WASHINGTON D.C. — The Nationals held their annual fundraising gala on Saturday night, so Sunday’s game was pushed back to a rare 4:05 p.m. start so their players would be in, uhh, better shape. Derek Holland and Brandon Crawford left them with a wicked hangover.
Holland pitched five shutout innings opposite the league’s best starter, Max Scherzer, and Crawford took him deep in the fourth as part of a four-hit day. The Giants got a tidy 2-0 win and shot out of town before the rain came. They started this 10-game road trip with a strong series victory. Here are the details...
--- Crawford joined Scooter Gennett and Martin Prado as the only players this season to have three hits in a game off Scherzer. Gennett is one of the players Crawford is chasing in the batting race. He finished Sunday’s game at .338, which puts him right there with Gennett and Freddie Freeman behind NL leader Matt Kemp (.351). Crawford needed a triple for the cycle when he came up in the eighth. He doubled down the left field line for his fourth hit.
--- Holland had it all working in five shutout innings. He got five swinging strikes on his slider, three each on his fastball and curve, and two on his changeup. Holland allowed just three hits, walked two, and struck out four.
--- Scherzer was his usual self, striking out nine in seven innings. He struck out six straight Giants at one point and did so on just 26 pitches. But he hung a two-strike cutter to Crawford and that was all it took.
--- Hunter Strickland and Bryce Harper faced off to open the ninth. There was no drama. On Strickland's third pitch, Harper grounded out softly to Crawford. Strickland picked up his 13th save.