Rewind: Nationals vs. Giants, Game 1

The San Francisco Giants enjoyed their stay in the District of Columbia so much that they decided to host the Washington Nationals for a 3-game series after their 0-6 roadtrip. Same team, different venue, same horrible results.

After the San Francisco Giants stranded two runners in scoring position to end the bottom of the first inning, announcer Jon Miller wondered aloud how long this lack of clutch would keep going.

Apparently the Giants weren’t done yet disappointing.

Early abysmal situational hitting by the Giants and disastrous fourth and eighth innings by Giants pitchers doomed the home team, as the mighty 46-59 Washington Nationals continued their dominance over the Giants with a 10-7 victory at AT&T Park.

But as they somehow have been during most of their current eight-game losing streak, the Giants actually hung around for the entire game, offering the home fans some glimmer of hope until the final out.  The Giants actually had the tying run at the plate in the form of Barry Bonds with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, but Bonds’s fly ball off of Washington closer Chad Cordero found a Nationals mitt at the deepest part of the ballpark for the third out.

This eighth loss in a row was particularly ugly on all facets from the very beginning.  Giants starter Noah Lowry allowed the first Nationals run to score in the first inning by virtue of a wild pitch that scored Nationals shortstop Felipe Lopes, who had doubled with one out and moved over to third on a grounder by third baseman Ryan Zimmerman.

Despite a good scoring chance in the bottom of the inning, the Giants failed to push a runner across home plate.  However, the Giants actually tied the game for the first and only time in the bottom of the second, when Randy Winn’s sacrifice fly scored Todd Greene for a 1-1 game.

Then things began to get really ugly.  After Moises Alou was ejected in the bottom of the third inning for arguing balls and strikes, nine Washington batters faced Lowry (5-7) in the top of the fourth inning, resulting in five runs and a 6-1 Nationals lead.

Lowry exited the game for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the fifth inning, and the top of the Giants batting order tried their best to make a game out of it.  A single-triple-single combo by Winn, Omar Vizquel, and Ray Durham put two more runs on the board to make it 6-3 Washington.  The Winn-Vizquel duo struck again – again with a single followed by a triple – in the bottom of the seventh to narrow the gap to two runs.

Alas, hope begins to fade fast when your relievers give up four runs on three hits in the very next inning.  Suffice to say that the two-out hitting display put on by Austin Kearns and Ryan Church in the inning drove in all four runs, and ultimately made the deficit too great to overcome.

All the Nationals run support made a winner out of Pedro Astacio (2-1), who yielded ten hits and four runs in six-plus innings but still came out on top.  Such is life when you are playing a team on one of the worst losing streaks in recent memory.

SFDugout Players of the Game: Winn and Vizquel.  Batman and Robin they are not; however, the top of the Giants lineup got the job done today by going a combined 7-for-9.  Too bad the rest of the team couldn’t pick up the slack. 

Don Shin eats, breathes, thinks, and bleeds in Orange and Black. Pac Bell Park officially opened on his 25th birthday (the one year he decided to move out of the Bay Area!!!). For the 2000 playoff drive, he dyed his hair orange while studying in Korea. He watched Game 6 of the '02 World Series at a restaurant in LA, and couldn't finish his meal afterwards. Feel free to write him at to commiserate, cheer, and complain.

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