One would probably expect a matchup between Doug Fister and Madison Bumgarner, with the way they are pitching the last few starts, to be a good old fashioned pitchers’ duel.
So far, that is exactly the case.
The Nationals got their first base hit from third baseman Anthony Rendon, a single in the first. It is Rendon’s first appearance in three games since hurting his hand against the Padres on Friday night. Wilson Ramos had a double in the second inning. That was the ninth extra-base hit of the series so far for the Nationals.
Fister, who pitched at AT&T Park for the Tigers in the 2012 World Series, allowed the Giants a base hit by Pablo Sandoval in the second and Bumgarner got a single to left field in the third.
The Nationals challenged a play at first base in the third when Angel Pagan was called safe by umpire Phil Cuzzi. The call was upheld on video review and the Nationals lost their replay challenge for the remainder of the game. The delay took two minutes, 26 seconds.
Hunter Pence then delivered a single to put men on first and second, but Buster Posey flied out to end the threat.
No score after three innings.
Update: Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa led off the fifth inning with back-to-back singles to put men on first and third with no one out.
With one out, Denard Span hit a line drive deep to left field that was caught by Gregor Blanco, but Desmond used his speed to easily score from third on the sacrifice fly and the Nationals led 1-0.
Following Rendon’s second base hit of the game, Jayson Werth laced a run-scoring single to left, plating Espinosa and the Nationals led 2-0. Rendon was tagged out by Pablo Sandoval heading to third to end the rally.
Update II: The Nationals had a run taken off the board because of a video review in the sixth inning. WIth Adam LaRoche at third base and two outs, Desmond hit a grounder to Michael Morse at first base. Morse bobbled the ball for a moment but then threw it to Bumgarner, who stepped on first base. Desmond was originally called safe by Cuzzi.
The Giants challenged the call. The video replay revealed Bumgarner’s foot tagged first before Desmond’s did. The call was overturned and LaRoche’s run did not count.
Sandoval hit a double in the sixth, his third hit in three at-bats. With two outs, Brandon Crawford hit a single to right. Werth threw home to Wilson Ramos and his throw easily beat Sandoval, with Ramos making the tag and keeping the Giants off the board. the Nationals lead 2-0 after six innings.
Update III: Fister was tremendous again, going seven innings, allowing eight hits and no runs with one walk and three strikeouts. He tossed 97 pitches, 66 for strikes. Tyler Clippard arrived in the eighth.
With two men on and one out in the eighth, Clippard struck out Morse swinging on a 3-2 count. He then got Blanco to fly out to center to end the threat.
Update IV: Rafael Soriano allowed a triple by Crawford and a RBI groundout to begin the ninth, trimming the Nats’ lead to 2-1. Then he induced a pair of flyouts and the game was over.
The Nationals dropped the Giants 2-1. Fister has now won five in a row. Rendon, LaRoche and Ramos with two hits apiece.
Now the Nationals hope that Ramos, who left with an apparent right hnd injury after his double in the ninth, is not seriously hurt. MASNsports.com’s Dan Kolko will have an update soon.