by Antthony Amobi, Staff Writer
WASHINGTON – It was a tough Saturday for the Washington Nationals as they lost to the San Francisco Giants, 2-1, in the second contest of a four game series.
Before the game, the Nationals informed the media and fans know that third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will be out at least six weeks, following surgery to repair a torn muscle in his abdomen. He has not played since the beginning of April due to an abdominal tear that had gotten worse since Spring Training, and now will need surgery.
Washington general manager Mike Rizzo, according to media reports, said that Zimmerman will have the procedure done in Philadelphia, Pa.
As for the contest itself on Saturday afternoon, the Nationals blew numerous opportunities to take control of things in a frustrating loss. They could not seemingly get any offense despite the Giants all but handing them an easy route to a victory.
Washington (12-14) had golden opportunities to do damage throughout the entire game thanks to some awful pitching by San Francisco (13-13). Amazingly, the Giants were awful on the mound as their pitchers gave up nine walks and hit three batters, but only allowed one run on two hits.
They had a chance to jump all over San Francisco starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez in the first two innings. He loaded the bases in the both first and second innings, allowing an astonishing seven out of the first ten batters to reach base either via a walk or hit-by-pitch.
|Jonathan Sanchez had rough day against Nats, but Giants win regardless. (A. Amobi)|
The Giants seemed to have an incredible amount of luck on their side throughout the contest.
Sanchez was able to get a double play to help close out the first inning and with the bases loaded with one out in the second, Washington’s Rick Ankiel plated in a run. However, the heart of the lineup could not bust open the frame as Jayson Werth struck out and Adam LaRoche grounded out.
From there, Sanchez – who did not factor in the decision – calmed down, but had one weird stat line when was done. He threw five innings, allowed one run, walked six and struck out seven.
The Giants tied the game at one in the third inning as catch Eli Whiteside homered to left.
|Eli Whiteside is congratulated after home run. (A.Amobi)|
Reliever Guillermo Mota (2-0) earned the victory, as he took over after Sanchez left the game and pitched a scoreless sixth inning.
Meanwhile, Washington’s starting pitcher, John Lannan (2-3) had a very strong performance, but the lack of offense from his teammates doomed him on Saturday. He took the loss and gave up two runs in 6 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and three walks.
|John Lannan delivers in 2-1 loss. (A.Amobi)|
San Francisco decided the game in the seventh inning. With the game tied at one and Lannan still on the mound, he gave up a bases-loaded walk to pitch hitter Aubrey Huff.
The Giants once again added high drama to an already crazy game in the ninth inning as closer Brian Wilson (S,8) too ran into trouble. He was able to finish up the game; however, Wilson too loaded the bases after drilling Jayson Werth in the back, but struck out Adam LaRoche to end the contest.
After the game, Washington manager Jim Riggleman summed up the loss.
"We just couldn't quite get over the hump. Sanchez really battled – he threw a lot of pitches and got out of trouble, but we just couldn't push it across."
Riggleman also spoke about his team’s struggles at the plate and how the Nationals can get past it.
“I think our guys are pushing and working and doing everything they can to get it going and trying to have a quality at bat.”
He added, “We've got a lot professional hitters. We've got a lot of guys who have got a lot of time in the league and are professional hitters, and we just are going to have to come out of it.”
The alternative to too tough to think about with over 80 percent of the season remaining.
THE GOOD: Too bad Lannan could not get the victory. He pitched awfully well, but with a low margin of error on the afternoon considering the way the Nationals were at the plate, perhaps there was just too much pressure on him.
THE BAD: Where do we begin? The Nationals left 12 men on base and were only 1-of-9 with runners in scoring position.
Sorry, more had to be done considering how bad San Francisco's pitching was at points during the game. They should have scored at least twice – if not – more during the first couple of innings off a shaky Jonathan Sanchez.
Aside from Wilson Ramos ending the day hitting .358, no other National is hitting above .239.
THE UGLY: The 3-4-5 hitters – Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche and Wilson Ramos – were 0-for-8 with two walks.