Gio Gonzalez pitched well enough to win, and so did John Lackey. Neither figured into the decision as the Nats scored 2 runs late to tie the game in the 8th a 3-3. Dusty Baker stayed with Sammy Solis in the 9th to face the 3 scheduled right-handed batters, and Solis walked the lead-off batter who was sacrificed to 2nd base and scored on a single. The Nats lost 4-3.
Gio needed to pitch a gem and pitched alright giving up 3 earned runs over 6 innings. The costly mistakes started with a 2 out hit Gio gave up to John Lackey on the 4th straight fastball Gio threw to Lackey and the pitch Lackey hit was over the middle of the plate and missed the spot and Gio left it over the plate and Lackey hit it hard. Lackey eventually scored and the other major mistake was a lead-off walk to Ben Zobrist who scored on a single by David Ross who entered the game as a .231 back-up catcher.
John Lackey gave up 2 runs over 6 innings, and maintained the lead for his team as he exited with a 3-2 lead for the Cubs which was later blow in the 8th by his closer Hector Rondon.
The Nats offensive star was Jose Lobaton who went 2-3, and Ryan Zimmerman came through with a huge single in the 8th inning to move Bryce Harper to 3rd base, and then Bryce scored on a Sacrifice Fly by Anthony Rendon.
The strange moves were pinch-hitting with Wilson Ramos in the 7th inning with runners on 3rd and 2nd and no outs, and Ramos was fumbling around for what seemed like several minutes in the dugout and wasn’t ready as he was putting on his batting gloves and body armor. Ramos got up to bat and swung and missed at strike 3 in the dirt, and actually K’d on 3 pitches. The other bizarre move of the game was keeping Solis, a lefty, for the 9th inning to pitch to 3 straight right-handed batters when Dusty had 3 righties available in the bullpen with Petit, Treinen and Belisle. Solis does have good splits versus right-handed hitters, but has a high BB/9 rate against righties. The real issue was Solis did not execute his pitches.
It did not appear that the media asked Dusty about those moves so we don’t know the reasoning.
Here is the chart of Gio’s 4 straight fastballs to John Lackey. Why didn’t he throw a curveball? Part of the problem is that Gio was in a 2-1 count and didn’t want to go 3-1 but he missed his spot.
The other debatable play is the positioning by Jose Lobaton on a throw from Bryce Harper as Dexter Fowler scored. The ball was there in time. You be the judge as to Lobaton’s positioning.