In a game that was headlined by Max Scherzer and Anthony DeSclafani, the Washington Nationals and SF Giants expected a pitcher’s duel on Friday night. They got a pitcher’s duel, but not in the way that they expected.
Scherzer had to exit the game after just 12 pitches as he sustained a mild groin injury. It became a bullpen game for the Nationals and they performed well. However, this was a special night for DeSclafani that could not be matched, pitching a complete-game shutout to secure a 1-0 victory.
SF Giants: Anthony DeSclafani dazzles in 1-0 victory against Nationals
DeSclafani hit a modest rough patch against the Los Angeles Dodgers a couple of weeks ago, yielding 12 earned runs across 7.1 frames in consecutive starts. The Dodgers have a potent offense, so some struggles were expected.
The right-handed hurler is in the midst of a career year and there were some concerns about whether he could rebound from it. He has rebounded nicely in his past two starts against the Chicago Cubs and the Nationals.
On Friday night, DeSclafani was the main story. He shut down a lineup that features Trea Turner and Juan Soto. Though, in keeping Soto in the ballpark, he did have some help from left fielder Mike Tauchman:
Yes, Tauchman did it again. He spoiled a would-be home run with a fantastic catch where he reached over the fence to record the key out in the game.
The Giants offense did not give DeSclafani much to work with as they recorded just four hits against a bevy of Nationals bullpen arms. One of those hits came off the bat of Buster Posey, which landed beyond the left field wall for a solo shot in the fourth inning.
That was all the wiggle room that DeSclafani was going to get and he held the Nationals lineup in check. In nine innings, the 31-year-old yielded two hits and one walk while recording eight strikeouts. On top of this, he induced seven ground outs, so he did well to miss the barrel of the bat.
The Giants face off against the Nationals in a double-header on Saturday and DeSclafani’s performance allowed the bullpen to get an extra day of rest. On the other hand, the Nationals bullpen had to record 26 outs. The Giants took the first game of the series but they are in a position to at least split the series after today’s games.