A tough night at the ol' ballyard, as each team had plenty of chances but had trouble getting runs across.
Final lines for tonight's starters:
Lance Lynn: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 7 K, 112 pitches
Gio Gonzalez: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 107 pitches
5 hits + 4 walks + 8 hits + 4 walks = a lot of baserunners. So it made perfect sense that the night would end on a solo home run by Yunel Escobar.
Tonight was the much-ballyhooed debut of Statcast on MLB Network. Those of you who were allowed to see it can hopefully fill the rest of us in.
The Nationals got on the board first In the bottom of the third. Ian Desmond doubled to right and Jason Werth took a walk. Bryce Harper then singled to left, scoring Desmond for the only run for a goodly number of innings. A batter later, Harper was called out on an appeal at second. Jon Jay tracked down a Ryan Zimmerman liner and Harper failed to re-tag going back to first.
The Birdos managed to load the bases in the top of the fifth with two outs on singles by Matt Holliday and Jhonny Peralta and a walk to Mark Reynolds (it's one of the True Outcomes, you know). Unfortunately, Jay stranded those many lobsters, grounding out to first.
The Cardinals would go 1 for 11 with RISP tonight and strand 13 runners.
Lynn, at 103 pitches, came back out to pitch the bottom of the 7th. He promptly walked Wilson Ramos, who was then sac bunted over to second. That was enough and Kevin Siegrist was summoned. Kevin struck out Reed Johnson, but gave up a single to Denard Span putting runners at the corners with two outs. Matheny then double switched Seth Maness into Reynolds' #5 spot and brought in Matt Adams to bat 9th and take over first base chores. Seth was able to get Desmond to strikeout, ending the threat.
In the 8th, Randy Choate did his LOOGy thing to Harper, getting him to ground out. Matt Belisle took the rest of the inning striking out Zimmerman on a pitch that looked outside, as well as a K to Escobar.
The Cardinals and Nationals' closer Drew Storen made it interesting in the 9th. Matt Carpenter got things going with a single, then moved over to second on a wild pitch. THEN he was given third during the same Jason Heyward at bat when another pitch got away. Then the sabermattrics kicked in as Matt Holliday drove in Grinder for Matt Matted In. Tie game 1-1. The rally would be short-lived as a strike 'em out - throw 'em out double play on a Peralta K would end it.
In the bottom of the frame, a nice running catch by Jay on a Ramos liner started things off. Then walks to Danny Espinosa and DAN FREAKING UGGLA (seriously?) put two runners on with one out. Jordan Walden was swapped in for the second double switch of the game, Nationals-killer Pete Kozma replacing Peralta at short. Next batter, Adams can't come up cleanly with Span's chopper and now the bases are loaded. Walden struck out Desmond and then JAY MADE A GREAT DIVING CATCH TO SAVE THE GAME.
Top 10, Pete freaking Kozma hits a single to left, then steals second, but is left stranded.
Bottom 10: Carlos Villanueva in. He's able to get Harper swinging, and a great shoelace catch by Jay on Zimmerman keeps him off the bases, but Yunel Escobar's home run ends it.
Tune in tomorrow for more exciting baseball adventures. These same two teams face off again at 6pm Central.