As bad as the San Francisco Giants have been playing this season, the only significant trade they made was Eduardo Nunez to the Boston Red Sox, and that was far from a blockbuster. There were rumors that basically all players not named Posey, Bumgarner, and Crawford were available. The issue was so many of the Giants were either playing poorly or were injured. Hunter Strickland was never traded so here we are set-up for the possibility that Strickland could face Bryce Harper in this series, and the last time they had contact — it was fist-to-face.
The Giants are missing some key pieces themselves today on the DL with Brandon Belt who could come off this weekend along with Mark Melancon. Johnny Cueto could come off of the DL but he wouldn’t pitch in this weekend series. Michael Morse is still on the DL after suffering a concussion in the Strickland/Harper brawl after he collided with his teammate Jeff Samardzija.
One familiar face is back for the Giants — Pablo Sandoval. He’s the guy on the other team that you can probably blame for the demise of the Nationals in the 2014 NLDS if you remember Game #2 with Storen on the mound in the 9th inning. Sandoval once again is using his left-handed swing to pepper that leftfield line if you pitch him outside. Sandoval is 6-for-his-last-11 against Nationals’ starter Edwin Jackson for a .545 batting average.
An interesting aside, if Dusty Baker’s team wins the game tonight, that would be win number 1,835 for Baker and match him with Bruce Bochy and Lou Piniella for 14th most wins for a manager. The differences between the three managers are numerous — for now. Lets just say that Piniella as we discussed earlier with “The Nasty Boys” won a ring, and of course Bruce “Mr. Even Years” Bochy has 3 of them. If it is any consolation, Dusty Baker is well ahead of both of them in career managerial winning percentages.
“He’s got some brains in that big ‘ole head of his,” Dusty Baker said about Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy.
Just three years ago it looked like Dusty Baker was never going to manage again as he was managing his portfolio of investments which included a wine venture as well as a solar power company. Things have certainly changed for Dusty and his eye is on the prize.
The Nationals and Giants only meet twice a year in the regular season, and the Nationals have never faced the right-handed Chris Stratton who is the Giants starter tonight.
San Francisco Giants vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN, NBC – Bay Area, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® Sirius 81 XM 81 (Internet 869)
Line-ups (subject to change without notice):