Game #46 Recap: Nats Lose in Extras
The Nationals wasted a great start by Stephen Strasburg and lost 4-2 in ten innings to the San Francisco Giants on a Pablo Sandoval walk-off home run.
The Nationals got off to a good start, scoring two runs in the first inning. A Denard Span single, Bryce Harper sac fly and doubles from Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond, the latter breaking an 0-20 streak, did the damage.
Those were the only runs the Nationals scored all night though. They threatened in the fourth inning when they loaded the bases with one out but a ground out by Kurt Suzuki and strikeout by Stephen Strasburg let Giants starter Matt Cain off the hook.
Strasburg had a rough going in the first inning, walking two and giving up two singles. But a slick double play turned by Zimmerman, Danny Espinosa and Adam LaRoche helped him get out of trouble and he finished a scoreless first, albeit in 31 pitches.
A second inning double by Angel Pagan to score Gregor Blanco was the only run the Giants scored off Strasburg all night, as he just got stronger as the game went on. Strasburg finished seven innings in 108 pitches, allowing five hits and three walks while striking out seven. If not for the long first inning, he may have been able to go the distance.
Considering what happened after Strasburg left the game it might've been better for the Nats if he did.
In the top of the eighth the Nationals got Denard Span to third with one out, but were unable to cash in the insurance run. Tyler Clippard had no issues getting through a scoreless bottom of the eighth, but the relievers following him did not have such success.
Rafael Soriano took the mound in the ninth inning of the 2-1 game looking for his 16th save of the season. Soriano started the inning by giving up an infield single to Buster Posey, but then got two fly outs to get the Giants down to their last out. Gregor Blanco then hit a scorcher towards the gap in right, but it looked like Bryce Harper was going to run it down. However, at the last minute, perhaps remembering his crash in Los Angeles, he pulled up, missing the catch and giving Blanco the game-tying triple. Soriano then managed to escape the inning to send it to extras.
With the Nationals unable to score in the top of the tenth inning, the underwhelming Yunesky Maya took the mound. After giving up scorching line drives to center field to Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro, the former for an out, Maya matched up against Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval sent the second pitch he saw deep into the night and the Nationals found themselves on the losing end of a game they were one out away from winning.
The Nats will look to salvage a game tomorrow afternoon with Gio Gonzalez facing the Jordan Zimmermann of the West Coast, Madison Bumgarner.