May 16, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Angel Pagan (16) at the plate during the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at AT&T Park. Marlins won 7-5. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Pregame notes & lineups: Angel Pagan back where he should be

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The San Francisco Giants (42-22) are looking to get back on track tonight as they face the Washington Nationals (33-29) in the 2nd game of a 4 game series. The Nats took the first game last night 9-2, snapping the Giants win streak at 5 games.

The Giants have their best pitcher heading to the mound tonight in LHP Madison Bumgarner (8-3, 2.68 ERA). The Nats counter with off-season acquisition RHP Doug Fister (4-1, 3.19 ERA).

The starting pitcher matchup is a rematch of Game 2 of the 2012 World Series. The Giants won that game (obviously) 2-0 over the Detroit Tigers. That was the game in which Prince Fielder was thrown out trying to score on a magnificent relay play.

Back to tonight. Bumgarner comes in having won 6 straight games, the longest of his career, while holding batters to a .188 average over that time. He’s been especially dominant in his last 3 outings, posting a 0.82 ERA with 25 strikeouts and 1 walk over 22 innings.

Good news, Angel Pagan is back on top of the lineup for the Giants tonight.(I feel like I type this about a player everyday) After resting his banged up legs for a couple of games the spark plug is back.

The lineups for tonight’s game.

The Giants (for the 17th straight day) have the best record in baseball and a 8.5 game lead over the second place Los Angeles Dodgers. This is the best 64 game record for the Giants in the San Francisco era, tied with the great 1962 team. That team featured Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, and Orlando Cepeda just to name a few.

The Nats are rolling right now. They are tied for first in the NL East with Atlanta. They are 8-2 in their last 10 and pitching has been dominant. The starters have gone 6 straight games without walking a batter while striking out 47.

The bullpen is stellar as well. The Nats have the lowest bullpen ERA in the majors at 2.18. The Giants aren’t far behind in third, with a 2.49 bullpen ERA.

Those 6 straight games Bumgarner has won? They are the most for a Giants starter since Barry Zito won 7 straight for the 2012 club. Yes, I shared this stat just because I wanted to mention Zito.

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