The Giants dropped the Nationals 10-3 on Friday night, ending the club’s longest win streak in nine years at 10 games.
“Yeah, I don’t know, we haven’t had that feeling in awhile, fortunately,” LaRoche said. “Tough loss, no question, just the way we got beat.”
“Other than that, looking back, an awesome stretch. Frustrating, but we’re still in great position here for this time of year. Got work to do. Just kind of let one get away from us today. That’s baseball.”
“Especially the way it happened with a lot of those games down late, or up late then give it back, then just some crazy baseball. You don’t say a whole lot when it’s happening. It’s almost like a hitting streak - you just ride it out. Time to start up a new one.”
Span agreed it was a fun week and a half for the Nationals, who swept the Mets, Pirates and Diamondbacks during the 10-game win streak, which equaled a binge in June 2005 for the longest since the team moved from Montreal to D.C.
“It was a good run,” Span said. “Just a lot of excitement for the last 10 days. We came back, had a lot of come-from-behind wins. I think we jelled as a team. It was a lot of fun.”
But losing pitcher Doug Fister was in no mood after the game to acknowledge the record-tying streak.
“We don’t have time to do that,” Fister said. “We got to come back tomorrow ready to play and start a new one. We don’t look at as streaks. We look at it as day-by-day, and there’s 162 games we got to come out and be ready to play. Tomorrow is a new one.”
Span said they deserved to give Fister this one after the way he has pitched so far this season for the Nationals.
“You haven’t seen that happen all year, him give up two home runs, I think St. Louis (June 15, in a 5-2 loss) maybe?” Span questioned the reporters gathered. “I feel like that was the last time he got hit a little hard, but I mean, it’s going to happen. It’s going to happen. It’s a good lineup over there. He still pitched good in my opinion. He still gave us a chance to win. I think it was four runs. We still had a chance to win. He’s been doing a good job for us all year. Ain’t too much you can really say against him.”
Just like during the streak when the Nationals came back, Span also felt Friday night the team could come back even when they were down as late as the sixth inning.
“I think when the score was 4-2, I think everybody believed, you know what, we still have a chance to win this game,” Span said. “When it got 10-2, then it was like, ‘Ah, OK, time to turn the page and try to start another streak, I guess.’ But anything can happen.”
Span said veteran Tim Hudson was difficult to solve over his 5 1/3 innings. He held the Nationals to one earned run and only five hits.
“He just pitches, man,” Span said. “Seems like he knows how to get out of jams. He knows how to get ground balls. That’s what he does and he’s been doing it for a long time. He did it to us again tonight.”
Fister lost his first game since Aug. 1 and only his second since June 15.
“I just wasn’t sharp,” Fister said. “I left too many balls over the plate.”
A key moment arrived in the fourth when Joe Panik hit his first major league home run, a three-run shot that gave the Giants a 3-1 lead.
“I’m attacking him with my best pitch,” Fister said. “I left it over the middle of the plate. He hit it well. That’s his job. I didn’t do mine.”
Fister acknowledged he was struggling to find his command during the entire outing.
“The whole day, I was battling myself,” Fister said. “That’s a constant challenge for me to constantly keep the ball down and on the corners. It’s something I have to do and if not I have to pay for it and that’s what happened.”
Fister disclosed the stitches on his neck were from the removal of some skin cancer “a couple of days ago. It had no effect tonight.”