The Nats offense connected early against Jonathan Sanchez, scoring five runs and sending the Giants starter to the showers in the fourth inning. With a 5-3 lead, the Nats had to like their chances with a normally reliable bullpen waiting for the opportunity to go.
But in the fifth and sixth frames, the Nats had opportunities to add to their lead, but were unable to plate another run, leaving four men on base following three hits.
In the sixth inning, the toughest outs of the night came at third base, where pinch runner Roger Bernadina and Ian Desmond were caught stealing.
Michael Morse had led off the sixth with a stand up double. After Bernadina replaced him at second, Desmond’s bunt did not get far enough away from the catcher and a fielder’s choice nabbed Bernadina trying to get to third base, catcher to third.
Morse says the Nats will never apologize for being aggressive, even with the lead.
“You are just taking a chance right there. We had a chance to put the guys in scoring position, that is what (manager Jim Riggleman) is thinking there. It could have worked both ways. If they were safe it could have helped us out right there, especially with Zimm coming up.”
As the inning continued, Desmond was able to steal second. The next batter, Willie Harris walked. With men on first and second, a double steal was called versus Giants reliever Santiago Casilla (2-2). But once again the Giants were ready, Buster Posey throwing to Pablo Sandoval to get Desmond at third.
Morse liked the called again. “Most of the time a new pitcher coming into the game, a double steal like that would have worked. Just today it didn’t go our way. Hopefully we will get a chance to do it again.”
Riggleman thought Casilla got a break when the Giants made the play to get Desmond at third base.
“You know I think the Giants got away with one there. Casilla, the pitcher, didn’t make a stop. He just came up and went. If he makes the stop that you are supposed to make then Desmond gets a better jump. He is going to be safe over there.”