Programming note: For comprehensive Giants-Nationals coverage, watch ‘October Quest’ before and immediately following the game, on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
SAN FRANCISCO – Kevin Frandsen already knows what a Madison Bumgarner-Doug Fister matchup looks like in October.
Frandsen, the Washington Nationals’ do-it-all reserve, was sitting in the club level near the left field pole at AT&T Park when Bumgarner and Fister, then with the Detroit Tigers, squared off in Game 2 of the 2012 World Series.
Frandsen will have a closer view of the action this time when the Giants and Nationals meet in Game 3 of their NL Division series on Monday. It’s a view he’s always dreamed of having in a playoff game here, even if he once envisioned being in the home dugout.
“It’s going to be a bittersweet moment,” said Frandsen, San Jose State’s all-time hits leader, who was drafted, developed and made his big league debut with the Giants. “I’ve been to a few playoff games there as a fan so I’ve gotten to experience it. It’s a great place. It always has been and it always will be.
“No matter who we played, I’d be excited. The fact it’s the Giants makes me kind of curious what all the people back home will be doing and saying. I posted on Facebook, 'I can’t wait to see all you guys in red and navy.’”
Frandsen was traded in the spring of 2010, predicting on his way out the door that the Giants were poised to do something special. He was proven right when the season culminated in the first World Series title in more than five decades since the Giants moved west.
Other bit players received a ring. Even Fred Lewis, who began the year on the DL and was traded in mid-April without playing so much as an inning, got a ring. Frandsen did not.
He’s hoping that’ll come this season, but first the Nationals must find a way to win three consecutive games – with Bumgarner a formidable obstacle.
“You’ve got two great teams,” Frandsen said. “They have two rings and we have the desire and the whole drive as an organization to get one, too. These are two teams that grind out at-bats. It’s amazing to stand back and realize how much star power there is in this series, on both sides of the ball. It’s everything you’re hoping for in a postseason series.”
Another former Giant, Nate Schierholtz, is also on the Nationals' bench and has made his presence felt in this series. He hit a pinch double that helped to drive Jake Peavy from the game in the sixth inning of Game 1, and he drew an intentional walk when used off the bench in Game 2. Schierholtz is the only lefty hitter on Washington's bench.
Frandsen and his wife were hosting his parents in Washington when Bumgarner and the Giants dismantled the Pittsburgh Pirates to clinch the NL wild card and a spot in the NLDS with the Nationals. His parents brought along some of Kevin’s favorite La Villa raviolis from back home in San Jose.
It was a satisfying meal, and a fun night. But coming home, he’s hungry again.