Giants’ Kevin Gausman looks to tame Nationals to start DH

MLB

San Francisco Giants right-hander Kevin Gausman looks to continue his stellar stretch when he pitches in a day-night doubleheader Saturday against the host Washington Nationals.

The Giants won the series opener 1-0 on Friday behind a two-hitter from Anthony DeSclafani, his second shutout of the season.

Gausman (7-0, 1.27 ERA), who will pitch the day game, has been dominant in all but one start this season. He has gone nine straight outings of five or more innings and with one earned run allowed or fewer. In 12 total starts, he’s allowed more than one earned run just one time.

He has struck out 93 batters in 77 2/3 innings while walking just 16.

In his last time out, Gausman allowed only a pair of unearned runs in a win against the Chicago Cubs. He gave up two hits and struck out 10 without a walk. Gausman pitched seven innings and retired the final 15 batters he faced.

“His [splitter] was awesome,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “There was a good bit of swing-and-miss against a really tough top of that lineup. Obviously, we all saw him come out with some of his best fastball velocity that he’s had all season.”

The former Baltimore Oriole is 5-2 with a 5.24 ERA in nine games — eight starts — against the Nationals. Starlin Castro is 11-for-40 (.275) with a homer against Gausman and Josh Bell is 6-for-17 (.353) with a home run.

The Giants are expected to make the second contest a bullpen game.

Right-hander Erick Fedde (3-4, 4.35) will be activated from the COVID-19 injured list to start the first game of the doubleheader for Washington. Fedde threw five innings (76 pitches) in a rehabilitation start for Single-A Wilmington on June 5, and manager Dave Martinez said he is ready to return.

“Hopefully, he can cover four or five innings for us — maybe more — and we’ll go from there,” Martinez said.

Fedde threw six shutout innings for a win in his only previous start against the Giants, back in 2019.

For the other game, the Nationals plan on turning to right-hander Joe Ross (2-6, 4.80). Ross hasn’t won since April 24, but he’s been a victim of poor run support in several of his outings. He is 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in two career starts against the Giants.

Washington’s bullpen was called on for a heavy lift on Friday when starter Max Scherzer left the game after throwing just 12 pitches. Five relievers combined to throw 8 2/3 innings of one-run baseball.

“I threw a pitch to Brandon Belt, and all of a sudden, I felt my groin tweak on me,” Scherzer said. “When I had that happen, it’s foreign for me to have that type of injury on that location on my body. I knew I needed to take a warmup pitch.”

The warmup pitch, however, indicated to Scherzer that he was done for the night. The Nationals got some good news, though, when an MRI showed only inflammation.

“It’s really best-case scenario in terms of what the injury is in that I’m really day-to-day,” he said.

Buster Posey homered for the Giants, who have won nine of 12, and left fielder Mike Tauchman robbed Juan Soto of a potential game-tying home run with a leaping catch at the wall in left-center in the seventh.

“Man, that was insane,” DeSclafani said. “Obviously, huge catch. If [he does not] make that, it’s a tie ballgame, and I probably don’t go nine. Huge catch. Obviously, a big part of our win and a big reason we won. It was awesome.”

–Field Level Media

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