Aug 22, 2014, 10:31 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: If they wanted to become the first Washington baseball club to win 11 games in a row since 1933, the Nationals were going to need to beat Tim Hudson and a very good Giants team. No small task, especially given Hudson’s longstanding dominance of this franchise.
Hudson once again proved a tough opponent, holding the Nats to two runs (one earned) over 5 1/3 innings. On many nights, that would’ve been enough run support for Doug Fister. But not on this night. The right-hander was surprisingly ineffective, serving up home runs to both Joe Panik and Buster Posey, accounting for four runs over six innings.
Trailing 4-2 late, the Nationals needed their bullpen to keep things close and give their lineup a reasonable shot at yet another dramatic rally. That didn’t happen at all. Jerry Blevins surrendered a 2-out, 2-run double in the eighth, and Ross Detwiler gave up four runs in the ninth, leaving the Nats trailing by a boatload. So the winning streak has come to an end at 10 games, unfortunately in lopsided fashion.
HITTING LOWLIGHT: The Nationals never really strung together enough hits to put together anything resembling a true rally. They scored their first run on a double steal in which the ball got away and allowed Anthony Rendon to come home. They scored their second run on Jayson Werth’s leadoff homer in the fourth. Otherwise, they never recorded multiple hits in any inning of this game.
PITCHING LOWLIGHT: If there are two things you can usually count on from Fister, they are these: 1) He will keep the ball in the park, and 2) He will keep his pitch count low. So how surprising was it that neither was true on this night? Fister was done in by a couple of pitches left up in the zone, the first to Panik (who clobbered it for a 3-run homer, his first in the big leagues) and the second to Posey (who hammered a solo shot to left). Over his previous 17 starts, Fister had allowed only eight total homers. Despite some stellar play behind him in the field, the right-hander had trouble getting quick innings after a 9-pitch top of the first. He finished with a whopping 107 pitches in only six innings, highly uncharacteristic of him.
KEY STAT: Bryce Harper has now been thrown out on the bases or picked off 13 times this season, despite playing in only 68 games.
UP NEXT: The series continues at 4:05 p.m. Saturday when Jordan Zimmermann faces Tim Lincecum. The game is available on Fox Sports 1, in addition to MASN2.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
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