The San Francisco Giants and Nationals will try to get their four-game series underway Friday night in Washington, D.C., weather permitting.
Thursday night’s opener was postponed due to inclement weather and rain is forecast again for Friday. Thursday’s game is scheduled to be made up as part ofa split doubleheader Saturday, with seven-inning games scheduled for 2:05 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.
Thursday’s scheduled starters, Giants right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (5-2, 3.21 ERA) and Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer (5-4, 2.22), will slide to Friday night.
The unexpected day off was a boon to both teams. The Giants’ bullpen received much-needed rest after manager Gabe Kapler used five relievers in a 9-4 win at the Texas Rangers on Tuesday and in an 11-inning, 4-3 loss on Wednesday.
The Nationals saw their 11-inning win at Tampa Bay end around 11:30 p.m. ET, and they arrived back in Washington not long before sunrise.
“I didn’t go to sleep until 6:30 (a.m.), woke up at 11:30 (a.m.) rip-roaring to go,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said before the postponement was announced.
Instead of playing the third of nine straight days, the Nationals rested Thursday.
Scherzer has allowed two earned runs or less in 10 of his 12 starts, including in each of his last seven. Last time out, Scherzer allowed one run on five hits and a walk while striking out nine in 7 2/3 innings of a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
“Once again, he had a great outing, mixed in all his pitches, threw some really good changeups when he needed to. But all of his pitches were electric tonight,” Martinez said.
Scherzer is 4-5 with a 3.86 ERA and one complete game in 10 career starts vs. the Giants. Brandon Crawford is 6-for-15 (.400) with two homers and five RBIs against Scherzer, while Brandon Belt is 3-for-12 (.250) and Buster Posey is 1-for-12 (.083).
Martinez sent Scherzer home after last Sunday’s game in Philadelphia, and the pitcher did not travel to Tampa Bay.
Since being touched for 10 runs in 2 2/3 innings by the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 23, DeSclafani has allowed just two earned runs in each of his past two starts. Last Friday, he gave up four hits over six innings in a win against the Chicago Cubs. He also snapped an 0-for-40 skid at the plate with an RBI double that tied the game.
“I’m glad I finally got a hit,” DeSclafani said. “More importantly, I’m glad it was a timely hit to tie up the game. I feel like I’ve been having some decent at-bats. I’m trying to act like I know what I’m doing in the box and all that stuff.”
DeSclafani is 2-1 with a 3.55 ERA in eight games (five starts) against the Nationals. Josh Bell is 9-for-23 (.391) with two homers and five RBIs vs. the former Reds hurler. Starlin Castro is 6-for-19 (.316), Kyle Schwarber is 5-for-17 (.294) and Josh Harrison is 1-for-14 (.071).
The Giants carried a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth Wednesday and seemed poised for a sweep against the Rangers. Texas, however, tied it off Tyler Rogers in both the ninth and 10th before winning 4-3 in 11 innings. The Giants were walked off for the seventh time this season.
“There are going to be days … where balls find holes, they go past diving infielders, sometimes they bloop over infielders’ heads,” Kapler said. “I would take the way Tyler Rogers pitches in big moments over and over because, more times than not, that weak contact is going to be converted into outs.”
–Field Level Media