June 19, 2018

Washington Nationals Game 37 Review: A’s complete sweep with Gio meltdown

Washington Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez hoped to play stopper and make a better impression upon his first trip back to Oakland since being traded to the Nats two offseasons ago.

It didn’t happen that way.

Gonzalez was beaten up by relentless Oakland offense, there was a dramatic dugout shouting match, and the Nats were swept by the A’s after a 9-1 loss before a festive Mother’s Day crown at O.co Coliseum.

Gonzalez got two quick outs in the first inning, but things went south fast. He walked No. 3 hitter Josh Donaldson, then Yoenis Cespedes hit a routine grounder to short. For some reason, Ian Desmond was hesitant on the play, and his throw to first was late and both runners were safe.

Gonzalez then went 3-0 to catcher Derek Norris — one of the players that was traded to the A’s to acquire Gonzales — and Norris clobbered the grooved fastball to the stands in left for a three-run homer.

It didn’t stop there.

Alberto Callaspo singled to the hole at short, then Brandon Moss followed with a single to send Callaspo to third. Nick Punto then lined a single to right field to plate Callaspo, and the A’s led 4-0 after one inning.

The barrage continued in the second inning. Craig Gentry led off with a soft single to left and stole second. Jed Lowrie flew out to deep right and Gentry took third. After Donaldson grounded out, Cespedes lofted a sky high pop up right out in front of home plate, but no one took control of the play and the ball fell cleanly, then trickled foul.

Cespedes then walked, bringing up Norris once again. As with his first at bat, Gonzalez ran the count to 3-0 and fed Norris a grooved fastball, which he then again clobbered to the left field bleachers for his second three-run home run of the day.

After the inning, television cameras picked up Gonzalez having e meltdown in the dugout, slamming his glove and hat in frustration. Off-camera, someone must have said something, as the normally affable Gonzalez started screaming at a teammate, having to be restrained by pitching coach Steve McCatty and third base coach Bob Henley.

Gonzalez pitched two more innings without incident. He finished the day throwing 4 1/3 innings and allowed seven earned runs on nine hits and three walks.

The A’s added two more in the seventh against Jerry Blevins.

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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