If the MLB season is a marathon, the Giants have been among the best racers, pacing the National League in wins and ranking toward the top of the majors in win percentage.
But recently, it’s been as though the Giants have put on a parachute. In their first two games in Washington D.C. against the Nationals, the Giants’ offense scored just one run while striking out 20 times without a single walk.
And on Saturday evening, just hours after the Giants sluggishly trudged their way to a 2-0 loss in the first game of a doubleheader, it appeared their slumping ways would continue. They were held scoreless in the first seven innings of the game with just one hit. But thanks to some eighth-inning heroics from Baltimore-native LaMonte Wade Jr. and an excellent showing from their bullpen, the Giants were able to push past a poor offensive night en route to a 2-1 extra-inning victory.
The Giants improved to 40-24 on the season and increased their lead in the NL West back out to 1.5 games over the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were playing the Rangers late Saturday night.
Wade, who had plenty of family and friends in attendance for Saturday’s games, stroked a single to right field that scored catcher Curt Casali from second base. It gave the Giants a lead they never relinquished — it was their first run after 19 scoreless innings. They scored one more run after loading the bases in the inning.
As it had been in the first two games of its three-game set in the nation’s capital, San Francisco’s offense was nearly non-existent in the regulation innings. The Giants recorded just one hit, a double off the top of the wall in straight away center from Mike Yastrzemski, who was activated off the 10-day injured list earlier in the day.
Even with the offense scuffling, the Giants bullpen put together a tremendous effort, holding the Nationals to one run in eight innings.
Washington’s lone run came on an eighth-inning double by Starlin Castro to score extra-innings base runner Yan Gomes from second. A baserunning error ended up costing them the game though.
Pitching hasn’t been an issue this series for San Francisco. In three games, it has surrendered just two runs, both of them in the first game of the doubleheader when the Nationals picked up two runs off Giants’ ace Kevin Gausman.
The Giants will look to keep their strong pitching going and pick up the pace offensively in Sunday’s series finale, a 10:05 a.m. PT game at Nationals Park.
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Author: Jacob Rudner