Monday, May 3, 2010

Giants and Marlins Series Preview:

The Giants head east for a six game road trip, the first stop is Miami and the Florida Marlins. The Marlins are 13-12 tied for third in the National League East. They boast a solid pitching stuff and a young lineup that has some pop through out the order. The team is lead by there solid 3-5 hitters of Hanley Ramirez, Jorge Cantu, and Dan Uggla. Keeping these bats quite and having patience against the Marlins pitching will be the key to winning this series.

The Giants are coming off an impressive home stand where they won all three series against 3 of the top teams in the National League and had a chance to sweep all three. The wins against solid opponents look nice on the resume and hopefully give the team some confidence heading into this road trip.

The Giants are skipping Wellemeyer’s turn in the rotation which will give them the top three guys going in this series. Hopefully that leads to a fourth consecutive series win.

Tim Lincecum, RHP (4-0, 1.27) vs. Anibal Sanchez, RHP (1-2, 4.32)

Tim has been simply dominant this season; he is a freak ninth inning rally from being 5-0. It seems hard to believe but he is off to his best start ever and like he is an even better pitcher than the last two seasons. I defended the decision to pull him in the ninth inning but I can certainly see why people would want him to continue because there is no one else in baseball that I would want with the ball on the mound for my team right now then the Freak.

Anibal Sanchez is a pretty young guy at 26 and has started to pitch better his last couple outings pitching 13 innings with only 3 earned runs over that span. He has been fairly hittable but manages to keep the ball in the yard to minimize his damage. He can have trouble throwing strikes at times and if the Giants can be patient and work the count they can get some stuff to hit and give Lincecum some run support.

Barry Zito, LHP (4-0, 1.53) vs. Nate Robertson, LHP (2-2, 5.18)

Barry Zito has had a resurgence in April and will look to keep it going in May. He is throwing the ball with confidence and I am actually looking forward to his starts now instead of peaking through my fingers as I try to cover my eyes. The fans have gotten behind him as the familiar chants of Barry! Barry! Have filled the yard like they did for a former Giant slugger, and you know what it feels nice to have our $126 million man actually pitching like expected. Even his last start when he wasn’t sharp he still was able to give the team 8 strong innings and got him self a win.

Nate Robertson is a former Tiger starter who hasn’t pitched particularly well this season. In 3 of his 5 starts this year he has given up 5 or more runs and has had trouble with control walking as many as he is striking out. The theme continues for the Giants to be patient and wait for a pitch to hit, if they can do that there are some runs to be scored off of Robertson.

Matt Cain, RHP (1-1, 2.84) vs. Ricky Nolasco, RHP (2-1, 4.01)

Cain was magnificent in his last outing going 8 innings and only giving up 1 hit while getting his first win of the season. Cain had a good rhythm and was able to locate the fastball which had been trouble for him during the first few innings of his last starts. His curveball was also pretty devastating as he was able to throw it early in counts without getting many swings, I do not think that the curveball was hit in play all day. Hopefully Cain will be able to establish his command early and continue this streak he has going.

Ricky Nolasco has good stuff and has been effective so far this season but he is susceptible to the long ball with 6 already in his 5 games this season. When he is on however he can be a very good pitcher, in his two wins this season he shut down both the Phillies and Rockies giving up only 1 run in each game. The hope for the Giants offense will be to work counts and hope to get his pitch count up to hopefully get him out of the game and to make sure that he can’t establish a rhythm with his pitches.


With the top 3 pitchers going I have a good feeling about this series even if it is on the road. I think that 2 wins is definitely within reach and if things break right a sweep is not out of the question. However if the Giants forget to pack there offense we may only escape with one win. So this series and the whole road trip for that matter depends a lot on how the team hits. Hopefully with an off day the team will be well rested and can go to work scoring some runs.

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