San Francisco, CA – It was a night of rare events. The Giants suffered their largest defeat of the season when they fell 9-2 against the Washington Nationals. They lost game one of a four-game series. This was the third loss for San Francisco to open a series this season.
The Nationals have now won eight of their last ten games. Their starting pitchers combined have not issued a walk in their last six games and Stephen Strasburg improved to 3-0 after tossing six innings allowing four hits, one run and no walks.
“The biggest thing is we are going out there and keeping it simple,” said Strasburg. “We are going out there and pounding the strike zone as a staff. Let our defense do the work. We keep it close and let our offense win the game.”
“Your hoping to keep the game game close when your going against a guy like Strasburg,” Giants manage Bruce Bochy said. “They came in here with a lot of confidence. When you find a team that’s hot with the bats, they’re probably going to take advantage and they did.”
Washington backed their ace with enough runs that he didn’t need to go the distance. The Nationals jumped to an early 4-1 lead before opening up their offense in the seventh scoring five runs and knocking out Ryan Vogelsong.
It wasn’t a great start for Vogelsong who had a season high nine hits and allowed six runs. He also surrendered six extra base hits which matched a career-high. Jayson Worth’s RBI double scored in the Nationals first run. Then Ian Desmond hit a RBI triple to extend their lead 2-0.
“Just a bad night,” said Vogelsong. “I threw some really good pitches and I threw some really bad ones. It’s just one of those nights. Sometimes you have nights like this where it isn’t our night and that’s what tonight was.”
Desmond went 3-for-5 with a double and triple. He drove in a career-high five RBI’s. San Francisco cut the lead in half when Brandon Crawford’s single scored in Tyler Colvin who leadoff the second with a double. Crawford got picked off at 1st and Strasburg forced the next batter to fly out to end the inning.
Vogelsong was rocky with his command and loaded the bases in the third. He gave up a double to Adam LaRoche and walked two batters back-to-back. Desmond grounded a single to left field scoring in two more runs and Washington extended their lead 4-1. Vogelsong struck out Danny Espinosa to end the inning.
After giving up runs in all three innings, Vogelsong found his rhythm and pitched three scoreless innings. But the five-run outburst in the seventh sealed the Nationals victory. The Giant’s bench rallied late in the eighth.
San Francisco put two on before Joaquin Arias singled in their second run of the night. Gregor Blanco was at second and tried to steal third but got called out by the third base umpire. That left two on with two outs. Hector Sanchez flew out to right field to end the inning.
“Tonight is over. We go tomorrow. That’s all we can concentrate on is tomorrow,” Washington’s manager Matt Williams said. “We face a really good left-handed pitcher [in Madison Bumgarner]. We won tonight and that’s good. But we have to concentrate on playing a good game tomorrow.”