Giants at Nationals (Game 2)
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: 7:05 p.m. ET, NBCSN Bay Area (San Francisco), MASN (Washington)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Giants LH Matt Moore (3-12, 5.88 ERA) vs. Nationals RH Max Scherzer (12-5, 2.23)
Moore is winless in his last eight starts and coming off another tough performance in which he surrendered five runs and eight hits in six innings against the Chicago Cubs on Monday. The Floridian is allowing opponents a .294 batting average and has surrendered a home run in each of his last six outings. Moore turned in a quality start at home against Washington on May 29 but still suffered a loss while yielding two runs in seven frames.
Scherzer is well on his way to another Cy Young Award as he bounced back from a stiff neck by striking out nine and allowing two hits in seven innings against Miami on Monday. The Missouri native lasted only an inning against the Marlins on Aug. 1 before leaving with the neck injury but is back on rotation and looking to post at least nine strikeouts for the fifth straight full start. Scherzer struck out 11 at San Francisco on May 31 and surrendered one run in a complete-game win.
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.