Giants know Nationals will be tough opponent

Giants know Nationals will be tough opponent

WASHINGTON -- The Giants will be the underdogs in their National League Division Series beginning Friday at Nationals Park (noon PT on FOX Sports 1). And that makes sense. Washington has the home-field advantage after posting the league's best record in the regular season. And the Nationals won five of seven head-to-head meetings against San Francisco this year.

That's old news to the Giants.

  Date Time Matchup Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 3   SF 3, WAS 2 video
Gm 2 Oct. 4   SF 2, WAS 1 (18 inn.) video
Gm 3 Oct. 6   WAS 4, SF 1 video
Gm 4 Oct. 7   SF 3, WAS 2 video

"Watching these guys, how they perform in pressure games," said manager Bruce Bochy about his team, "we kid around that it's in their DNA, as many times as they've done it. They find a way to play their best ball when their backs are against the wall. In the do-or-die situation, these guys have been there so many times."

That doesn't mean that Bochy is underestimating the challenge the Nats present.

"They have such a balanced club, starting pitching, bullpen, their lineup," he said. "They've been tough on us. Their record is what it is. I just think when you have the best record in the league, you have to be considered the best in the league. They should feel like that.

"They're a good, solid club. You have to play your best ball to beat them. They really don't have a weakness."

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.