The chant coursed over Nationals Park on Friday night, a full orange moon hanging above a packed ballpark. "Let's go, Gio!" echoed from what remained of the crowd, louder and louder as the final out neared. Gio Gonzalez was finishing another career achievement with his parents watching among the audience of 29,499.

The Washington Nationals, in first place and atop all of baseball, had already demolished the St. Louis Cardinals, the conclusion of a 10-0 whipping at hand. Ryan Zimmerman realized later he'd not heard a sound like that here before, one player's name ringing through the park, another new and different touch in a delightfully foreign season.

"We have a long ways to go and we haven't done anything yet," Zimmerman said. "But what we have done is kind of give this city a baseball team to cheer for."