Giants starter Madison Bumgarner came into tonight's game two outings removed from a 2 2/3-inning start against the Atlanta Braves, and his win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in his last start was his first quality start of the year.
Facing a team that's hitting just .206 against left-handers, though, he hasn't looked like a shaken pitcher early tonight.
Bumgarner has retired the first nine batters he's faced, striking out four of them and allowing just one ball hit out of the infield. The Nationals and Giants are scoreless, but the 21-year-old has put the Nationals on their heels with a mid-90s fastball and a hard slider.
Tom Gorzelanny has been nearly as good, allowing just two hits in the first three innings and getting four groundouts in that time.
There's not a huge crowd on hand for Military Appreciation Night at Nationals Park, but there have been some nice moments so far. The Nationals have honored military servicemembers at several junctures, and when they did their traditional welcome for recently returned officers, the entire crowd, as well as both dugouts, gave them a standing ovation.
One other note from before the game: Adam LaRoche is sitting to rest his shoulder tonight, but manager Jim Riggleman said nothing has changed with the first baseman physically. The only new injury LaRoche had is "just my feelings," he joked - he's hitting .189 in 25 games this season. After one recent game where he went 0-for-3, LaRoche returned home to find a wasp in his house. "My wife was freaking out," he said, "and I took this little bat and hit it. She said, 'Wow, that's the first thing you've hit all night.'"