October 20, 2019

Washington Nationals Game 111 Review: Desmond powers Nats over Dodgers

DESMOND HOMERS TWICE TO BACK SOLID OUTING BY GONZALEZ

Desperately in need of starting a 10-game west coast road trip of on a successful note — and with pitchers of stronger pedigree looming — the Washington Nationals bats busted out against Los Angeles Dodgers starter Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez was solid over eight innings, and the Nats beat the Dodgers 8-3 at Chavez Ravine.

The Nats (58-53) remained a game and a half back of the New York Mets, 4-2 winners over Colorado earlier in the night.

The Nats picked up two runs off Anderson in the second. Ryan Zimmerman led off with a double to deep center, then Ian Desmond connected on a line-drive homer to left, his 13th of the season. Washington got runners to second in both the third and fifth innings, but weren’t able to capitalize.

Thet finally got to Anderson again in the sixth. Anthony Rendon led off with a single to left and sent to second on Harper’s single to right. Zimmerman laced a doubled off the low wall in left to plate Anthony Rendon, and Jayson Werth followed with a line-drive double to center that Kike Hernandez initially broke in on.

Desmond then singled to right, and immediately stole second base and Jose Lobaton drew a walk to load the bases. Michael Taylor then hit a soft liner over the second baseman’s head to bring in Werth to make it 6-0 and end Anderson’s night. After Gonzalez popped out to the catcher, Yunel Escobar grounded to second to drive in another run.

Desmond added his second homer of the game, a solo shot,  in the eighth inning.

Thrice Gonzalez stranded runners at third. In the third, rookie Jose Peraza tripled with two outs, but Gonzalez struck out Yasiel Puig to end that threat. Then in the fifth, A.J. Ellis doubled to lead off and Anderson’s successful sacrifice moved him to third. But Jimmy Rollins struck out swinging and Peraza grounded to second. Then in the sixth, Hernandez doubled and went to third on Alberto Callaspo’s infield single, but Gonzalez got Alex Guerrero to ground into a force to end the inning.

Gonzalez completed eight innings, allowing seven hits and one walk, striking out six.

Doug Fister, in his first relief appearance, pitched an eventful ninth inning. With one out, he had a runner reach on a Desmond throwing error, then he walked the next batter before striking out Joc Pederson. But he left a fastball up Carl Crawford, and Crawford clubbed it into the stands in right to produce the only Dodgers runs of the game.

HERO: Ian Desmond. 3 for 4, three runs, two homers. Got the offensive party started, then finished it with a flourish. He’s teasted us a couple of times this season, but there’s no denying how much the Nats could use production from him down the stretch. Honorable mention: Gio Gonzalez. Unlike his last couple of starts, Gio was on cruise control most of the night, and turned up the sharpness when he needed to.

GOAT: Doug Fister. He’s broken.

NATS NOTES:

  • Ryan Zimmerman went 2 for 4 with two runs and an RBI in his eighth straight game, second longest streak in Nationals’ history.
  • Yunel Escobar (2 for 4, RBI) and Michael Taylor (3 for 4, RBI) had multi-hit nights.
  • In the bottom of the eighth of an 8-0 game, Bryce Harper made a full-out dive in short right field to rob Scott Van Slyke of extra bases.

NEXT GAME: Tuesday at 10:10 pm Eastern. Joe Ross (3-3, 2.80) faces Zach Greinke (11-2, 1.71)

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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