MLB 2016 Game #8: Nationals vs. GiantsTwelve years have passed since I stepped inside San Francisco's AT&T Park. Since then, the San Francisco Giants have won three World Series titles (2010, 2012 and 2014). These are the franchise's first titles since they departed New York's Polo Grounds following the 1957 season.
If the even-year streak continues, the Giants are due for a deep run in October. Despite leading the National League West they have stumbled to start the second half of the season. The Giants (60-44, .577) have only won three of their last 10. They hold a thin, two-game lead over their long-time rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In a potential glimpse at playoff baseball, today's matchup is against the NL East leaders, the Washington Nationals (61-43, .587). The Nationals hold a five-game lead over the Miami Marlins, and they are tied for the second highest win total in baseball. The Chicago Cubs are tops in baseball with 62.
The Nationals' 30-year-old starting pitcher, Gio Gonzalez (6-8, 4.44 ERA), picked up two wins during his last three starts. During that stretch, he allowed five earned runs and pitched 18 innings.
The Giants will send 31-year-old starter, Matt Cain (2-6, 5.95 ERA), to the mound. During his last three starts, he's allowed 12 earned runs in 11 innings.
Fun Fact: My first game at AT&T Park (then called SBC Park) was the last time I saw the Montreal Expos play live. In 2005, they became the Washington Nationals. Today, they play the Nationals.