It’s not often that Tim Lincecum gets knocked out in the 5th inning, or gives up 6 ER. The last time he gave up 6 ER or more was September 23, 2008, when he went 4 1/3 innings. That game, just like last night, was as much about the walks than the hits. Lincecum didn’t have his stuff, and the Nats deserve credit for taking advantage. They walked 5 times and Willingham got hit by a pitch, to go with the teams 6 hits on the starter. It’s one of those games that when the series start, you count it for the Giants, not the Nats. It’s a good win, and one that puts Washington back above .500.
Interesting thing about those Runs
Both times the Nats scored 3 runs in an inning, they led off with a guy getting to first then a steal of second. Now this is a coincidence for sure, but it does highlight the importance of getting that first guy on. And if you don’t waste an out getting him over, it’s an even better chance to score. Thankfully, once of those times was started by Nyjer Morgan, although he still had a questionable game. He ran through a stop sign and was lucky to score – although I don’t hate aggressive baserunning, I’d just prefer a guy who could see the play making that call (like the third base coach). Later in the inning he caught a fly ball and unnecessarily overthrew the cutoff man. He’s just not looking like himself. If he can right things, the innings like the 3rd and the 5th last night will come more often, and the Nats will score in bunches.
The Good with the Bad
Ian Desmond had another error in the game, this time in the 7th inning. Thanks to the error, the Giants were able to get from 5 down to 4, a psychological barrier at best, but still could be considered to have crawled back in it. Luckily the Nats were leading big, and nothing else came of it. And in full disclosure, I think while the throw was bad, Dunn should have been able to get it. Regardless, it’s Desmond’s 10th error, leading all shortstops. So that’s a bit of a concern. However, his range factor is also 3rd in the league for all shortstops. His UZR/150 of 14.4 also puts him in third place among shortstops with at least 300 innings. So while the errors are bad, they aren’t the whole story. And besides, there aren’t as many as most people thought there would be.