The Washington Nationals swept two straight series at home, going (6-0) against the visiting Reds and Cardinals before boarding a plane and flying across the country to begin a three game series with the San Francisco Giants. The Natonals win streak has caught the attention of the baseball community, and landed the team a nationwide broadcast on ESPN2.
…Giants starter Tim Lincecum is the biggest pitching sensation the West Coast has seen since Fernando Valenzuela was rolling his eyes back for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 80’s. Lincecum, the San Francisco Giants rookie starter is a right hander, unlike Valenzuela, and doesn’t have quite the enjoyably exagerrated delivery Fernando had, but when Lincecum twists at the hip and rears…
…Who am I kidding, it’s all about John Lannan vs The San Francisco Giants left fielder, for the first five or six innings at least, or until the San Francisco Giants Left Fielder goes yard. Mc Covey cove is littered with floating Giants fans. AT&T Park is decidedly Pro-Their Left Fielder. There’s a banner on the outfield wall with The Giants Left Fielder turning his back to show his number #25 and the words, “Road To History” tempting fate to provide a “Happening.”
Lincecum gives up back to back doubles to start the first, and then hits Ryan Zimmerman in the head with a 93 mph fastball. (He’s OK, Kids). (Now Lannan has to hit Him!) DY backs up the Giants Left Fielder, Logan tags and scores from third. 1-0 Nationals. Lincecum blows Austin Kearns away with a fastball. Ryan Church chases a change.
John “Trouble” Lannan walks former Pirate Rajai Davis. Omar Vizquel reaches on a swinging bunt. Vizquel gets caught in a double steal attempt. Davis to third. Winn walks. The Giants Left Fielder steps to the plate. Lannan steps off. Fastball. Strike one. Breaker in the dirt. 1-1. Fastball outside. Strike two. Curve…popped up, Zimmerman grabs it. Bengie Molina singles through short. 1-1 ballgame after one.
A double play and five K’s has Lincecum through three. Lannan takes the mound in the bottom of the third. Randy Winn hits a leadoff single. The Giants Left Fielder steps to the plate. Curve, low and outside. 1-0. Fastball outside 2-0. Low and outside. 3-0. Fastball down the middle. Strike one. 3-1. Fastball low. Ball four. Lannan pops up Molina, and gets a DP grounder from Ray Durham to end the third. 1-1 game.
The Giants Left Fielder limps noticeably while pacing the left field grass as Lincecum completes a scoreless fourth. Lincecum walks Logan to put two on with one out in the fifth. Lincecum gets Ronnie Belliard to chase a curve in the dirt. Zimmerman stares at a 94 mph strike three.
John Lannan gives up a single to Randy Winn to start the bottom of the fifth. The Giants Left Fielder steps to the plate. High and outside. Ball one. 1-0. Low. 2-0. Fastball low, and Lannan gets a grounder into the dramatic shift, shortstop D’Angelo Jimenez, throws to Zimmerman covering, to DY at first, double play. Molina grounds to first. 1-1 after five.
Ryan Church triples off the wall in center with two outs in the sixth. Lincecum strands Church there, striking out Lannan with a cruel curve to end the Nationals half with his eigth K. Lannan’s back on the hill in the bottom of the frame. After issuing a leadoff walk, Lannan retires the next three in order to hold the tie. 1-1 after six.
John Lannan issues a one-out walk to Omar Vizquel, so barring a double play grounder from Winn, the Giants Left Fielder will bat in the inning. Winn flies out to right. The Giants Left Fielder steps to the plate. Low, ball one on the curve. 1-0. Fastball outside. 2-0. Fastball on the outside corner. 2-1. Low and outside. 3-1. Fastball upstairs, The Giants Left Fielder swings through it. STRIKE TWO! Full count…Curve. Strike Three swinging. Lannan sits him down. 1-1 after seven.
The Giants Left Fielder leaves the game. Half of the crowd joins him. Scott Atchison replaces Lincecum in the eigth and retires the Nationals in order. The Tallest Pitcher in MLB History, Jon Rauch takes the mound in the bottom of the eigth. Rauch mows them down. Still 1-1 after eight.
Nook Logan singles and steals second with two outs in the ninth. Atchison faces Ronnie Belliard. Belliard flies out to right. Giants look to walk off. Saul Rivera on in relief with scoreless bottom of the inning. Add an extra frame. DY takes a one-out fastball to left, and into the stands above the brick wall of the outfield, GONE!! 2-1 Nationals on DY’s tenth. Wait for it…
Chad Cordero enters the game in the bottom of the tenth with a 2-1 lead. Cordero sports the away grays, navy blue Nationals cap, white cursive “W” stitched above a brim pulled down low over the brow, razor sharp, and flat as the crowd fell when the Giants Left Fielder struck at swinging late at Lannan’s curve. The Flat-Brimmed Closer faces Omar Vizquel, and gets a ground out to short. 1. Randy Winn singles to left. Cordero vs Mark Sweeney. Sweeney singles up the middle. Winn to third. Bengie Molina chops a grounder to second. Winn comes home, Belliard takes the out at first. 2-2 in the tenth. Durham gets the intentionals to bring up Pedro Feliz. Feliz pops to second. 2-2 after ten.
Ryan Klesko doubles to lead off the eleventh, lining to the wall in right off Nationals lefty Ray King. King walks Dave Roberts. Rajai Davis misses two bunt attempts, and then gets hit to load the bases. Manny Acta, Nationals Manager brings Luis Ayala on to try to preserve the tie. Ayala gets a grounder to first, Fick throws home for the force, but the throw back to first is off, bases still loaded. Ayala faces Winn. Winn singles through second. Giants win. 3-2 final.