For whatever reason, Edwin Jackson stinks it up in the first inning nearly every time he takes the mound.
Then, almost without fail, he gets into a groove and dominates the rest of the way out.
That pattern has held true today, as Jackson gave up three Giants runs in the first inning, putting the Nationals in an early 3-0 hole. He has settled into a groove since then, however, facing just one over the minimum from innings 2-4.
Jackson now has 9.56 ERA in the first inning this season, and a 2.58 ERA in innings 2-9.
Maybe the Nationals should have the guy throw a simulated first inning in the bullpen. Brainwash him. Do something to make him believe that it's actually the second inning when he's out there for his first frame of the ballgame.
While Jackson put the Nats behind early, they've battled back to take the lead with three runs in the third and one in the fourth.
Their third-inning rally came after Giants starter Madison Bumgarner retired the first two Nats to come to the plate. The top five guys in Washington's order then reached with two outs, plating three runs in the process.
Ryan Zimmerman's RBI double got the Nationals on the board, and Ian Desmond tied the game with a two-run, bases-loaded single to center.
Desmond now is batting .280 on the season and has 14 homers and 47 RBIs. This after he hit .253 with eight home runs and 49 RBIs in 154 games last year.
Jhonatan Solano gave the Nats the lead an inning later with his second major league home run. The rookie catcher continues to scald the ball, and is now batting .385 on the season.
Update: Within the span of about an hour, this game has gone from a 3-0 Giants lead to a 7-3 Nats advantage.
Why wait for the nighttime fireworks? The Nats are on fire this afternoon.
Within a span of six batters, Solano, Zimmerman and Michael Morse all went yard. All three homers flew out to right field, and Zimmerman and Morse's blasts came back-to-back in the fifth.
The Nationals are beating up Bumgarner good, and have quickly turned the tables on the NL's second-best team.