By the time the first pitch is thrown in tonight’s Nationals-Giants game, Washington will already have its newest top prospect in hand, if not officially in the fold, as the MLB Draft gets underway about three hours before the Tim Lincecum will take the mound at AT&T Park.
In the sprit of draft day, I thought I’d note that tonight’s matchup pits a first-round pick from 2006, 10th overall, against an 11th-rounder from 2005. One of them has a 1.98 ERA in two starts against his opponent and the other’s allowed 13 earned runs in five starts against his opponent.
If you’ve been watching the Nationals face Tim Lincecum the past few starts, you’re probably not surprised to learn that it’s him — the first rounder — with the gaudy numbers against the Nationals. In his last three starts against them, Lincecum is 0-2 with a 5.50 ERA (and that goes back to June 2009). The Nationals seem to hit him hard, for whatever reason, especially Nationals like Ian Desmond and Laynce Nix.
Lannan, on the other hand, has allowed just three earned runs in 13 2/3 innings, not bad for an 11th-rounder, but the Giants do have a .308 average against him inside AT&T Park.
At any rate, tonight’s matchup could be an interesting one for the Nationals, who would love to build off Sunday afternoons emotional victory, strike the first blow against the defending World Series champs and seal a season-series victory with one win. Lincecum, as seems to happen constantly, is also on the doorstep to history. Five more strikeouts and he will become just the eighth pitcher in MLB history to reach 1,000 strikeouts within five seasons (per STATS LLC).
Here’s a look at how the Nationals have fared in the past against Lincecum:
Roger Bernadina: 0-for-3
Ian Desmond: 5-for-6 (.833), 2 2B, 3 RBI
Jayson Werth: 4-for-18 (.222), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 8 K
Michael Morse: Never faced
Laynce Nix: 2-for-3 (.667), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
Wilson Ramos: 1-for-3 (.333), 1 2B, 1 K
Danny Espinosa: 0-for-3
Jerry Hairston Jr.: Never faced
John Lannan: 0-for-3, 2 K
Rick Ankiel: 2-for-17 (.118), 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K
Alex Cora: 2-for-13 (.154), 1 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K
Matt Stairs: 1-for-7 (.143), 2 RBI, 1 K
Ivan Rodriguez: 3-for-5, (.600), 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 BB, 2 K