Recap: Giants drop first game against Nationals 4-2

By Eric Nathanson
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Aug 13, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner (40) throws during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit:

Brad Mills

-USA TODAY Sports

On a day known as “National Left-Handed Day” both the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants sent their ace left handed pitchers to the mound. Madison Bumgarner started for the Giants, and the Nats had Gio Gonzalez on the hill.

The Giants had a scoring chance right away in the top of the 1st. Arias dumped a one out double down the RF line and Brandon Belt followed with a walk. Buster Posey came to the plate with 2 runners on and only one out. In what seemed like a sure base hit off the bat, Posey knocked a grounder to the hole on the right side. Adam LaRoche stabbed Posey’s grounder and forced Belt at second. Hunter Pence then tapped a weak grounder to the 2nd baseman, and the inning was over.

Madison Bumgarner had to pitch in and out of trouble for most of the first 4 innings. The Nationals loaded the bases in the 3rd with 2 outs, and Bumgarner got Jayson Werth swinging to end the inning. He wasn’t as fortunate in the 4th. After an Ian Desmond leadoff double and a LaRoche single to RF, Wilson Ramos hit one back through the box that deflected off Bumgarner’s knee. Pablo Sandoval scooped up the wayward ball and threw Ramos out at first, but Desmond scored on the play to give the Nationals the first lead of the game.

Bumgarner was able to get the bottom two of the Nationals order to end the 4th inning. He did a great job of limiting the damage and only allowing the one run.

Then the rains came. We lost our matchup of aces. Madison Bugarner’s streak of consecutive starts of 7 innings pitched or more ends at 10. It was the longest such streak by a Giants pitcher since Rick Reuschel had 11 such starts back in 1988.

Play resumed in the 5th inning after a 1 hour and 17 minute rain delay. The Giants took advantage of Gio’s departure and pushed across a run to tie the game in the top of the 5th. After 2 quick outs, Joaquin Arias started what passes for a rally these days. He singled to LF and moved to 3rd when Belt drove one back up the middle. Then Posey tapped one to short that skipped under Desmond’s glove for the error. The Giants tied it at 1.

Guillermo Moscoso took over for the Giants after the delay. He got through a shaky 5th inning, but ran in to trouble in the 6th. Desmond led off with a single to LF and Adam LaRoche followed with a towering HR that hit the facing on the 2nd deck at Nationals Park. The Nats went up 3-1 and that pretty much sealed things.

The Giants answered with a run in the 7th. Hunter Pence came through with a 2 out hit and drove home Arias to cut it to 3-2. They had another chance in the top of the 8th with runners on the corners, but failed to get that key hit, again.

In the bottom half of the 8th the Nats tacked on an insurance run. The Giants went meekly in their half of the 9th and that was it. Tanner Roark got his 2nd big league win and Moscoso suffered the loss. Rafael Soriano notched his 30th save on the season in the ninth for the Nationals.

This about sums it up lately.

Marco Scutaro was a late scratch with a sore back, the Giants have probably taken one flight too many for his body lately. Joaquin Arias did his best impression of Scoots going 4 for 5 and setting a career high for hits in a game.

This was the 25th staright game that the Giants failed to record more than 3 extra base hits in a game. Not surprisingly, they have only scored more than 3 runs six times over those 25 games. This was their 11th straight game having 2 hits or fewer with RISP. I’m not going to even bring up how many have been left on base. If they don’t cross the plate, there’s nowhere else to go.

Tomorrow they do it all over again. It will be Tim Lincecum (6-11, 4.18 ERA) facing off against Ryan Zimmermann (13-6, 3.06 ERA) with the first pitch scheduled for 4:05 PST.

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