The Washington Nationals are in the midst of their best run in franchise history. And with the pitcher they have on the hill Friday they stand a good chance at securing the longest winning streak in team history.
Doug Fister will try to lead Washington to an 11th straight win on Friday when the Nationals open a three-game series versus the San Francisco Giants at Nationals Park.
Washington won its 10th straight game on Thursday against Arizona to match the longest streak in both team history (since 2005) and franchise history (since the Expos from 1969-2004). The Nats, though, haven't made it very easy, as their 1-0 win yesterday came in walk-off fashion, the fifth time in the last six games that they have won in their final at-bat.
"It's not a Nats win without a walk-off," said Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez.
No team has had a stretch like that since the Houston Astros in 1986.
"We just feel confident that somehow, some way we're going to find a way to inch off a victory," said Denard Span, who scored the winning run on Thursday.
The 10 straight wins are also three off the Washington record set by the Senators back in 1933.
"It's not surprising the way that they prepare and the way that they go about it every day," Nationals manager Matt Williams said of the winning streak.
Now the Nats turn to Fister, who has won seven of his last eight decisions and has pitched to a 0.64 ERA in August. However, he did not get a decision on Sunday versus Pittsburgh, despite allowing just two unearned runs and five hits over seven innings of his team's 6-5 win.
It marked the 12th time in 18 starts that Fister has pitched at least seven innings. He is 12-3 overall with a 2.20 ERA on the year.
San Francisco will counter with veteran right-hander Tim Hudson, as he tries for just his second win in 12 starts. Hudson did not get a decision on Saturday against Philadelphia, as he allowed five runs and eight hits in four innings of his team's 6-5 win.
Hudson has lost seven of his last eight decisions and is 8-9 on the year with a 3.03 ERA.
The 38-year-old could get himself right on Friday, as he is 17-5 versus Washington with a 2.37 ERA in 30 starts. His 17 wins are tied for the most against any team and he is 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA in his last four starts against them.
San Francisco enters this set having won four of five after an odd split on Thursday. After the Giants lost the resumption of Tuesday's suspended game against Chicago, Buster Posey went 4-for-4 and hit a go-ahead solo home run in the fifth inning to help San Francisco to a 5-3 win over the Cubs in the regularly scheduled contest at Wrigley Field.
The Giants' bats woke up for the nightcap, as Pablo Sandoval complemented Posey with three hits and two RBI in the club's fifth win in seven games.
Madison Bumgarner (14-9) allowed back-to-back home runs to Justin Ruggiano and Welington Castillo in the first inning but settled in to pitch seven frames. The left-hander struck out a dozen and scattered seven hits and a walk.
Washington took three of four from the Giants earlier in the year.