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Instant analysis: Giants 7, Nats 1

Jun 12, 2014, 6:45 PM EST

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GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Considering they had already taken the first three games of a road series against a Giants club that had been baseball’s hottest team only a few days ago, anything the Nationals did today at AT&T Park would have been the cherry atop a very large, gooey sundae. So it’s tough to find too much fault with a lopsided loss in San Francisco, even though a four-game sweep sure would’ve been nice.

Ultimately, the Nationals were done in by a longtime nemesis: Tim Hudson, who tossed seven innings of 1-run ball to lower his NL-best ERA to 1.91. The veteran right-hander didn’t give the Nats many chances at the plate, and he made a couple of big pitches when he needed to escape what few jams he faced. Blake Treinen tried to match his more-accomplished counterpart but was pulled after allowing two runs over five innings and thus was denied yet another chance to earn his first career win.

The game got out of hand late, with the Giants piling on against a Nationals bullpen that had been lights-out for so long. But at the end of the day, the Nats leave town having taken 3 of 4 from the NL West leaders and having taken 5 of 7 overall on the California swing of their 10-game road trip. They now wrap things up with a big, 3-game series against the Cardinals, hoping to make it through the weekend still all alone in first place in the NL East.

HITTING LOWLIGHT: There’s no shame in being shut down by Tim Hudson, who has dominated this franchise like few others have over the years. But the Nationals did have an opportunity to make this a very interesting game in the top of the fifth. Trailing 2-1, they got back-to-back singles from Kevin Frandsen and Jose Lobaton, putting runners on the corners with nobody out. To the plate stepped Treinen, who was asked to drop a sacrifice bunt and put both men in scoring position. The rookie pitcher, though, couldn’t get it done, striking out. That left it up to Denard Span, who sent a bouncer up the middle that would have at minimum brought home one run had the situation been different. But with Lobaton still on first base instead of second base, Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford was able to step on second and fire to first for a killer double play.

PITCHING HIGHLIGHT: Treinen was perfectly fine in his fourth career start and gave his team a chance to win. But we did see a few examples why the rookie still isn’t a sure thing to make it long-term as a big-league starter. Treinen’s sinker is an above-average big-league pitch, and he can call upon it when he needs to get out of a jam with a groundball (which he did on several occasions today). But the only chance he has at making it through an opposing lineup three or four times and pitching deeper into games is to develop enough confidence in his secondary pitches (slider, changeup) to be able to throw them in big spots. With only 79 pitches thrown through five innings today, Treinen easily could’ve stayed in the game. Matt Williams, though, decided not to take the chance, perhaps sensing the rookie’s stuff wouldn’t play as well the longer he stayed out there.

KEY STAT: Tim Hudson is now 17-5 with a 2.41 ERA in 30 career starts against the Nationals franchise.

UP NEXT: After spending the last week in California, the Nationals begin the long trip back home … with a weekend stop halfway between the two coasts. Jordan Zimmermann faces Lance Lynn at 8:15 p.m. EDT Friday in the series opener in St. Louis.

  1. Danny - Jun 12, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    Welp, might as well call it a season.

  2. David Proctor - Jun 12, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    That hurt the run differential, but not much more. The Braves just lost 4/6 to the D’Backs and Rockies. We’re still in first place. And it’s still a 5-2 roadtrip so far. Let’s go into STL and win 2/3.

    • veejh - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:47 PM

      I called 7-3 for the road trip. I like my odds, but we may very well only win one. Who knows?

  3. David Proctor - Jun 12, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    Gio’s through 2 solid innings so far at Potomac. Third inning is where it went downhill last year

    • David Proctor - Jun 12, 2014 at 7:29 PM

      Last time out, not year.

      • Danny - Jun 12, 2014 at 7:32 PM

        Thanks for the update.

  4. chaz11963 - Jun 12, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    Horrible game for our pitching, especially the bullpen. BUT, GREAT series win!

  5. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 12, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    I have my doubts about how big a role momentum actually plays in baseball, but the positive vibes generated by the bottom of the fourth (preventing any runs despite a bases-loaded, no-outs situation) seemed to be carrying over into the top of the fifth (first and third, no outs, still only down by one) until the Nats couldn’t execute and bring in the tying run. Would have changed the tenor of the game.

  6. natsfan1a - Jun 12, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    Not sure how much I’ll see of tomorrow’s game in real time, given the later start. At least I’ve got the one “live” game under my belt, even it it was a loss, and we’ll soon be back to normal start times. I think that the series was a most delicious sundae (with Ghirardelli fudge sauce,of course), even without the cherry on top. I must confess that I was hoping Buster could extend his hitting streak as the game wound down, what with the Giants having the big lead and all. Eh, he was my brother’s fave and is my old friend’s fave as well, so I make no apologies.

  7. David Proctor - Jun 12, 2014 at 7:52 PM

    Gio is putting himself into jams via the walk, but he’s escaping them. 4 walks through 3 innings, but 4 Ks and only 1 hit.

  8. natsfan1a - Jun 12, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    Werth may have competition in the quote machine department. From a piece over on the, um, NJ regarding defense and pregame practice sessions:

    Anthony “Rendon is phenomenal,” Weidemaier said. “I hit [bleeping] rockets to him.”

    • Hiram Hover - Jun 12, 2014 at 8:48 PM

      Also from Weidemaier, explaining that the Nats will move defenders a few steps, but not re-position them to extremes:

      “[Forget] the shift.”

      The man likes his [bracketed] words.

  9. David Proctor - Jun 12, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    Very strong 4th inning for Gio. Struck out the side. No walks.

    • David Proctor - Jun 12, 2014 at 8:13 PM

      He’s done after 4 innings and 79 pitches. 1 run, 2 hits, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts.

      • sjberke - Jun 12, 2014 at 8:20 PM

        So if they do return him to the rotation after this, he would start the second Astros game next Wednesday. He would then miss the Braves series and start the first game at Milwaukee on Monday the 23rd.

      • knoxvillenat - Jun 12, 2014 at 8:57 PM

        Somebody should make sure that Gio gets the memo, limit the walks to a minimum and you will enhance your teams chance of winning. Four walks in four innings is not acceptable.

      • David Proctor - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:56 PM

        He says it was just a result of him working on things. I view rehab starts as spring training games–I care about how he feels, not the results.

      • Section 222 - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:47 PM

        I’d be fine with giving Gio another rehab start and let him go deeper in a game. But I guess if he made 80 pitches today, he’s ready to throw 100 next time. That’s how Fister’s rehab went. On the other hand: (1) Fister was pretty awful in his first start, and (2) if Gio’s control doesn’t improve, he needs to throw 120 pitches to get through 6 innings. I think I’d rather he get to the point that he can pitch for 6 innings than throw him out there knowing he might have to be pulled after 4 or 5.

  10. Whynat - Jun 12, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    Off topic, but carrying back to a prior thread regarding discussion of “The Baseball Codes..” I was thumbing through my copy last night and came across this tidbit, which I found interesting, given the recent Machado bat chucking.

    “If a hitter is looking to achieve true equality in his response to being thrown at, after all, there’s only one option: Throw something back. As long ago as 1913, Baseball Magazine published a description of George Van Haltren’s reaction to a knockdown pitch from Silver King in 1890: ” Like a streak of murderous slaughter the bat whizzed back at King, and only a tremendous leap saved Silver from death or serious injury.”

    Baseball — not much has changed in over 100 years (except the style of writing about it).

    • Candide - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:08 PM

      I saw that discussion and went over to amazon and ordered the book.

      • Whynat - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:36 PM

        So this got me curious. I looked up Silver King in Baseball Reference. Charles Frederick (Silver) King. In 1888 for STL he won 45 games and pitched 584.2 innings. I guess a few things HAVE changed.

  11. letswin3 - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    I liked the determination…grit……competitiveness … that Treinen showed. He probably needs another reliable pitch, but I liked what I saw today even more than his previous starts (which were likely superior numbers-wise). I guess it was the fact that he was in trouble, but decided that he would fight it out. Billy Martin would have liked this guy.

    • chaz11963 - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:28 PM

      good point… he does need some secondary pitches tho

  12. manassasnatsfan - Jun 12, 2014 at 11:03 PM

    I have a Potomac overview on the Gio thread.





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