Both the Giants and the Dbacks are coming off a horrible series. The Giants lost their first series since their losing series against Oakland in Oakland. The Dbacks were the top story of the league before they fell short in the last day against the Padres. The Padres helped the Giants out again by beating out the second place NL West holders, the last time being the Dodgers and now the Dbacks.
The Giants have done well in Arizona and against Arizona. The Dbacks have shown everyone that they are still able to play despite key injuries, including injuries to their two starting pitching aces and to three-fourths of their infield. Curt Schilling will be returning from the DL to pitch against the Giants in the second game of this series.
Jason Schmidt (8-4, 2.30 ERA)
Jerome Williams (4-1, 2.94 ERA)
Jim Brower (5-1, 3.60 ERA)
Miguel Batista (6-3, 2.80 ERA)
Curt Schilling (4-3. 3.04 ERA)
Brandon Webb (6-2, 2.18 ERA)
Jason Schmidt will look to bounce back after being a little roughed up in his last start. Schmidt pitched three consecutive complete games before his last start, which may have tired him. Schmidt was switched to pitch in this game and not against Colorado because he needs to rest his arm in preparation for the All-Star Game, where he has a high chance of starting and no opportunity to rest his arm. He will go against Miguel Batista.
Dbacks ace, Curt Schilling, returns to the starting rotation after being out for six weeks. He will make his start against rookie Jerome Williams. How good has this kid been? This will be the ultimate test for Williams, going up against an all-star veteran in Schilling.
Jim Brower makes his second start of the season against Brandon Webb, a young pitcher for the Dbacks who is doing very well. Brower is not doing so bad himself, not allowing more than a few runs in his appearances in long relief and limiting the Cardinals to only one run in his last start.
J.T. Snow (.277)
Andres Galarraga (.300)
Mark Grace (.213)
Lyle Overbay (.283)
Grace is getting into his years, but Overbay isn't a bad first baseman. Snow continues to show defensive excellence on first base.
Snow is beginning to hit again and Galarraga continues his consistency at the plate. The only Giant that Overbay has faced is Scotty Eyre, and he has a .400 against him, but it doesn't say much for the rest of the Giants pitching staff.
Ray Durham (.299)
Neifi Perez (.283)
Carlos Baerga (.333)
Matt Kata (.356)
Baerga has been a decent second baseman, but Durham and Perez has combined for a great defensive force at second base.
Baerga and Kata may have the higher batting averages, but Baerga has a .182 against Giants pitching. Baerga have been used well in pinch hitting situations. Both Durham and Perez has had decent success against Dbacks pitching. The bat of Spivey will be missed in this position.
Rich Aurilia (.261)
Alex Cintron (.294)
Craig Counsell (.286)
Aurilia continues to play solid defense at shortstop, and Cintron has been doing well for the Dbacks, but they are still hurting without Womack.
Aurilia was starting to swing the bat more in the last game against Colorado, finally getting a jack at Coors Field this season. He has always had success in Arizona so the Giants are hoping that Coors Field was just a warm up. Cintron and Counsell have been good but not on a consistent basis.
Edgardo Alfonzo (.236)
Pedro Feliz (.228)
Shea Hillenbrand (.361)
Robby Hammock (.283)
Alfonzo has been really impressive defensively, working hard to get to every ball hit in his direction.
Hillenbrand has been one of the surprises for Arizona, owning the hottest bat in the ball club at this moment, but he's never faced any of the starting pitchers for the Giants. Bo Hart of the Cardinals was another young hot bat, but the Giants shut him down. Alfonzo is starting to get his swing back, and a little bit at a time, he's coming around, even though he hasn't had a jack in two hundred at-bats.
Benito Santiago (.289)
Yorvit Torrealba (.272)
Chad Moeller (.304)
Once Santiago is healthy again, the Giants will be in full force, even though Torrealba has been doing a good job.
Moeller just hasn't faced the Giants enough, but Santiago has done decently well against the Dbacks.
Barry Bonds (.316)
Luis Gonzalez (.314)
Bonds may be adding up in his years, but he is still able to play defense and he's darn good at it.
Against anyone else, Gonzalez would win, but against Bonds, Gonzalez will fall just a little short. There is no stopping Bonds right now, he's coming off back to back games with homeruns and has claimed the current league leading record for most homeruns.
Marquis Grissom (.309)
Steve Finley (.312)
Grissom and Finley have the same defensive abilities in center field.
This is a dead tie between Grissom and Finley, although Finley has been a hot hitter for the Dbacks, but Grissom has done just as well for the Giants.
Jose Cruz, Jr. (.261)
David Dellucci (.250)
Quinton McCracken (.231)
Cruz continues his Gold Glove worthy play in right field.
Dellucci has been having the cold bat for Arizona while Cruz is starting to heat up. McCracken has been doing decent so he may get a start.
Oscar Villarreal has been a great reliever for the Dbacks. The Giants' bullpen had their work cut out for them in the last series, and they'll be relieved to see Schmidt pitch this first game against the Dbacks so they can have some rest. But when called upon for relief, they've been doing just that, relieving. They have done a nice job in long relief as well as close out the close games.
Matt Mantei has a 3.76 ERA and has not allowed any homeruns to any of the Giants. Tim Worrell has a 1.57 ERA and has a .255 against the Dbacks. The only Dback with success against him is Mark Grace, who is 9- 18 with two doubles and two homeruns. Mantei has a high ERA for a closer and Worrell is still sitting low with his 1.57.
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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