why don’t you talk to the new defensive coach, first in Nats history, that Williams brought i?. Wonder what he’s doing to get the fellows back on track. We know the hitting instructors go over film and work with the players in the cage. I assume going over video would apply to the defensive instructor as well but what else does he do?

  9. letswin3 - Apr 18, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    Here’s the deal. The sun still rose this morning. The gates are still gonna open a couple of hours before first pitch, we are sending 25 guys out there with the best of intentions and today is a new day. Not one of the guys who committed an error yesterday did it intentionally, and the body of evidence says that the team defense is much better than it has looked thus far. So get a half-full glass of whatever beverage is your choice and watch some talented people do what the do best. I’m still a believer.

    • zmunchkin - Apr 18, 2014 at 5:01 PM


      Going to the game tonight!

    • Another_Sam - Apr 18, 2014 at 5:13 PM

      i’m with you, letswin3. the score is 0-0 again. right now.

  10. Theophilus T.S. - Apr 18, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    Barrett had to stay down ten days. I think this may be the precursor to Detwiler returning to the rotation, if Cedeno looks like he can pitch. (Big, big if.) For sure either Jordan or Roark is going down when Fister returns, probably Jordan, but if neither of them improves in his next start then I suspect one of them is going down sooner. Williams hasn’t yet used Detwiler back-to-back, to my knowledge, which suggests that experiment isn’t going well, either.

    • letswin3 - Apr 18, 2014 at 6:24 PM

      Possible ….. why would they carry 3 lefties in the pen otherwise? Or, maybe someone called with an offer for Ross that we couldn’t refuse.

  11. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    Hey folks… Hope everyone had a great Good Friday…

    Ready to see a good game tonight… Hope today goes our way…

    Thanks Sec 3 for adding me to the list… :-)

  12. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    As long as the blue doesn’t give the inside to Wacha…

    • Eric - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:14 PM

      Likewise the top of the zone…

  13. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:16 PM

    Gio got lucky there.. Definitely a pitch that was a mistake…

    • Eric - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:18 PM

      The Molina pitch? If GameDay is accurate, it was pretty far inside…probably woulda been a ball.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:23 PM

        Live TV showed it a meatball right to the center of the plate…. Good thing it’s cool outside.

  14. Eric - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    OK Gio, way to bring it to ’em. Coulda been a little tighter on the Peralta at bat, but otherwise a solid inning.

  15. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    Nice inning. Time to manufacture a run!

    • Eugene in Oregon - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:35 PM

      And against Mr. Wacha ‘manufacture’ is exactly the right verb.

  16. Eric - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    Man…some of the pitches Wacha is getting are ridiculous.

    • Steady Eddie - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:38 PM

      Exactly. Homeplate ump has given Gio no corner, nothing outside the zone. That’s fine if you call it fairly for both sides. But he’s already given Wacha a high strike and an outside strike – “strike” 2 to Desi was several inches outside.

      • Eric - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:40 PM

        Strike 2 to Desi is what inspired me to post.

        Super lame.

  17. Eric - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    OK…where was the ball Espi just hit? GameDay showed it WAY inside.

    • David Proctor - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:35 PM

      It was a bunt and it was way inside.

      • Eric - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:37 PM

        Yeah, saw that it was a bunt when the UI updated.

        Thanks for confirming pitch location.

        However he got on, I’m ever so glad we broke up the no hitter in the 2nd rather than the 8th or 9th or whenever it was in September!

  18. texnat1 - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    Six pitches to strike out the opposing pitcher. Gio’s gonna Gio.

    • Eric - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:40 PM

      Yeah…why throw a 3rd pitch, 0-2 curve to a pitcher with a .000 BA?

  19. Eric - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:49 PM


    • davecydell - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:50 PM

      could be all the nats need tonite, Gio is on

  20. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:52 PM

    Had to take Bryce out as he kept yelling at me… Missed the Rendon hr…

    So a belated: Yesssss!!!!

    And I normally hate first pitch swinging… Unless it’s for a hr… Lol

  21. Eric - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    F’ing Cards man!

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:02 PM

      Beautiful curve ball… Not sure I agree with the effort call on the run and miss by Werth..l

      • davecydell - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:09 PM

        Werth has missed a few lately, including the next

  22. dcwx61 - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    How many firstbasemen will we have in two years
    Zimmerman, Werth, Moore, Strasburg….

  23. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:04 PM


    • Eric - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:05 PM


      And the outside!

  24. Eric - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    Yeah GIO! Way to hang tight.

  25. David Proctor - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    Werth is really not a good defender anymore. It’s not just that play which was pretty tough. The defensive metrics are not kind and haven’t been for years. His arm has also not been as impressive as usual this year. Harper in RF scares me, but it’s the proper place for his cannon arm to be.

  26. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    2nd pitch to Desi was not a strike…

    Hope Adam is alright…

  27. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    Desi may be feeling the effects of quitting tobacco…

    • texnat1 - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:30 PM

      Yeah, I didn’t want to say anything, but Josh Hamilton had problems when he quit also.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:33 PM

        I’ve never smoked so I don’t know for sure… But I know tobacco use makes 1 crazy focused…

  28. secretwasianman - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    1to 1 but I feel like Nats down 8 0. 1 run in 14 innings. Open your eyes guys.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:32 PM

      You do know that the Cards 2 pitchers we’ve faced so far are pretty good, right???

      Gotta relax,my friend… We’ll win this on a B Harp walk off…. :)

      *fingers crossed*

  29. texnat1 - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:32 PM

    Great inning Gio!

  30. secretwasianman - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    Get some chew and hit out a few.

  31. secretwasianman - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:34 PM

    Ok mrs b I’m gonna hold you to it. Think I’ll watch svu

  32. secretwasianman - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    Yuck bring on the sub .500 teams

  33. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    Aight, we are moving and shaking….

  34. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    Idk why anyone goes to the 3rd in that case…

  35. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    Bases loaded and we can’t score 1… What in the world…

  36. secretwasianman - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    Wow Lol. I’ll take it but OMG was I ready to go berserk,

  37. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    Finally, a break… We will take it!!!!

    • davecydell - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:00 PM

      You gotta run to make things happen.

  38. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    Loved the no hesitation by Desi… And ran hard… Loved it..


  39. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    So predictable with Tyler Clippard…

    • Another Tyler - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:13 PM

      This is stressful. Godspeed, name-sharer!

  40. knoxvillenat - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    Finish him off Clippard!

  41. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    So glad MW removed Clipp… I’ve never been a fan…

  42. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    Absolutely perfect sequence Drew… Good job.

  43. Eric - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:25 PM

    Man… They sure had Clip figured out… But in the end it was FANTASTIC to see Storen slam the door, with an assist from Desi no less, and the game on the line.

  44. Steady Eddie - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    I think Drew really exorcised some demons there.

    • knoxvillenat - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:35 PM

      I hope so.

  45. Eric - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:34 PM

    Molina trying to hit a 2-run solo shot.

  46. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    Stress…. Oh goodness…

  47. Eric - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:39 PM

    Oooof… Stay focused Sori

  48. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:40 PM


  49. Eugene in Oregon - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:41 PM


  50. Eric - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:41 PM


    Sori led Desi BEAUTIFULLY on that gams-ending DP. Absolutely stellar.

  51. micksback1 - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:43 PM

    those demons of 2012 are DONE, way to go Drew baby!!!

  52. micksback1 - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:44 PM

    huge, huge huge!!!!!

  53. secretwasianman - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:47 PM

    Mrs b nailed it. Good job. Always keep tums near the tv for Clippard

    • knoxvillenat - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:53 PM

      I thought it was bourbon and Maalox?

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:53 PM

      Clipp ain’t fooling no one this year… No one

  54. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    Gio pitched an outstanding game… This Cards team is good… No let up…

    Love their plate approaches… I mean, seriously those at bats were great…

    And best part, no errors…

    • Eric - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:55 PM

      Cards batters are really something to behold. Never ceases to amaze me.

  55. Eric - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    Looks like Desi’s back to the chew.

    I know that demon well (cigs). Best of luck brother.





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