Nationals 2-1 over Giants for two straight in AT&T: Doug Fister with 7.0 scoreless

Thearon W. Henderson

The Washington Nationals beat the San Francisco Giants for the second straight game with Doug Fister outdueling Madison Bumgarner on the mound in AT&T Park in the Nats' 2-1 win which left them 34-29 on the year.

AT&T Park Room 641A Top 5:

5. Quick Recap: With tonight's game scoreless through four after right-hander Doug Fister pitched around the back-to-back singles that started San Francisco's half of the fourth inning, Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa came through with back-to-back hits off Giants' lefty Madison Bumgarner in the top of the fifth and Desmond scored from third on a sac fly to left by Denard Span one out later to make it 1-0 Washington in the Nationals' second game of four in AT&T Park. Jayson Werth drove Espinosa in with a two-out single and it was 2-0 Nats after four and a half innings.

Doug Fister was through six scoreless with the 2-0 lead intact after Jayson Werth threw Pablo Sandoval out at home on a two-out single to right by Brandon Crawford.

Fister threw seven scoreless. Tyler Clippard put two runners on in the eighth but completed a scoreless frame.

Rafael Soriano gave up a leadoff triple by Brandon Crawford and an RBI groundout by Brandon Hicks that got the Giants on the board, down 2-1, but that's as close as they came.

2-1 Nationals final.

4. Fister vs Bumgarner - The Rematch: The stakes were a bit higher the last time right-hander Doug Fister and lefty Madison Bumgarner faced one another on the mound in AT&T Park. Fister was a starter for the Detroit Tigers in Game 2 of the 2012 World Series, taking on the Giants' '07 1st Round pick. Bumgarner outdueled Fister that night, giving up just two hits over seven scoreless innings of work in which he walked two and struck out eighth. Fister surrendered four hits and one earned run which scored after he left the mound in the bottom of the seventh.

Before his Game 2 start, then-Tigers' skipper Jim Leyland broke down what Fister brought to the mound for Detroit in the season-plus since he'd been acquired from the Seattle Mariners.

"He's really a kind of mis‑hit‑it type pitcher, but he has had some strikeouts...when he's got them all working. But he can get by on nights when he doesn't have them all working if he's got the movement on his ball and moves late..." -Jim Leyland on Doug Fister before Game 2 of the 2012 WS

"He's a real intense guy," Leyland said, echoing what Nats' skipper Matt Williams has said about Fister's abilities this season. "He's very athletic; one of the best athletes we have on the team. He's a tremendous fielder. He's actually gotten more, knock on wood, more strikeouts than we thought.

"He's really a kind of mis‑hit‑it type pitcher, but he has had some strikeouts. At one point this year, everybody knows, nine [strikeouts] in a row. Unbelievable really, and that's when he's got them all working. But he can get by on nights when he doesn't have them all working if he's got the movement on his ball and moves late, he can make them mis‑hit the ball.

"So he's got a pretty [good] repertoire, but he can get by some nights when he doesn't have everything if he's got that late movement on his fastball. But very athletic and a tremendous fielder."

"I thought he pitched terrific. I thought he did a tremendous job, and he just wasn't quite as good as Bumgarner, but he was pretty darned good." -Jim Leyland on Doug Fister in Game 2 of the 2012 WS

While Fister told the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore today that the most memorable moment of that outing was the line drive that grazed his head but didn't knock him out of the game, after the start, Leyland said that while the incident with the line drive scared him to death, he was impressed with what Fister was able to accomplish on the mound.

"I thought Fister was terrific," Leyland said. "I was a little worried about him because it had been several days, and we did the best we could, obviously. He pitched two innings the other day against our hitters. That's the best we could do. I was a little worried going in that maybe his control wouldn't be real good. But I thought he pitched terrific. I thought he did a tremendous job, and he just wasn't quite as good as Bumgarner, but he was pretty darned good."

Two years later, Fister got another chance tonight to match up against Bumgarner and see what if he could beat the Giants' 24-year-old lefty. After a tough outing the first time out this season in Oakland, Fister was on a nice run heading into his rematch with Bumgarner.

The 6'8'' righty was (4-0) in his last five starts with a 2.23 ERA, two walks (0.55 BB/9) and 26 Ks (7.24 K/9) in 32 1/3 IP over which he held opposing hitters to a .212/.236/.347 line.

Tonight in San Francisco, Fister's seventh start of the season began with a soft fly to left.

1st: Giants' leadoff man Angel Pagan flew out to left on a 2-0 fastball to start the bottom of the first. Hunter Pence took a 1-2 two-seamer outside for a called strike three and out no.2. Buster Posey fell behind 0-2 quickly and grounded out to short to end a quick, 11-pitch, 1-2-3 frame.

2nd: Pablo Sandoval lined to center for a leadoff single in the home-half of the second. Michael Morse K'd looking at a 91 mph 1-2 fastball that was knee-high outside. Gregor Blanco popped to Ryan Zimmerman in short left for out no.2. Brandon Crawford took a first-pitch fastball for a ride, but it died on the track where Zimmerman caught another one. 17-pitch frame, 28 total after two.

3rd: Brandon Hicks grounded out to short to start the Giants' third. Madison Bumgarner worked the count full and singled through short on a 3-2 fastball. Danny Espinosa fielded a grounder off Angel Pagan's bat and tagged Bumgarner before throwing a step late to first on what looked like a DP grounder. Matt Williams challenged the ruling, but the call on the field stood. Hunter Pence stepped in with a runner on and sent a low liner through the right side for a two-out single. Buster Posey stepped in with two on and lined out to center to end a 23-pitch inning. 51 overall for Fister after three.

4th: Pablo Sandoval lined an 0-1 change to left-center for a leadoff single. Michael Morse was first-pitch swinging and the blooper he hit to short left fell in for the second straight hit. Gregor Blanco flew to center for out no.1, but it was deep enough to allow Sandoval to take third. Brandon Crawford popped to short left for out no.2. With two on and two out, Brandon Hicks stepped in and flew out to right to end a nine-pitch frame. 60 total after four.

5th: Given a 2-0 lead to work with, Doug Fister took the mound in the fifth and got a soft liner to first from Madison Bumgarner for the first out of the home-half of the frame. Danny Espinosa knocked an Angel Pagan grounder down, but there was no play on the one-out infield single. Hunter Pence grounded into a force at second, but beat the 4-3 throw to first, but he was stranded there when Buster Posey flew to center to end a 13-pitch frame by Fister, who was up to 73 pitches after five.

6th: Pablo Sandoval was 3 for 3 vs Fister tonight after he doubled to right-center on a 1-2 fastball. Michael Morse flew out to center for out no.1. Gregor Blanco K'd swinging at a 1-2 cutter. Brandon Crawford flew to right with two down and Sandoval tried to score but he was dead-to-rights on the throw in by Werth. "You're out!" 11-pitch frame by Fister. 84 total after six .

7th: Brandon Hicks worked a leadoff walk off of Fister in the first at bat of the Giants' seventh. Pinch hitter Tyler Colvin flew out to center for out no.1 and Angel Pagan lined out to third to start a 5-3 inning-ending DP. Rendon to LaRoche to get Hicks and end the home-half of the frame. 13-pitch inning, 97 overall.

Doug Fister's Line: 7.0 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks, 97 P, 66 S, 4/9 GO/FO.

3. Nats vs Bumgarner: As soon as the Nationals' 9-2 win over the San Francisco Giants was over last night, Matt Williams said he was preparing for the second game of four in AT&T Park.

"Tonight's over," the first-year skipper told reporters. "We go tomorrow. That's all that we can concentrate on is tomorrow against a really, really good left-handed pitcher. We won tonight and that's good, but we have to concentrate on playing a good game again tomorrow."

The left-hander he referred to, was, of course, Madison Bumgarner, the Giants' '07 1st Round pick, who took the mound tonight in San Francisco with an (8-3) record on the year, a 2.68 ERA, 2.72 FIP, 18 walks (2.01 BB/9) and 90 Ks (10.04 K/9) in 80 2/3 IP over which the southpaw held opposing hitters to a .245/.289/.381 line.

Bumgarner was facing the Nationals for the seventh time in his career. In the previous six outings, the southpaw was (2-2) with 2.61 ERA, six walks (1.42 BB/9) and 35 Ks (8.29 K/9) in 38 IP, over which he held Nats' hitters to a combined .234/.279/.372 line.

After a relatively rough outing against the Padres on April 28th in which he gave up 7 hits and five runs, four earned in 5 IP, Bumgarner put together a strong stretch of starts heading into tonight's game.

In his last seven outings, he was (6-0) with a 1.91 ERA, five walks (0.96 BB/9) and 53 Ks (10.15 K/9) in 47 IP, over which he held the opposition to a .188/.281/.303 line.

Anthony Rendon singled off Bumgarner with one down in the first tonight, but the lefty completed a scoreless frame after 14 pitches. Wilson Ramos doubled with one down in the second, and Bumgarner put Danny Espinosa on after falling behind 2-0 so he could face Doug Fister, who K'd swinging to end a 13-pitch frame, after which the Giants' starter was at 27 pitches overall.

A 12-pitch, 1-2-3 3rd ended when Jayson Werth fouled strike three into Buster Posey's mitt. 39 pitches overall for Bumgarner after three scoreless.

Adam LaRoche singled to right to start the fourth, but was doubled up on a grounder to short off Ryan Zimmerman's bat. Wilson Ramos hit a grounder to second to end a 12-pitch frame after which he was up to 51 pitches.

Ian Desmond hit a bloop single to center to start the Nats' fifth. Danny Espinosa hit a broken-bat single to center that sent Desmond first-to-third™. Doug Fister popped a bunt attempt back to Bumgarner for an unproductive first out, but Denard Span flew out to left to bring Desmond in and make it 1-0 Nationals. A two-out single to right by Jayson Werth gave the Nats a 2-0 lead after a 17-pitch frame by the Giants' lefty, who was up to 68 overall after five.

LaRoche battled for six pitches before doubling to right to start the sixth. 2 for 3 tonight for LaRoche. Two outs later, with LaRoche on third, Ian Desmond appeared to beat Bumgarner to the first base bag on a grounder to first. Giants' skipper Bruce Bochy asked for a review and the call on the field was overturned. 20-pitch frame, 88 overall after six innings by Bumgarner.

Bumgarner threw a 14-pitch, 1-2-3 seventh that left him at 102 overall.

That was it for Bumgarner.

Madison Bumgarner's Line: 7.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 102 P, 67 S, 7/4 GO/FO.

2. Nats vs LHPs: The Washington Nationals entered the second game of four in AT&T Park with a .287/.346/.423 line vs left-handers this season, good for 2nd in the NL in average, behind only the Rockies' .294 AVG, 1st in OBP, and sixth in SLG. Madison Bumgarner started the game with a reverse-split. Lefties put up a .250/.268/.353, right-handers .249/.295/.388. Adam LaRoche entered the game with a .257 AVG vs LHPs, and he was 2 for 3 after doubling in the sixth. Bumgarner ended up giving up eight hits and two earned runs.

1. The Wrap-Up: After Giants' right-hander Juan Gutierrez threw a scoreless top of the eighth, Tyler Clippard took over on the mound for the Nationals.

Buster Posey singled with one down in the Giants' eighth. Pablo Sandoval walked to put two on for Michael Morse, who went down swinging at a 93 mph full-count fastball up high. Gregor Blanco flew out to center. Tyler Clippard was through a scoreless 21-pitch frame.

Wilson Ramos connected for his second double of the game in the top of the eighth, but left the game after appearing to injure his hand/wrist on the play.

With the score still 2-0 Nationals after eight and a half, Nats' closer Rafael Soriano came out looking for save no. 13 of 2014. "Pitch it, Soriano! Pitch it, Soriano! Strike'em out, Soriano! Strike'em out, Soriano! Brandon Crawford tripled to center to start the frame, taking a 2-2 slider for a ride. Brandon Hicks grounded out to short to bring a run in, 2-1 Nationals. Hector Sanchez worked the count full and popped up to short center. Angel Pagan's fly to center end the game. Nationals win. 2-1 final.

Work's done. Untuck that jersey, son!!

Nationals now 34-29

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