The game ended just before 2 AM in the east as the Nationals won 6-3 behind 6 1/3 innings from Gio Gonzalez where he bent — but didn’t break. There were no beanballs or hit-by-pitches or any shenanigans tonight. Both teams played clean baseball, and on this night, the Washington Nationals just played it better.
If anything, the pitchers purposely stayed away from coming far inside except for a couple of pitches that legitimately pushed the batters off of the plate. Hunter Stickland never entered the game but could be seen in the Giants dugout.
“They’re a classy team over there,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “They understand the situation. They know it’s not who we are. They are a team with class.”
Every time Bryce Harper got up to the plate, he was booed loudly with some animated gestures from the crowd. You would think real baseball fans would applaud him knowing that he never should have been plunked. Dusty Baker was asked about the tension after Tuesday’s brawl.
“What happened yesterday is over,” Baker said. “I just hate that everybody’s making Bryce the culprit. He was really the victim. Things will subside.”
There were no home runs in the game as the ball was not carrying. Most of the offense in the game came from 3 hits from each of Daniel Murphy and Trea Turner, and 2 hits from each of Jayson Werth and Michael Taylor. Bryce Harper had a game to forget as he recorded his worst game of the season going 0-5 with 3 strikeouts and 8 men left-on-base.
The Nationals attacked Jeff Samardzija early and often but could not provide the knockout punch before the 4th inning as he departed with 3 earned runs while giving up 9 hits on 100 pitches. Samadrzija got out of a 1 out bases loaded situation by striking out Bryce Harper looking at a pitch near the outside edge, and then Samardzija got Ryan Zimmerman on 3 pitches to strikeout and escape the top of the 2nd inning.
“We got his pitch count up early, ” Dusty Baker said about Jeff Samardzija.
Gio Gonzalez threw 108 pitches tonight and F.P. Santangelo was concerned that Gio was hurt. His velocity had dropped significantly in the 6th and 7th innings. Here is his chart although some of those blue dots for changeups were probably 85 mph fastballs:
Matt Albers pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings with 3 strikeouts in relief, and Koda Glover closed out the 9th inning 1-2-3 as the game ended on a strikeout of Buster Posey.
The bullpen has now been un-scored upon in 8 of the last 9 games to push that ERA to 4.82 for the bullpen. The Nationals are no longer the worst bullpen by ERA any more in the NL as the St. Louis Cardinals now own that dishonor. There are also 4 AL teams that are worse than the Nationals bullpen. Slowly that group of seven ‘pen members are settling into what Dusty Baker asks of them. Koda Glover notched his 7th save of the season now, and he is the one reliever with a defined role.