The Nationals will kick off a 4 game series tonight at 7:05 pm vs defending World Series champions the San Francisco Giants.
The Giants 12-12, come in having won just 2 out of their last 7 games and much like the Washington Nationals have had their fair share of struggles at the plate averaging only 3.96 runs per game good for 4th worst in the NL and only slightly better than the Nationals 3.92 runs per game.
On the mound tonight for the Nationals will be Jason Marquis who will be entering the game with a 3.55 era and a 2-0 record with a team record of 3-1 in games that he started. Marquis who is coming off an injury plagued 2010 season did not pitch against the Giants at all last season but for his career has 4 and 3 record with a 2.77 era vs the Giants.
The Giants will be sending 2 time Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum to the mound. While going against a pitcher of Lincecum’s caliber is something you never look forward to the Nationals have had a small amount of success against him. Last season in only 4.2 innings of play he gave up 6 hits, 5 walks and a total of 6 earned runs against the Nationals. On his career has an era of 3.60 with a 1 and 1 record in 4 starts vs the Nationals.
The Nationals could definitely have their work cut out for them tonight vs Lincecum. Although the Nationals did get to him last season you can’t expect that to happen very often so the Nationals are going to need a strong outing from starting pitcher Jason Marquis as well as the bullpen.
At the plate the Nationals need to stay selective by looking for pitches in the strike zone and avoid chasing after pitches. Lincecum at times will throw a lot of walks which can get him in trouble sometimes so I’d like to see the Nats batters work the pitch count and try to get some walks out of Lincecum to get him in a little bit of trouble early on.
All and all it should be a pretty good pitching duel.