The Washington Nationals have struggled against the Colorado Rockie this season. A recipe for success was an excellent starting pitching effort. They got that from Gio Gonzalez. Battling unberable temperatures in 3 digits, Gonzalez pitched 6 solid innings, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits, while fanning six Rockies' batters. The win improved Gio to 12-3 overall, a tie for the highest wins this season.
Nats All Star shortstop Ian Desmond smashed his 16th home run of the season in the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead. The Nats did announce that Desmond would be held out of the All Star game to rest what is described as a sore oblique. Desmond was 2 for 3 on the day, raising his batting average to .282. After the Rockies tied the game up in the fourth inning, Ryan Zimmerman broke the deadlock with a single that scored Danny Espinosa. Harper then scored on a catching error by Wilin Rosario to make it 3-1. A pick off attempt error int he same inning scored Zimmerman to cap off the scoring.
Ryan Mattheus, SEan Burnett, and Tyler Clippard combined for three shutout innings of relief to shut down the Rockies. Clippard picked up his 14th save of the season. Clippard, an All Star reliever last season, was snubbed this season, despite appearing in 36 games and [posting a 2-2 record with 14 saves and an ERA 1.73. Clippard has not allowed a run in his last 19 games and an earned run in his last 20 appearances. The last time he allowed an earned run was back on May 16.
The win improves the Nationals to 49-33 as they maintained a 4.5 game lead over the second place New York Mets.