The Norman Transcript

National Sports

October 8, 2012

Nationals rally to beat Cardinals

(Continued)

ST. LOUIS —

“I was just trying to calm myself down and try to make some things happen and not strike out up there,” Moore said. “I wanted to at least put something into play.”

Nationals manager Davey Johnson doesn’t usually play small ball but opted for the bunt because Espinosa had been having a tough game.

“I’m kind of from the Earl Weaver school, just keep swinging,” Johnson said. “Don’t like to steal that much, either. I don’t like to give up outs.”

Wainwright became the first Cardinals pitcher to reach double digits in strikeouts since Bob Gibson also fanned 10 to beat the Tigers in Game 4 of the 1968 World Series.

Wainwright was a 14-game winner coming off reconstructive elbow surgery that sidelined him all of 2011, with 10 of the wins coming at home. He’s been a postseason ace with a microscopic 0.77 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 23 1-3 innings.

He fanned Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman twice each and seventh-place hitter Espinosa all three times.

“My fastball command kind of left me at the end,” Wainwright said. “For the most part I felt like I went out there and competed my tail off. Gave it everything I had.”

Gonzalez allowed just one hit in five innings, on David Freese’s full-count bouncer between third and short to start the fourth. But he had trouble finding catcher Kurt Suzuki’s glove and keeping warm.

“I kept blowing in my hand, kept looking to do whatever I could to throw a strike,” Gonzalez said.

The second inning was Gonzalez’ shakiest when he allowed the Cardinals to score twice and take the lead without a hit. Gonzalez walked four of the first five hitters, putting St. Louis in position to score one run on a wild pitch and a second on Jon Jay’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly.

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