May 11-May 13: Philadelphia Phillies Series

The Philadelphia Phillies come to town for the first and only time this season, and with them, they're bringing former Giants Tim Worrell and David Bell. The Phillies have been projected to be the favorite in their division, but haven't been performing as well as they were predicted to. With a dangerous lineup and a powerful bullpen, the Giants will have their hands full as they make their homecoming after a grueling roadtrip.

Unfortunately for the Giants, Barry Bonds is still sick. No, not in the "cool"sick way, but literally, sick. The Giants hope that the early end to the Reds' series and another full day off will give Bonds the rest he needs to get better. The Giants' lineup without Bonds is indeed a below average offensive threat.

A guy the Giants would like to see back in the lineup soon is A.J. Pierzynski. Although Yorvit Torrealba has done a great job holding down the fork while Pierzynski was gone, before Pierzynski became a last minute scratch for games recently, he finally began to hit the ball. The other former Minnesota Twin, Dustan Mohr, has also started contributing offensively as a pinch-hitter in this last roadtrip.

Marquis Grissom continues to be hot hitting in front of Bonds, and Edgardo Alfonzo is starting to find his stroke again. Michael Tucker has been doing a decent job leading games off, and his other right field half, Jeffrey Hammonds, has also provided a lift offensively. The Giants will keep themselves in games if their bats can continue to produce with Bonds sick and the absence of Ray Durham, who is expected to play as early as Thursday if his recovering knee cap stays on track.

In the series opener, Jerome Williams (3-1, 3.66) will look to continue his strong sophomore year against Kevin Millwood (3-2, 3.46), who threw a one-hit shut out against the Giants last season. No Giant has had great success against Millwood, and Neifi Perez has the best sucess with a .286 average against him. Alfonzo does have three jacks off Millwood, and Bonds, Grissom, and J.T. Snow all have one each. Williams has only faced Philadelphia once, and Tomas Perez is 2-2 against him. Burrell and Abreu have a hit a piece, but that's all the Phillies have done against Williams.

Jason Schmidt (2-2, 3.90) will take the mound against Randy Wolf (2-2, 2.77) in game two. The Giants faired better against Wolf, with Marquis Grissom batting .389 against him. He has two homeruns to add to that, and Bonds, Deivi Cruz, Hammonds, and Mohr each have solo shots also. However, Bonds is just 2-11 against Wolf, and the Phillies have done well against Schmidt. Pat Burrell has never missed against Schmidt, and Doug Glanville, Bobby Abreu, Jimmy Rollins, and Todd Pratt are all hitting above .400 against him, but Schmidt has only yielded one homerun to Abreu and Rollins.

Schmidt is coming off his best start of the year, and so is Kirk Rueter (1-3, 5.54), who will be matched up against Vincente Padilla (1-4, 3.86) on Thursday's series finale. The Giants have done well against Padilla, with Edgardo Alfonzo leading them by hitting .389 against Padilla including two homeruns and a double in eighteen at-bats. Padilla has limited Bonds, keeping him only 2-9 against Padilla. Rueter has not had much success with the Phillies' lineup either, with former Giant, David Bell, hitting .462 against him. Burrell has two homeruns against Rueter, and Glanville and Shawn Wooten both have one.

The Giants' inconsistent bullpen will be up against one of the toughest bullpens in the league. With strong performances from Jim Brower and Felix Rodriguez on the roadtrip, the Giants hope for their closer, Matt Herges, to get back on track after his blown save on Sunday.

The Phillies have All-Star Billy Wagner (1-0, 1.20) as their closer, and the Giants' closer last season, Tim Worrell, as their set up man. If the Giants plan on winning, they better take the lead with them to the later innings.

And yes, Lou Seal's friend, the Phillie Phanatic, will also be making an appearance at SBC Park.



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 atkwanchino@alpha-q.net

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