About three hours before his first pitch Tuesday night at Nationals Park, Gio Gonzalez pecked at his iPad and grooved to the Motown blasting from the Washington Nationals' clubhouse stereo. As Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" blared, he stood and danced. Gonzalez chattered at any teammate who passed. He playfully stole a plate of food from Wilson Ramos.

When most pitchers would be silently scowling, Gonzalez smiled. The Nationals needed Gonzalez's electric left arm to beat the Houston Astros, 1-0, and they needed his relaxed vibes to survive the scare closer Brad Lidge provided in the ninth. Gonzalez fired seven scoreless innings to continue the Nationals' rotation's remarkable season, and Lidge wiggled free of a two-on, no out jam in the ninth to make it stand up.