Friday, April 15, 2011

Giants vs. Diamondbacks Series Preview

The Giants head back to Arizona where they were the hottest team in baseball in the Spring. Hopefully they regain some of that swagger, as they have started off slow on the road this year with a 2-4 So-Cal road trip to start the season.


Friday, April 15, 6:40 PM
1-0, 1.38 ERA, 3.58 tRA
0-2, 3.46 ERA, 2.95 tRA

Cain’s streak of not allowing an earned run finally came to an end Saturday against the Cardinals. He pitched seven strong innings, giving up two runs and got the no decision as the Giants rallied late for the win.

The interesting thing this year is that Cain hasn’t been his normal flyball inducing self and has turned himself into a worm burner with 53.8% ground balls this season. That could help going to the HR crazy Chase Field.

Hudson has pitched much better than his 0-2 record would indicate. He has been let down by his offense and, as you can see from his tRA, his ERA is not a mirage.

Hudson gave the Giants fits last season and is pitching well to start off this campaign, so I would expect him to keep quieting the Giants offense.
Saturday, April 16, 5:10 PM
0-1, 5.56 ERA, 5.87 tRA
0-1, 6.00 ERA, 6.68 tRA

Zito hasn’t gotten off to a great start. In his first game, it took him an inning to settle down and in his last start, it never looked like he was able to get a handle on his control and it finally hurt him in the sixth inning.

I think at this point, Zito needs to get pulled at the first sign of trouble or fatigue, especially once he gets into the fifth or sixth innings.

Saunders had a Zitoesque outing in his last start, giving up six hits and walking five guys in three innings of work. In his first start, he was much better, going six innings and giving up just two runs. He still had control problems, walking three.

This will be the first time a lot of the Giants face Saunders, so hopefully they take patient at-bats with his recent control issues.

Sunday, April 17, 1:10 PM
0-2, 9.00 ERA, 10.28 tRA
0-1, 6.00 ERA, 5.96 tRA

Bumgarner has had a rough start to the season; he lost his composure against the Padres and then didn’t have his best stuff against the Dodgers. In the Dodger games, he threw 86 pitches but only 47 for strikes, which is uncharacteristic for Bumgarner and his good control.

I am still not worried about Bumgarner, but if things don’t change course, this could develop into a problem.

Enright is off to a slow start after a surprising 2010 where he started 6-2 with a 2.45 ERA before an end of season slide. He shut down the Giants in his first meeting, going seven shutout innings. In the subsequent matchups, he didn’t fool anyone, giving up six home runs and ten runs in 11 innings.

Enright has struggled to keep the ball in the park, so hopefully the Giants can jump out early on him.

The Diamondbacks are the second highest scoring team in the National league behind only the Reds, but they have struggled to keep their opponents off the board. This was their main problem last season too and they went about trying to beef up a weak bullpen, which has not paid dividends so far.

There is still a great young nucleus of hitters here and some okay starting pitchers, but this is not a complete team yet. With the back end of the Giants rotation getting the turn, this may be a difficult three game series, but hopefully the Giants can "out slug" the Diamondbacks and steak a series win before heading to Denver.

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