That’s three straight wins for the Giants over the Nationals at AT&T Park in this series. And a chance today to offset the four game sweep they suffered at the hands of the Cubs in Chicago, just last week.
AT&T was a tough place to play for the G-men earlier this season. But the home park fog has lifted as the Giants have win 12 of their last 14 at home.
This one didn’t start off well for Jake Peavy (3-5, 4.18) and the Giants as the Nats scored once in the first and second innings, to take a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the third. Peavy would allow five runs on nine hits and three runs, allowing a long home run, while only striking out two in 5 2/3 innings. However, Peavy would get the win as the offense erupted in the third inning, continuing their hot hitting against Washington’s formidable starting pitching.
The G-men scored six runs in the bottom of the third inning, knocking out starter Gio Gonzalez. In the first three games of this series, the Giants have scored 14 runs against Nats’ starters Stephen Strasburg (6-6, 4.62), Max Scherzer (11-9, 2.73) and Gio Gonzalez (9-5, 3.86), and 23 runs in total.
Matt Duffy got the big hit in the third inning, a bases loaded, three-run double that put the Giants ahead 4-2. Duffy finished with four RBIs and has been perhaps the most consistent offensive player for the team this season, and continues to be a leading candidate for NL rookie of the year honors. Duffy is now hitting .310 with 10 HRs and 59 RBIs on the season. Duffy’s numbers might even be more impressive if he had been the starting third baseman at the beginning of the season, rather than Casey McGehee. Duffy wasn’t officially installed as the starting third baseman until McGehee was released in late May.
Several other players contributed to the offensive outburst including: Gregor Blanco (.300) 3 for 5, RBI and three runs scored, Brandon Belt (.278) 2 for 3, double, base on balls, two RBIs, two runs scored, Buster Posey (.330) 2 for 5, double, two RBIs, run scored, Kelby Tomlinson (.333) 2 for 3, double, triple, two RBIs, run scored, and Jake Peavy (.176), who worked a seven pitch walk to load the bases, leading to the Giants’ six run uprising in the third inning.
Despite the fact that the Giants have endured the loss of three starters and three starting pitchers for extended periods of time this season, the team has battled and remains in the thick of the playoff chase, just 2 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West and 4 1/2 games behind the Cubs for the final wild card spot. “I’ve said it before – we’re a tough group,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
This afternoon, the Giants send ace Madison Bumgarner (13-6, 3.15) to the hill inn the series finale against Washington starter Joe Ross(3-4, 3.44). Ross makes his first start against the Giants and just his ninth major league start, while MadBum has lost three straight against the Nats, with a 4.74 ERA in those games.