The past was prologue tonight as the Giants in the middle innings struggled to get out from under the disaster that was the first inning. Later in the season, if the past is prologue, the Giants will be in trouble should they face the Nationals in October baseball.
Matt Cain toed the hill for the Giants, and promptly he walked the bases loaded to start the game. All three runners scored, and the Giants played catch-up all night though they never equaled those three runs. The final was 6-2, and the Nats took the series by winning its first three games. Tanner Roark has pitched outstanding baseball, so, with him on the hill, overcoming a 3-0 deficit became a tall order, too tall for the Giants.
The Nats showed glove in their victory. Danny Espinosa, the second sacker, robbed Gregor Blanco of a single in the fourth that would have changed the score, and Ryan Zimmerman lunged to catch Brandon Crawford’s shallow flyball in the sixth. Zimmerman has converted to center field from third base, and that conversion has been so complete that the return of Bryce Harper and his remarks about returning to center field have become problematic.
Perhaps baseball is a game of streaks or momentum. If that is so, the Nationals seem to be surfing atop them.
10 May 14
Matt Cain returned from the disabled list to start and to pitch creditably into the sixth inning. The Giants were leading 2-0 when Cain walked Dee Gordon, Michael Morse failed to reach a catchable ball off the bat of Yasiel Puig, and Cain walked Hanley Ramirez. Jeremy Affeldt came in and held the damage to 2 runs. The Dodgers scored 2 more in the seventh and eighth, and won the game 6-2, the first of about six weeks of games the Giants will play without Brandon Belt. Zack Greinke won his sixth game against one loss.
The Giants are 6-3 on the road trip before its final game on Sunday that promises to be a dandy featuring Tim Hudson squaring off against Clayton Kershaw making his second start since returning from the disabled list. It will be their first meeting in 2014 and one of baseball’s premier matchups this season.
29 Apr 14
It was 75º as a school and community group offered the national anthem while fans prepared for a warm-weather game with its livelier ball when the ballpark plays small. Angel Pagan led off the game with his second homer, and Buster Posey contributed his sixth in the home half of the first frame. The Giants were off and running, and didn’t look back.
Yusmeiro Petit made their forward-looking possible. Starting on an hour’s notice after scheduled starter Matt Cain cut his finger confecting a sandwich in the clubhouse, Petit’s impressive line includes 6 full innings, 3 perfect ones, with 3 hits and 4 strikeouts. He didn’t suffer a walk.
The Giants scored 3 additional runs in the third with Hector Sanchez hitting a bases-loaded single after an intentional pass was given to Pablo Sandoval.
Jean Machi worked the seventh and eighth innings and Santiago Casillla twirled the ninth: three perfect innings.
The Giants look to win the series tomorrow before a challenging road trip to Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles.