Game #17 Recap: Bullpen, Offense Lift Nats Over Mets

The Nationals went into the second game of the series in New York looking to get back on track after a loss Friday night. Gio Gonzalez had a rough game in his previous game, so he was looking to rebound on Saturday afternoon. The Nationals offense and bullpen would ultimately lift the Nationals to their 10th win of the season.

Gio cruised through the first 3 innings of Saturday’s contest against the Mets, while the Nationals picked up 3 runs in the second and third innings. Ian Desmond had homered in the 2nd inning, then a home run from Harper gave the Nationals a 3-0 lead in the 3rd. Unfortunately, the 4th inning is where Gio came unglued. The inning opened with Gio allowing a triple to David Wright and then a walk to John Buck. Gio was able to get 2 quick outs, with a groundout to Gio and making Byrd ground out for a throw home to get Wright in a run down. The Mets were able to open it up with 2 outs, though. Gio seemed to lose his cool and allowed 3 walks in the inning. Big hits from Cowgill, Turner, and Murphy made it 5-3 Mets. Gio would be done after a long 4th inning as Steve Lombardozzi would pinch hit to lead off the 5th.

The Nationals were able to answer the Mets in the top of the 5th inning, though. The Mets lefty Aaron Laffey was able to get 2 quick outs, getting Lombardozzi to fly out and Span to ground out. Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth drew a walk, and Harper hit a double to put runners at 2nd and 3rd. Adam LaRoche came to the plate and deposited a Laffey pitch over the wall in center field to put the Nats back up 6-5. Ian Desmond struck out to end the inning.

The two teams would go quietly for the next inning, but the offense was not yet done slugging it out. Daniel Murphy got on with a hit in the bottom of the 7th with 1 out. After Ryan Mattheus was able to get David Wright to fly out and get the second out of the inning, John Buck hit a double to left fielder Bryce Harper. The game was Tied at 6-6 after Tyler Clippard was able to get Ike Davis swinging and end the inning.

In the top of the 8th, Harper would display his power yet again as he tagged a pitch from Josh Edgin for a solo shot that put the Nats up once and for all. Tyler Clippard Was able to provide the Nationals with a much needed scoreless inning in the bottom of the 8th and handed the ball over to Rafael Soriano. Soriano was able to come in and pick up his 6th save of the season.

The win helped raise the Nationals to 10-7 on the season and put them in a position to win the series on Sunday. The Nationals will send right hander Jordan Zimmermann to the mound to face Dillon Gee.