WASHINGTON (AP)—Miguel Tejada(notes) knew his none-on, two-out fielding error in the seventh inning led to the only two runs in the San Francisco Giants’ 2-0 loss to the Washington Nationals on Monday night.
Still, Tejada was incredulous when his miscue was brought up after the game, telling a reporter: “You asked me the question like we lost the game because of that ball?”
OK, Miggy. Everyone knows why the Giants are losing games—a lot of them— these days.
Put simply: The World Series champions are having a really rough time at the plate.
“There’s not much we can do if we’re not hitting,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “We’re awful right now. We know it.”
The latest opposing starter to take advantage was Tom Gorzelanny(notes) (1-2), who allowed only three hits in eight innings Monday—his longest outing in more than 3 1/2 years. Michael Morse(notes) and Jerry Hairston Jr.(notes) drove in runs after Tejada’s error, helping the Nationals win for the fourth time in their last five games.
San Francisco, meanwhile, has lost eight of its last 11, scoring a total of 23 runs in that span.
“You can put it on the offense,” said Aubrey Huff(notes), who went 0 for 3 and is hitting .190 for the season. “We’re not doing anything offensively—including myself. We’re all struggling. I’m the worst of it.”
He has plenty of company.
The Giants were shut out for the third time in their last six games, including twice during this series, when Washington took three of four. Jason Marquis(notes) pitched the Nationals to a 3-0 victory Friday.
“We feed off each other’s outings,” Gorzelanny said.
He gave up Aaron Rowand’s(notes) double leading off the game and single in the third, as well as Cody Ross’(notes) single in the eighth. Drew Storen(notes) pitched the ninth for his sixth save in six chances, closing out a game that took just 2 hours, 2 minutes—the fastest nine-inning game in the majors this season, according to STATS LLC.
“Mixing in and out. Changing speeds quite a bit. Trying to keep guys off-balance. I wasn’t trying to trick guys. I was trying to let guys hit the ball,” Gorzelanny said. “My defense played outstanding out there. Guys made terrific plays. That’s obviously key to an outing like this. You don’t just mow down guys as a pitcher.”
Bochy was asked whether Gorzelanny’s performance surprised him.
“Nothing surprises me right now. We’re struggling right now. We’re seeing some well-pitched games against us,” he said. “I think teams are catching us at a good time. There’s no getting around that.”
Madison Bumgarner(notes) (0-5) retired Washington’s first 12 batters and didn’t allow an earned run but wound up with the loss because of two unearned runs in the seventh, his last inning. He allowed four hits.
“It’s a shame we couldn’t get him a win tonight,” Bochy said.
The first Nationals player to reach base was rookie catcher Wilson Ramos(notes), hitting cleanup on a day off for first baseman Adam LaRoche(notes). Ramos doubled to start the fifth and was sacrificed to third, but Bumgarner got out of it by striking out Morse and Hairston.
After those back-to-back Ks, those two Nationals had a chat, and the veteran Hairston encouraged the younger Morse, pointing out: “Sometimes you have your good months, sometimes you have your bad months. But you have to keep grinding. He did that. He picked himself up and got a huge hit for us.”
Indeed, that part of the lineup was trouble for Bumgarner in the seventh. Ramos reached on a ball that went off Tejada’s glove at third; it originally was ruled a single, then changed to an error after the game. That was followed by three consecutive hits for Washington: Ian Desmond(notes) singled, Morse hit an RBI single and Hairston hit an RBI double.
After coming through there, Hairston said, “We looked at each other and kind of smiled.”
NOTES: It was Military Appreciation Night—something that first was planned in the offseason—and the Nationals offered free tickets to active or retired military personnel. The announced attendance was 15,342; the Nationals said they couldn’t say yet how many free seats were provided. … Gorzelanny hadn’t lasted eight innings in a game since Aug. 12, 2007, when he threw a shutout for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Giants.