MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Washington0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 3110
San Francisco1 2 0 0 1 0 1 0 x 5101
  W: J. García (1-2)   L: S. Clay (0-3)   S: J. McGee (18)
6:45 PM PT7:45 PM MT8:45 PM CT9:45 PM ET21:45 ET1:45 GMT9:45 6:45 PM MST8:45 PM EST9:15 PM VEN5:45 UAE (+1)7:45 PM CT, July 9, 2021
Oracle Park, San Francisco, California  Attendance: 27,345

After ugly loss, Nationals open series in San Francisco

According to STATS
According to STATS

Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants

  1. In their last game against San Diego, the Nationals became the first team ever to have an 8+ run lead with a multi-time former Cy Young winner on the mound (Max Scherzer) and yet end up losing the game.
  2. The Nationals are 9-4 (.692) on the road against the Giants since 2016, the best record by any NL team at San Francisco in that time.
  3. Of the 142 MLB players with at least 25 plate appearances in July this year, only three of them have had no more than one strikeout this month. All three of them play for either the Nationals or Giants (Josh Bell, Starlin Castro and Brandon Crawford have exactly one strikeout apiece in July).
  4. Brandon Crawford leads the Giants (or is tied for the lead) in hits, runs, home runs, RBI, walks and stolen bases. Since RBI became an official stat in 1920, the only shortstops to lead their teams in all six categories over a full season (based on primary position that season) are Ernie Banks (1957) and Robin Yount (1984).
  5. With this start, Paolo Espino will join Cleveland's Cal Quantrill and Arizona's Caleb Smith and Riley Smith as the only pitchers with at least 15 relief appearances and five starts this year.
  6. Logan Webb has a 1.06 ERA over his last three starts dating back to May 11, the lowest ERA by any pitcher as a starter over that span (minimum 15 IP as starter).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 7/9/2021 thru 7/11/2021

The San Francisco Giants and visiting Washington Nationals have different goals when they wrap up the first half of the season with a three-game series this weekend.

The series opens with a battle of right-handers on Friday night.

The Giants (54-32) begin the series dueling the Los Angeles Dodgers (54-34) and Milwaukee Brewers (53-36) for the distinction of being the National League's winningest team. A sweep of the Nationals would assure San Francisco of having the best record in the NL at the All-Star break.

The Nationals (42-44), meanwhile, need a sweep to wrap up the half with a winning record. If they pull it off, they could vault over the Philadelphia Phillies (42-43) and Atlanta Braves (42-44) into second place in the NL East.

The Giants will take the field with an advantage in both momentum and energy. They had Thursday off following a 5-2 home win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.

The Nationals went well into the night Thursday before taking a walk-off, 9-8 loss to the host San Diego Padres -- in a game Washington led 8-0. Sam Clay gave up Trent Grisham's game-ending single, five innings after Nationals star Max Scherzer served up a grand slam to Padres rookie relief pitcher Daniel Camarena.

Pitching dominated when the Giants and Nationals met in the nation's capital last month. Three of the four games ended in shutouts, with the two Washington wins coming by 2-0 and 5-0 counts. The Giants' victories were 1-0 and 2-1.

Neither of Friday's scheduled starters -- San Francisco's Logan Webb (4-3, 3.86 ERA) and Washington's Paolo Espino (2-2, 2.48) -- started in that series. However, Espino did come on in the first inning of the 1-0 loss in relief of injured Max Scherzer and allowed the only run of the game in his 3 1/3 innings.

The 34-year-old struck out five, walked none and allowed just three hits, including a Buster Posey home run.

It's possible Espino won't see Posey this time around. The All-Star starter missed the entire series against St. Louis earlier this week due to a bruised left thumb.

Giants manager Gabe Kapler noted at the end of the series that he plans to be conservative with his standout catcher.

"That soreness is giving me some trepidation about putting him in the lineup and also makes it more difficult to determine how available he is to pinch-hit," Kapler said. "We have to get through this tough time without Buster."

Espino has faced the Giants just one other time in his career, and he will take the mound with a 0-1 record and a 4.91 ERA against them.

He threw 56 pitches in the June 11 loss to the Giants and has since gone as high as 70 as manager Davey Martinez attempts to stretch him out.

"We were watching his pitch count, but I assumed he was going to be good for 80-85 pitches," Martinez said of Espino's start against the Dodgers on Saturday. "He was looking good."

Espino yielded three runs in 4 1/3 innings during a no-decision against Los Angeles.

Webb is expected to be activated off the injured list to make his start. He aggravated a strained right shoulder in a May 29 outing against the Dodgers and has been sidelined since.

The 24-year-old was last seen pitching the best ball of his career, having limited the Texas Rangers, Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles to a total of two earned runs and 10 hits in 17 innings in his past three starts.

Webb was the winning pitcher in all three games, during which he struck out 21 and walked three.

He has never faced the Nationals in his career.

--Field Level Media

Updated July 9, 2021

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