The Nationals and Giants have completed their seven head-to-head games in the regular series which was won by the Nationals 4-games-to-3. The series felt at times like a playoff series albeit the ordering of starters would not have Madison Bumgarner pitching only one game in the seventh game, and likewise the Nats would not have Reynaldo Lopez starting the third game of the series.
It also will be interesting if the Nationals and Giants meet in the post-season to see who Bruce Bochy names as starters as Jeff Samardzija went 0-2 and Matt Cain went 2-0 in this series. When the Giants acquired Matt Moore on August 1st, the Giants moved Jake Peavy to the bullpen making Matt Cain the fifth starter.
Given the success of Cain against the Nationals in this series, and the two lackluster starts by Samardzija, would Bochy go with a post-season rotation of Bumgarner, Cueto, Moore and Cain? Furthermore, given Strasburg’s MLB best road ERA of 1.70, would Dusty Baker start Strasburg in the first road game?
Also in this series, run production was difficult at times to create. Both teams in this series scored 19 runs each. In line-up moves, Bochy in two games played 20 players each, and the Giants won both of those games. In the seven game series, Bochy made 46 player moves, and Baker made 35 as they maneuvered in pinch-hitters and relief pitchers. Bochy seemed to be playing the third and fourth games of the series like they were do-or-die playoff games.
After the team arrived in Miami last night for their series against the Marlins, Bochy fell ill and was admitted into University of Miami Hospital last night. The Giants believe he will join the team tomorrow.
Bochy is not here. He has been admitted to a local hospital after not feeling well, will be held overnight. #sfgiants
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) August 8, 2016
The post-season has a different vibe with a higher intensity level based on the importance of every play in a winner takes all series, and we will most likely see a very different Dusty Baker. We have seen Bruce Bochy before in the post-season, and what we saw in the third game back of this series on July 30th is how Bochy manages every post-season game. He will use starters to pinch-hit, relievers to face only one batter, and even use the former Notre Dame wide receiver Jeff Samardzija to pinch-run.
What will Dusty Baker do that he did not do before? Who knows, but that is why we play the games.