They want home field advantage in the playoffs, and to get that, they have to keep winning, and Altanta have to keep losing. On their part, the Giants will have to recover from a shaky series, where things weren't going their way, and where they couldn't keep things from getting out of control in the late innings.
The Giants have hit well in San Diego, and particularly, Barry Bonds. Padres' pitchers will be very careful in pitching to Bonds, if they pitch to him, because since Bonds loves Qualcomm so much, and since he's aiming for 660, look for him to send any ball in his happy zone into the stands. The most interesting pitch match up of this series will be the first game, where two rookies are against each other, neither one have ever faced the opposing team. The pitching match-ups are as follows.
Kevin Correia (1-1, 2.05 ERA) vs. Ben Howard (1-0, 3.65 ERA) Correia has never faced the Padres before, but this kid's been lights out against anyone. He has shown poise and composure when it comes to facing the toughest big league hitters. The Padres counter with a young arm of their own, as Howard has never faced the Giants either. It will be a battle of the rookies in this match-up, where both starting pitchers are mysteries to the opposing teams.
Kirk Rueter (7-5, 4.99 ERA) vs. Brian Lawrence (8-14, 4.27 ERA) Rueter has been struggling a lot recently. His last win came on June 6th, so he'll be looking to stop that losing streak, and this may be a good time to do it. The Padres don't have good numbers against him, batting .269 against him as a team. The only player with decent success against him is Mark Kotsay, who is batting .360 against him. Lawrence has also done a decent job against the Giants, who are batting .277 against him as a team. The two Giants with success against Lawrence are Rich Aurilia, who's batting .533 against him with one homerun, and Eric Young, who's batting .444 against him in nine at-bats.
Jerome Williams (6-4, 3.45 ERA) vs. Adam Eaton (8-10, 4.18 ERA) Williams has faced the Padres once, and only allowed two runs in that outing. This rookie continues to be solid for the Giants, and is a possible candidate for a job on the playoff starting rotation. Eaton has done really well against the Giants, limiting them to a .177 batting average as a team.
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 email@example.com
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