They’re dueling in the Bay area (Nats lose 6-1)

Now this is more along the lines of what we were expecting this series.

Yesterday’s anticipated pitcher’s duel was anything but. Today’s has actually come to fruition.

Jordan Zimmermann and Madison Bumgarner are locked in quite a battle through five innings at AT&T Park, and Bumgarner’s Giants lead 1-0 as we go to the sixth.

The Nationals have managed very little off Bumgarner; they’ve notched just two hits off the Giants lefty, both of which have come from the bat of Danny Espinosa.

Bumgarner has thrown an average of just eight pitches per inning so far, and for the most part has cruised through the early innings.

Things have been a little tougher on Zimmermann, who has scattered six hits over five innings.

The Giants broke through with a run in the second on a Brandon Belt RBI double, but Zimmermann has done a nice job shutting down San Francisco threats, leaving runners in scoring position in the first and fifth innings.

Given how sharp Bumgarner has looked so far, Zimmermann hasn’t had much room for error. And despite not having his best stuff today, the National League ERA leader has still pitched a strong game.

Update: Zimmermann gave up a few more hard-hit balls in the sixth, and he’s now out of the game with his team trailing 2-0 going to the seventh.

Belt crushed a ball to right that scored Pablo Sandoval, giving the Giants a two-run lead and knocking Zimmermann out of the game after just 5 2/3 innings.

It’s only the second time all season that Zimmermann has failed to get through six full.

Update II: The Nats finally got on the board against Bumgarner, with Jayson Werth coming in to score on an infield single by Adam LaRoche.

Werth had reached on a leadoff triple, and LaRoche’s 77th RBI of the season has cut the Giants’ lead in half.

Update III: Drew Storen wasn’t at his best tonight, and the Giants blew things open in the bottom of the eighth, scoring four times to make it a 6-1 final.

I guess they can’t all be 14-2 romps in favor of the guys with the Curly W’s on their hats, can they?

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