One mistake and a great day on the mound gets tarnished, as a throwing error by Madison Bumgarner and excellent hitting and fielding from Bryce Harper helped the Washington Nationals win for the first time in their NLDS with the San Francisco Giants, coming away with the 4-1 win and making it a 2-1 series as well.
Bumgarner was having a great day until his mistake in the 7th inning. A shocking bunt from Wilson Ramos led to Bumgarner making an even more surprising less-than-surgical throw to third base, which went wrong in so many ways, including seemingly injuring Pablo Sanvoal trying to reach an impossible ball. The Nationals scored two runs on that two-strike but from Ramos, giving the Nationals a 3-0 lead eventually in that inning, as Asdrbual Cabrera followed with a single that brought Ramos home.
Bumgarner, who allowed just six hits while striking out six batters in seven innings was off, but the Nationals weren’t done scoring, as Bryce Harper hit his second home run of the series, this time off of Jean Machi. He needs only one more home run in the next 10 days to join an elite group of hitters with four home runs in the postseason before their 22nd birthday, with Miguel Cabrera, Andruw Jones and Micky Mantle waiting for him to his his fourth.
Doug Fister shines in big games and this was no different. The 30-year old had an excellent season and often plays well against the Giants. This time it was no different, giving up just four hits and three walks in seven innings while striking out three batters. He got plenty of help from the guys behind him, including an incredible catch by Harper with his glove scraping the ground, barely keeping the ball out of play. The Giants finished with just 6-for-31 at the plate.
Momentum, more than anything else, continues to be the key word in this postseason. Maybe the Nationals finally have some of it on their side and can turn the series around. Being able to get that momentum swing to us a little bit is definitely huge. We just needed one break. It’s been a tough couple innings here to start and we got our break. It’s just a matter of building on it, and we live to see another day.
Buster Posey might have been in fault of the error as well. He was the one calling to make a throw at third instead of going for first base. It doesn’t matter as long as he and Bumgarner puts it behind them. Postseason series are about getting momentum and riding it forward, something the Giants know a lot about, losing for the first time in a postseason game after having a 10-game winning streak, dating back to the 2012 NLCS against the Cardinals.