June 21-June 24, Los Angeles Dodgers Series

The last time the Dodgers were in town is a much forgettable time of the season for the Giants. However, the tables have turned and the Giants are playing competitive baseball again. Winning the last four series at home, momentum is on the Giants' side in a four-game series that may very well determine whether or not the Giants are in this division race.

After taking the series from a very potent offense against Boston, the Giants are full of confidence heading back into the division race. As they welcome their long time rivals, the Giants hope to continue a strong homestand.

The Giants' offense continues to be hot despite Barry Bonds' recent struggles at the plate. Edgardo Alfonzo has been really hot, helping the Giants put the Red Sox away with two long bombs. Michael Tucker is also starting to swing the bat well, and Dustan Mohr is quietly putting together quality at-bats.

In the series opener, the Dodgers' Odalis Perez (4-3, 2.88) will be up against the Giants' Kirk Rueter (3-6, 5.03). Alfonzo is 9-28 against Perez, with four doubles. Bonds has nine hits in twenty-two at-bats with two doubles and three jacks. Other than that, Perez has had decent success against the Giants. The Dodgers have had a good amount of success against Rueter, with Shawn Green leading the way, going 15-46 with three doubles and a homerun. Paul Lo Duca has twelve hits in thirty-three at-bats with four doubles and a jack.

In the next game, Kazuhisa Ishii (8-3, 3.45) will be pitching against Dustin Hermanson (2-2, 4.48). The Giants have not hit Ishii well, with Bonds going 3-12, but Ray Durham is 5-12 against Ishii with two doubles and a triple. For LA, Green has owned Hermanson, going 11-21 with a double and three homeruns. Jose Hernandez has also hit Hermanson well, going 8-19, and Todd Hundley is 6-16 with a double and a roundtripper. Hermanson has kept Robin Ventura and Alex Cora relatively under control.

For the third game of the series, Jeff Weaver (5-7, 4.53) will take the mound against Jerome Williams (6-5, 4.59). Durham has the most at-bats against Weaver, but not much success, going 7-46 with two homeruns and eight strikeouts. A.J. Pierzynski, a former American League player, has faced Weaver eighteen times and has six hits against him, including four doubles. In his young career, Williams has had major success against LA. Lo Duca has the most at-bats with six, but only has one hit. No Dodger has had more than one hit against Williams.

In the series finale, the Dodgers will have Hideo Nomo (3-8, 7.26) pitching against Brett Tomko (1-4, 5.86), fresh off the DL. Nomo has not been having a great year, but has never had much trouble with the Giants. Bonds is 10-43 against him with eleven strikeouts, but also three homeruns. Marquis Grissom is 9-30 with two jacks, but Alfonzo and Neifi Perez are both 4-22 against Nomo. Pedro Feliz is also 0-6. For the Dodgers, Cora is 8-23 against Tomko, and Juan Encarnacion is batting .444 against Tomko with a triple and two homeruns. Lo Duca is 7-17 with two doubles, a triple, and a jack. Tomko has had success against Dave Roberts, limiting him to three hits in seventeen at-bats.

Coming off a strong performance in the second game of the Boston series, Matt Herges (3-2, 4.84) will continue to slam the door in relief. He'll have his work cut out for him as he goes against one of the game's best closers and last year's Cy Young winner, Eric Gagne (2- 0, 1.76). Bonds is 4-16 against Gagne with a roundtripper, and Perez is 4-14 with two doubles. The Dodgers have also hit Herges well in the past, with Milton Bradley going 3-6, and Encarnacion going 2-4.

Sara Kwan is a writer for SFDugout.com. Got a bone to pick? Just want to say hi? Hit me up: kwanchino@alpha-q.net.

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