The Nationals’ season will live to see at least one more day.
Thanks to a big outing from Doug Fister and a big mistake by Madison Bumgarner, the Nationals defeated the Giants 4-1 in Game 3 of the NLDS today at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
With his team facing elimination, Fister tossed seven scoreless innings en route to the victory. He held the Giants to just four hits (all of them singles) and three walks while striking out three. The biggest threat came in the second inning, but Fister struck out Bumgarner with the bases loaded to keep the Giants off the board.
Bumgarner matched Fister until the top of the seventh. After Ian Desmond singled and Bryce Harper drew a walk to begin the inning, Wilson Ramos dropped down a sacrifice bunt. However, instead of throwing to first base for the easy out, Bumgarner decided (at the advice of Buster Posey) to go after the lead runner at third base. It backfired in a big way, as his throw eluded Pablo Sandoval and bounced along the left field line. It would have been late even if the throw was on the money. Two runs ended up scoring on the play. The very next batter, Asdrubal Cabrera, singled to left to bring home the third run of the inning.
Tyler Clippard followed Fister with a scoreless eighth before Harper hit a long solo home run in the top of the ninth to provide some extra insurance. After blowing the lead in Game 2 on Saturday, Drew Storen came on to protect the lead in the bottom of the ninth. It looked pretty dicey at first, as he gave up a single to Sandoval and a double to Hunter Pence to begin the inning. However, he struck out Brandon Belt looking before getting Brandon Crawford out on a sacrifice fly and Travis Ishiwaka to ground out to end it. It’s safe to exhale, Nationals fans.
With the Giants now up 2-1 in the series, Game 4 of the NLDS will take place tomorrow night at AT&T Park. Ryan Vogelsong will start for San Francisco while Washington will counter with Gio Gonzalez.