Arizona Diamondbacks- 5/27-5/28 Series

In the upcoming two-game battle, the Dbacks will send to the hill two pitchers whom the Giants are unfamiliar with: one who's spent most of his time as a reliever for the Dbacks, starting in place of an injured pitcher, and another whom the Giants have never seen before. The Giants are countering with one of their veteran pitchers, who is pitching phenomenally, and one of their younger pitchers, who has been struggling with command and control.

Series Questionables:
Arizona: Junior Spivey (neck injury)
San Francisco: Barry Bonds (tendonitis knee)

1st Base
Mark Grace (.246)

  • .297 against Giants pitchers (43-145)
  • vs. Schmidt (12-40): two homeruns, five RBIs, five strikeouts
  • vs. Moss (0-1)
    JT Snow (.275)
  • .182 against Dbacks pitchers (22-121)
  • vs. Kim (0-6): one strikeout
  • never faced Webb
    Andres Galarraga (.377)
  • .212 against Dbacks pitchers (21-99)
  • vs. Kim (0-1): one strikeout
  • never faced Webb

    PREDICTION: GIANTS
    Defense: Giants
    We have a Gold Glove match up between Grace and Snow, and Galarraga has one stashed in his closet as well. The Gold Glove award was exchanged between Snow and Grace throughout the 90's; however the rest of the Giants' defense helps tip the favor to Snow.

    Offense: Diamondbacks
    Judging solely by the batting average, it looks like Grace has the slight advantage over Snow and Galarraga, but coming into this series, neither Snow nor Galarraga has faced Webb. Neither has had very much success against Kim. Grace has jacked two against Schmidt, but he has also struck out five times. Snow has cooled off recently, while Galarraga has been consistent at the plate. Felipe Alou might split the two games between Snow and Galarraga, giving Galarraga a chance to play against Kim since their minimal history together could favor the Big Cat. Still, because Grace has had some success against Schmidt, he gets the slight advantage over Snow and Galarraga, who have yet to cash in against Kim or Webb.

    2nd Base
    Junior Spivey (.252)

  • .246 against Giants pitchers (15-61)
  • vs. Schmidt (4-18): one 2B, three RBIs, four strikeouts
  • vs. Moss (2-3): one homerun
    Carlos Baerga (.314)
  • .200 against Giants pitchers (8-40)
  • vs. Schmidt (5-19): one 2B, one homerun, two RBIs
  • never faced Moss
    Ray Durham (.306)
  • .353 against Dbacks pitchers (12-34)
  • never faced Kim
  • never faced Webb
    Neifi Perez (.289)
  • .300 against Dbacks pitchers (27-90)
  • vs. Kim (1-5): one homerun
  • never faced Webb

    PREDICTION: GIANTS
    Defense: Giants
    The Giants have the defensive advantage at second base. With Durham's return from an ankle injury, the Giants have a solid second baseman. Perez is also a good defensive alternative, if anything should happen to Durham again. *knocks on wood*

    Offense: Giants
    Spivey is suffering from a neck injury that he sustained on May 26, which could play a big role for the Dbacks. His status is day-to-day. Assuming that he will be used in the series, the Dbacks are likely to play Spivey against Moss because of past success, and Baerga may get a start against Schmidt. Since Baerga and Spivey have had about the same amount of success against Schmidt, Spivey will get his start. Durham and Perez have had success against Arizona, and Perez has hit a home run off Kim. The Giants also have a great leadoff hitter in Durham, who, in his return from injury, will give his team an offensive spark at the top of the lineup. It will be safe to say that Schmidt will bring his usual good stuff to the plate, but the Giants' outcome will likely depend on how efficient the two pitchers for Arizona are.

    Shortstop
    Tony Womack (.227)

  • .232 vs. Giants pitchers (29-125)
  • vs. Schmidt (9-29): four 2Bs, three RBIs, six strikeouts
  • vs. Moss (0-3): one strikeout
    Alex Cintron (.255)
  • .308 against Giants pitchers (4-13)
  • vs. Schmidt (2-4): one strikeout
  • · never faced Moss
    Rich Aurilia (.266)
  • .276 against Dbacks pitchers (37-134)
  • vs. Kim (1-4): one 2B, one RBI, two strikeouts
  • never faced Webb

    PREDICTION: GIANTS
    Defense: Giants
    Womack and Cintron play good defense, but Aurilia plays exceptional defense with an excellent defensive crew to back him up. Because Moss is a ground ball pitcher and Aurilia will have the chance to use his defensive skills, he'll get the upper hand in the fielding comparison.

    Offense: Giants
    Neither Womack nor Cintron has been very successful against Schmidt, but Womack has had more experience and the slight edge, which may win him the start. Since Cintron has never faced Moss and Womack has gone hitless against him, Cintron may get the nod to start the second game. On the second day of the series, Aurilia may get a day off because he has been playing constantly. Neifi Perez is the only reliable Giant that Felipe Alou has on the bench to take over the starting job at either second base or shortstop. Due to the injury to Ray Durham, Perez covered second base for the duration of Durham's recovery, which did not give Alou a chance to play Perez at shortstop so that Aurilia could rest. The prediction is Aurilia against Kim and Perez against Webb, depending on how well Aurilia performs in the first game.

    3rd Base
    Matt Williams (.233)

  • .271 against Giants pitchers (32-118)
  • vs. Schmidt (2-21): one homerun, eight strikeouts
  • vs. Moss (0-1)
    Edgardo Alfonzo (.235)
  • .235 against Dbacks pitchers (23-98)
  • vs. Kim (0-7): one strikeout
  • never faced Webb

    PREDICTION: TIED
    Defense: Giants
    Although Williams is a veteran third baseman, his age is beginning to show. He is no longer as fast as he used to be. Also, in the last series between these two teams, Williams committed two costly errors that may have cost the Dbacks the game. The Giants have a solid third baseman in Alfonzo, and the advantage goes to the third baseman who committed no errors in the last series, as opposed to the third baseman who committed two.

    Offense: Tied
    Alfonzo has been inconsistent in stretches for the Giants - sizzling hot for one series but icy cold the next. Since he's been slumping recently, Alfonzo's bat might liven up against the Dbacks, even though he has not has much success against Kim, with no hits and a strikeout in seven at-bats. Williams has not had much success against Schmidt, with only two hits and eight strikeouts in twenty-one at-bats, but he does have a homerun. He has only faced Moss once and was not able to gain anything from it.

    Catcher
    Chad Moeller (.323)

  • .455 vs. Giants pitchers (5-11)
  • vs. Schmidt (0-2): two strikeouts
  • never faced Moss
    Rod Barajas (.306)
  • .207 vs. Giants pitchers (6-29)
  • vs. Schmidt (2-11): five strikeouts
  • never faced Moss
    Benito Santiago (.329)
  • .275 vs. Dbacks pitchers (36-131)
  • vs. Kim (3-11): 3 RBIs, 2 strikeouts
  • never faced Webb
    Yorvit Torrealba (.327)
  • 1.000 vs. Dbacks pitchers (4-4)
  • vs. Kim (1-1): one 3B, one RBI
  • never faced Webb

    PREDICTION: GIANTS
    Defense: Giants The Giants have a veteran catcher in Santiago. He is able to calm down young pitchers and make necessary pitching calls. Schmidt would not have a problem, but Moss will need Santiago. The Dbacks have young catchers who do not have as much experience and are not able to gain the respect that Santiago has.

    Offense: Giants
    Moeller and Barajas have had bad experiences against Schmidt. The only thing worth noting for either one of them is their seven combined strikeouts in thirteen at-bats. To look on the brighter side, neither has faced Moss before, so that will be a toss up. Both catchers have only faced Kim in the past, and both have had decent success against him. With Santiago's bat fired up, he has been hitting against anyone and everyone. Torrealba has also been consistent at the plate and may get a chance to pinch hit against Kim, but because Santiago is the leading RBI man for the Giants, Felipe Alou will want to keep him in for as much as he can play.

    Left Field
    Luis Gonzalez (.293)

  • .275 against Giants pitchers (47-171)
  • vs. Schmidt (13-46): two 2B, three homeruns, ten RBIs, six strikeouts
  • vs. Moss (1-2): one homerun
  • .238 in May vs. .327 in April
    Barry Bonds (.297)
  • .281 against Dbacks pitchers (48-171)
  • vs. Kim. (0-4): four walks
  • never faced Webb
    Pedro Feliz (.289)
  • .115 against Dbacks pitchers (3-26)
  • vs. Kim (0-1): one strikeout
  • never faced Webb

    PREDICTION: DIAMONDBACKS
    Defense: Giants
    Overall, the Giants have a superior left fielder defensively with Bonds. He has eight more Gold Gloves; Luis Gonzalez has none thus far in his career. Hopefully Bonds will be ready for the series, as a knee injury he suffered in Colorado has benched him since.

    Offense: Diamondbacks
    Luis Gonzalez has success against both Schmidt and Moss. He has hit four home runs in only forty-eight at bats against those two pitchers. Bonds and Feliz have gone a combined 0 for 5 against Kim, and neither has faced Webb. The Diamondbacks have the advantage here because of the unknown factor. The Giants haven't had a chance to see what the Diamondbacks starters will be like. So in offense, despite a declining batting average, Gonzalez looks to be the superior.

    Center Field
    Steve Finley(.255)

  • .238 against Giants pitchers (36-151)
  • vs. Schmidt (15-50): one 2B, one 3B, five RBIs, 11 strikeouts
  • vs. Moss (0-3): one strikeout
    Marquis Grissom (.313)
  • .245 against Dbacks pitchers (47-192)
  • vs. Kim (1-11) one 2B
  • never faced Webb

    PREDICTION: GIANTS
    Defense: Diamondbacks
    In the Gold Glove contest, both contenders are tied with four. But Finley is a better fielder in terms of fielding percentage this year, so he edges out Grissom in the defense category.

    Offense: Giants
    While Finley has had more success against Schmidt than Grissom has had against Kim, the fact remains that Grissom has been much hotter than Finley as of late. Also, while Finley has had some decent success against Schmidt, he also strikes out pretty often against him. Grissom also has slightly more success against the Diamondbacks pitching than Finley has against the Giants staff.

    Right Field
    David Dellucci (.286) .319 against Giants pitchers (15-47)

  • vs. Schmidt (6-14): one 2B, two RBIs, three strikeouts
  • never faced Moss
    Jose Cruz Jr. (.313)
  • .057 against Dbacks pitchers (2-35)
  • never faced Kim
  • never faced Webb
    Ruben Rivera (.180)
  • .184 against Dbacks pitchers (7-38)
  • vs. Kim (0-2)
  • never faced Webb

    PREDICTION: DIAMONDBACKS
    Defense: Giants
    Without any Gold Gloves among these three outfielders, the contest goes to current fielding percentage. Dellucci is the only of the three to have an error, so this portion of the contest goes to San Francisco.

    Offense: Diamondbacks
    Cruz cannot hit Diamondback pitching, as his 2-35 shows. And Dellucci loves the Giants pitching, especially Schmidt, although he has never faced Moss. Rivera has a little more success against the Dback's pitching, but his batting average against their staff is nothing too impressive.

    Starting Pitchers:
    Byung-Hyun Kim (1-5, 4.00)

  • Giants hitters .175 against him (10-57)
    Brandon Webb (2-1, 2.14)
  • Never faced Giants
    Jason Schmidt (4-1, 2.61)
  • Diamondbacks hitters .264 against him (76-288)
    Damian Moss (5-3, 3.51)
  • Diamondbacks hitters .288 against him (15-52)

    Relievers:
    Mike Myers (0-0, 4.20)

  • Giants hitters .263 against him (15-57)
    Scott Eyre (0-1, 3.66)
  • Diamondbacks hitters .333 against him (10-30)
    Joe Nathan(5-2, 3.64)
  • Diamondbacks hitters .571 against him (8-14)

    Closer:
    Matt Mantei (4-2, 3.86)

  • Giants hitters .213 against him (10-47)
  • seven saves, one blown save
    Tim Worrell (1-2, 1.37)
  • Diamondbacks hitters .259 against him (28-108)
  • thirteen saves, two blown saves

    PREDICTION: DIAMONDBACKS
    Starters: Tie
    Both teams have some factors going for them. The Giants starters have more wins, while the Diamondbacks' Kim has great success against the Giants hitters. This situation is too close to call.

    Relievers: Diamondbacks
    While the Giants may have the stronger relief pitcher, this does not negate the fact that their hitters struggle against the Diamondback staff, and that the Arizona batters hit Giant relievers very well.

    OVERALL PREDICTION FOR THE SERIES: GIANTS
    Even though the Dbacks are contenders for the NL West, the Giants do not have much to worry about. The Dbacks are six and a half games behind the Giants for the NL West lead. The Giants also have the luxury of not facing either of Arizona's aces, Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson. Jason Schmidt is a reliable pitcher who has improved tremendously, bringing his good stuff at every outing. He is going up against Kim, who is not an original starter for the Dbacks, so chances are, Schmidt will win this duel. Damian Moss is still learning, but as his 5-2 record has shown, he is capable of winning. The key for Moss is for him to gain control and command of his pitches, and to listen to Santiago's calls behind the plate. He also needs to forget about the mistakes he makes early on in the game and concentrate on getting the next out. As he is against another young pitcher, the Australian lefty should be able to muster up a win.

    Sara Kwan was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. She currently writes game recaps and other articles for SFDugout.com. Sara can be reached at shoot_hoops33@hotmail.com

    Jesse Radin writes for SFDugout.com and has been a Giants follower since 1996. The Blind Observer is Jesse's column covering all things baseball, though mainly about the Giants. Questions or comments can be sent to electricbassguy@hotmail.com


  • Giants Farm Top Stories