Washington Nationals southpaw Gio Gonzelez won his twelfth game of the 2012 campaign, throwing six innings of three hit baseball and — with the help of four errors from the Rockies — went on to beat Colorado 4-1 at Nationals Park on Saturday. Gonzalez’s win came among searing heat, though it seemed of little concern to the Washington ace.
“I’m from South Florida,” Gonzalez said of the heat after the win. “I was just trying to adapt to it and keep going. I’ve lost a ton of weight from it, but at the same time, I got my liquids in me, that’s for sure. You’ve just got to keep fighting through it.” This was the fourth win in a row for Gonzalez, who will be heading to the All Star Game in Kansas City at the end of the Colorado series.
The Gonzalez gem was put in the books early on, with Ian Desmond notching his 16th home run in the second inning, and Washington adding three runs in the sixth. Four Colorado errors from the National League’s worst fielding team helped to solidify the win: three of Colorado’s errors came in the three run sixth, two of them from pitcher Josh Roenicke.
“Today wasn’t so much about pitching as it was about our lack of offense and the fact we threw the ball around a bit in the sixth inning,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said after the loss. “When you get six hits in a game and one guy gets three of them, there’s not a lot of offensive opportunity.”
While Colorado continued its run of costly errors (they’ve committed 64 errors in 84 games — well behind Washington’s 47 in 82), Colorado’s relievers were victimized by some solid and clutch Nationals’ hitting. Danny Espinosa led off the all important sixth with a double, which was followed by a Bryce Harper single to center and a sharp single from Ryan Zimmerman — which scored Espinosa.
It was after these three hits that Colorado began to lose control of the game: Roenicke served up a wild pitch (which scored Harper), and the usually reliable Wilin Rosario threw wild to second on a Zimmerman attempted steal. The bleeding continued with another throwing error from Roenicke, with Zimmerman scoring from third. The line for the inning showed a host of 3′s: three runs on three hits and three errors.
Once again, Washington’s bullpen was perfect — and impressive. Ryan Mattheus pitched the seventh inning, striking out the side. Sean Burnett gave up a single hit in the eighth, and Tyler Clippard two in the ninth — but the contest never seemed in doubt, with Clippard registering his 14th save.