Game 12: Atlanta Braves 9, Washington Nationals 0


We’ll get ’em next time.

The Braves blasted Gio Gonzalez to the tune of seven runs in five innings, and Paul Maholm shut down the offense for nearly eight innings as the Nationals (7-5) fell to Atlanta, 9-0.

Apr 14, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) wipes his brow as catcher Kurt Suzuki (24) talks after giving up three runs to the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Gonzalez had been pitching well coming into the game, having allowed just one run in two outings. Things fell apart for him immediately, however, as Atlanta jumped on him for three runs in the first inning. After struggling through that inning and getting through the second, he allowed four runs in the third innings, putting the Nats in a seemingly insurmountable hole. At the end of his outing, Gonzalez had surrendered seven hits and three walks, along with only three strikeouts. Zach Duke picked up the next three innings, allowing two more runs on five hits. His season ERA now sits at 9.45. In the top of the ninth, Henry Rodriguez did what Henry Rodriguez does: walk two batters, though he did manage to escape unscathed.

On offense, things were just as bad. The Nats’ best chance of scoring came in the eighth, when Bryce Harper walked to load the bases with two outs for Ryan Zimmerman, who promptly grounded out. Only one offensive starter garnered a hit: Kurt Suzuki, who was 2-3. Chad Tracy was 1-1 in replacement of Zimmerman, and Steve Lombardozzi was 1-3 after replacing Danny Espinosa, who left the game with a wrist injury after being hit by a pitch.

Like I said yesterday, it’s easy to worry or panic, but think about the length of the season. Adam Kilgore and District Sports Nats made two great points on twitter today. Kilgore notes that the Nats trail the braves by four games with 150 to go. DSP said that if this were a football season, it would be nearing the end of the first quarter of the second game. So if you’re concerned, don’t be: there is still quite a lot of time left on the clock.

Next Game: Tomorrow at Miami, 7:05 PM. Zimmermann (2-0, 2.08) v. LeBlanc (0-2, 3.27)