- The San Francisco Giants visit the Washington Nationals on Saturday evening in the second game of a day-night doubleheader at Nationals Park
- Jefry Rodriguez, who has been called up from Triple-A, is scheduled to start for the Nationals while the Giants will go with a bullpen game
- A look at the Giants-Nationals matchup and a prediction can be found below
After playing a makeup game in the afternoon, the visiting San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals will square off in the second game of their day-night doubleheader at 7:15 p.m. ET Saturday at Nationals Park.
The Giants (39-23) enters the twinbill – the first game was necessitated after Thursday’s scheduled opener of the four-game series was rained out – with the best record in the major leagues. They have won five of their last seven games and nine of 12, including a 1-0 victory over the Nationals on Friday night.
The Nationals (25-34) have lost four of their last five games and are in last place in the National League East.
Right-hander Jefry Rodriguez was recalled by the Nationals from Triple-A Rochester to make his season debut. The Giants will have a bullpen game in the seven-inning affair with left-hander Conner Menez (1-0 0.00) likely to be the opener.
Giants vs Nationals Odds
|San Francisco Giants||-130||OFF||O 6.5 (-125)|
|Washington Nationals||+120||OFF||U 6.5 (+105)|
Giants Bullpen Should Be Well-Rested
It will seemingly be good timing for a bullpen game for the Giants, especially if NL ERA leader Kevin Gausman gives them length in the first game. Gausman (7-0, 1.27) is scheduled to face Erick Fedde (3-4, 4.35) at 2:05 p.m. ET.
Kevin Gausman has some nasty pitches in his repertoire.
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) June 5, 2021
San Francisco has not used any relievers since Wednesday. It was rained out Thursday then got a complete game from Anthony DeSclafani on Friday.
Menez has been outstanding since being recalled from Triple-A Sacrmento. He has not allowed a run in eight innings over four relief appearances while giving up just two hits, issuing no walks and striking out 10.
On Wednesday, in his most recent outing, Menez pitched two scoreless innings against the Texas Rangers on the road. He surrendered one hit and had three strikeouts.
He’s made quite the impression on some people.
Connor Menez is the best reliever in the league
— ESPN Burner (@ENburner) June 9, 2021
Menez made his major league debut in 2019 and has made 16 relief appearances and three starts for the Giants. He has a 2-1 career record with a 3.22 ERA. His last start came in 2019.
One of Menez’s starts came against the Nationals and he took the loss, giving up five runs in six innings. He has never pitched at Nationals Park.
Nationals Career Stats vs Menez
Nationals shortstop Trea Turner is hitting .308 (12 for 39) in his last nine games with two doubles, three RBIs, three walks and six runs scored.
However, the Nationals have scored two runs or less in five of their last seven games.
Rodriguez Gets the Call
Rodriguez gets the call despite having a rough go in Rochester. The 27-year-old had a 1-0 record but a 7.56 ERA in six games, including five starts, for the Red Wings.
Rodriguez last pitched in the big leagues in 2019 with the Cleveland Indians. He made his major league debut in 2018 with the Nationals, who signed him as an amateur free agent from the Dominican Republic as a teenager.
In 24 MLB games, includining 16 starts, Rodriguez has a 4-8 career record and a 5.20 ERA.
Rodriguez has had his moments, though.
Jefry Rodriguez spun a career-high 6 shutout innings in yesterday's 15-0 win over the Mets. pic.twitter.com/04TdI8vt0I
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 27, 2018
Rodriguez’s last outing for Rochester came last Sunday against Worcester, a Boston Red Sox’s farm club. He lasted just 1.2 innings and was charged with five runs (two earned) while allowing five hits, walking two and striking out two.
Giants Career Stats vs Rodriguez
|Lamonte Wade Jr.||0||0||0||0||0||—|
The Giants figure to get two players off the injured list Saturday – right fielder Mike Yastrzemski and backup catcher Curt Casali.
Yastrzemski sustained a sprained right thumb June 2. Casali has been shelved since May 31 with a left wrist strain.
Even the Dodgers fan in the first row had to show some love for Mike Yastrzemski's catch up against the net: pic.twitter.com/IYkZy1aHlJ
— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) May 23, 2021
The Giants have been held to four runs or fewer in four of their last five games.
Posey Provides The Offense
On Friday night, Nationals ace Max Scherzer left after just 12 pitches because of groin inflammation, Buster Posey homered and the Giants won behind DeSclafani’s career-best two-hitter.
If you’re counting, that’s number 11 for Buster 👀 pic.twitter.com/X5CK4nfIq6
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) June 12, 2021
Scherzer retired leadoff batter LaMonte Wade Jr. on a fly ball to left and had a 3-2 count on Brandon Belt when he stretched his body. He took a warmup toss before exiting.
DeSclafani (6-2) struck out eight and walked in his third career shutout and complete game.
Nationals Hold Advantage
Though the Giants eked out a win in the first meeting between the teams this season, the Nationals are 12-7 against San Francisco since the start of 2017 season.
Picking a winner in this game is problematic with all the variables in play. However, San Francisco relievers’ 3.55 ERA ranks seventh in MLB and Rodriguez is a good fade candidate to fade amidst his struggles at Triple-A.
The Pick: Giants (-130)