The Giants held a 2-0 lead two batters in, but then Jordan Zimmermann bounced back.
And the Nationals as a whole bounced back from dropping the opener of this three-game set, a defeat that snapped a 10-game winning streak.
The Nats took the middle game of this series by an 8-2 score, with Zimmermann working eight stellar innings, Jayson Werth contributing two hits and two RBIs, Asdrubal Cabrera smoking a solo homer into the red seats in left-center and Denard Span again setting the table, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
Here’s Matt Williams after the win:
On how Zimmermann turned things around after the shaky start: “I don’t think he did anything different. Hunter (Pence) hit a ball over his head out of the ballpark. I don’t know how you do that. It’s 95 (mph), it’s at at least his eye level, up and away. He’s trying to get him to chase a pitch. Evidently he did, but he hit it right over the fence. After that, he settled right in. But (Angel) Pagan’s double was a little bit off the label in a good spot, then Hunter hit the ball over the fence. But after that, he was really good.”
On Pence’s homer: “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything that good. That’s hard to do. And to get on top of it enough to drive it. He takes the head of the bat to the baseball, and he can hit it anywhere within the ballpark and hit it out of the ballpark, over the fence. But I’ve never seen anything like that.”
On whether the Nats have confidence going against Tim Lincecum, who is now 1-6 in 10 career starts vs. Washington: “Guys have confidence if they’ve got good numbers and they seem him good, then of course. I just think it was a really good approach today. Middle of the diamond. Jayson had a couple of perfect base hits with guys in scoring position. Just the other way, to the right center field gap, didn’t try to do too much. Just hit the single over there we needed. That’s how you sustain innings, that’s how you put up crooked numbers. Because the innings like they had, the two-run inning in the first don’t happen very often. You want to sustain innings, and those type of at-bats, that type of approach works. It worked today.”
On Zimmermann working deep into the game and remaining effective over 100 pitches: “It was good. He maintained velocity all day. Early on it was a lot of fastballs, he worked in breaking balls early in counts to get ahead as we went through the middle innings. That kind of kept his pitch count down, too and allowed him to get through the eighth. So he pitched really well.”
On if Werth has made any adjustments since coming back from a shoulder issue: “No, I just think his approach, he understands the opposing pitcher and what he’s going to try to do and what he wants to do. And he also hits well to the situation. Whatever that situation is. So that calls for a base hit back through the middle, or the other way, and simply taking a single. And that’s what he did. Last night, he got the head out on a breaking ball and hit it over the fence. That’s what it called for at that position. We’re down by a couple, we need an extra-base hit, and he got one. He’s looking for a double there, or to drive the baseball to his pull side. So he hits to the situation very well.”
On bouncing back after the winning streak was snapped: “It’s important. It’s important for us to go out and compete and play well every day. It would be easy for a team to say ‘oh well, here we go’ after the top of the first. They didn’t. They answered and drew even after the first, and that says something about those guys. We play hard every game.”