The (25-24) San Francisco Giants started their ten-game road trip tonight against the (13-36) Washington Nationals. The Giants are coming into this series after a very impressive 5-1 homestand, after they swept the Atlanta Braves and took two of three from Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Unfortunately, the way the Giants play on the road is quite different from how they play at home. With Tim Lincecum on the mound, it looked like the Giants were going to hold off the last-place Nationals, but instead, they walked out of the new Nationals Park with a 10-6 loss.
Lincecum pitched well, as he battled for six and one-third innings, giving up four runs (two earned) and gave up eight hits, but his performance was wasted after the bullpen got blasted in the eighth inning as they gave up the lead.
The game started off well when Aaron Rowand hit his second leadoff home run of the year, but by the third inning, the Nationals had a 2-1 lead.
In the top of the fifth inning, however, the Giants got the lead back after Fred Lewis scored on a wild pitch and then Juan Uribe scored on the same play after catcher Josh Bard threw it wildly home.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, with the score 5-4 Giants, Juan Uribe made the game-saving play, as he barehanded a slow roller hit by Austin Kearns with a runner at third base, and threw him out.
Unfortunately, this play would end up being wasted, because in the bottom of the eighth inning in a 5-4 game, the Nationals would steal the lead for good as they cranked out six runs against the Giants bullpen.
So despite this disappointing loss, the Giants have something to look forward to tomorrow, as Randy Johnson will try to go for his 300th career win.
After this first game on the road, I picked out some positives and some negatives of this game.
Aaron Rowand extended his hit streak to 12 games, as he had three hits, including a home run and two RBI.
Randy Winn and Juan Uribe combined for five hits and two RBI.
Tim Lincecum got his 500th career strikeout as he finished the game striking out a decent seven batters in six and a third innings.
Bengie Molina continued his slump, as he went 0-5 today with two strikeouts and left six men on base. Molina's batting average is down to a mere .247, as he only has five hits in last 51 at bats.
Pablo Sandoval and Edgar Renteria also had a rough games, as they hit a combined 1-9.
Bob Howry and Merkin Valdez combined, only pitched two-thirds of an inning and gave up six runs.