Nats Maul the Freak

Tim Lincecum is not the mid 90s Cy Young pitcher he was in yester year. The Nationals spanked his high 80s fastball all about the outfield to score six runs in less than three innings of work. After Lincecum left the bats rested as no one else reached base. Fortunately for the Nats Jordan Zimmermann was able to hold the Giant bats in check.

It did not start off well for Zimmermann. He gave up a lead off broken bat double to Angel Pagan down the right field line to lead the game off. Hunter Pence then tomahawked an 0-2 pitch at his eyes into the right centerfield bleachers to give the Giants an early 2-0 lead. There would be no celebrations for Giants fans after that. Zimmerman was efficient with his pitches, not allowing a three ball count to a hitter until the eighth inning, when he seemed to tire and allow two three ball counts. Matt Thornton came on in relief in the ninth.

The Nationals got the runs back early. Denard Span lined a ball into the right field corner. The ball squirted past Pence after hitting off the wall and the scorer generously ruled it a triple. A walk to Anthony Rendon was followed by a line drive single into right by Jayson Werth to score Span with the Nats first run. The Giants chose to give up a second run to turn a double play on an Adam LaRoche ground ball.

The Nationals assault on Lincecum continued in the second inning, aided by a throwing error from Pablo Sandoval. Lincecum walked Asdrubal Cabrera. Jordan Zimmermann sacrificed him to second. Denard Span bounced a ball up the middle for a base hit and Cabrera easily scored after Angel Pagan bobbled the ball trying to pick it up. A wild pitch moved Span to second and the third out appeared to be made when Rendon hit an easy grounder to Sandoval for the third out. For the second time in three games on a Rendon hit ball to third, the thirdbaseman threw the ball away, Sandoval delivering a ball into the stands to allow Span to score and Rendon to move to second. Jayson Werth drove in Rendon with a single into right center.

After Lincecum got the first two hitters out in the third Asdrubal Cabrera lofted a high fly ball into centerfield that eventually settled into the centerfield bleachers for a homerun. Jordan Zimmermann followed with a double past the diving Sandoval down the third base line and that was all for the pitcher they called “The Freak”.

Yusmeiro Petit came on in relief and retired all 13 hitters he faced. Santiago Casilla retired the three batters he faced in the ninth. The Giants bullpen finished a perfect five plus innings in relief.

Game Notes: The virus of the ice bucket challenge extended to Nationals park. It seems every one is doing it now…The game represented an attempt by Tim Lincecum to win his 100th game. The result was his second shortest outing of his career. In his last seven starts per mlb.com Lincecum is 0-6 with a 9.49 ERA against the Nationals….The Nationals called up Nate Schierholtz to the major league team to add a left handed bat to the bench. They sent down prospect phenom Michael Taylor, who was not getting any at bats with Jayson Werth now healthy…Joe Panik, who reaped havoc on the National pitchers the day before grounded into two double plays in this game…Since the trade Zach Walters has hit five homeruns for the Cleveland Indians while Asdrubal Cabrera has hit only two. Cabrera is hitting for a higher average and provides a much better defensive option for second base than Walters.

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