Something's going to have to give Thursday afternoon inside AT&T Park.
The Nationals are baseball's hottest team -- winners of 10 of their last 12 and on the verge of a four-game sweep in San Francisco. Tim Hudson, the Giants' starter Thursday, has dominated the Washington franchise throughout his career.
Hudson is 16-5 with a 2.45 ERA in 29 career starts against the Nationals. His 6-2 mark and 1.97 ERA through 12 starts this season are none too shabby, either.
The 2005 season was Hudson's first in Atlanta and the Nationals' first back in the nation's capital. Hudson spent nine seasons in Atlanta, so he's plenty familiar with his former division foes. These aren't the Nationals of old, though -- in Hudson's nine seasons in the National League East, Washington was above .500 just twice.
At 35-29 and having dominated the Giants each of the last three nights, the Nationals pose a greater challenge to Hudson on Thursday. If his first 12 starts of the season are any indication, he'll be up to it. Hudson has issued just 11 walks in 82 1/3 innings this season. The 38-year-old is coming off his season's second shortest outing; the Mets tagged him for three runs on nine hits in five innings last Saturday.
He'll be opposed on the mound by Washington's Blake Treinen. The 25-year-old right-hander is in search of his first career victory. In seven appearances (three starts) this season, Treinen has compiled an 0-2 record and 1.78 ERA. He's allowed four earned runs in 16 2/3 innings as a starter.
Giants: Sandoval scratched, pinch-hits
Prior to Wednesday night's game, manager Bruce Bochy praised Pablo Sandoval for his three-hit performance while playing through an illness Tuesday night. Sandoval didn't take batting practice before the game, just antibiotics.
His condition worsened Wednesday, as he was a late scratch from the Giants' lineup. Joaquin Arias started in his place.
Sandoval's pinch-hit single in the seventh scored Brandon Hicks, and the hope is that he'll return to the starting lineup Thursday.
"He turned for the worst," Bochy said after Wednesday night's game. "He'd been on antibiotics; they're not helping at all and it just got to the point where he couldn't go. If I was going to play him, I was going to pinch-hit him today and that was it. He gave us a good pinch-hit appearance there. My hope is tomorrow he'll feel better and be OK to go."
Sandoval is hitting .256 with eight home runs and 27 RBIs.
Bochy did not rule out having Buster Posey in the lineup either behind the plate or at first base when asked about other potential lineup changes for Thursday afternoon's series finale.
Nationals: Last start for Treinen?
Treinen could be making his last start before going back to Triple-A Syracuse.
He will face the Giants for the first time in his career. In his last start, Treinen pitched six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and had 12 ground-ball outs against the Padres.
Treinen threw just 63 pitches in the game, but he was taken out because of a long layoff he had between starts. The last time he started a game was May 22 against the Pirates, due to off-days and rainouts.
"He pitched well," manager Matt Williams said. "We had an opportunity there to go to our 'pen, which has been so good. Still in the 60s in his pitch count, but had such a long layoff and us taking the lead in the top of the inning, it set up good for us."
Treinen has been outstanding during his brief time with the Nationals, allowing five earned runs in 25 1/3 innings. He could return to the Minor Leagues because of the imminent return of Gio Gonzalez, who has been on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation.
• The Giants are in the midst of their second three-game losing streak this season, the other coming April 17-19. A loss Thursday would make it the longest losing streak of the year for San Francisco.
• The Nationals improved to 30-2 when scoring four or more runs Wednesday night. On the flip side, they're 5-27 when scoring three runs or fewer.
Ryan Hood is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryanhood19. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.