Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) throws in the first inning in Game 2 of baseball’s NL Division Series against the San Francisco Giants in Nationals Park, Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Rob Carr, Pool)
It was a pure pitching showcase between the Washington Nationals and the San Francisco Giants that lasted 18 innings long, six hours and 23 minutes in time, the longest game in National League playoffs history. But, in the end, it was the Giants who walked away with a 2-1 win in Game Two of the National League divisional series on Oct. 4 at Nationals Park in D.C. The Giants lead Washington, 2-0, in the best of five series.
Both teams’ starting pitchers brought their “A” games. Giants starter Tim Hudson pitched seven full innings, allowing just seven hits and one earned run with eight strikeouts thrown. But Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann was even better, giving up only three hits and zero runs through nearly nine whole innings pitched. Zimmerman got the first two outs in the ninth inning but was pulled after giving up his first walk of the game. That would prove to be a fatal mistake, as relief pitcher Drew Storen gave up two hits and a game-tying run off an RBI from Giants’ clutch hitter Pablo Sandoval.
Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) watches his single during the eighth inning in Game 2 of baseball’s NL Division Series against the San Francisco Giants in Nationals Park, Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
From there, both bullpens kept the score tied at 1-1 through eight extra innings. Giants relief pitcher Yusmeiro Petit was as sharp as the starters, allowing only one hit with seven strikeouts through six innings pitched.
Washington rotated through seven relief pitchers to keep the score locked, but the Giants finally ended the tie with a single home run smackedfar out right by Brian Belt in the top of the 18th inning. Washington had Anthony Rendon, Denard Span and Jayson Werth at bat in the bottom of the 18th, but neither threatened to score a run and the Giants hung on to the victory.
Washington Nationals’ Asdrubal Cabrera celebrates his solo home run after crossing the plate during seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants in Game 1 of baseball’s NL Division Series, at Nationals Park on Friday, Oct. 3, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Rendon was the difference maker on offense for Washington early on – he was four for his first four at the plate on hits and nailed the only RBI of the first eight innings, hitting a single in the bottom of the third inning that sent Asdrúbal Cabrera in for the score and 1-0 lead. But Randon cooled off from there, going 0-3 over his next three at bats.
Tyler Clippard, Matt Thornton, Aaron Barrett, Jerry Blevins, Craig Stammen and Rafael Soriano all contributed from Washington’s bullpen, pitching seven shutout innings. But Tanner Roak blew it in the end, surrendering the homer to Belt.
The Nationals will travel to San Francisco on Oct. 6 for Game Three of the series, a must-win game for the Washington team.