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Na-na-na-na! Na-na-na-na! Nats say goodbye to San Francisco with big first inning

Alex Cobb gets only two outs against the Nats…

MLB: Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

With some generous help, the Washington Nationals took a season series’ worth of frustrations out on San Francisco Giants starter Alex Cobb, knocking him out with a five-run first inning on the way to an 11-6 win and a three-game series victory over a team that swept them at home last week.

Delivering such an early, Mike Tyson-like knockout punch calls to mind Chicago White Sox fans at Comiskey Park in the 1970s and 80s, who knew how to celebrate when the opposing pitcher made his exit.

“Na-na-na-na! Na-na-na-na! Hey-hey-hey! Goodbye!”

I wouldn't have put it past owner Bill Veeck to pump in the music from the 1969 hit by Steam, but in that era, there were no sound effects or live musical cues to engage fans with the game.

Most ballparks had an organist who led cheers in traditional organ-fashion, and every place had some version of cavalry bugle call for “charge!”

But otherwise, we all kinda just knew when to stand and cheer (Ask your dad).

It began organically at Comiskey in 1977, and then the organist caught on, and it went on to become one of the baseball palace’s particular charms.

While the crowd at Oracle Park on Sunday surely wouldn't have gone along, the Nats’ dugout could have been signing with gusto when Cobb departed as Juan Soto was about to take his second cuts of the first inning with the bases loaded and a 5-0 lead.

Soto had singled the first time up, to follow on a leadoff hit from Cèsar Hernàndez.

Then the Giants gave Nelson Cruz a gift error by Jason Bosler on hopper to third. Running aggressively as he has all series, Hernàndez had time to make it home.

After Josh Bell grounded to first, Yadiel Hernàndez sent a hard ground ball up the middle that scored Soto and Cruz.

Maikel Franco’s fly ball was the second out, and then the Giants, and Cobb in particular got generous.

Kiebert Ruiz walked.

Victor Robles walked.

Then, rookie shortstop Lucius Fox connected with a low splitter for his first major league hit, a ground ball to Brandon Crawford at short, a roller show enough for Fox to beat it down the line. Ruiz scored the fifth run of the inning and Robles took third.

Hernàndez then gave Cobb a tortuous early exit, working a nine pitch walk that took Cobb’s pitch count for two-thirds of an inning to 40. Hernàndez fouled off three two-strike pitches, further tightening the screws.

Cobb was done.

It wasn’t a crushing Tyson-like knockout, but more of a barrage of body punches that sent Cobb lurching to the canvas, or slinking to the dugout.

The Nats had the big inning they hadn’t gotten in Saturday’s 9-3 loss, which gave them enough confidence to go out and withstand a comeback, then pile on some insurance.

And so the Nats leave San Francisco on a high note.

“Na-na-na-na! Na-na-na-na! Hey-hey-hey! Goodbye!”