Two more two-out, run-scoring hits. Multiple knocks with runners in scoring position. Hitters fouling off two-strike pitches to get something better to handle.
Not sure where this Nationals team has come from, but I bet Davey Johnson is hoping this group stays around for a while.
The Nats have taken a 3-0 lead on Ryan Vogelsong and the Giants through 3 1/2 innings thanks to a big third.
Ian Desmond’s 52nd extra-base hit of the season drove in Denard Span and Jayson Werth to get the scoring started, and one batter later, Adam LaRoche took a 3-0 Vogelsong offering and dropped it into left for a base hit that brought in Desmond.
Both RBI knocks came with two down. The Nats got very few of those type of timely hits through much of the first four months of the season, but they’ve come much more frequently of late.
The at-bats were hard-fought too. Ryan Zimmerman fouled off four two-strike pitches before drawing a walk in a 10-pitch at-bat. Werth fell behind 0-2 before fouling off a pitch and moving Span to third on a fielder’s choice groundout. Desmond got behind in the count 1-2 before working the count even and smoking a curveball to the gap in left-center.
Dan Haren now has a three-run cushion to work with. Haren started off the afternoon a little shaky, loading the bases in the first, but he’s held the Giants off the scoreboard and kept them hitless since the first.
Haren has thrown 66 pitches through his four scoreless frames, and is exploiting the shadows that have crept out in front of home plate, making it tough for hitters to see.
The Nats’ hitters haven’t had as much trouble as the visiting Giants, however, as they’ve outscored their guests 3-0 and outhit them 6-2 thus far.
Update: The Nats didn’t score in the fourth, but they did knock Vogelsong from the game after just 3 2/3 innings, and have gotten their way into the San Fransisco bullpen.
Vogelsong threw a whopping 92 pitches over his 3 2/3, and is a big part of the reason why it’s taken the Nats and Giants 1:39 to play just four innings.