Pittsburgh Pirates: 8/5-8/7 Series

The Giants are glad to be home after their worst road trip of the season. They will look to continue what they left at Pac Bell, a 10-1 record, opening the second half. San Francisco welcomes (or not welcome) back Reggie Sanders, who will be making his first return to Pac Bell since his departure last season.

OVERALL PREDICTION: GIANTS
Not only are the Giants playing back at home, but also the Pirates have not been doing so well. They are a team under .500, and have been looking to trade away a lot of their talent to look to build a worthier team next season.

The Giants are banged up with injuries left and right to many key players, while Pittsburgh lost their important second baseman, Pokey Reese.

Things To Look For:

  • Edgardo Alfonzo to continue his second half offense
  • Sidney Ponson's debut as a Giant

    SERIES QUESTIONABLES:
    Pittsburgh:

  • Pokey Reese (2B): thumb (60-day DL)
  • Matt Stairs (RF): hamstring (day-to-day status)

    San Francisco:

  • J.T. Snow (1B): groin (day-to day status)
  • Ray Durham (2B): hamstring (day-to-day status)
  • Rich Aurilia (SS): recovering from appendectomy (out for three weeks)

    Starters:
    Kip Wells (5-4, 3.62 ERA)

  • Giants batting .286 against him
  • only gave up two homeruns to Giants (Aurilia, Cruz)
  • has fifteen strikeouts against Giants hitters with Giants having only fourteen hits
  • never faced Barry Bonds

    Josh Fogg (6-6, 5.42 ERA)

  • Giants batting .417 against him

    Salomon Torres (5-3, 4.43 ERA)

  • Giants batting .174 against him

    Jason Schmidt (11-4, 2.44 ERA)

  • Pirates batting .149 against him
  • currently has the second lowest ERA in the NL

    Sidney Ponson (14-6, 3.77 ERA)

  • Pirates batting .429 against him
  • making debut as a Giant since being traded

    Jerome Williams

  • never faced any Pirates batter

    PREDICTION: GIANTS
    Jason Schmidt makes the start against Kip Wells. Schmidt has been recovering from minor injuries and is expected to be in top shape for this series. His ERA is still impressive and the Pirates are unable to find an answer to him, batting at .149 as a team against him. Wells only gave up two homeruns to any current Giant, and one of them belongs to the recovering Aurilia.

    Sidney Ponson makes his debut as a Giant in the second game of This series against the struggling Josh Fogg. Ponson would need all the help he can get as the Pirates are batting .429 against him, even though that is due to a limited amount of players faced and plate appearances. Fogg doesn't fair any better, with the Giants batting .417 against him. Giant fans will see what their new acquirement can do in San Francisco.

    The Giants have rarely seen Salomon Torres, the starter for the last game of this series. The Pirates have no seen Jerome Williams before, and as always, he will be expected to have an outstanding performance. Williams received a no decision in his last start.

    First Base:
    Randall Simon (.270)

  • .375 against Giants pitchers
  • never faced Schmidt
  • vs. Ponson (2-3): one 2B

    Carlos Rivera (.154)

  • never faced any Giants pitcher

    J.T. Snow (.273)

  • .217 against Pirates pitchers
  • vs. Wells (0-5): two strikeouts
  • never faced Fogg
  • vs. Torres (2-7): one 2B, one RBI

    Andres Galarraga (.311)

  • .286 against Pirates pitchers
  • vs. Wells (2-3): one 2B, one RBI, one strikeout
  • vs. Fogg (1-3): one RBI
  • vs. Torres (1-6): one homerun, two strikeouts

    PREDICTION: GIANTS
    With Snow coming back from his rest due to his groin, it will finally give Galarraga a chance to sit, even though the Big Cat showed no signs of slowing down or getting old as he came off a good roadtrip.

    Second Base:
    Abraham O. Nunez (.251)

  • .114 against Giants pitchers
  • vs. Schmidt (0-3): one strikeout
  • never faced Ponson

    Jeff Reboulet (.253)

  • .242 against Giants pitchers
  • vs. Schmidt (3-9): one 2B, three RBIs, one strikeout
  • vs. Ponson (1-2)

    Ray Durham (.281)

  • .333 against Pirates pitchers
  • never faced Wells
  • never faced Fogg
  • vs. Torres (0-1)

    PREDICTION: GIANTS
    Durham has been getting a few days off due to a strained hamstring in the past few games, but is expected to be back in the lineup. Nunez has been very impressive as of late for the Pirates, but his numbers are horrible against the Giants.

    Shortstop:
    Jack Wilson (.245)

  • .239 against Giants pitchers
  • vs. Schmidt (1-6): two strikeouts
  • never faced Ponson

    Neifi Perez (.269)

  • .209 against Pirates pitchers
  • vs. Wells (2-3)
  • vs. Fogg (0-1)
  • never faced Torres

    PREDICTION: GIANTS
    The Giants are hurt severely with the loss of Aurilia. Not only have they lost a starting player, but it takes away the option of Perez pinch hitting, where he has done averagely. Still, Perez is a better shortstop than Wilson.

    Third Base:
    Jose Hernandez (.233)

  • .203 against Giants pitchers
  • vs. Schmidt (3-27): two 2Bs, one 3B, two RBIs, eight strikeouts
  • never faced Ponson

    Edgardo Alfonzo (.252)

  • .364 against Pirates pitchers
  • vs. Wells (1-2): one RBI
  • vs. Fogg (0-1): two walks
  • vs. Torres (0-1): one strikeout

    Pedro Feliz (.226)

  • .286 against Pirates pitchers
  • vs. Wells (0-1): one strikeout
  • vs. Fogg (0-2): one strikeout
  • never faced Torres

    PREDICTION: GIANTS
    Alfonzo has been on fire. He was the only Giant with a consistent road trip, gathering two jacks and many more RBIs on the Giants' other wise bad road trip. The Pirates don't even have an official third baseman, as Hernandez played shortstop for the Rockies before being traded. Hernandez is a constant strikeout victim.

    Catcher:
    Jason Kendall (.301)

  • .302 against Giants pitchers
  • vs. Schmidt (2-11): one homerun
  • never faced Ponson

    Humberto Cota (.200)

  • never faced any Giants pitcher

    Benito Santiago (.285)

  • .295 against Pirates pitchers
  • vs. Wells (3-6): one RBI
  • never faced Fogg
  • vs. Torres (0-6)

    Yorvit Torrealba (.248)

  • .250 against Pirates pitchers
  • never faced Wells
  • vs. Fogg (2-3): one 2B
  • never faced Torres

    PREDICTION: TIED
    Santiago finally started showing signs of coming back offensively in the last game against the Reds, where he collected a few hits. Kendall has also been doing well for the Pirates, and has a good record against Giant pitching.

    Left Field:
    Brian Giles (.305)

  • .282 against Giants pitchers
  • vs. Schmidt (1-5): one homerun, three RBIs, one strikeout
  • vs. Ponson (1-5): one RBI, two strikeouts

    Barry Bonds (.330)

  • .462 against Pirates pitcher
  • vs. Wells (4-5): two homeruns, five RBIs
  • vs. Fogg (1-1): two walks
  • vs. Torres (1-1): one homerun, three RBIs

    PREDICTION: GIANTS
    Despite Giles' recent success, Bonds is Bonds. He was just named player of the month of the month of July, and on top of that, he has a whopping .462 average against Pirates pitching. Bonds owns his former team.

    Center Field:
    Tike Redman (.308)

  • .059 against Giants pitchers
  • vs. Schmidt (0-3): one strikeout
  • never faced Ponson

    Marquis Grissom (.310)

  • .306 against Pirates pitchers
  • never faced Wells
  • never faced Fogg
  • vs. Torres (2-6): one 2B, one RBI

    PREDICTION: GIANTS
    Redman has not had very much success against the Giants at all, but Grissom has had great success against the Pirates. Grissom also continues his great season offensively and defensively.

    Right Field:
    Reggie Sanders (.258)

  • .235 against Giants pitchers
  • vs. Schmidt (7-23): one 2B. one homerun, two RBIs, seven strikeouts
  • vs. Ponson (0-2)

    Matt Stairs (.299)

  • .288 against Giants pitchers
  • vs. Schmidt (0-2): one strikeout
  • vs. Ponson (6-14): four homeruns, five RBIs, two strikeouts

    Craig Wilson> (.240)

  • .500 against Giants pitchers
  • vs. Schmidt (1-1): one 2B
  • never faced Ponson

    Jose Cruz, Jr. (.247)

  • .259 against Pirates pitchers
  • vs. Wells (2-11): one homerun, five strikeouts
  • never faced Fogg
  • never faced Torres

    Jeffrey Hammonds (.167)

  • .167 against Pirates pitchers
  • vs. Wells (2-8): two 2Bs, one RBI, two strikeouts
  • vs. Fogg (1-1)
  • never faced Torres

    PREDICTION: PIRATES
    Cruz has not been able to find any type of rythm offensively, but he continues to be good defensively. Hammonds has also shown good signs in the few starts he already made. Sanders returns to Pac Bell, and not at any better of a time. He's being very consistent with his bat, and so is Stairs.

    BULLPEN: GIANTS
    Relievers: Giants
    Brian Meadows has been doing very well for the Pirates, but Duane Sanchez has been struggling. The Giants bullpen as a whole has been very tired on the road trip and have given up some late inning games. Felix Rodriguez will look to redeem himself for the two losses he took against the Reds.

    Closer: Giants
    The Pirates don't even have a real closer listed in their lineup. Tim Worrell has been struggling when he comes into non-save situations, but he's lights out in save situations, which is all that matters.



    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 kwanchino@alpha-q.net

    The views expressed in the columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the site's publisher, writers, or other staff members. The content on this site may not be redistributed without the expressed consent of SFDugout.com.


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