Jun 12, 2014, 9:32 AM EDT
The Nationals traveled to San Francisco this week looking to challenge the Giants and their best record in baseball, but so far through three games it’s been Washington who has looked like the better team.
On Wednesday night they again beat the Giants in convincing fashion, controlling the game from start to finish. Tanner Roark outpitched Matt Cain and Adam LaRoche and Ryan Zimmerman came up with big hits in the first inning to lead the way on offense.
It was the Nationals’ fourth consecutive win and their 10th in their last 12 games. They now sit atop the NL East thanks to a Braves loss to Colorado. It’s the first time since May 5 the Nats have been alone in first, and a far cry from the six-games back they were at this point last season.
The Nationals and Giants still have one game to play Thursday afternoon – and Tim Hudson stands in the way of a sweep – but either way Washington will leave with the series win. With that in mind, let’s look at this series at a glance:
–The Nationals have outscored the Giants 17-5 through three games this series. San Francisco entered this series 22-9 at home with a 132-96 (+36) run differential.
–Nationals starters Stephen Strasburg, Doug Fister and Roark have thoroughly outpitched Ryan Vogelsong, Madison Bumgarner and Cain. Nats starters have combined to allow just three runs through 19 innings pitched. Fister is the only one to have allowed a walk so far.
–Giants starters, on the other hand, have allowed 12 earned runs in 18 innings. That equates to a 6.00 ERA, nearly double their 3.53 mark as a unit this season. They have also allowed eight walks, for comparison.
–The Nats have had 32 at-bats with runners in scoring position in the three games, coming up with eight hits in those opportunities. In Monday’s game alone they went six for 18. Through three games the Giants have only seen 19 total at-bats with RISP.
–With the win, the Nats matched their longest winning streak of the season at four. The Giants also matched their longest losing streak of three. This was after San Francisco entered the series winners of five straight and 10 of 12.
–The Nats are now 8-2 overall in the month of June. Through those 10 games the Nats’ rotation has combined to go 8-1 with a 1.27 ERA, 62 strikeouts and four walks, with a .208 batting average against.
–In their 10 June games, the Nationals have outscored their opponents by a total of 51-17. Only twice in their last 12 games has an opponent scored more than two runs.
The Nationals will go for the sweep tonight against a guy who has long had their number. Hudson is 16-5 with a 2.45 ERA against the Nationals in 29 career starts. They have a chance to take four games from the Giants and make it six of seven on their road trip.
Wednesday night was another big win for the Nationals, but the story of the game had to be Zimmerman’s performance in left field. Check out this diving catch he made in the victory.
NL EAST STANDINGS
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Braves at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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