A different night, different pitcher. Madison Bumgarner was the guy who had the weight on his shoulders. This game was a must win against the best team in the Majors. Remembering the series loss back in July, someone had to be the first to turn the tables.
Tonight the Giants 6-1 victory over the Washington Nationals was bitter-sweet. Bumgarner threw his second complete game of the season and wanted to make a statement after their 14-2 loss on Monday night.
"I knew especially after what they did to me at their place and what they did last night, I was going to make sure I had complete focus and put the ball where it needed to go," said Madison.
The Nationals only had two runners in scoring position, one was Jason Werth who tripled and scored in the seventh inning. They cut the 2-1 lead in half but had Hunter Pence caught Werth's ball rather than drop it. Thinking he would collide with Angel Pagan in the outfield it would've been a shutout.
It was San Francisco's first win over Washington in five games. Since the All-Star break the Nationals own the best record in MLB. They went 21-10 since the break and have won 13 of their last 15 road games.
But tonight, their ace pitcher Jordan Zimmerman only lasted 5 2/3 innings. Still leading with the best ERA in the National League, he allowed eight hits, two runs, two walks and struck out four. Overall, it wasn't his best performance.
"I'd like to at least go six or into the seventh, but they're a good hitting team," Zimmerman said. "They battled pretty well tonight. I just didn't have the best stuff."
The Giants offense was sparked by Brandon Belt who drove in three runs and went 3-for-4 in the cycle. It was a special night for the first baseman who hadn't experience a game of this magnitude.
"I like to have games like this," said Belt. "But at the same time I don't want to make the mistakes that I did, especially against teams like this. You've got to be smart."
Brandon was referring to being tagged out after taking extra bases on his second inning double. Then jogging around the bases thinking he hit a home run when his single to right field hit the top of the wall barrier in the sixth, he was out at second.
"I guess he went to the thinking I'm going to run until they tag me," manager Bruce Bochy said.
San Francisco dominated in the eighth when they scored four runs. Melky Cabrera leadoff the inning with a triple and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Pablo Sandoval's sacrifice fly and three back-to-back singles was the gateway to sealing their win.
It was a cohesive effort from all including newly acquired Pence, Marco Scutaro and Sandoval returning from the disabled list. A total of thirteen hits for the Giants is a good direction they want moving forward. They are now tied for first place with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.
"We have a lot of big bats in there," said Bumgarner. "It's a lot more dangerous than we have been in the past. I think it's going to to help us a lot."