video thumbnail

PHI@WSH: Strasburg fans 11 over seven innings

Bruce Bochy needed only seven words to sum up his team's current reality.

"No, there's nothing I can complain about," the Giants manager said after his team's 6-4 victory against the Mets on Sunday.

Given his team's enviable standing, why would he?

Sixty-three games into the season, the Giants have the Majors' best record (42-21) and are on pace for 108 wins, which would top the previous franchise record of 103 (1962, 1993). Offensive contributions are pouring in from all spots in the lineup. The pitching staff is tied with the Nationals for the Majors' third-lowest ERA. Gregor Blanco and Hector Sanchez provide depth the team lacked last year as viable options off the bench. No team has won a higher percentage of its home games than the Giants have at AT&T Park, and 17 of the team's next 22 games will be played next to McCovey Cove.

Winners of 31 of their last 42 games, everything's coming up Giants.

On paper, the Giants are baseball's best team. Bochy knows titles aren't won in June, though.

"It's early in the season, we're playing great baseball...you don't answer that question until you get deeper into the season -- it's 162 games. That's the way you have to look at it," Bochy said when asked if the Giants are the best team in baseball. "You don't get anything for where you're at right now, so I'll answer that question later. We haven't played some teams yet. It's great to get off to this start, but that's all it is."

San Francisco will look to Ryan Vogelsong (4-2, 3.39 ERA) to continue the success Monday night in the first of a four-game set against the Washington Nationals.

The Giants have won seven of Vogelsong's past eight starts. In that stretch he's 4-1 with a 2.05 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 52 2/3 innings. He's 2-1 with a 2.15 ERA in six games at AT&T Park.

He'll be opposed by Washington ace Stephen Strasburg (5-4, 3.10 ERA).

The right-hander won his second consecutive start in his last outing, Wednesday against the Phillies. He surrendered four runs (two earned) on seven hits and struck out 11 in seven innings. It was Strasburg's fourth double-digit strikeout game of 2014, and his first since April 25.

Strasburg has dominated in three career starts against San Francisco, going 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in 19 innings pitched. The Giants have mustered just 12 hits against the San Diego native.

Giants: Division lead not altering lineup
Baseball life is good for Bochy and the Giants.

San Francisco hasn't lost a series since dropping two of three to Pittsburgh on May 5-7 and the Giants have a 9 1/2 game lead on the second-place Dodgers in the NL West.

Such a cushy standing might lead to additional rest for some regulars, but for now Bochy's approach to filling out his lineup card is remaining status quo.

"At this time of the year, I can't say that [is the case]," Bochy said when asked if the team's success thus far has afforded him the opportunity to rest players more often. "It's June. We're going to play it like we normally would. These wins are nice, but at the same time, I don't think if [the results were] any different if I'd push these guys in June.

"They're going to need their rest occasionally, but now is not the time when you really put a lot of thought into it, though you do think to keep them as fresh as you can so they're ready to go in August and September. I got to do what's right, right now."

And for the moment, Bochy says he isn't paying attention to how the rest of the division is faring.

"Being honest, I don't," Bochy said when asked about tracking the rest of the NL West. "We're not even at the halfway point yet. We're going to stay focused on what's going on here with this club."

Nationals: Homecoming for Williams
A familiar face will return to the Bay Area on Monday night. This isn't in reference to Nationals outfielder and former Giant Kevin Frandsen.

Dusty Baker mentored Matt Williams during his time in San Francisco. On Monday, Williams, Washington's first-year manager, will be in charge of the visitor's dugout at AT&T Park, a short walk across the field from where Baker managed the home club.

During the 10 years he played third base for the Giants, Williams hit .264 with 247 home runs, 732 RBIs and made four All-Star appearances before he was dealt to Indians before the 1997 season.

Williams recalls his time by the Bay fondly.

"It was great teaching -- teaching with patience and kindness and the occasional kick in the fanny. They taught me the game and taught me how to play it effectively," Williams said before Sunday's game in San Diego. "I would have loved to be a Giant my whole career, but it didn't happen. The whole organization continues to be nothing but supportive. There is a long history there. It's a fantastic organization. They take care of their Giants and their ex-Giants. Everybody is very supportive."

Worth noting
• Strasburg is probably hoping Tyler Colvin won't be in Bochy's starting lineup. Colvin has crushed Strasburg to the tune of two home runs (three total hits) in four career at-bats against the right-hander.

• The Nationals have won five of their last six games and are 7-3 in their last 10. Only the Giants (8-2) have been better in the NL in their last 10.

MLB.com Comments