|San Francisco (13-13) «||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||2||8||1|
WASHINGTON -- San Francisco Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez walked or hit seven of the first 10 Washington Nationals he faced. Giants closer Brian Wilson walked or hit three out of four Nationals hitters in one stretch in the ninth inning.
Somehow, despite a total of nine walks and three hit batters, the Giants allowed only one run. And, somehow, they managed to beat the punchless Nationals 2-1 Saturday, thanks -- appropriately, it seems -- to a go-ahead run that scored when a slumping Aubrey Huff drew a bases-loaded walk as a pinch hitter.
According to STATS LLC, the Giants are the first team since 1955 to put 12 or more of an opponent's runners on base via a walk or hit-by-pitch but give up fewer than two runs in a nine-inning game. Oddly enough, the losing team in that long-ago game also was a team known as the Washington Nationals.
"A strange game," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Jonathan -- he didn't know where the ball was going. He was all over the board."
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Here's the thing, though: The Nationals left the bases loaded three times. They only accumulated two hits all game -- both by Rick Ankiel off Sanchez, including a run-scoring single in the second.
Sanchez walked six but allowed just one unearned run in his five innings. Guillermo Mota (2-0) pitched a perfect sixth for the win, and four other relievers followed with hitless work.
Still, Wilson made it interesting in the ninth. He walked two batters and hit Jayson Werth to load the bases with two outs, before striking out Adam LaRoche swinging for his eighth save in nine chances.
"When you're not scoring a lot of runs and leaving guys out there, it starts to weigh on you as a team," LaRoche said. "It makes every one of those opportunities seem more important than it is."
"I blew it with Huff," Lannan said.
That was the last batter Lannan faced. Nationals manager Jim Riggleman second-guessed himself after the game for leaving his lefty in to face Huff after having him intentionally walk Whiteside to load the bases.
Riggleman said he wanted to give Lannan a chance to possibly earn a win. But the skipper later realized he should have brought in reliever Tyler Clippard to pitch to Whiteside.
"That's one that's on me," Riggleman said.
Both teams learned before the game that they would be without their star third basemen for long stretches because of upcoming operations: San Francisco's Pablo Sandoval is expected to miss four to six weeks because of a broken bone in his right wrist; Washington's Ryan Zimmerman should be sidelined for six weeks with an abdominal tear.
The lineups could have used those players' skills at the plate.
Sanchez walked three of the game's first four batters -- Ankiel's double-play grounder was the exception -- prompting a mound visit by Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti. That didn't help, because Sanchez then issued a fourth free pass.
But with the bases full, Michael Morse swung at the first pitch and grounded out to third.
Things didn't get better in the second for Sanchez, who began that inning by hitting Ian Desmond with a pitch.
The left-hander then had Desmond picked off first base with a well-disguised move. When Desmond broke for second, fill-in first baseman Buster Posey -- normally a catcher, he was making his first start at the bag since August, to give the .202-hitting Huff a rest -- threw over, but Fontenot let the ball slip out of his glove.
A wild pitch, walk and another hit batter helped load the bases. Ankiel then hit a floater that ticked off the diving Fontenot's glove for a run-scoring single that made it 1-0 and left three runners on.
"As a group, we were in a fog there - a couple of mistakes we made," said Bochy, whose team had lost six of its preceding eight games. "We have to snap out of this."
Sanchez did manage to wriggle out of that jam. He struck out Werth looking, then got LaRoche to ground out to Posey.
That began a stretch of eight consecutive outs for Sanchez, including four strikeouts in a row.
"I had to stay out there and go deep in the game," the pitcher said. "I didn't have it in my first two innings, and then I said: 'That's done."'
|Eli Whiteside follows through on a critical solo shot in the third inning -- helping San Francisco survive Washington. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|San Francisco Giants|
|Aaron Rowand, CF-LF||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.294|
|Freddy Sanchez, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.273|
|Buster Posey, 1B||4||0||2||0||0||0||1||.261|
|Pat Burrell, LF||2||0||0||0||1||0||1||.247|
|Darren Ford, PR-CF||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.167|
|Miguel Tejada, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||1||0||.216|
|Cody Ross, RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.182|
|Mike Fontenot, SS||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||.233|
|Eli Whiteside, C||3||1||1||1||1||2||1||.214|
|Jonathan Sanchez, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.091|
|a- Nate Schierholtz, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.278|
|Guillermo Mota, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Aubrey Huff, PH||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||.202|
|Jeremy Affeldt, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Sergio Romo, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Javier Lopez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Madison Bumgarner, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.222|
|Brian Wilson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-fouled out for Sanchez in the 6th|
|b-walked for Mota in the 7th|
|c-struck out for Lopez in the 9th|
|2B - Buster Posey (2, Lannan), Mike Fontenot (2, Lannan)|
|HR - Eli Whiteside (1, Lannan)|
|RBI - Eli Whiteside (1), Aubrey Huff (15)|
|2-OUT RBI - Aubrey Huff (4)|
|CS - Darren Ford (2, 2nd base by Lannan/Ramos)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - F. Sanchez-Fontenot-Posey|
|E - Mike Fontenot (1, Missed catch of throw)|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Guillermo Mota (W,2-0)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.55|
|Jeremy Affeldt (H,5)||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||4.09|
|Sergio Romo (H,5)||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||1.00|
|Javier Lopez (H,3)||0.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.93|
|Brian Wilson (S,8)||1||0||0||0||2||1||0||6.97|
|HBP - Desmond (by Jonathan Sanchez), Espinosa (by Jonathan Sanchez), Werth (by Brian Wilson)|
|WP - Jonathan Sanchez (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jonathan Sanchez 103-57, Guillermo Mota 14-10, Jeremy Affeldt 12-6, Sergio Romo 3-3, Javier Lopez 4-4, Brian Wilson 27-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jonathan Sanchez 4-3, Guillermo Mota 1-1, Jeremy Affeldt 2-0, Brian Wilson 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Jonathan Sanchez 24, Guillermo Mota 3, Jeremy Affeldt 4, Sergio Romo 1, Javier Lopez 2, Brian Wilson 6|
|Danny Espinosa, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.227|
|Rick Ankiel, CF||4||0||2||1||1||0||1||.227|
|Jayson Werth, RF||2||0||0||0||2||1||4||.221|
|Adam LaRoche, 1B||4||0||0||0||1||1||8||.193|
|Wilson Ramos, C||2||0||0||0||2||1||0||.358|
|Michael Morse, LF||3||0||0||0||0||2||5||.211|
|a- Laynce Nix, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.314|
|b- Brian Bixler, PH-3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ian Desmond, SS||3||1||0||0||0||1||0||.239|
|Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B-LF||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||.208|
|John Lannan, P||3||0||0||0||0||3||2||.000|
|Tyler Clippard, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Henry Rodriguez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Matt Stairs, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.000|
|Alex Cora, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.139|
|a-announced for Morse in the 8th|
|b-flied out for Nix in the 8th|
|c-walked for Rodriguez in the 9th|
|2B - Rick Ankiel (4, Sanchez)|
|RBI - Rick Ankiel (7)|
|CS - Ian Desmond (1, 2nd base by Sanchez/Whiteside)|
|Team LOB - 12|
|DP - Lannan-Desmond|
|John Lannan (L,2-3)||6.2||6||2||2||3||3||1||3.78|
|IBB - Whiteside by John Lannan|
|Pitches-Strikes - John Lannan 93-60, Tyler Clippard 15-11, Henry Rodriguez 13-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Lannan 8-7, Tyler Clippard 1-3|
|Batters Faced - John Lannan 27, Tyler Clippard 6, Henry Rodriguez 3|
|Attendance - 28766|
|Game Time - 2:53|
|Temperature - 66|
|Umpires - Home - Paul Emmel, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Gary Darling, Third Base - Bruce Dreckman|