Nationals Thrash Giants to Take Series

The day did not look good for the Nationals. Stephen Strasburg exited early, digging the Nationals a 5-0 hole after three innings. The bats awoke, a rally pigeon grazing on the outfield grass given credit for the big offensive outburst that resulted in the Nationals 14-6 win.

Stephen Strasburg was not sharp. Gregor Blanco launched him for a leadoff homer into the right field bleachers on a 3-2 count for his second homerun of the season. Travis Ishikawa led off the second inning, rocking Strasburg for a deep drive into centerfield on another 3-2 count for his second homerun. Strasburg coughed up four hits in the third, Michael Morse bouncing one off the scoreboard in a three run third, putting the Nationals down 5-0.

Ryan Vogelsong had not allowed a hit in his first three innings of work. His three walks showed he was not sharp. Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche rocked him for back to back doubles to lead off the fourth. After Vogelsong retired the next two hitters Asdrubal Cabrera ripped a third double in the inning into the left centerfield gap. A walk to Jose Lobaton saw Stephen Strasburg exit for new acquisition Nate Schierholtz. He failed to drive in the two baserunners, popping out to shortstop.

Gregor Blanco led off the sixth with a triple ripped just fair down the first base line that hit the ball girl’s chair. Werth had a long run, with Blanco using his speed to advance to third. Hunter Pence drove him in with a fly to right to up the Giant advantage to 6-2.

Ian Desmond sent Vogelsong to the showers by blasting a pitch over the left field bullpen to pull the Nationals to 6-3. Jeremy Affeldt replaced Vogelsong and could not retire any of the five hitters he faced. With runners on first and third and one out, with the Nationals tied at 6-6, Jean Machi came on in relief to promptly pick off Denard Span for the second out. The Nationals bats were not deterred, with Jayson Werth driving in Scott Hairston for the go ahead run. Michael Morse was atrocious in the outfield, allowing an easy fly ball by Bryce Harper to go over his head. The Nationals were also not afraid to run on his left field arm, advancing a runner home from second every time a single was hit to left.

The Nationals put the game away in the eighth with a five run outburst, Bryce Harper hitting the foul pole in right field for a two run homer and Danny Espinosa powering a ball into the right field bleachers for a two run homer.

Game Notes: Despite his short outing Stephen Strasburg struck out four hitters to reach 200 whiffs for the season. He has also given up 21 homeruns this year….Ryan Vogelsong walked four, all after running the count to 3-2….Michael Morse had a rough day in the outfield. He was not charged with any errors, but he turned an out into a double, a single into a double, and he allowed a number of runners to score from second on singles into left field…Jose Lobaton had a good day, stroking hits in his last three at bats after grounding into a double play in his first at bat…

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