There’s plenty the Nationals’ bullpen could have done to hang onto a 4-2 cushion and prevent the Giants from taking a one-run lead, and an error in the seventh inning by Adam Dunn didn’t help. But if Dunn’s double in the top of the seventh landed a couple feet to the right, none of those things would be an issue.
Dunn’s fly ball spiked off the top of the cement in right field before landing back on the grass. The problem is, that’s only good for a ground-rule double at AT&T Park. Had it hit the green metal roof on top of the right-field wall, it would’ve been a home run. As it was after an umpire review, Dunn only got an extra-base hit and Justin Maxwell was stuck at third. The Giants loaded the bases with a walk to Ryan Zimmerman, but the Nationals only got one runner home in the inning, on Ian Desmond’s sac fly, despite having the bases loaded with one out. Had Dunn’s ball gone out, the game would be tied right now.
As it is, the Giants lead 5-4 after eight innings, having scored three off Sean Burnett and Tyler Walker in the bottom of the seventh. One of those runs was unearned, charged to Stammen after Dunn let a sharp grounder go under his glove. But the Giants did most of their damage against Burnett, with Walker also allowing an inherited runner to score.
So we head to the ninth with the Nationals down a run, and looking at a series loss if they can’t rally.