Based on what he went through in the third inning Sunday, he had a tough time locating his pitches. With the count 0-2, Nolan Arenado hit his 35th homer of the season for two runs and David Dahl followed on the next pitch with his fifth home run. As Nationals manager Dusty Baker put it, "[The Rockies] didn't miss his fastball."
Although it was his best outing since his Major League debut against the Mets on June 28, Giolito said he had better starts while he was with Triple-A Syracuse. He was throwing all three of his pitches -- fastball, changeup and curveball -- for strikes in the Minors. That wasn't the case on Sunday.
There were times when Giolito was in the driver's seat, but then it would go from 0-2 to a full count. The next thing he knew, Giolito was at 100 pitches before he left the game after five innings.
"The way I was pitching in Triple-A recently, I wouldn't say this was an improvement," Giolito said. "I have been pitching a lot better. I figured some things out. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to execute on a few pitches today. That lost the game for us.
"The only thing I can do is continue to work and try to get better about living down in the zone, getting ahead of guys and throwing all my pitches for strikes and putting guys away."
Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.