This is a no brainer; unless the Tigers pull some miracle out of their paws at Pac Bell, there is no match. Just for kicks, I can give the Tigers one game out of the three game series, but seeing as the Tigers are 16-41 and the Giants are 36-23, there's really no contest. Time and time again, I try to not be bias towards the Giants, but this is an exception. The Detroit Tigers are in town to take on the San Francisco Giants... Even saying that makes me chuckle. Well, Detroit arrives in the Bay Area to face the top of the NL West after facing the worst of the NL West... Should we give them brownie points from pity? Alright, enough with the Detroit jokes, they have a decent football and basketball team, don't they?
So again for another series of interleague play, we have two teams that have rarely faced each other and a handful of pitchers who have never seen the opposing team. In the first match up, the Giants have Kirk Rueter going against Jeremy Bonderman. None of the Tigers have faced Woody before, and boy are they in for a treat! Woody has been phenomenal for the Giants as always, and he is going up against a pitcher that the Giants have never seen before. Predictions call for Woody to take the first game for the Giants. In the second outing, the Giants are facing a pitcher who was not in the original starting rotation for the Tigers, Mike Maroth. This full of flaw right-hander is going against the flawless ace of the Giants, Jason Schmidt, who will get the win if the Giants pull through with the offense, which is something they rob Schmidt of in almost all of his outings. On the last of the three game series, it will be the Giants' Damian Moss against the Tigers' Gary Knotts. Moss hopes to bounce back after having a rough outing in his last face off against the Twins, and no better way to bounce back than to pitch against the Tigers.
Note to Giants fans: After the Tigers lose to, *ahem* ,play the Giants, we may want to start rooting for them to beat LA in their next series... Give the Tigers everything they need to get those Dodgers! We can try, can't we?
Kevin Witt (.250)
Carlos Pena (.235)
J.T. Snow (.268)
Andres Galarraga (.373)
The Giants aren't one of the top defensive teams in the League now for nothing. J.T. Snow provides another lift with his Gold Gloves.
Neither Snow nor Andres Galarraga has faced any of the three starting pitchers for Detroit, but seeing as Snow is finally starting to warm up again after having a slumping May by jacking one into the Bay against Minnesota in game three, Snow, who always sees the ball well at the plate, will get his hits. El Gato has done a great job all season long offensively, so if Snow needs a day off in this series, there will be no hesitation in calling for Galarraga to start. Carlos Pena has been a good bat for the Tigers, so he may get some playing time.
Shane Halter (.216)
Ramon Santiago (.226)
Ray Durham (.329)
Neifi Perez (.288)
Ray Durham has been solid at second base for the Giants and Neifi Perez has been a nice substitute as well.
Durham has batted .400 since his return from injury, so he's been a dependable #2 hitter (it seems like everyone who hits second does well...). He's collected a hit in eight consecutive games. Durham has also gathered a homerun against Cornejo and has been decently successful against Maroth. Ramon Santiago has been a decent hitter for the Tigers, so look for him to get some playing time.
Omar Infante (.201)
Rich Aurilia (.260)
Rich Aurilia, Omar Infante... Rich Aurilia, Omar Infante... Rich Aurilia, Omar Infante... RICH AURILIA! It doesn't take a genius to figure this one out, heck it doesn't even take my seven year old cousin to figure this one out.
Omar Infante has been in a huge slump for the Tigers, and Aurilia has been a consistent hitter, although he's known and expected to do more. My guess is that Aurilia will have a jack in this series because he hasn't had one for a while (in Richie terms).
Eric Munson (.222)
Edgardo Alfonzo (.216)
Defense: Giants The Tigers have had trouble finding a decent third baseman. Dmitri Young sometimes moves to play third to give Munson a break, but neither has done very at the position.
Giants fans may be scratching their heads on this one, but I firmly stick with my support behind Edgardo Alfonzo, especially when he's playing against the Tigers. If anyone is looking for some redemption, (and Fonzie is looking for some, BIG time) then there's no better place to start than against Detroit.
Matt Walbeck (.083)
Brandon Inge (.154)
Benito Santiago (.309)
Yorvit Torrealba (.321)
If the Giants are looking to try a running game, then this series is the time to do it. The base stealing will be successful against the Tigers' mediocre defense. Moss will be dependent on Benito Santiago to make good calls behind the plate so the Australian lefty can get out of his pitching slump.
Laugh. Throw your heads back and laugh, Giants fans. Matt Walbeck's .083 and Brandon Inge's .154 against Santiago's .309 and Yorvit Torrealba's .321 is almost as good as watching Homer Simpson. Torrie may get more playing time after all, seeing as Santiago may need a break soon. Because of his hot hitting, Alou has not been able to sit Santiago for very long, but there really isn't anything to worry about against the Tigers, especially with Benito having a slumping series against Minnesota. Slump or not, the Giants have this position in the bag.
Dimitri Young (.278)
Craig Monroe (.198)
Barry Bonds (.304)
Despite being a jack-of-all-trades defensively, currently it appears that Young has a slight advantage over Bonds in the art of left field. But he is a bad third baseman, and this slight advantage does very little to nudge the scale in Detroit's direction. It's like Bonds's batting advantage is a 20 pound weight, and Young's defensive advantage is a one-pound weight.
Bonds is one of the greatest players of the game, even though this isn't his best season. Walks are very important. Getting on base is a big factor in every game. Sure, Young can hit the ball well. But he has less than half the walks that Bonds does. Barry Bonds (BB, ever noticed his initials spell out what pitchers love to give him?) is going to beat Young.
Eugene Kingsale (.223)
Andres Torres (.202)
Marquis Grissom (.311)
Marvin Benard (.152)
The Tigers hold the defensive advantage. Marquis Grissom has committed more errors in the field. However, this defensive advantage is not enough to keep the Giants from the overall prediction.
Just based on seasonal averages, the Giants have a distinctive advantage with Marquis Grissom. Grissom continues his consistent performance at the plate in the lead-off slot. They also have more speed and power. The Tigers use both of their center fielders. Marvin Benard is just a backup, and he has been doing better since he came back from his injury.
Bobby Higginson (.257)
Jose Cruz. Jr. (.261)
Cruz is quite better defensively. He still is errorless, and he has great range and a great arm. Higginson isn't a bad defensive player, it's just that Cruz is really one of the best, giving the Giants a distinct defensive advantage. Luckily for them, Cruz's long slump has only been offensive. He is still a great fielder. If there was a designated fielder option in the major leagues, a slumping Cruz would be a decent candidate.
Higginson has had decent success against Giants pitching, and has a hit off of Jason Schmidt. Cruz has not had very much success at all against the Tigers pitchers. The Tigers do not have that strong of an advantage though, because Higginson has been slumping in the month of June. So far he has gone 2 for 15.
Jeremy Bonderman (2-7, 5.61)
Mike Maroth(1-10, 5.56)
Nate Cornjeo (3-3, 2.82)
Kirk Rueter (6-1, 3.33)
Jason Schmidt( 4-2, 2.54)
If anyone were to say the Tigers had good starters, they would be considered legally insane. Mostly. Except Conjeo is a rather good starter. But the Tigers can't bat, so they are screwing over his winning percentage. Most starters with a 2.82 ERA win more than half their games. The Giants clearly dominate this category. Only the third match-up could possibly be interesting. The other two will be interesting only in the sense of seeing if the Giants hit double digits in runs.
Surprisingly, this is a tie. The Giants do have some relievers with pretty high ERAs. But the Tigers relievers don't strike out opposing players nearly as well as the Giants do. Therefore, Detroit is able to get a tie, somehow.
When your team sucks, you can't have many save opportunities. The Tigers as a team have twelve saves spread across four pitchers. Even combined, none of them are as good as Tim Worrell himself.
Sara Kwan was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. She currently writes game recaps, other articles, and is one of the Two Giant Prophets for SFDugout.com. Sara can be reached at email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org