ROOKIE MICHAEL WACHA PITCHES 8 2/3 NO HIT INNINGS
St. Louis Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha stood one out away from achieving baseball immortality having thrown 8 2/3 innings without allowing a single hit. All that stood in the way of history was Ryan Zimmerman.
Unfortunately for Wacha, Zimmerman bounced a high chopper up the middle which ticked off Wacha’s glove. Shortstop Pete Kozma fielded it barehanded and threw to first, but the rushed, off-balanced throw pulled Matt Adams off the bag and Zimmerman eluded the sweeping tag.
Just like that, a weak ground ball turned into a single, and Wacha’s attempt at history passed.
Unfortunately for the Nats, Jayson Werth — representing the tying run — grounded out to first against reliever Trevor Rosenthal, so the Cardinals escaped with a 2-0 win regardless.
The Cardinals, still in a battle for first place in the N.L. Central with Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, picked up single runs in the third and fourth innings against Nats starter Gio Gonzalez (L, 11-8, 3.36, 2 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 6 K).
In the third, Matt Carpenter hit a two-out double and came home on a single by Shane Robinson. The next inning, Adams singled to lead off and scored on Yadier Molina’s RBI double.
The rest was all Wacha. The 22-year-old rookie, who made his debut in May and was making his ninth start of the season, was superb. Working mostly with his fastball and changeup, Wacha kept the Nats hitters off balance all night and he struck out nine in total.
The Nats got one base runner in the fifth, when Adam LaRoche’s routine ground ball got through second baseman Carpenter, a second in the seventh when Zimmerman walked, and a third when LaRoche walked in the eighth. But Wilson Ramos grounded into a double play to erase LaRoche.
NEXT GAME: Wednesday at 1:45 pm ET. Jordan Zimmermann (19-8, 3.18) faces Shelby Miller (14-9, 3.12)