September 21, 2019

Washington Nationals Series Preview: San Francisco Giants

After dropping two out of three against the Braves in Atlanta, the Nationals return home for a holiday weekend matchup with the San Francisco Giants.

The Nationals (43-36) begin the series three and a half games in front of the Mets (40-40), and five in front of the Braves (38-41). The Giants enter the series after being swept by the Marlins in a three-game series in Miami.

*The Last Time…

The last time the Nationals met the Giants, of course, was the National League Division Series, which the Giants took in 4 games. The lone Nationals win in the series was by a score of 4-1, and the three losses were all by a run, including the epic 18-inning Game 2.

In the regular season the Nationals took two out of three from the Giants in Washington in August, and three out of four in San Francisco last June.

*In The Other Dugout

This is a time of the year the Giants have had their eye on for some time. They’ve kept themselves in the hunt in the National League West – they were in first place for a good part of the season and now trail the Dodgers by just three games – and instead of working towards a trade deadline deal, the defending World Series champs have just had to wait for some injured players to get healthy.

The Nationals won’t see Matt Cain this weekend, who pitched for the first time this season on Thursday against the Marlins. (National League East note: he pitched against Jose Fernandez, who made his return for Miami.) The Nats will face Jake Peavy, who made two starts in early April before heading to the disabled list. The Giants finally have the starting rotation they want…but they’re down a position player: Hunter Pence might not return until after the All Star break as he recovers from wrist tendinitis. The news could be worse – Buster Posey left Wednesday night’s game after taking a foul ball off his mask, but he was back in the lineup for the Giants at first base on Thursday. Expect to see Posey against the Nationals.

*Matchup To Watch

A couple of players worth keeping an eye on this holiday weekend:

-Denard Span is 7 for 20 (.350) with 5 doubles against Jake Peavy, and 5 for 13 (.385) against Ryan Vogelsong.

-For the Giants, Justin Maxwell is 4 for 8 with a home run off Friday night’s starter Gio Gonzalez, but he is 0 for 7 with 6 strikeouts against Sunday night’s starter Jordan Zimmermann.

*Probables

Friday, 6:00pm: Jake Peavy (0-2, 9.39 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (5-4, 4.41 ERA)

Saturday, 11:05am: Madison Bumgarner (8-4, 2.99 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg (5-5, 5.49 ERA)

Sunday, 8:00pm: Ryan Vogelsong (6-6, 4.19 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (6-5, 3.16 ERA)

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