Giants, Nationals face off in doubleheader (Aug 13, 2017)
WASHINGTON — San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy and Washington Nationals skipper Dusty Baker have known each other for a long time and have competed against each other for several decades, as both have strong California roots.
Bochy also played and managed the San Diego Padres and Baker played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and was the manager of the Giants from 1993 to 2002.
“I have tremendous respect for Dusty,” Bochy said this weekend.
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“When I lost my job in Cincinnati (in 2013) he was the first one to call — wanted to know what happened because we had just gone to the playoffs,” Baker said.
Their current teams will meet for the last time this season when the Nationals host a day-night doubleheader against the Giants on Sunday. The second game will be a makeup of the game that was rained out Friday in the nation’s capital.
Bochy and Baker both have 1,835 career wins following the first game of the series, which the Nationals won, 3-1. Lou Piniella also won 1,835 games as a manager.
Not everything about Saturday’s game was positive for Washington, as Bryce Harper left the game with a knee injury in the first inning.
“We know he hyperextended it when he slipped going across the bag. He’s going to get an MRI,” Baker said of Harper. “We just ask for prayers that it’s not serious. We’re just urging everybody out there that are Nationals fans and baseball fans to say a prayer for him tonight because he was in obvious pain out there. We’re just hoping for the best.”
The Nationals announced Sunday that Harper avoided structural damage in his injured left knee, but he will be out indefinitely because of a significant bone bruise. The team placed Harper on the 10-day disabled list with a hyperextended left knee.
First-place Washington (69-45) will send right-handers A.J. Cole (1-2, 5.63 ERA) and Max Scherzer (12-5, 2.23) to the mound Sunday while the last-place Giants (46-71) counter with righty Chris Stratton (0-2, 6.63) and left-hander Matt Moore (3-12, 5.88).
“We enjoy our battles and being competitive against each other,” said Bochy, whose team was swept by the Nationals in April in San Francisco and is 0-4 against Washington this year.
Bochy has won three World Series titles as a manager. Baker won two as a player and is trying to get his first as a manager in the final year of his two-year contract in Washington.
“We know each other real well because we were in the same division for a number of years when he was in San Diego and I was in San Francisco,” Baker said. “I don’t think he has any fear. And he knows what he’s doing. He’s got some brains in that big old head he got. He’s a smart man.”
Scherzer is 3-4 with a 4.76 ERA in seven career starts against the Giants. He pitched a complete-game victory in his start against the Giants this year, giving up one run and five hits.
Cole, making the fourth start of the season, has never faced the Giants. In his previous start, at home against the Miami Marlins, he gave up a three-run homer to Giancarlo Stanton and took the loss Tuesday.
Moore is 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts against Washington and Stratton has never faced the Nationals. In his only start against Washington this season, Moore allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings and took the loss.
Harper, the National League MVP in 2015, left the game in the last of the first inning Saturday after his left foot slipped on the first base bag as he tried to beat out a groundball to first baseman Ryder Jones.
On the play, Jones fielded the ball and beat Harper to the bag as pitcher Jeff Samardzija raced over to cover the bag just in case. Harper fell to the ground and held his left knee for several minutes. He was helped off the field and did not put any weight on his left leg as athletic trainer Paul Lessard and hitting coach Rick Schu helped him to the clubhouse.
Harper was walking under his own power in the Washington clubhouse at about 1:45 a.m. on Sunday.
The start of the game was delayed 3 hours, 1 minute by rain Saturday and there was a light rain falling as Harper batted in the first.