If I was a Nationals fan, I'd be pissed. And that's the best way to describe G88, and the final game before the All-Star Break, a 5-0 win to finish the "first half" of the season 44-44.
Moehler cruised along for four innings, struggled in the final two+, and then the Astros got a power explosion (similar to a Romance Explosion) from an unlikely source.
Let's start with the pitching:
Moehler: 6.1IP, 7H/0ER, 2K:2BB, 15/27 first-pitch strikes, 26/64 non-contact strikes (20 called:6 swinging)
Arias: 1.1IP, 3H/0ER, 1K:1BB, 4/8 FPS, 6/18 NCS (4c:2s)
Valverde: 1.1IP, 1H/0ER, 1K, 1/5 FPS, 6/14 NCS (5c:1s)
Moehler succeeded again, now 6-5 with a 5.08 ERA, because of the 11:6 groundball to flyball ratio. The pitch count got away from Moehler in the later innings of his outing. Let's take a look:
1st inning: 12
2nd inning: 14
3rd inning: 13
4th inning: 6
5th inning: 21
6th inning: 31
7th inning: 6
But let's face it, the Nationals lost this game more than the Astros won it. The Nationals' LOBs were unreal, leaving 13 on base, and going 1x11 with RISP, and leaving the bases loaded in the 6th and 7th innings in what was at that point a 1-0 Astros lead.
Offensively, there was nothing doing. Jordan Zimmermann had it working for a good six innings, getting outs and keeping his pitch count efficient. The Astros got the first run in the game when Bourn reached on a throwing error in the first, ultimately scoring on Tejada's single one batter later. Then that was it until the 7th inning. It was 11 batters before the Astros got another hit - in the 4th on Lee's double. And so it remained until the 7th. Zimmermann hit Blum to lead off the inning, and Pence singled to center. Pudge struck out swinging (on an odd AB where he wasn't able to pull a bunt attempt back in time to get on base...because the ball hit him.) No matter, Matsui hit a ball 360+ feet to right-center and put the game out of reach. Berkman did score on a Tyler Clippard balk in the bottom of the 8th to put the game at its final score.
Man of the Match: I want to give it to Moehler pretty bad, but this one's going to Kaz Matsui, who came up huge with the three-run jack.
Goat of the Game: Pudge. 0x4 with 3Ks, including an AB where he got hit - and didn't get on base, because he couldn't pull the bat back.