It was a close game between the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park Tuesday night. Pitchers Jordan Zimmermann and Jonathan Sanchez kept the score close for their respective teams, allowed few runs and by the end of the fourth-inning the night's scoring was over. In the end, it was the Nationals who remained on top for the 2-1 win.
The victory really comes at the hands of one man: Zimmermann. The 25-year old put packaged another fine performance together going seven strong innings, giving up one run on five hits. He only walked one batter while striking out three. On top of a marvelous pitching performance, Zimmermann also got things done with the bat. He did not wait for the offense to produce the winning run, but instead laid down a sac bunt in the fourth-inning to plate Rick Ankiel while also beating the throw to first for the go-ahead run. Shortstop Ian Desmond laid claim to the only other Nationals run, an RBI single in the third-inning.
The only run Zimmermann allowed the Giants Tuesday night was an RBI double from Nate Schierholtz in the bottom of the second after Aubrey Huff tripled. It was all the Giants could do against one of the Nationals most promising pitching stars.
The Nationals move to 27-34 and still are firmly entrenched in the cellar of the NL East.
The Giants struck first blood in the second-inning off a Nate Scheirholtz RBI double, but the Nationals quickly fired back. In the third-inning Ian Desmond singled in Laynce Nix to tie the game. The Nationals had an opportunity to score more runs off Giants pitcher Jonathan Sanchez by loading the bases, but the inconsistent Nats offense let Sanchez off the hook and let him get out of the inning. Then in the top of the fourth-inning Zimmermann came to the plate and laid down a sac bunt. He was able to beat the throw to first and on top of it get an RBI as Rick Ankiel scored on the play.
Neither team is really giving a lot away right now, but for now it looks like the Nationals are more the aggressor. However, if Monday taught them anything, never count the defending champs out.
The Washington Nationals suffered a devastating extra innings loss to the San Francisco Giants Monday night tagging pitcher Tim Lincecum with four runs, but then the bullpen bobbled the ball in later innings to put the Giants back in the game before finally losing it in the 13th-inning. On Tuesday night the Nats look to right the ship and make up for the mistakes in game two of a three game series.
It will be up to starter Jordan Zimmermann (3-6, 3.61 ERA) to wrangle the defending World Champions. Zimmermann is becoming very dependable stretching out the innings in games he pitches in. He has gone at least six innings in six straight starts and eight of his last 10. Zimmermann's last outing was a June 2nd victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks where he allowed one run on six hits. The 25-year old right hander has a 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA record against the Giants.
He will be facing San Francisco's Jonathan Sanchez (4-3, 3.50) in a 10:15 P.M. EST game at AT&T Park.
Right fielder Jayson Werth was scratched from the line-up an hour before game time with a sore right ankle. He is labeled day to day, but is available if needed.