Baggs' Instant Replay: Nationals 14, Giants 2

August 14, 2012, 5:30 am
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SAN FRANCISCO Well, thats the last time theyll hold Frank Sinatra Night at AT&T Park.

The Washington Nationals flew the Giants to the moon, all right. The Nats treated Giants infielders like pinball paddles while collecting a series of hard, seeing-eye hits that deflected off gloves. It was enough to tilt even an unshakeable presence like Ryan Vogelsong, who was ushered out in the third inning.

So too was Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who drew a quick ejection while arguing a call at first base. Bochy was luckier than the sellout crowd, which had to watch as the ERA-wrecking Nationals set an AT&T Park record with 21 hits while romping to a 14-2 victory Monday night.

You could say the Nats are under the Giants skin, officially. Their lineup has been unstoppable in four victories over the Giants this season while outscoring them 38-14.

That hurts worse than a five-martini lunch. But hey, thats life.

Starting pitching report
Vogelsongs streak of completing at least six innings, which stretched back to his final outing of last season, was halted after 22 starts. His eight earned runs allowed doubled his previous season high.

His ERA flipped from an NL-best 2.27 to 2.72.

Red-hot Ryan Zimmerman hit an RBI double, marking just the second run all season that Vogelsong had allowed in the first inning.

It got a lot worse in a seven-run third. Vogelsong (10-6) had his share of bad luck, though, after Adam LaRoche drew a bases-loaded, one-out walk. Michael Morse followed with an RBI single off third baseman Marco Scutaros backhanded attempt. Then Danny Espinosa drove in another run with a ground ball that second baseman Ryan Theriot kicked into right field.

Roger Bernadina followed with a chopper to third base and umpire Mike Estabrook ruled that he beat the bang-bang play. Replays appeared to show that Bernadina was out, but Bochy didnt need to see it. He double-timed it out of the dugout and mustve uttered his magic word right away to draw Estabrooks thumb.

Kurt Suzuki followed with a bases-clearing double to cap the scoring. Vogelsong struck out pitcher Gio Gonzalez for the second time in the inning and followed by giving up a hit to Steve Lombardozzi, ending his night.

Bullpen report
Custodial work did not suit Brad Penny. Danny Espinosa rocked him for a three-run home run as Penny allowed allowed six runs on seven hits in two innings.

Jose Mijares, Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla and George Kontos helped to advance the game to a merciful conclusion, though. And they ensured the Giants wouldnt take a beating for the ages.

The worst margin of defeat in the Giants San Francisco era is 16 runs, which has been accomplished three times most recently in 2005 during a 16-0 loss at Oakland.

At the plate
Brandon Crawford picked one heck of a time to hit his first home run of the season at AT&T Park. In his 162nd home at-bat of the season, he hit a pinch-hit shot that landed softly in the arcade to break up the Nationals shutout in the seventh inning.

Aside from that, Gonzalez was masterful.

Special demerit to Joaquin Arias for getting thrown out in a 14-0 game while trying to stretch a single just prior to Crawfords home run.

The few thousand remaining fans in the ninth inning cheered as Pablo Sandoval came off the bench as a pinch hitter his first appearance since coming off the disabled list. He fouled out to the third baseman.

In field
Scutaro had a tough night at third base, and many fans doubtless had to wonder why Sandoval didnt start on the day the Giants activated him from the DL.

But Scutaro was more victimized than anything as a series of grounders glanced off his glove or were just beyond his reach. The crowd offered mock applause when Scutaro made a nice play to his left in the seventh inning.

The Giants announced 42,050 paid. The fans had plenty of chances to practice their sarcastic standing ovation skills.

Up next
Bring your fire extinguishers. The Giants continue their three-game series with the Nationals at AT&T Park Tuesday night. Left-hander Madison Bumgarner (12-7, 3.08) will try to disarm a club that has destroyed Giants pitching all season. Hell be opposed by right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (9-6, 2.35), who became the NLs ERA leader after his teammates hummed My Way against Vogelsong.