SAN FRANCISCO — A couple of weeks back, when Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija were still on the disabled list, Bruce Bochy called Chris Stratton the ace of his staff.
Cueto and Samardzija have returned and pitched well. Stratton is still acting like an ace, though.
Stratton went 6 2/3 strong innings against the visiting Washington Nationals and Mac Williamson took care of the offense with a mammoth two run homer. The Giants kept the weekend vibes going, beating the Nationals 4-2. Here's what else you need to know...
The Mac Attack is back: Williamson’s homer was hit to Bonds Territory beyond Triples Alley, except he did it as a right-hander. The 464-foot blast was the longest by a Giant at home since Statcast began tracking in 2015. It had an exit velocity of 112 mph. It was also the longest opposite-field homer in MLB this season.
Stratton straps in: Stratton allowed four hits, struck out five and came up just short of a third consecutive seven-inning start. Through five starts this season, he has a 2.32 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. He has allowed just three runs in his past three starts.
Out of a jam: The new guys put Stratton in a jam in the sixth. Evan Longoria went a long way for Bryce Harper’s pop-up into foul territory but dropped it, and Harper walked. Andrew McCutchen dropped a liner to right, putting runners on second and third. But Stratton threw three good changeups to strike out Matt Adams and got Matt Wieters to fly out to center.
Dyson and out: Sam Dyson is back in big spots, in part because of how he’s been throwing lately and in part because of others. He came in with a runner on in the seventh and got Howie Kendrick to line out for the final out of the inning.
Strick-ly business: Hunter Strickland pitched the ninth, but there was no Harper drama. The Nationals star flied out to deep left in the eighth and was the sixth batter due up in the ninth. Strickland had some command issues, but he struck out Trea Turner with a runner on second and two outs. Harper was left on the top step of the dugout.