Lucas Giolito's MLB debut in Washington was interrupted by rain. His second start in the majors was a rocky one.
Giolito, 22, faced the New York Mets in each outing, and the second time they knocked him around, connecting for seven hits overall, two of them home runs, and scoring four runs total in just 3 ⅔ innings pitched on the road on a humid night in Flushing, Queens, NY's Citi Field earlier this month.
"He didn't have real command and then he didn't have much of his secondary pitches and they were just kind of sitting on his fastball and they hit him pretty good tonight," Dusty Baker told reporters after the Nationals' 9-7 loss that night.
"If you don't have command on your fastball, these guys they can hit the ball out of the ballpark just like us."
"I didn’t really have good command from the start of the game,’ Giolito too acknowledged, as quoted by Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes after the outing in New York.
"Once I started to give up hard contact, the game kind of sped up, and I kind of sped up with the game."
Giolito made two minor league starts, one of them his first at Triple-A, before he was called back up to the majors face the San Diego Padres today in the series finale in the nation's capital, but he was out after just 3 ⅓ IP and 66 pitches this afternoon in what ended up a 10-6 loss...
Trea Turner gave Giolito an early lead to work with, tripling to lead off the Nationals' half of the first and scoring on a sac fly to center by Daniel Murphy to make it 1-0 after one in Nats Park.
Danny Espinosa was charged with an error for a throw that pulled Daniel Murphy off the bag in the first at bat of the Padres' third and a single and one-out walk followed as San Diego loaded the bases for Wil Myers, who hit a single back up the middle to drive in two runs before another scored on an ill-advised throw home by Michael A. Taylor.
Myers got caught up between first and second when Taylor threw to the plate, and Travis Jankowski scored in front of Turner's throw home after Myers was tagged out. 3-1 Padres.
Giolito connected for his first MLB hit in the first at bat of the Nationals' half of the third, moved to second on a single by Turner (2 for 2) and third on a wild pitch before scoring on a sac fly by Jayson Werth, 3-2 Padres.
Turner advanced on Werth's fly to center and scored on an RBI single to right by Daniel Murphy that tied it up at 3-3 and Wilson Ramos hit a two-run blast in the next AB, hitting a 2-0 change out into the left field seats for a 5-3 lead.
Alex Dickerson doubled and scored on an RBI single by Ryan Schimpf in the top of the fourth, 5-4.
Alexei Ramirez walked in the next at bat and a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position and a second straight free pass to Padres' catcher Derek Norris loaded the bases and ended Giolito's outing.
Matt Belisle took over on the mound and with help from Wilson Ramos (who caught Norris napping off first with a snap throw to Daniel Murphy) managed to escape the jam he inherited with the Nats' one-run lead in tact.
Lucas Giolito's Line: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 0 HR, 66 P, 36 S, 4/1 GO/FO.
Daniel Murphy doubled (No. 29, and his 40th multi-hit game) and scored on a two-out RBI single by Wilson Ramos that put the Nationals up 6-4 after five.
Belisle got the Nationals through the sixth. Oliver Perez got the call in the seventh and retired two batters before he issued a two-out walk to Will Myers.
Blake Treinen came on and gave up a broken-bat single by Matt Kemp that put runners on the corners, but got Yangervis Solarte looking with a 2-2 fastball to end the threat.
Shawn Kelley gave up solo home runs by Alex Dickerson and Ryan Schimpf in back-to-back at bats as the Padres tied it up at 6-6 two batters into the eighth.
Daniel Murphy "doubled" to right to start the Nationals' eighth when Matt Kemp chased down the liner and made a diving play but lost the as he slid on his stomach over the grass. Wilson Ramos moved Murphy up with a grounder toward second.
Anthony Rendon got a free pass to set up a double play with Chris Heisey at the plate. Heisey popped out for out No. 2 of the frame and Michael A. Taylor K'd chasing a high fastball.
Jonathan Papelbon walked Wil Myers with one down. Myers took second on a wild pitch/strike three to Matt Kemp and then scored on an RBI single to center by Yangervis Solarte. 7-6 Padres.
Alex Dickerson and Ryan Schimpf followed with singles that loaded the bases and Alexei Ramirez cleared them with a line drive double to left that made it 10-6.
Nationals now 59-40
- Washington and San Diego split their four-game set in Petco Park last month and the first two games of their three-game set in D.C. this weekend.
- The Nationals had not lost a series against the Padres since 2012 heading into play today... damn jinx.
- San Diego's last series win over Washington (before this weekend) was in May 2011 in Nationals Park.
- In today's Washington-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Entering play today, the Nationals' were 15-8 for the major league's best record... over the last 23 games, dating back to June 28th.
- Washington's 58-40 record before today's finale with San Diego was the third-best in the majors, behind only the San Francisco Giants (58-39) and Chicago Cubs (58-38).
- As a group, after Stephen Drew's walk-off, pinch-hit triple last night, Nationals' pinch hitters were tied for first in the majors in home runs (10), and were second in the majors in slugging percentage (.580), and 17 of their 27 pinch hits were extra base hits.
- Nationals' relievers, as a group, led the majors with a 2.82 ERA before today ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers' 2.94 ERA, and since July 10th, the Nats' relievers have allowed just two runs in 32 ⅔ IP.
- Jayson Werth extended his on-base streak to 27 straight games last night, and it's the longest active on-base streak in the majors. He walked today to make it a 28-game on-base streak.
- Daniel Murphy extend his current hit-streak to 10-straight games last night, over which he's 14 for 36 (.389 AVG) with five doubles, five home runs, 15 runs batted in and seven runs scored over that stretch. He went 3 for 3 today with his first hit extending it to 11-straight.
- Murphy started play today leading all NL batters in batting average (.349), doubles (28) and multi-hit games (39). He added two doubles today and ended the game with 40 multi-hit efforts.
- San Diego's hitters extended their streak of games with home runs to 21-straight with Ryan Schimpf's two-run blast off Max Scherzer early in last night's game. Back-to-back home runs in the 8th extended that to 22-straigth.
- In today's San Diego-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Schimpf is 16 for 54 (.296 AVG) with four doubles, a triple and eight home runs... in 17 games in July.
- Padres' infielder Yangervis Solarte is equally hot at the plate, with a .339 AVG (38 for 112), with 10 doubles, six home runs and 17 runs scored in his last 29 games.
- Solarte's eight doubles this month are tied with five other players (including Daniel Murphy) for the most doubles in the majors this month.
- Matt Kemp's first of two hits last night gave him an eight-game hitting streak, over which he's 11 for 33 (.333 AVG) with two doubles and six home runs.
Nationals now 59-40