The Crystal (base)Ball: Dbacks vs Giants Series

The Giants return to Pac Bell Park for their longest homestand of the season today. The first two games will be against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are coming off of a 3-1 crushing of the Padres look to continue their two-game winning streak. The Giants, coming off of a 1-3 trip to Colorado look to reinvigorate their bats with the welcomed addition of Ray Durham back into the lineup.

Coming into this series, the D-backs hottest hitter would have to be right fielder David Delucci, who has gone 5-7 with 4 RBI and 1 HR in his last two games. He also has bat 6-14 against Jason Schmidt.

Today pits former closer Byung-Hyun Kim against power-man Jason Schmidt. Schmidt, who murdered the D-backs in his last start (4 H, 0 ER, 8 SO, CG) looks to revive the inconsistent Giants with his phenomenal fastball. Kim has just come off the DL after an ankle injury and he's 1-5 this season. Look for Ray Durham to take advantage of his weak pick off move and steal a base or two to get his form back.

Wednesday's game pits Damian Moss against John Patterson. Patterson has only pitched one game in the major leagues this year, a staggering 1-12 loss against Colorado where he gave up 5 hits and 5 runs in 4 innings, and has faced the Giants only once in Arizona for 2 innings last September. Moss, on the other hand, isn't faring much better, giving up his only three losses in the last three games he's pitched. However, his losses have been more due to lack of run-support than anything else (except for the one in Colorado, but hey, it's Colorado! Coors is murder on an ERA). Junior Spivey is the only Arizona with numbers against him, and they aren't encouraging (2-3, 1 HR).

I'd love to see Chad Zerbe pitch against Arizona in this series, just to give Joe Nathan a break (cause he seems to need one). If the numbers tell the tale, then even Felix Rodriguez may shine; the only hitter batting over .33 (with more than 5 hits) is Matt Williams (2-5). The three M's of the AZ bullpen: Mike (Koplove), Mike (Myers) and Matt (Mantei) have been good as of late in short relief/closer roles.

Key's to the game will be Durham's return and his hitting prowess as he will probably be hitting in the 3rd or 4th spot (Bonds is being reevaluted today and Grissom has just been too good to move out of the leadoff spot). Also, should Pedro Feliz keep swinging the bat like he has, he may replace the on-again/off-again Edgardo Alfonso on 3B when Barry comes back.

For a more in depth look into the series (pitcher vs batter stats, predictions, etc), please read "Two Giant Prophets" (premium access required)

Jillian Bailles d'Err writes for SFDugout.com and has been a Giants fan since 1988. She currently writes the column 'The Crystal (Base)Ball', a preview into upcoming Giants series. If you'd like to say hey, or comment about how amazingly insightful she is (or not), contact her at Giants1BChick@aol.com


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