Washington Nationals vs. Giants Series Preview (8/5-8/7)
By Ricky Keeler
Matt Cain (3-6, 5.53) vs. Stephen Strasburg (15-1, 2.69) – 7:05 p.m , MASN/MLB Network
While Cain didn’t give up a hit over five innings last Sunday against the Nats, he didn’t have great command of his pitches. He walked four batters and only threw 48 of his 93 pitches, but he still ended up getting the win for the second consecutive start.
The question still that Cain has to answer is can he pitch deep into the game. Since re-entering the rotation back on July 20 after spending over a month on the disabled list, he hasn’t thrown more than 5.1 innings in a game. On Saturday, Cain will be looking for his first road win of the season (0-3, 7.48 ERA in five starts).
Cain is 6-5 with a 3.46 ERA in 16 career starts against the Washington Nationals, but he has a 4.11 ERA in five starts at Nats Park (2-2 record). Danny Espinosa is 3-for-12 against him with a pair of solo home runs.
As for Strasburg, he was able to take advantage of some good run support he got against the Diamondbacks on Monday. He went six innings, gave up one run on three hits, struck out six, and walked two on 99 pitches in his 15th win of the season.
If Strasburg were to win on Saturday night, he would have a new career-high for wins in a season. Over his last ten starts, he has given up one earned run or fewer in seven of them. He has walked ten batters in his last six outings, but he has found a way to avoid giving up runs in those situations.
In seven starts against the Giants, Strasburg is 3-1 with a 2.79 ERA. Buster Posey is 7-for-18 against the right-hander with a RBI in his career.
Prediction: With Cain still having some issues with his command, the Washington Nationals offense should get some hit in this game. Plus, they normally put up high run totals for Strasburg (41 runs in his last six starts). If that trend continues, Strasburg will get win number 16.
Next: Sunday's Matchup