Giants at Nationals (Game 1)
The Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants don't share any common off-days the rest of the season with the latter anywhere near the East Coast, so every effort had to be made to get all three games of their series in this weekend despite the weather conditions. The Nationals could come to regret that decision and won't have Bryce Harper available when they host the Giants for a day-night doubleheader on Sunday.
Friday's series opener was postponed and moved to Sunday due to heavy rain in the Washington area, and Saturday's game was delayed for more than three hours and started with rain still coming down. Harper, who is a candidate to win his second National League MVP this season, was running out a grounder in the first inning when he slipped on the first-base bag and planted awkwardly before pitching forward and coming up clutching his left knee in obvious pain. Harper could not put any weight on the leg and had to be carried into the clubhouse, leaving the NL East-leading Nationals without their best player. The Giants, who are last in the NL West, suffered a 3-1 loss on Saturday and will send Chris Stratton and Matt Moore to the mound on Sunday while Washington counters with A.J. Cole and Max Scherzer.
TV: 1:05 p.m. ET, NBCSN Bay Area (San Francisco), MASN (Washington)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Giants RH Chris Stratton (0-2, 6.63 ERA) vs. Nationals RH A.J. Cole (1-2, 5.63)
Stratton was activated from the disabled list and settled for his second straight no-decision while making his second career major-league start on Aug. 5 against Arizona. The 26-year-old, who replaced veteran Matt Cain in the rotation, allowed three runs and five hits in as many innings. Stratton saw his pitch count elevate due in large part to the four walks he surrendered, bringing his total to 10 in his last three outings.
Cole is trying to avoid a third straight loss after being knocked around for four runs and five hits in five innings by Miami on Tuesday. The 25-year-old surrendered a pair of home runs in each of his last two starts and has issued a total of nine walks in 16 innings this season. Cole is making his first career appearance against San Francisco.
1. Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg (elbow) is expected to throw 75 pitches in a rehab start on Monday.
2. San Francisco RHP Mark Melancon (elbow) was activated from the DL on Saturday and will be eased back into the closer's role.
3. Washington 1B Adam Lind is 7-for-11 over his last four games.