Ryan Vogelsong came into tonight’s game as the National League ERA leader.
He had gone all season - 21 starts - without allowing a run in the first inning. He hadn’t given up more than four runs in any outing this year and had allowed one earned run or fewer in four of his last five starts.
Then the Nationals rolled into San Francisco and put up an eight-spot on Vogelsong, knocking the Giants starter out of the game after just 2 2/3 innings.
Ryan Zimmerman’s RBI double in the first got it all started. But the Nats really turned it on in the third, notching seven hits, plating seven runs, sending 12 to the plate and taking a huge 8-0 lead very early on.
That seven-run inning was the largest offensive output the Nationals have put up all season long.
If you take out two Gio Gonzalez strikeouts in the third, Nats hitters went 7-for-7 with two walks off Vogelsong.
Five consecutive Nats hitters (Adam LaRoche, Michael Morse, Danny Espinosa, Roger Bernadina and Kurt Suzuki) tallied an RBI in the inning, and in the first game of a big three-game set, the Giants will need to get a lot of help from their bullpen tonight.
Vogelsong had a 2.27 ERA when he threw his first pitch tonight. He leaves with that ERA now 45 points higher, and Jordan Zimmermann currently has the best ERA in the National League.
Update: It apparently doesn’t matter who’s on the mound for the Giants tonight. Vogelsong isn’t the only one to surrender a crooked number to the Nats.
Washington tacked on three more runs in the fourth inning, making it an 11-0 ballgame. Brad Penny was the unfortunate Giants hurler to get hit around this time.
Suzuki now has four RBIs, Bernadina has three and the Nats are turning this one into quite a laugher.
Update II: It’s now 14-0 after 4 1/2 innings. The Nats have out-hit the Giants 17-3 and are currently on pace to put up 25 runs.
Penny allowed six runs in two innings before being pulled. Espinosa’s two-run homer made it a two-touchdown Nationals lead.
Everyone having fun?
Update III: When it was all said and done, the Nationals churned out 14 runs, smacked 21 hits and dismantled the Giants to the tune of a 14-2 final.
With a Braves loss to the Padres, the Nats now have a 5 1/2 game lead in the National League East, the largest margin it’s been all season.