So the Washington Nationals have won 8 of their last 10 and 10 of 13 and last night in AT&T Park they beat the team with the best record in baseball, 9-2, in the first game of their four-game set with the San Francisco Giants.
Tonight they have Doug Fister on the mound. The 30-year-old right-hander acquired from the Detroit Tigers this winter is (4-0) in his last five starts with a 2.23 ERA, two walks (0.55 BB/9) and 26 Ks (7.24 K/9) over that stretch and a .212/.236/.347 line against in his last 32 1/3 innings of work on the mound. They have to be feeling good about themselves and the run that they're on, right? After the seven-run win over the Giants? Right?
"No," Nats' skipper Matt Williams said after the win in the series opener. "Tonight's over. We go tomorrow. That's all that we can concentrate on is tomorrow against a really, really good left-handed pitcher. We won tonight and that's good, but we have to concentrate on playing a good game again tomorrow."
Williams was happy to get the win in his return to the city he called home for the first ten years of his seventeen-year major league career, but by the time Ross Detwiler set the Giants down in the bottom of the ninth last night the Nats' skipper was already looking forward to the second game of the Nationals' four-game stay in San Francisco.
The Nats will, however, be getting another bat back in their lineup. After three games off dealing with a swollen thumb on his right-hand, the result of a bad hop on a grounder in San Diego, Anthony Rendon is back in the lineup against Giants' left-hander Madison Bumgarner, who enters tonight's outing with an (8-3) record on the year, a 2.68 ERA, 2.72 FIP, 18 walks (2.01 BB/9) and 90 Ks (10.04 K/9) in 80 2/3 IP over which the southpaw has held opposing hitters to a .245/.289/.381 line.
Can the Nationals make it two straight in AT&T?
• Here are the lineups for the second game of four which gets underway at 10:15 pm EDT:
|WASHINGTON NATIONALS||SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS|
|Denard Span - CF||Angel Pagan - CF|
|Anthony Rendon - 3B||Hunter Pence - RF|
|Jayson Werth - RF||Buster Posey - C|
|Adam LaRoche - 1B||Pablo Sandoval - 3B|
|Ryan Zimmerman - LF||Mike Morse - 1B|
|Wilson Ramos - C||Gregor Blanco - LF|
|Ian Desmond - SS||B. Crawford - SS|
|Danny Espinosa - 2B||Brandon Hicks - 2B|
|Doug Fister - LHP||M. Bumgarner - RHP|