Washington Nationals Recap: Bullpen Fails Gio Gonzalez as Nats Fall to Mets


As Opening Day approaches, the Washington Nationals look to set their roster and get healthy. But at the moment, the team is cowering in a corner because the injury bug is running rampant in their locker room.

Bryce Harper did not play tonight because of a stomach virus. Anthony Rendon, Denard Span, Jayson Werth are all out as well and may miss opening day April 6 against these same New York Mets.

The lineup for tonight may be the one we see on Opening Day – minus Clint Robonsen in right in place of Bryce – with Michael Taylor in center, some combination of Tyler Moore/Tony Gwynn Jr./Kevin Frandsen starting in place of Werth, and Danny Espinosa moving over to third to spell Rendon.

With this close-to-opening-day roster, the National hosted the Mets tonight at Space Coast Stadium.

Gio Gonzalez got the start and went 5.0 innings with 0 earned runs and 5 Ks, as Mark Zuckerman pointed out, in typical Gio fashion.

The Mets opened the scoring in the top of the sixth after Gio’s night was done and Tannar Roark took over. Roark gave up a lead-off single to John Maybery Jr. and then Eric Campbell doubled to right field to score Maybery Jr.

The Nats opened their scoring for the night with a two-out rally in the bottom of the sixth. After a walk to Kila Ka’aihue, Taylor blasted a double over the head of an out-of-position Cesar Puello in right. Clint Robinson and Ryan Zimmerman followed with two straight hits to give the Nats a 3-1 lead.

Jerry Blevins took over in the top of the seventh and proceeded to hang back-to-back curve balls that Matt Reynolds and Juan Lagares both crushed to left field to pull the Mets even at three.

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The wheels proceeded to fall off for the Nats in the top of the eighth inning and the Mets took the lead that put them ahead for good. After an Eric Campbell walk, the Mets executed a perfect hit and run with Ruben Tejada to put runners on the corners. A sac fly from Anthony Reckers scored Campbell and two batters latter Matt Reynolds smacked a double to left to score Tejada. Next man up, Matt den Dekker, homered to right center to put the Mets up, 7-3.

Xavier Cedeno replaced Craig Stammen to stem the bleeding but almost made a bad inning worse thanks to his inability to find the strike zone. Cedeno walked the bases loaded but was able to get a punch out to end the inning.

The Mets tacked on another run in the top of the 9th to push the final score to 8-3.

Next up, the Nationals take on the St. Louis Cardinals at Space Coast Stadium.