August 20-August 22, New York Mets Series

The Mets come to town for a weekend series to face the Giants after they've had one day off. This was a much needed day off after playing a doubleheader, and the Giants hope to play this series so they will gain ground in the division and keep their lead in the Wild Card race.

Although their last series was againist the lowly Montreal Expos, the Giants did very well. Their offense is still hot, led by J.T. Snow and Barry Bonds, and Marquis Grissom is also starting to heat up.

Their pitching has also started getting consistent, with rookies filling in for starters out with injuries or pulled to the bullpen. Relievers have given up less runs, and the defense has been solid.

For the series opener, Steve Trachsel (10-9, 3.65) will faced off against the Giants' young prize, Noah Lowry (2-0, 3.46). Trachsel has done well against the Gaints, holding Grissom and Bonds to low averages. However, they both have two jacks a piece against Trachsel. Edgardo Alfonzo has thirteen hits in thirty-six at-bats, including a double and a homerun, and Michael Tucker is 6-17 with two doubles.

Lowry has never faced the Mets before in his career, but he continues to perform well for the Giants in the starting rotation. His last start looked a bit shaky, but look for this rookie to bounce back sharply against the Mets, where he'll face yet another good veteran pitcher who's owned the Giants all his career.

In the next game, Tom Glavine (8-10, 2.92) will pitch against Brett Tomko (6-6, 4.90). Glavine has also done well against the Giants, holding the team to a .245 combined average against him. However, Bonds has twenty-five hits in seventy-eight at-bats against Glavine, including six doubles, a triple, and three jacks. Other than Bonds, the rest of the Giants are hitting lower than .250 against Glavine.

The Mets have done well against Tomko, with Mike Piazza hitting .333 with six hits in eighteen at-bats, including three doubles and a jack. Richard Hidalgo also has six hits in fourteen at-bats, including a double and a homerun.

For the series finale, Victor Zambrano (11-7, 4.37) will be up against lefty Kirk Rueter (6-9, 5.21). In limited experience, Zambrano has done real well against the Giants, with only Tucker, Pedro Feliz, and Rickey Ledee who have one hit off him.

Rueter continues to struggle this season, and has been solid against the Mets in the past. Piazza has twelve hits in thirty-four at-bats with two doubles and three jacks, and Hidalgo is 7-17 with a homerun. Gerald Williams is 9-15 with four doubles, but Mo Vaughn is just 1-6.

Against Mets' closer Branden Looper (2-3, 2.00), the Giants are not successful. Alfonzo has the most hits, going 3-16 against Looper, but the rest of the Giants have one or less hits against him.

Dustin Hermanson (5-5, 4.53) blew his first save but got the win in his last appearance against the Expos, which was probably due to the heavy workload. He was pitching his fifth game in a row, something he wasn't used to as a starting pitcher. However, he's done well against the Mets, including holding Todd Zeile to a .185 average against him, and Joe McEwing has just two hits in eight at-bats.



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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