Just when the San Francisco Giants’ offense was starting to come around, their bats were silenced by one of the majors’ most highly touted pitchers.
The Giants seem to have a good chance of getting back on track Saturday night when they face the Washington Nationals and Craig Stammen(notes), who is coming off one of his worst outings of the season.
After scoring 36 runs in sweeping a four-game series in Milwaukee, San Francisco—11th in the NL with 375 runs—was shut down by Stephen Strasburg(notes) in an 8-1 loss Friday. The rookie phenom limited the Giants (45-41) to one run and three hits while striking out eight in six innings, and the Washington bullpen allowed just one more baserunner.
Stammen (2-3, 5.73 ERA) gave up two first-inning runs against the Mets on Sunday and allowed seven runs, eight hits and three walks in 3 1-3 innings of a 9-5 loss.
“I wasn’t very good. That’s the reason we lost. We move on,” Stammen told the Nationals’ official website. “It’s not anything physical. It’s how I’m thinking out there, a little bit, and sticking to the game plan a little more - having conviction with my pitches.”
The right-hander has allowed at least five runs in three of his last six starts, and opponents are hitting .302 off him this season.
Stammen didn’t receive a decision against the Giants on May 27 after giving up three runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 5-4 loss.
The slugger homered twice, giving him five in the last three games for Washington, which has won three of four.
Dunn, tied for the NL lead with 22 homers, is 8 for 17 with three homers, five RBIs and seven runs in four games against the Giants this season. However, he is 1 for 7 lifetime against scheduled starter Jonathan Sanchez(notes) (7-6, 3.15).
Sanchez struggled with his command against the Brewers on Monday, issuing six walks and throwing three wild pitches in six innings. The left-hander also allowed five hits but only one run in a 6-1 victory, his third win in four decisions.
“He got out of a lot of tough situations,” said rookie catcher Buster Posey(notes), who is batting .478 with four homers and nine RBIs during a six-game hitting streak. “That’s going to be huge for him because he’s got as good of stuff as anybody.”
Sanchez, whose 51 walks are third-most in the NL, is 1-1 with a 2.19 ERA in two career starts against the Nationals.