The Giants proved to be poised and ready for anything as they shut down the National League's best offensive team in their last series, limiting them to only three runs total in the first three games. However, the Giants fell short in the series finale in St. Louis and look to bounce back against the last place Padres.
The Padres have been a tumor for the Dodgers, and their last series was no different. The Padres swept the series at Dodger Stadium (yes, San Diego SWEPT the Dodgers!) and knocked the Dodgers five and a half games behind the Giants in the Division. San Diego always give the Dodgers a hard time, and it's one of the big mysteries of baseball, but no one here's complaining. The Padres were even able to beat Kevin Brown, one of the toughest aces in the Majors today. Props, man, props.
But besides the Dodgers, there doesn't seem to be anyone else that the Padres can stop, sitting at the bottom of not only the NL West Division but also in the league next to the Detroit Tigers. That may work to their advantage and they may catch the Giants unaware to be able to scrap a few runs here and there, but the ultimate result will favor the Giants. This is a great oppurtunity for Jesse Foppert and Damian Moss to work on and perfect their stuff.
Jesse Foppert (4-7, 4.94 ERA)
Jason Schmidt (8-3, 2.14 ERA)
Damian Moss (7-6, 4.92 ERA)
Jake Peavy (8-5, 3.85 ERA)
Kevin Jarvis (0-2, 6.14 ERA)
Brian Lawrence (5-9, 4.67 ERA)
Even Foppert can beat the Padres, please beat the Padres. Foppert has recently shown the worst signs of inconsistency in his starts. After coming off his greatest game against the White Sox way back when, Foppert has never recovered. Even though the Padres are a last place team, Peavy is one of their good starting pitchers, so Foppert better not be looking to try any less harder than he's been recently. Foppert has never faced the Padres before, so that may be an advantage coming into this series.
Jason Schmidt: 8-3 with a 2.14 ERA, leading the majors. Kevin Jarvis: 0- 2 with a 6.14 ERA. It doesn't take a genius. Schmidt has pitched three complete games consecutively, the only way the Padres come out with this one is if some miracle happens.
In the last game of this series, Damian Moss looks to redeem himself with his first chance to start again after being sent to the bullpen for his last start. During this time, Moss has worked on his command and control and should have his mind cleared by now on what he needs to do to win ballgames. Lawrence has also been another good pitcher for the Padres, so Moss will have to be ready and focused. Moss also have the Padres hitters batting .182 against him, but as we've all seen, numbers mean nothing to Moss.
J.T. Snow (.279)
Andres Galarraga (.301)
Ryan Klesko (.262)
Dave Hansen (.269)
With Snow back in the line-up, the Giants should be at full strength defensively on first base.
Snow has had a good career against the Padres and it will be good to rest Galarraga. He has been slumping a bit in his last few plate apppearances, so it will be a good idea to rest him and his calf muscle. Klesko has been shut down by Schmidt with seven strikeouts, but had a jack in his last game.
Ray Durham (.316)
Neifi Perez (.281)
Keith Lockhart (.253)
Mark Loretta (.303)
Durham has been solid at second base, but the defensive news for the Giants is Perez. In recent games, he's played solidly at second and shortstop, coming up with a few highlight worthy defensive plays.
Not only has Perez been producing defensively, but his offense has gone up as well. He is still without a homerun, but Perez has come up with some clutch hits for the Giants. Durham continues to be a constant consistent hitter as well. Loretta is also consistent for the Padres, being one of their best hitters.
Rich Aurilia (.261)
Donaldo Mendez (.253)
The Padres are victim to injuries at this position, so Aurilia will get the advantage over the back-up short stop, Mendez.
Aurilia showed signs of heating up in his last start against the Cardinals. Coming back from his injury just two days ago, he will look to redeem himself of his slump before his injury and of the time he lost while he was out. Aurilia also has a whooping six doubles against Jarvis.
Edgardo Alfonzo (.228)
Pedro Feliz (.246)
Sean Burroughs (.301)
Alfonzo has been solid at third, and Feliz is a good replacement as well. Burroughs is a decent third baseman, but he doesn't have the great defense backing him up that Alfonzo has.
Alfonzo has not had very much success against the Padres, but he is slowly but surely climbing out of his slump after he sat out for one game to work on his hitting. Burroughs has been one of the consistent hitters for the Padres and has a decent record against the Giants.
Benito Santiago (.291)
Yorvit Torrealba (.268)
Garry Bennett (.201)
Miguel Ojeda (.174)
Santiago will be relied upon to calm Foppert and Moss down and to help them keep their command and control.
Ojeda has not been producing for the Padres, but Santiago and Torrealba for the Giants have been. Santiago has been earning his spot batting behind Bonds and Torrealba showed everyone that he, too, can swing the bat.
Barry Bonds (.307)
Rondell White (.282)
We saw how Bonds showed Albert Pujols how to play left field, robbing him of a few possible hits. Bonds does not like anyone to be better than him, and you can bet White will step down to Bonds' challenge.
Twenty-four bombs in the season for Bonds. White has also been producing for the Padres. It will be interesting to see if Bonds gets pitched to in this series.
Marquis Grissom (.299)
Mark Kotsay (.255)
Gary Matthews, Jr. (.287)
Grissom and Kotsay are good center fielders, and with the day to rest for Grissom, he should be fresh and ready to play.
Grissom took a very much needed day off in the last game and pinch hit in the ninth but grounded into a double play. You can't expect too much from that, because Grissom has been producing every time at the plate, and despite his indecent record against the Padres, he'll get his share of balls to hit. Kotsay has been showing signs of heating up.
Jose Cruz, Jr. (.262)
Francisco Santos (.200)
Brian Buchanan (.286)
Xavier Nady (.269)
Cruz has been phenomenal in right field and has quickly became one of the most feared arms to run against in baseball.
Cruz is showing definate signs of heating up with two jacks in the last series. Buchanan has been slumping recently for the Padres, but Nady may get the nod against the Giants because of his .305 against them, although he is 0-6 against Schmidt with two strikeouts.
Relievers: Giants It was difficult to tell how the Giants' bullpen would do during the months of May and June, but July started out to be promising for the Giants' pen. Struggling Joe Nathan and Felix Rodriguez are getting out of jams in their own ways, and Chad Zerbe and Jim Brower are able to provide long relief, Brower showing he is still able to be a starter in his last game against the Cardinals. Scott Eyre continues his brilliance, and Jason Christiansen has been able to give few but productive innings. The Padres' bullpen has been plagued with injuries, with most of their important relievers on the DL or out for the rest of the season.
Tim Worrell now has eighteen saves with a 1.64 ERA for the season and Rod Beck has six (the last two coming against the Dodgers in the last series) with a 3.27 ERA, not numbers for a closer. Beck has kept the Giants relatively under control, not giving up any homeruns and the Giants are only batting .231 against him. Padres are hitting .317 against Worrell, but despite that, Worrell has been one of the best closers in the league,and predictions don't call for Worrell to be needed in many save situations for this series.
Sara Kwan was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. She currently writes game recaps, other articles, and is the Giant Prophet for SFDugout.com. Any comments or questions about the article, baseball, or the meaning of life can be sent to Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org
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