It is rivalry time again! For the first time of the 2010 season the Giants head down south to play the bums of LA. The Giants are off to a hot start and the Dodgers have sort of stumbled out of the gate. This will be the first big test for the Giants playing a good team away from the friendly confines of AT&T Park. A series win would do a lot to boost the confidence of this team, a loss would definitely throw some cold water on the hot start. All I can say hopefully it is better than the first trip down last year where they got swept.
The 2010 vintage Giants offense has shown signs of being much better than any other post Bonds team sitting 5th with over 5.5 runs per game. This may be unsustainable as most projections show that this offense should be much closer to 4.5 but why not enjoy the timely hitting that this team has shown. The Dodgers have one of the better lineups in the National league and should have little trouble scoring runs this season. The question and formula for winning for this team will always starts with the pitching so let’s check out the match ups.
The Match Ups:
Friday, April 16th:
Todd Wellemeyer, RHP (0-1, 5.68) vs. Vicente Padilla, RHP (0-1, 11.42)
Wellemeyer pitched fairly well in his Giants debt going 6 strong innings before getting 3 runs put on him in the 7th. If he can give the Giants 6 strong again I have to say that I like their chances. If he lacks the control and gives too many free passes and has to come with a lot of challenge fastballs there could be trouble.
Vicente Padilla on the other hand has not thrown well this season. Going 4 and a third in each start and giving up more than a run an inning. Padilla has good stuff and pitched pretty well against the Giants last September in 2 games going 1-0.
This match up is one of the keys to which way the series turns. If Wellemeyer can turn a lead over to the bullpen it could be a victory, if Padilla continues his current trend it could be a rout. If the Giants offense of last season shows and hacks away it could be a very long night. This will set the tone.
Saturday, April 17th:
Tim Lincecum, RHP (2-0, 1.29) vs. Charlie Haeger, RHP (0-0, 3.86)
The Freak/Franchise has been his regular self and has started out the season well. The lost velocity from the end of last season has returned with Tim sitting comfortable 92-94 even fairly late in the game and what can be said that hasn’t already about the nasty change up that he throws. I would say that as long as Tim has some stuff we can get a win in this game.
Haeger could spell some trouble for the Giants if they revert to their last seasons form. A relatively unknown pitcher with some decent strike out stuff (career 6.62 K/9, 12Ks in first start against FL) last season would have a career day with last seasons hackers. Hopefully the patience that team has been shown continues and we are able to get some runs for Tim.
Sunday, April 18
Barry Zito, LHP (2-0, 2.25) vs. TBA
Barry is off to his best start as a Giant, I don’t want to write too much and scare off whatever good mojo the guy has working for him. Maybe it is the awesome stripped socks, whatever it is I want to see more it.
The Dodgers haven’t announced a starter for the game the cowards but it could be Kershaw. If it is Kershaw I might be a little nervous if he has his good stuff. When that happens he is as good as any pitcher in the game. I guess we will wait and see.
I am really hopping to get a series win here; I think tonight’s game sets the tone. If the offense shows up it to me looks good for a series win if they disappear it could be a long and depressing series. I am hopping that Wellemeyer gives 5-6 innings and our well rested bullpen can shut the door and get a series opening victory. I think that the Giants get a W behind Lincecum and I think that Barry’s good run comes to an end and the Giants get out of Chavez Ravine with two victories and a series win. Let’s go Giants and Beat LA.