Aug 14, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum (55) throws a pitch in the third inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
The big inning was once again the undoing for Tim Lincecum at Nationals Park tonight. Despite the Giants best effort to come back late, once again they fell in D.C. to the Nationals.
Early on things looked pretty good for the Giants as they pushed across a run in the top of the 2nd inning. Hunter Pence reached on a one out walk and stole second to get in to scoring position. In a rare occurence, the Giants had hitter come through with 2 outs as Roger Kieshnick drove a single up the middle to score Pence.
The lead was short lived as Ian Desmond, who entered the day 10 for 12 off Lincecum, hit a bomb over the bullpen in LF to tie it up.
Then the bottom of the 4th came and the big inning got Lincecum again. Bryce Harper led off with a hard single on a hanging curveball to CF. Jayson Werth followed that with an infield hit. Lincecum finally got Ian Desmond out on a rocket to Brandon Belt at first. With one out and runners at 2nd and 3rd, Bruce Bochy made the decision to intentionally walk Adam LaRoche. I guess Bochy was trying to set up the double play, but Lincecum had already struck LaRoche out swinging back in the 2nd. Why not let him pitch for the strikeout here? But the decision was made, and the bases were loaded for Anthony Rendon. On a 2-2 fastball Rendon crushed a double to CF and the Nats were ahead for good. Washington had done what the Giants cannot, drive a ball to the gap and score some runs.
The big inning just snowballed from there. Kurt Suzuki hit a bloop single to score another run, and on ball 4 to Span, Lincecum uncorked a wild pitch to score another run. The final run of the inning came on a ball hit down the 3rd base line and fielded by Pablo Sandoval. He made a nice play to stop the ball, but a throw in the dirt allowed the runner to be safe and a run to score. It was 6-1 Nationals, and it was not looking good.
The Nationals couldn’t get anything else off Lincecum. Barry Zito came in and did a good job of holding the Nats scoreless for 2 innings.
Things got exciting in the top of the 8th for the Giants. Brandon Belt continued his hot stretch by homering in to the second deck in RF. He is now tied with the team lead in home runs with Hunter Pence and Buster Posey with 14. From there the Giants strung together some hits and managed to push across a couple more runs. Pablo Sandoval looks like he may be getting his swing back. He drove a double to RF to drive in 2 runs.
But it wasn’t enough for the Giants on this night. Even after plating a run in the 9th off Nationals closer Rafael Soriano. With 2 on and 2 out Denard Span robbed Hunter Pence in deep CF with a diving catch to end the game. The Giants finally showed some life late in the game, but it was too little, too late. Thanks to @carmenkiew for the GIF of the Span catch below.
The third and final game of the series is an early one. Lunchtime baseball as things get underway at 1:05 PT. Ryan Vogelsong (2-4, 6.71 ERA) makes his second start after coming off the DL against Dan Haren (7-11, 4.99 ERA) as the Giants try to avoid the sweep.