San Francisco Giants 3 Up, 3 Down: Weird Weekend in Washington

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 13: Chris Stratton
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 13: Chris Stratton /
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After plenty of rain, the San Francisco Giants dropped two out of three games to the Washington Nationals. Here’s 3 Up, 3 Down from the series.

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WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 13: Chris Stratton /

3 UP

1 – Sunday Stratton

Chris Stratton didn’t make his scheduled start on Friday because of the rain, and wasn’t out there on Saturday so Jeff Samardzija could stay on schedule. He finally took the ball for game one of Sunday’s double-header, and he was right on from the first pitch.

Stratton had his best day as a big leaguer, using excellent command of his fastball and complementing it with outstanding off-speed offerings. He came into the game with a career-high of four strikeouts, but matched that total in the first eight batters on Sunday. He reached 10 through his 6.2 outstanding innings, and did so while allowing only five singles and one walk. The only ball four he threw came on his last pitch of the day, and reliever Josh Osich kept Strattin’s shutout alive.

Though his schedule was knocked out of whack, Stratton was as good as he’s been on Sunday. His family had to make adjustments to see his start, but they stayed for a good one. If Stratton can put together some more outings like this, he can put himself firmly in the conversation for next year’s rotation.

2 – Panik Finding Form

Joe Panik has been so hot and cold this season, but a hot streak seems to be coming starting with the Washington series. Panik hit a solo home run in the first inning on Saturday, his seventh home run of the season, and followed that up with two good games on Sunday.

In the opener, Panik collected three hits, including a big two-run single in the second inning that would end up being the difference in the game. In the closer, he picked up another pair of hits, including a double. He also walked twice on the day. Panik entered the day hitting .264, and raised it by seven points on Sunday, which is no easy feat this late in the season.

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Panik did suffer a scare on Sunday, when he was hit in the face by catcher Matt Wieter’s glove on a play at the plate. He said after the game that he doesn’t feel the symptoms he felt last season, which is great news.

3 – Moore Better

Bruce Bochy and staff made the decision to not skip Matt Moore‘s start, and he rewarded their confidence with one of his best outings of the year. He followed Stratton’s brilliance with a fine start of his own, throwing seven strong innings while striking out a season-high nine batters. He allowed seven hits, and didn’t walk anyone.

Moore still had his issues, as he gave up a pair of solo home runs and threw more than one pitch straight into the backstop. But overall, Moore looked much better. His curveball was about as good as it’s been this season, and he was able to use the changeup effectively as well. It’s a start, and hopefully something the Giants and Moore can build on through the last two months.

For whatever reason, facing the Nationals brought out the best in Moore this season. He made two starts against Washington, and allowed only four runs over 14 innings.