WASHINGTON — With his team frustrated from a poor, listless road trip, Giants manager Bruce Bochy thought home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi should’ve shown more restraint.
Cuzzi felt he had offered plenty.
Bochy and starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong were ejected by Cuzzi in the fifth inning before the Giants bullpen allowed a pair of runs in a 3-1 loss to the Nationals on Sunday night.
“I don’t know what prompted it,” Bochy said of Vogelsong’s ejection. “But to me, you’ve got to be a little patient.”
The Giants completed a 0-6 road trip after Vogelsong’s first ejection in 11 seasons in the majors. Brandon Crawford hit his 12th home run in defeat.
Washington’s Wilson Ramos snapped a tie with a sixth-inning homer off reliever George Kontos (2-1) and added an RBI single in the eighth. Jordan Zimmermann (7-5) allowed a run on three hits in seven innings.
With the game tied at 1-all and Denard Span leading off the fifth inning, Vogelsong threw a 1-2 fastball that Cuzzi called a ball low. Bochy took exception from the dugout and Cuzzi responded.
“Well, he obviously didn’t like the 1-2 pitch to Span, and he kind of made a little gesture on the mound and that set off Bochy, and that was pretty much it,” Cuzzi said through a pool reporter.
Vogelsong soon began walking toward the plate. Cuzzi ejected Vogelsong.
“I’m kind of torn right now,” Vogelsong said. “Don’t like putting the team in that situation where I get thrown out and the bullpen has to come in and pick up innings when it’s not time for them yet. But at the same time, the emotions, frustrations, everything kind of boiled over.”
Said crew chief Gerry Davis: “The ejection was that (Cuzzi) warned him not to come off the mound, and he did.”
Bochy came out and was ejected shortly thereafter, dismissed early from the final game of a road trip that saw the Giants lose 3 1/2 games on the NL West-leading Dodgers.
San Francisco is four games back, but still a game above .500 despite being mired in its fourth losing streak of five or more games a week before the All-Star break.
“We’ve had our streaks,” Bochy said. “We’ve had too many this year at this point. We’ve had good ones, too. A lot of baseball left, but we would like to finish up on a good note here before the break.”
There was some uplifting news: Outfielder Hunter Pence may be able to return this week after a batting-practice session that Bochy raved about. It was the first time he took swings on the field since going on the disabled list with left wrist tendinitis in an injury-cursed season.
Chris Heston, who no-hit the Mets last month in New York, faces them again tonight in the first of a three-game series at AT&T Park. The Giants voted to return to home this morning instead of taking a late-night flight, recalling an experience earlier this season that left them tired in a subsequent sweep by Arizona.
If the Giants miss the postseason, the same might not be said for one of their heroes last fall. Travis Ishikawa, whose walk-off homer in Game 5 clinched the NL pennant, was claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates, currently in strong contention for a wild-card berth.Bruce BochyMLBRyan VogelsongSan Francisco GiantsWashington Nationals