Oct 3, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; San Francisco Giants players celebrate their 3-2 win in game one of the 2014 NLDS playoff baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: H.Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports
The San Francisco Giants come into Nationals Park with the task of upsetting the Washington Nationals, who finished with the best record in the National League. It was Jake Peavy who was asked to start the Division Series against Stephen Strasburg.
Jake Peavy struggled through the first 4 innings, but shut down the Nationals. It is no surprise that their disciplined lineup was going to raise the pitch count against Peavy, but the Giants’ offense that was giving Strasburg problems as well.
The Giants in fact got 7 leadoff runners on this whole game. They put pressure on Strasburg in the 3rd and 4th when they were able to score a run in each inning, thanks to RBI singles by Joe Panik and Brandon Belt respectively. Panik and Belt both had 2-hit games, although Brandon Crawford‘s 3 hits lead the Giants today.
Peavy was able to keep most of the Nationals at bay, although his pitch count was getting quite high by the 5th inning, which was his quickest inning of the night at 9 pitches. He had good defense backing him up to thank for getting out of some of those jams, including a great double play in the 5th.
It wasn’t until the 6th inning when the Nationals actually mounted a rally. A Nate Schierholtz lead-off double put the pressure on Peavy, but he got the next two batters to fly out. Jayson Werth came up and took a walk from Peavy, taking him out of the game. Javier Lopez was tasked with getting the third out, but walked Adam LaRoche to load the bases. Hunter Strickland was asked to get the third out, and did it with four straight fastballs, striking Ian Desmond out on 100MPH gas.
The Giants tacked on a much needed run after a Joe Panik leadoff triple, and then Buster Posey‘s grounder which was misplayed. They would need it when Bryce Harper tattooed a solo shot to break the National’s shut out. Asdrubal Cabrera also added a solo shot of his own to bring the Nationals within 1 run. Jeremy Affeldt came in to relieve Strickland, and got Denard Span to ground out on an amazing play by Panik.
Sergio Romo came in to the 8th inning, and promptly gave up a hit to Anthony Rendon. Werth popped up to Panik to bring LaRoche up, and without a left-handed reliever left it would be up to Romo to try and get him out. He just blooped one into left for a single, putting Rendon in scoring position. Desmond struck out, bringing up Harper who grounded out to end the threat.
The Giants threatened in the 8th and 9th innings, but could not tack on any insurance. They wouldn’t need any as Santiago Casilla came up against the bottom part of the lineup and shut them down in order, and closing the book on the Giants first win of the series, 3-2.