EXTRA BAGGS: Bumgarner cool, collected

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EXTRA BAGGS: Bumgarner cool, collected

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Shortly after his Independence Day loss atWashington DC, when the Nationals punked his fuse for three home runs and sevenearned runs, Madison Bumgarner made a confession to manager Bruce Bochy.

He said he kind of lost his focus, Bochy said. He said hewasnt focused on getting hitters out as much as battling the weather.

No focus issues this time. The conditions were cool andBumgarner was collected while throwing his second career complete game. TheNationals, who had scored 38 runs in their first four victories over theGiants, managed just a run on five hits against Bumgarner as he and the selloutcrowd enjoyed a soothing, 6-1 victory Tuesday night.

Bochy said he wouldve used Sergio Romo to start the ninthbefore the Giants tacked on four runs in the eighth to open up a 2-1 game.

He pitched very efficiently, Bochy said. Thats whatallowed us to let him finish the game. And I knew he wanted to.

Bumgarner said he knew where his focus needed to be,especially after watching the Nationals take out Ryan Vogelsong in a 14-2victory a night earlier.

I knew, especially after what they did to me at theirplace, and what they did last night, he said. I needed to come in here withcomplete focus and put pitches where they needed to go.

Bumgarner was never better than the fourth inning, when asingle and a bungled sacrifice bunt created a scary situation. The leftyinduced three soft outs from the middle of the Nationals lineup.

Youve just got to slow down when that happens, saidBumgarner, who couldnt handle Bryce Harpers bunt. You take it pitch by pitchand not get carried away.

Said Bochy: Hes as good as anybody at bouncing back andmaking an adjustment. He did tonight.

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Did we mention that Bumgarner is younger than Stephen Strasburg?

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Beating the Nationals was important for the Giants psyche(both the fans and the players), but maybe it wasnt the most important thingin the world.

After Wednesday, the Giants wont see the Nationals again inthe regular season. They certainly dont want to see them in the N.L. DivisionSeries. And it would be especially daunting if the Giants get there as a wildcard and have to burn through their best pitchers just to advance past aone-game playoff. (The Reds could always catch the Nats for the No. 1 seed,though.)

RELATED: MLB standings

The key for the Giants, as it was in the beginning, is nowand ever shall be, is to win the N.L. West. That means beating up on the Padresand Rockies. It means refusing to let the Arizona Diamondbacks bubble up intothis race. And it means playing their best baseball against their archrivals,whom theyll see again beginning Monday at Dodger Stadium.

Even if the Giants do tangle with the Nats again in the playoffs, they'll enter with a clean slate. Nothing that happened during the regular season matterspast the first weekend in October.

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Hunter Pence felt badly about not catching Jayson Werthstriple that led to the Nationals only run. Pence said he flinched and didnttake an extra step because he thought he was about to make contact with centerfielder Angel Pagan.

If I just take that extra step and reach for it, Id befine, he said.

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The Giants need a dependable long man with Brad Penny out.Perhaps itll be Guillermo Mota.

Hes eligible to return Aug. 28 after a 100-game suspensionfor testing positive for a banned substance. Motas road officially beganTuesday night, when he threw 1 13 innings for the Giants affiliate in therookie-level Arizona League.

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The Madison Bumgarner sandwich from Ikes Place sounds damngood right about now.

Dusty chooses son's graduation over Nationals game against Padres

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USATSI

Dusty chooses son's graduation over Nationals game against Padres

WASHINGTON — Dusty Baker will miss the Washington Nationals weekend series against the San Diego Padres to attend his son Darren’s graduation.

Baker said he will rejoin Washington when it begins a three-game series in San Francisco on Monday, near Baker’s offseason home. Bench coach Chris Speier will assume managerial duties against the Padres.

Baker’s son Darren is graduating from Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California. He’s committed to play college baseball at Cal.

As a 3-year-old bat boy, Darren was rescued from a potential home plate collision by J.T. Snow in Game 5 of the 2002 World Series between Baker’s Giants and the Angels.

Giants notes: 'Disappointing' road trip; Nuñez hopes to return Friday

Giants notes: 'Disappointing' road trip; Nuñez hopes to return Friday

CHICAGO — As they packed up at AT&T Park eight days ago, the Giants talked of taking their momentum on the road. It sounded pie-in-the-sky given the way they had played in April and on the previous trip, but when they took the first two in St. Louis, players started to believe they had finally turned the corner. 

And then came a Sunday loss, and three of four at Wrigley Field. There was no happy flight Thursday. The Giants lost 5-1, again looking flat against a less-than-elite pitcher, and ended up with a 3-4 trip. They’ll finish the first two months of the season without a winning road trip. They're 9-19 away from AT&T Park. 

“It’s disappointing,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Once you win the first one here, you’re hoping you get greedy and take the series, but we didn’t. That’s disappointing.”

The Giants entered the road trip with a 6.62 starters’ ERA on the road, but pitching wasn’t the issue. Sure there were too many meatballs — most of the 10 Cubs homers in this series came on pitches left right over the fat part of the plate — but the starters did their job. The lineup couldn’t keep up. The Giants had just five hits Thursday and finished the trip with 24 runs in seven games. They started the trip nine games out in the West and finished 11 back of the Rockies, their largest deficit since 2013. 

“You come here and take the first game with our (top) guys throwing after that and you’re hoping for a better result,” Jeff Samardzija said. “We started out good and that St. Louis series puts you in a good spot to salvage the trip. We’ll go home now with six solid games on our home turf and they’re six big games for us.”

The Braves and Nationals come to town. The Giants will see Jaime Garcia on Friday, followed by Mike Foltynewicz and R.A. Dickey. 

--- Samardzija’s run without a walk ended at 154 batters when Ian Happ drew a free pass in the seventh. The streak was the best of Samardzija’s career. 

--- Eduardo Nuñez said he got treatment on a tight hamstring throughout the game and he’ll go in early Friday to continue treatment. He hopes to start Friday. 

--- Christian Arroyo was hitless in three at-bats, dropping his average to .191. Before the game, Bochy talked at length about Arroyo’s recent struggles and the plan with him going forward. 

--- If you missed it earlier, I took a tour of the visiting bullpen here. After going in there, I talked to some more pitchers about what they don’t like. It seems to mostly be the fact that you’re separated from the game. One said some of the relievers who pitched Monday had no idea it was raining because they had been getting loose inside for several innings. Seems like there’s a pretty easy fix here: The Cubs can just turn part of that Under Armour wall into a chain-link fence, or have some sort of window that opens up to the outside but doesn’t interfere with outfielders. Maybe next year …