After a discouraging 1-5 road trip, the Giants found out how you can have a discouraging 8-0 victory.
“It does rain on your parade when you lose your starting pitcher,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy in the post-game news conference.
Pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, who had struggled in his first 8 games with an 8.06 ERA– the highest among all qualifying pitchers in the Majors—was finally pitching a game like everyone knew he could.
And then, he got unlucky.
Afterwards, he didn’t mince words on how he felt.
Yeah, it stinks.
And now he’s out 4-6 weeks.
With the score 6-0 and the Giants batting in the bottom of the 5th,, Vogelsong looked like he had it all together.
He had what some observers still believe is the “best team in baseball” at his mercy with five innings of shut-out ball. He had made Nats phenom Bryce Harper look foolish with a swinging strike three. Vogelsong even had a bunt RBI to help his own cause in the fourth inning.
Vogey was having himself a game.
And then in the fifth, always the toughest inning for him all year, when he’s allowed 16 of his 44 runs and teams have batted .500 against him, Vogelsong survived a Giants error, and went to bat at the bottom of the inning looking to contribute to yet another Giants rally.
But then he took a swing at a ball that hit his pitching hand.
It was enough to force him out of the game as both a hitter and pitcher.
The diagnosis: a fractured right hand, with two breaks to his pinky and a knuckle, requiring surgery in the morning.
The Giants had jumped on Nat’s spot starter Zach Duke early, tagging the Nats with 2 runs in the second, as Pence and Belt singled and Torres and Crawford drove them in. The Giants added 3 more in the fourth, as Pagan and Scutaro delivered RBI hits. For Scutaro, his two hits helped extend his Major League leading hitting streak to 18 games.
Brandon Belt added a home run to right center in the 5th to make it 6-0. Along with three singles, Belt had a four-hit night for the fourth time of his career.
It was working out to be a good cathartic victory, with lots of Giants contributing. The kind of team victory you need after losing 8 out of the last 13 games.
And then all the good feelings were deflated in the bottom of the fifth.
Of course, it was just a game.
Just prior to the start, an announcement was made about the tragedy in Oklahoma where dozens lost their lives to a monstrous tornado.
A moment of silence added a little perspective to the night.