Manager: Bruce Bochy, eighth year Regular season record: 88-74 Last 10 games: 5-5, including NL wild card win Who to watch: C Buster Posey (.311/.364/.490, 28 doubles, 22 HR, 89 RBIs); RF Hunter Pence (.277/.332/.445, 29 doubles, 10 triples, 20 HR, 74 RBIs, 106 R); RHP Jake Peavy (6-4, 2.17 ERA, 1.04 WHIP); RHP Tim Hudson (9-13, 3.57 ERA, 1.23 WHIP) Season series vs. Nats: 2-5, 30 runs scored, 41 runs allowed Pitching probables Game 1, Oct. 3: Jake Peavy vs. Stephen Strasburg, 3 p.m., FS1 Game 2, Oct. 4: Tim Hudson vs. Jordan Zimmermann, 5:30 p.m., FS1 Game 3, Oct. 6: TBA vs. Doug Fister, TBA, FS1 Game 4, Oct. 7: TBA, TBA, FS1 Game 5, Oct. 9: TBA, TBA, FS1 Series breakdown So are the Giants a worthy opponent for the Nationals? Do they have what it takes to hang with the popular pick to win the National League pennant? In the rallying words of Hunter Pence, "Yes, yes, yes." The Giants have been as streaky as can be this season, but they're trending upward right now and know what it takes to win in October. San Francisco is appearing in its third postseason in five years, and in each of the last two trips, the Giants won the World Series. The only NL team in the bracket with as much playoff experience is the Cardinals, who are appearing in their fourth straight postseason. And a good chunk of the Giants roster remains the same as the 2012 champs - catcher Buster Posey, first baseman Brandon Belt, shortstop Brandon Crawford, third baseman Pablo Sandoval, right fielder Pence, left-hander Madison Bumgarner and right-hander Ryan Vogelsong. So San Francisco brings a battle-tested group into the series. The Giants haven't caused the Nats much trouble this year, even when they were among the hottest teams in baseball early on. The Nats won five of seven meetings between the clubs, outscoring San Francisco 41-30. But the Giants did end the regular season playing well. Including the NL wild card win, San Francisco has won four of its last five games, scoring at least eight runs in three of those contests. The 8-0 trouncing of the Pirates to advance to the Division Series was eye opening and has the rest of the NL playoff clubs on alert. The Giants have posted interesting numbers on both sides of the ball, but have two things crucial to playoff success - an excellent bullpen and strong defense, accompanied by one of the NL's best offenses. San Francisco ranked second in the NL in defensive efficiency ratio (.703) and third in bullpen ERA (3.01). At the plate, the Giants were fourth with a .259 average, fifth with 665 runs, second with 42 triples, seventh with 132 homers and sixth with a .699 OPS. Posey, Pence and Sandoval have been the centerpieces of a deep Giants lineup that has five players with at least 60 RBIs and six with at least 10 homers. Posey led all major league catchers with 89 RBIs and an .854 OPS while tying for second among NL backstops with 22 homers. He also ranked fourth in the NL with a .311 average. Pence ranked second in the NL with 106 runs scored and, along with Crawford, tied for second with 10 triples. He added 29 doubles, 20 homers, 74 RBIs, 13 steals and a .777 OPS. Sandoval had a .739 OPS, 26 doubles, 16 homers and 73 RBIs. Crawford added 10 homers and 69 RBIs while Michael Morse, whose status for the NLDS is uncertain, contributed 32 doubles, 16 homers and 61 RBIs. On the mound, the Giants ranked seventh in the NL with a 3.50 team ERA and 10th with a 3.74 rotation ERA, but a deeper look shows a more impressive staff. San Francisco ended the regular season second with a .241 average against and a 1.17 WHIP. The Giants have only announced their first two starters in the series with right-hander Jake Peavy opposing Stephen Strasburg in Game 1 and noted Nats-crusher Tim Hudson facing Jordan Zimmermann in Game 2. Bumgarner (18-10, 2.98 ERA) will also pitch in the NLDS. Peavy has been terrific since being acquired from the Red Sox, going 6-4 with a 2.17 ERA in 12 starts. He has allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his last nine outings, going 6-1 with a 1.35 ERA. Peavy is appearing in his fourth postseason and second straight, as he won the World Series with the Red Sox last season. His playoff numbers don't match his 3.53 career ERA, however. He's 0-3 with a 9.27 ERA in five postseason starts. Hudson (9-13, 3.57 ERA) returns to the postseason for the sixth time in his career and first time since 2010 with Atlanta. In 10 career playoff appearances (nine starts), he's 1-3 with a 3.46 ERA. On top of that, he has more wins over the Nats in his career than any other opponent, as he's 18-5 with a 2.35 ERA in 31 career starts against them. The veteran right-hander struggled at the end of the regular season, however, going 0-4 with an 8.72 ERA in his last five starts. Bumgarner finished the season strong, allowing more than three runs once in his last 10 starts, during which time he went 6-2 with a 2.12 ERA. Including his shutout in the NL wild card game, Bumgarner has thrown 16 scoreless innings over his last two playoff starts and is 4-2 with a 3.02 ERA in eight career postseason appearances (seven starts). He also has done well against Washington, going 2-3 with a 2.60 ERA in seven career starts against them. The rotation is backed up by a strong group of relievers, led by closer Santiago Casilla (19 saves, 1.70 ERA), left-hander Jeremy Affeldt (2.28 ERA), right-hander Jean Machi (2.58 ERA), left-hander Javier Lopez (3.11 ERA) and right-hander Sergio Romo (3.72 ERA). So although the Nats are considered the favorites in the series with a strong rotation, lineup and bullpen, the Giants aren't outmatched and have been there before. So if experience does make a big difference, San Francisco has a decided edge in that department.