The Nationals are 64-44 with a 7.0 game lead in the NL East, and a year ago at the same point the Nationals were 56-52 and -2.5 games behind in the NL East. Game #108 ended with a devastating loss a year ago as Drew Storen had a 4-1 lead and walked a batter and 2 straight singles to load the bases for Carlos Gonzalez who hit a grand slam to win the game. What a difference a year makes!
The Nationals will be playing the Giants for three game this weekend that should have the feel of post-season baseball if Bruce Bochy plays these game like he did last week in San Francisco.
Dusty Baker adjusted his pitching rotation to have Gio Gonzalez start tonight, and he will face Jeff Samardzija of the Giants. Stephen Strasburg will pitch on Saturday against Matt Cain, and Tanner Roark and Madison Bumgarner are set for Sunday.
You might recall that last week against the Nationals at AT&T Park Samadzija took the loss in the 4-1 game. Samardzija gave up four runs on seven hits in six innings against the Nats.
Even if Ryan Zimmerman is healthy Dusty Baker could sit him as he is a career .053 batter against Jeff Samardzija in 19 at-bats. By the way, in regular season games, Hunter Pence is .059 against Gio Gonzalez in 17 at-bats.
Here are your Nats stats against Samardzija:
Here are Gio Gonzalez’s stats against the Giants:
Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giant
Stadium: Nats Park, Washington, DC
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN, WUSA9, MLB Network, Comcast Bay Area, MLB.tv
Line-ups (subject to change without notice):
- Trea Turner CF
- Jayson Werth LF
- Bryce Harper RF
- Daniel Murphy 2B
- Wilson Ramos C
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Clint Robinson 1B
- Danny Espinosa SS
- Gio Gonzalez LHP