Max Scherzer (10-6, 2.92) vs. Jeff Samardzija (9-6, 4.22) – 10:15 p.m, MASN2
Scherzer did get the no-decision in his last start against the Padres on July 23, but he still put together a great outing. He went seven innings, gave up two runs on four hits, struck out ten, and walked two in a no-decision. The lone mistake Scherzer made was a two-run home run by Ryan Schimpf in the second.
Despite that home run, Scherzer bounced back and gave up two hits over the final five innings of his start. Scherzer now has struck out double digit batters in six of his last ten starts and has given up four runs in four starts this month (1.33 ERA).
In five starts against the Giants, Scherzer is 1-4 with a 6.85 ERA and hasn’t beaten San Francisco since 2009 (0-2, 7.88 ERA at AT&T Park). Denard Span is 5-for-19 against Scherzer with a double, triple, a home run, and four RBI’s in his career.
Like Cueto, Samardzija was a free agent signing by the Giants this winter. He had a strong start to his season, but he has had his struggles lately. Against the Yankees on July 24, he went 5.2 innings, gave up five runs on eight hits, struck out three, and walked one in a loss.
Samardzija was 7-3 in the first two months of the season. However, in the last nine starts, he has only won twice. In fact, he has given up four runs or more in five of his last six starts and has given up nine home runs over that six start period.
Against the Washington Nationals, Samardzija is 2-3 with a 3.12 ERA In 12 appearances (five starts). Wilson Ramos is 4-for-11 against him with a pair of solo home runs.
Prediction: Both pitchers have had their struggles at AT&T Park with Scherzer having never won there while Samardzija has just one win there since May 25. However, with the Giants struggle to score runs lately and the Washington Nationals having success with the long ball, I’ll take the Nats to win game two.
Next: Saturday's Matchup