Nats' bats no match for deceptive, effective Bumgarner

Nats' bats no match for deceptive, effective Bumgarner
August 15, 2012, 6:45 am
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SAN FRANCISCO Madison Bumgarner went the distance in theGiants 6-1 win Tuesday, and he did so againstsome serious competition.The Washington Nationals lead Major League Baseball with 72 wins, even afterthe loss. That whopping win total is a result of a 108 run differentialheading into the game, which was the best in the big leagues until the Giantsput a dent in it. Davey Johnsons squad is also fearless away from NationalsPark. Prior to Tuesdays loss, Washington was 40-22 on the road. Of course,that mark is the best in baseball as well. Since the All-Star break, Washingtonleads the National League in runs scored with 170, which includes the 14 runsthey scored in Mondays game on an AT&T Park-record 21 hits.But Bumgarner didnt buckle under the pressure of facing such a potent lineup,even with first place in the National League West on the line following aDodger win. He allowed just five hits and a walk and struck out six in the second complete game of his career, which included 108 pitches, 74 for strikes.Jayson Werth, who scored the lone run off Bumgarner after he tripled on a ballthat glanced off the outstretched glove of Hunter Pence in the alley, was veryreserved in his praise of the Giants young starter.Hes a good pitcher, Werth said. I think hes known forbeing a quality pitcher. Not surprising that he could have a game like that. Hemoves the ball around, throws strikes and changes speed real well. Hes adeceptive lefty.In the losing clubhouse, Werth was ready to move on and talk about theNationals chance at a series win in Wednesdays matinee marquee matchupbetween Tim Lincecum and Stephen Strasburg. However, his teammate Tyler Moorestill appeared frustrated by Bumgarners outing well after the last out. Afteroffering the normal praise of his cutter and command, Moore was asked toexplain Bumgarners dominance.I dont know that angle, Moore muttered under his breath after he went0-for-4 with a strikeout.Bumgarners helicopter delivery is certainly unique, especially when contrastedwith that of Jordan Zimmermann, who utilizes a more textbook technique.Zimmermann, who came into Tuesdays game with the best ERA among startersin the N.L. at 2.35 (only thanks to Ryan Vogelsongs ERA-inflating outingMonday), was impressed with his counterpart.He was mixing it up well tonight, Zimmermann said. Throwingthat cutter and then that fastball. You have to tip your cap to him. Hes beenthrowing the ball well and had another great game tonight.Bumgarners masterful pitching at AT&T Park has become the norm, as he ownsa N.L.-leading 1.88 ERA home ERA, but the Nationals have owned him in threeprior outings. On Independence Day 2012 in the nations capital, Bumgarnerallowed seven earned runs, including three long balls, in just five innings.For his career, Bumgarner was 1-2 with a 4.00 ERA against Washington headinginto Tuesdays game.Like Bumgarner, Lincecum has struggled throughout his career against theNationals to the tune of a 1-3 record and a 5.36 ERA. A day before Bumgarnerwas lit up in Washington earlier this season, the Nationals tagged Lincecum foreight runs, seven earned, in 3.1 innings.If Lincecum can follow in Bumgarners Carhartt bootprints on Wednesday, theGiants will earn a series win over baseballs hottest team. With the Dodgers ona roll, having won eight of their last 11 contests, the Giants could useanother dominant outing from a man with a similarly unique and deceptive delivery.

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