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Washington Nationals (96-68) at San Francisco Giants (91-74)
Monday, October 06 - 5:00 PM EST
AT&T Park, San Francisco, California
After recording a National League-best 96 victories during the regular season, the Washington Nationals will need one on Monday just to remain alive in their best-of-five Division Series versus the San Francisco Giants. Winning Game 3 will be tough against host San Francisco, which secured its NL-best 10th straight victory on the strength of a ninth-inning rally and Brandon Belt's homer nine frames later in a 2-1 triumph on Saturday. "Who'd have thought we'd have come here and won the first two?" Giants hurler Tim Hudson said after the 6-hour, 23-minute marathon. "Everybody in America probably didn't think we had a shot. But everybody in this locker room knew that we did."
What the NL East-champion Nationals know is their task on Monday will be a difficult one against Madison Bumgarner, who struck out 10 and scattered four hits to lead the Giants to an 8-0 rout of Pittsburgh in the wild-card game on Wednesday. Doug Fister will provide the opposition on Monday but has allowed Pablo Sandoval to record four hits in five career plate appearances. The sizable Sandoval certainly came through on Saturday as he delivered an RBI double with two out in the ninth inning to improve to 21-for-57 during his club-record 13-game postseason hitting streak.
TV: 5:07 p.m. ET, MLBN
PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Doug Fister (16-6, 2.41 ERA) vs. Giants LH Madison Bumgarner (19-10, 2.86)
Fister answered a three-game losing streak by winning his final four starts of the regular season - in dominating fashion, no less. The 30-year-old scattered three hits and struck out nine in a complete-game gem versus Miami on Sept. 26. Fister, who has yielded four earned runs on 15 hits in his last four outings (28 2/3 innings), suffered the loss against San Francisco on Aug. 22 after permitting four runs in six frames of a 10-3 setback.
Bumgarner won five of his final six decisions of the regular season but suffered the tough-luck loss in his lone meeting with Washington in 2014. The 25-year-old permitted two runs on eight hits in seven innings en route to a 2-1 setback on June 10. Bumgarner owns a 2-3 mark with a slim 2.60 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in seven career starts versus the Nationals.
1. San Francisco C Buster Posey is 4-for-10 in the series and 6-for-15 in the postseason.
2. Washington 3B Anthony Rendon, who is 5-for-11 over the first two games of the set, is 3-for-5 with a double in his career versus Bumgarner.
3. The Giants dropped the first two contests at home in the 2012 NLDS versus Cincinnati and rallied to win before going on to capture the World Series title.
PREDICTION: Nationals 3, Giants 1