After suffering what was a pretty embarrassing loss Saturday the Nats bounced back and took control of the series Sunday with a 5 to 2 win over the San Francisco Giants.
Nats pitcher Jordan Zimmermann struggled early on allowing 2 runs and 4 hits in the first 2 innings but settled down as the game went along and kept them scoreless over the next 4 innings. He fought back hard after a rough start and looked pretty good with his slider. It was his longest outing as far as pitch count goes since his return from Tommy John surgery having thrown 107 pitches over 6 innings while allowing 2 runs on 6 hits with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts.
It was definitely a much needed win for Jordan after he gave up 5 earned runs a piece in his last two starts prior to Sunday’s game. He came in to the game with a 4.55 era and left the game with an era of 4.29.
San Francisco’s starter Matt Cain went 6 innings and allowed 3 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks. With his outing he moved in to 10th place all time in innings pitched for the Giants tied with Vida Blue who pitched for the Giants in the 70’s and 80’s.
When Zimmermann handed the mound over to Tyler Clippard in the 7th the Nats were ahead 3 to 2 and after 3 solid combined innings of bullpen work from Clippard, Burnett and Storen the Nats got the win a 2 games to 1 series lead.
At the plate the Giants kicked off the scoring early with a 2 run double off the bat of Nate Schierholtz in the top of the 2nd inning. The Nationals pulled within 1 in the bottom of the second inning off an Alex Cora double that drove in Laynce Nix from third base.
Sort of reminiscent to Saturdays game the Nats got a little help from the Giants after Ankiel scored from 3rd tying the game on a wild pitch from Matt Cain. Prior to Ankiel scoring the Nats loaded the bases on 2 walks and a single from Jayson Werth. Jerry Hairston helped give the Nationals the lead in the bottom of the 4th when he grounded out in to a fielders choice that sent Ivan Rodriguez home for the lead.
Washington then picked up 2 more insurance runs in the in the 8th on a 2 rbi single from Ivan Rodriguez who ended up getting thrown out at second trying to stretch the play in to a double.
All in all it was a good win for the Nationals and it was nice to see them respond strongly to Saturday’s loss.
Nats stars of the game
Jordan Zimmermann- any time a pitcher can go 6 innings and give up just 2 runs is a pretty good day. He showed heart and maturity on the mound in fighting through a rough start and hopefully its a sign that he is developing in to the pitcher everyone has expected him to become.
Ivan Rodriguez- he got it done at the plate giving the Nats 2 hits, a run and 2 rbi’s and he called a pretty good game. Oh and he did make a throw out at second base that resulted in a couple highlight replays.
When talking about Ivan Rodriguez the Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain said “He knows what he wants to do up there. He stays with his plan. He’s not an easy out. You’d never question what he does behind the plate, calling a game, and obviously he still has a cannon, throwing guys out.”
up next for the Nats- a 7:05 pm start time game tonight vs the Giants