by Anthony Amobi, Staff Writer
|Jason Marquis dominated the San Francisco Giants Friday night. (A.Amobi)|
WASHINGTON – Last season was one for Jason Marquis to forget with the Washington Nationals.
Marquis was injured for much of 2010 and just downright awful at times. The end result was that he was ineffective most of the time and suffered through one of his worst campaigns in his major league career finishing up with a 2-9 record.
Now in 2011, it seems like the right-handed starter is a man reborn.
Last night at Nationals Park in Southeast D.C., Marquis by far had his best start on the mound for the franchise. He pitched a complete game shutout and the Washington Nationals defeated the San Francisco Giants, 3-0, to kick off their four game weekend series.
Both teams are now 12-13 on the season.
Marquis (3-0) only allowed five hits in his outing and struck out seven batter without walking a batter. This was his seventh complete game and fourth shutout in his major league career.
After the game, Nationals manger Jim Riggleman had nothing but praise for his starting pitcher.
"He was really good. He just made the game feel real comfortable. He was just extremely sharp and had everything working. And we played good behind him."
Once the game ended, what was left of the announced attendance of 21,399 gave Marquis well-deserved applause after a dominant night of work.
Batters for the Washington Nationals had their hands full with two-time National League Cy Young Award winner, the diminitive, but hard-throwing Tim Lincecum. When all was said and done, they produced enough offense to earn their second straight win after a 1-6 skid.
Laynce’s Nix’s two-run homer in the bottom of the second inning provided much of the offense that Washington needed.
|Laynce Nix is congratulated by Wilson Ramos on his home run. (A.Amobi)|
The Nationals took a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning as Jason Marquis helped out his own cause with an RBI-single to right.
However, the third run for the Nationals didn’t come without controversy.
Ian Desmond – who scored – reached base on a single, and then stole second base. Based on the replays shown on the various televisions at Nationals Park, it looked like Desmond was tagged out by Giants’ shortstop Miguel Tejada, who caught a throw by catcher Buster Poser.
Intitially, it seemed that Desmond might have snuck around the tag, but Tejada nailed him. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy came out to argue the call, but it was all in vain.
|Lincecum pitched well in 3-0 loss to Nats. (A.Amobi)|
Tim Lincecum (2-3) took the loss as he went seven innings and gave up three runs – all earned. He struck out seven and didn’t walk anyone. Aside from running into trouble in the second inning, Linecum was very good and earned a quality start; however, whatever he did on the night could not match up with Marquis’ overall brilliance on the mound.
THE GOOD: After scuffling at the plate for most of the season so far, Ian Desmond continured to stay hot at the plate and went 3-for-3 on Friday. Nix was 2-for-3 with the homer.
THE BAD: The top of the lineup was ice cold on the night as Danny Espinosa, Rick Ankiel, Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche (who whiffed three times at the plate) were 0-for-14.
THE UGLY: Alex Cora went 0-for-3, dropping his average to an anemic .139.
THE STATS: Seven hits, one walk, seven Ks. 2-for-7 with RISP, 3 LOB, 0 GIDP.
NEXT GAME: Saturday at 4:05 pm vs. San Francisco Giants. John Lannan (2-2, 4.05) faces Jonathan Sanchez (2-1, 3.21)
|Giants outfielders converge on fly ball. (A.Amobi)|