October Confidential: NLDS Giants vs. Nationals

The Giants will be in Washington D.C., to face the Nationals in Game 1 of the National League Division Series today at 3 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 in a showdown of clubs back in the postseason after missing out in 2013.

What's the best way to beat each of these teams? To find out, we asked players from across their respective divisions to give the inside intel on how these clubs can be beaten. Our sources were granted anonymity in exchange for their candor.

SAN FRANCISCO 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

Buster Posey
"He's got that catcher's mentality. He'll call the game in his mind as you pitch to him. He's a hard guy to fool because he's thinking along with you as a pitcher. It's key to not get into patterns with him, you've got to mix things up with him, so staying away from any regular patterns is very important."
-- NL West pitcher

Hunter Pence
"Hunter is a difficult guy to pitch to. He's a guy who is able to hit bad pitches or what I call pitchers' pitches, pitches you shouldn't be able to drive. He reminds me a little of Vladimir Guerrero. You bounce a ball and he can still dig it out. I've thrown a fastball at his head and he's hit a home run off me. I think he's a guy you just got to execute your pitches and hope he gets himself out."
-- NL West pitcher

Pablo Sandoval
"He swings at a lot of pitches. You can throw him balls, strikes. He's a bad-ball hitter. If you throw him a curveball, it has to bounce. Watching him in the World Series, it seems he steps up in the big games. He's a hard out. He'll strike out a bunch but he'll have solid contact. You can make him chase. You have to keep mixing. He will barrel a ball. He'll hit opposite-field home runs.
-- NL West pitcher

Read the complete Giants October Confidential »

WASHINGTON NATIONALS

Stephen Strasburg
"You have to sit on his fastball. I would. To me, I wouldn't even let him get to his breaking ball, to be honest with you. That's what we try to do. We try to get on his fastball. Because he's got good stuff, yes. He's a fastball pitcher. Therefore you have to sit on the fastball because if you get into the breaking balls it's going to be very tough."
-- NL East coach

October Confidential
Team-by-team coverage
Angels | A's | Orioles | Royals | Tigers
Cards | Dodgers | Giants | Nationals | Pirates

Bryce Harper
"Pitch in, cut in, got to keep him honest in, and then get him out away. You can cut him in ... Throw him a lot of back-door cutters. I've had success with that, too. With him, he's everything, I guess."
-- NL East pitcher

Anthony Rendon
"Rendon, I think he's arguably their best hitter. He has a really good approach. A lot of guys have physical talent, but the ones that separate themselves are the ones with the mental ability. I think Rendon's a pretty smart cat at the plate. He doesn't have the same approach every time. He kind of adjusts based on what you've done and what he thinks you're going to do. I think that's probably one of his biggest strengths. And he can hit the ball to all fields. He can pull when he wants and he can go the other way when he wants to, too. He handles the bat really well, so he's a tough one to get out."
-- NL East pitcher

Read the complete Nationals October Confidential »