Giants vs Brewers: Series Preview

Ah, Milwaukee. The site of last year's embarassing All Star Game tie. The home of Bud Selig. A place where the Giants usually, if you call 5-1 against the Brewers in 2002 usually, win. <P> This voyage to the Miller Park looks to be no different.

The three pitchers the Giants will see have never been accused of being consistent. While Ben Sheets, who will pitch against Ryan Jensen in the second game of the series, is pretty good at picking off runners, Todd Ritchie, newly acquired from the Chicago White Sox, seems to pay no mind to players on bags.

Ritchie, who will face Kurt Ainsworth in the opening game of the series, is a power pitcher who will try and dominate right handed batters with his 95 mph fastball and slider- which is great, except thathalf of our lineup hits lefty (or can, in the case of Ray Durham and Jose Cruz Jr.), and can't wait to wave his pitches bye-bye.

Sheets has had much the same problem, his huge curve and mid-90 fastball defeating righties but rather ineffective against lefties.

Giant hitters like Durham, Benito Santiago and J.T. Snow, who like to swing on the first pitch, can benefit from possible 3rd starter (as of posting, this starter hadn't been announced) Glendon Rusch, with mechanics like a poor-team's Kirk Rueter, who tries too hard to get ahead early and leaves pitches out on the plate to be smacked. Also, our quick runners will be pleased that he's usually slow in covering first base.

The defeat of the Brewers will be in the Brewers' own hands. If the pitchers can get ahead in their counts without placement errors and pitch long into the game to avoid their pitiful bullpen, then we may have something to talk about. However, the likelyhood of any of the three starting pitchers going past the 6th inning is shoddy at best. The Giants should have no problem.

Key's to the Game:
1) Look for good pitches early: the Brewers will try to finesse and will, most likely, make mistakes.
2) If you get deep into the count, hold that bat: Brewers pitchers aren't great at closing out long battles with batters and the more pitches they throw, the early the clean up crew comes out.
3)Mind Richie Sexton: just because he's on an awful team doesn't mean he can't hit. The boy can make contact with anything remotely near the plate and he's a tough strikeout.

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