Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg allowed another first inning run and it came from the lead off man.
Center fielder Gregor Blanco launched a 3-2 95 mph fastball over the right field wall and the Giants led 1-0. It was Blanco's second career leadoff home run after hitting one at Turner Field against the Braves last season. It was also the third leadoff home run by a Giants player this season. Angel Pagan accomplishing the feat the other two times.
It is the second game in a row the...
The Nationals have had a tough go of it against Tim Hudson over the years. In June, he dropped the Nationals 7-1, limiting them to no earned runs over seven innings.
The Nationals looked to get off to a quick start against the veteran in the bottom of the first. With one out, Anthony Rendon walked. With two outs, Adam LaRoche singled.
With Ian Desmond at the plate, catcher Buster Posey looked to catch LaRoche stealing at second on the back end of a double steal. Second baseman Joe Panik could...
Manager: Bruce Bochy, eighth year
Last 10 games: 5-5
Who to watch: LF Michael Morse (.283/.339/.482, 29 doubles, 16 HR, 57 RBIs); RF Hunter Pence (.283/.335/.465, 26 doubles, 9 triples, 17 HR, 54 RBIs, 85 R); RHP Tim Hudson (8-9, 3.03 ERA, 1.18 WHIP); RHP Ryan Vogelsong (7-9, 3.73 ERA, 1.25 WHIP)
Season series vs. Nats: 1-3, 12 runs scored, 18 runs allowed
Aug. 22: Tim Hudson vs. Doug Fister, 7 p.m., MASN HD
Aug. 23: Tim Lincecum vs. Jordan Zimmermann, 4 p.m.,...
Manager: Bruce Bochy, eighth year
Last 10 games: 8-2
Who to watch: LF Michael Morse (.278/.329/.550, 13 HR, 16 doubles, 42 RBIs); RF Hunter Pence (.290/.363/.468, 8 HR, 14 doubles, 23 RBIs); RHP Tim Hudson (6-2, 1.97 ERA, 0.96 WHIP); LHP Madison Bumgarner (8-3, 2.68 ERA, 90 K)
Season series vs. Nats (2013): 3-3, 24 runs scored, 17 runs allowed
June 9: Ryan Vogelsong vs. Stephen Strasburg, 10 p.m., MASN2 HD
June 10: Madison Bumgarner vs. Doug Fister, 10 p.m.,...
After being out of yesterday's starting lineup due to the flu, Bryce Harper is back in the Nationals lineup tonight, hitting third and playing left field.
Harper pinch-hit in the eighth inning last night and was intentionally walked. He'll try and go a full nine innings tonight.
As expected, catcher Wilson Ramos is out of the lineup after aggravating a left hamstring injury last night.
This is the third time this season that Ramos has injured his left hamstring, and while the Nationals...
Earlier this afternoon, before sitting down with reporters for his daily pregame press conference, Nationals manager Davey Johnson met up with Giants manager Bruce Bochy and some of the San Francisco coaches.
Johnson has struggled to come up with answers for why his offense has struggled this season, but he's not alone. While the Nats rank fourth-worst in the majors in runs scored this season, the Giants are actually one spot lower, having scored four fewer runs than the Nats.
The Giants are...
The Nationals' lineup against Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner does not feature Bryce Harper.
Scott Hairston will play left field and hit eighth tonight, with Harper getting the day off.
We can assume that the reason for Harper's absence is his struggles against left-handed pitching this season. Harper has hit just .172/.270/.276 against southpaws in 2013, while Hairston has a career .268 batting average and .817 OPS against lefties.
Bumgarner is holding lefties to a .150 average and...
Sunday's game was pretty ugly. This one rivaled it.
The Nationals dropped a 13-4 decision to the Padres on Sunday and followed that up with an 8-0 blowout loss to the Giants tonight in the first game of a three-game set.
Zach Duke gets stuck with the loss after allowing four runs over 3 1/3 innings in a spot start, but he was far from the only Nationals player to underperform tonight.
Craig Stammen surrendered two runs on seven hits over 2 2/3 frames. Henry Rodriguez gutted his way through...
Tonight's Nationals lineup will feature Bryce Harper. It will not feature Danny Espinosa or Kurt Suzuki.
Harper returns to the Nats lineup after missing the last two games with a sore left knee, an injury suffered during his collision with the right field wall in Dodger Stadium a week ago.
The 20-year-old will return to his normal No. 3 spot in the order and will play right field.
Steve Lombardozzi will hit in front of Harper and will play second base. Lombardozzi will replace Danny...
The first quarter of the Nationals' 2013 season has been marked by some pretty dramatic inconsistencies.
Their record currently at a decent but disappointing 23-21. The Nationals have had stretches where it looked like they were ready to put it all together and begin playing to their potential, like during their five-game winning streak two weeks ago.
The vibe in the clubhouse would begin to change, the momentum would seem to start picking up and you'd start thinking that the Nats would...
The Nationals had the best record in baseball in 2012 with 98 victories. Heading into the 2013 season, the team is already receiving expectations that they will be just as good.
ESPN The Magazine senior writer Buster Olney ranks the Nationals as No. 2 on his early power rankings behind world champion San Francisco Giants (subscription required). Olney cites the addition of center fielder Denard Span and the continued progression of the young outfielder Bryce Harper.
Olney also says with...
Justin Verlander, the reigning AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner, is the best pitcher in baseball. On average, he throws his fastball at a higher speed in the eighth and ninth innings than he does in the early innings. He has a 0.74 ERA with 25 strikeouts in the postseason.
So given that he's on proper rest, the Tigers ace should mow through the Giants in Game 1 of the World Series tonight in San Francisco.
Not so fast.
Ace pitchers don't always dominate and there's never a predictable...
It wasn't the tight, dramatic Game 7 that many, including myself, were hoping for.
No, it certainly wasn't that.
The Giants crushed the Cardinals 9-0 in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series last night, giving them the NL pennant and perhaps giving Nationals fans a bit of a reason to smile.
The Nats watched a 6-0 lead over St. Louis slip away in Game 5 of the Division Series, but the Cardinals had a big lead of their own disappear in the NLCS with a spot in the World Series oh...
The postseason can sometimes be the coming-out party for a player who had a pretty good regular season but then turns it up a notch in the playoffs.
Sometimes it is a player who wasn't even with the postseason team when the season began.
Take the amazing run of right fielder Cody Ross, who arrived in San Francisco on August 10, 2010 and played just 33 games with the Giants, hitting .288 with three home runs.
Then, he turned in one of the most amazing postseason performances in quite some...
The days when Tim Lincecum was nearly unhittable seem oh so long ago.
The two-time National League Cy Young Award winner went just four innings today, allowing eight hits and four runs before being yanked from the game.
The Nationals hit Lincecum hard, notching three extra-base hits off him, including Danny Espinosa's long two-run homer to center which broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Nats a 4-2 lead.
How well did Espinosa strike that ball? Well enough to cut it through the San Francisco breeze...
Jayson Werth was scratched from yesterday's lineup due to a sore right ankle. He underwent an MRI on the ankle today, but apparently everything checked out just fine.
Werth is back in the Nationals lineup for tonight, hitting fourth and playing right field.
While Werth will take his hacks against Giants starter Madison Bumgarner, Michael Morse will not.
Morse was pulled from yesterday's game in the fifth inning due to a jammed right thumb. Manager Davey Johnson told reporters last night...
Ryan Vogelsong came into tonight's game as the National League ERA leader.
He had gone all season - 21 starts - without allowing a run in the first inning. He hadn't given up more than four runs in any outing this year and had allowed one earned run or fewer in four of his last five starts.
Then the Nationals rolled into San Francisco and put up an eight-spot on Vogelsong, knocking the Giants starter out of the game after just 2 2/3 innings.
Ryan Zimmerman's RBI double in the first got it...
The Phillies are throwing in the towel, dishing veterans off and, for the first time in years, looking to build toward the future.
In the process, the Nationals' National League competitors are bolstering their rosters for a playoff push.
Both the Giants and Dodgers have swung deals to acquire a Phillies outfielder, with San Francisco reportedly trading for Hunter Pence and Los Angeles bringing in Shane Victorino.
I'm not sure who the Phillies plan on putting in the outfield over the next...
The Giants entered their three-game series with the Nationals holding the National League's second-best record.
They were throwing a two-time Cy Young award winner and the top two starters in their rotation, both of whom entered the series with at least nine wins and a sub-2.90 ERA.
San Francisco had gone 74-1 in its last 75 games in which it had held at least a three-run lead.
The Giants left the nation's capital last night having dropped three straight to the Nats and no longer occupying...
In five innings of work, Ross Detwiler allowed 11 hits and two walks.
Yep, 13 baserunners in five innings.
Somehow, despite all the grey, pinstriped players moving around the bases so far tonight, Detwiler managed to hold the Giants to just three runs.
I'm not entirely sure how the Nationals lefty did it. He did benefit from a slick 5-4 double play in the fourth and has twice struck out Giants pitcher Matt Cain to end an inning.
Still, he's incredibly lucky to be trailing just 3-1 as we...