Thru 6: Nats trailing 2-1

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Randy Johnson won’t get his 300th career win with his third career no-hitter. Elijah Dukes led off the fifth with a single up the middle, breaking up that attempt at history.

Johnson also won’t have a shutout today. The Nats scored an unearned run in the sixth, thanks to Edgar Renteria’s throwing error and Nick Johnson’s RBI double.

But if this 2-1 Giants lead holds up, the Big Unit will get win No. 300. Johnson has been outstanding through six, allowing only that one run on two hits. He has started to fade a bit the last two innings, though, and it appears the San Francisco bullpen is up and running. Would Bruce Bochy pull Johnson after six innings and 78 pitches? We’ll see.

Meanwhile, Nats starter Jordan Zimmermann was basically dominant for five of his six innings. Unfortunately, that one hiccup (in the second) resulted in two San Francisco runs. Otherwise, the rookie right-hander was superb, retiring the side every other inning he was on the mound.

It was a bit surprising when Manny Acta sent up Anderson Hernandez to pinch-hit for Zimmermann leading off the bottom of the sixth. But his pitch count was at 92, and the Nats needed some offense (which they ultimately got).

Zimmermann’s final line, though, was quite impressive: 6 ip, 3 h, 2 er, 0 bb, 7 k.

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Mark Zuckerman

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