September 3-5, Arizona Diamondbacks Series

The Giants have been playing bad baseball the past two games, but look to come back in this series against Arizona. As the Wild Card is slowly slipping away and the Dodgers build their NL West lead, the Giants come into this series against the last place Dbacks in an almost must-win situation.

The Rockies came into town and rocked the Giants, but San Francisco hopes the same won't happen with Arizona. A combination of sleeping offense, sloppy defense, and shaky pitching have not given the Giants a good result, so with the Wild Card race heating up and turning into a five team contest, the Giants will have to bounce back to stay in contention.

Edgardo Alfonzo and J.T. Snow continue to hit the ball well, and that will be key as these two players will be hitting near Barry Bonds in the lineup. Bats that have to start going are Marquis Grissom's and A.J. Pierzynski's.

Giants' pitching has also been effective, with the bullpen pitching solid, scoreless innings in last night's game. Hopefully that will continue, especially with the addition of Dave Burba.

For the series opener, the Dbacks' Stephen Randolph (2-4, 4.72) will start against the rookie Brad Hennessey (1-2, 5.03). Randolph hasn't faced the Giants much in his career, and Grissom has the most at-bats with two hits in six. Pedro Feliz is 2-4, and Michael Tucker is 2-3. Bonds is 1-2 with a jack.

Hennessey has never faced the Dbacks before, but was solid in his last start. He didn't last very long, but his ability to start gave manager Felipe Alou more options with his pitching staff.

In the next game, Noah Lowry (3-0, 4.17) will pitch for the Giants, but Arizona's starter is unannounced as of today. Lowry has only faced five Dback players, who all have one at-bat each against him. Only Shea Hillenbrand has a hit.

For the series finale, and the last time the Dbacks will be in San Francisco this season, Randy Johnson (12-12, 2.71) will pitch against Brett Tomko (8-6, 4.76). Johnson has always done well against the Giants, with Grissom having the most at-bats against him at 52.

Grissom has ten hits, including four homeruns and a double, and Bonds is 13-45 with three doubles and three jacks. The hot hitting Snow is just 4-26 against Johnson, but Alfonzo is 8-26 with a double and a homerun.

Tomko has been really good in his last two starts,but in his last outing, he had to leave the game because of a sprained ankle he injured while celebrating an out during the game. Tomko's projected start would be this game, but he may be pushed back a few days if the ankle doesn't feel well.

Arizona has done real well against Tomko, with Hillenbrand hitting .385 with two doubles and a jack. Luis Gonzalez is 10-24 with three triples and two homeruns against Tomko, and Richie Sexson is 6-11 with a double and a jack, but it is uncertain as to how much these two will play.

Mike Koplove (3-2, 3.91) has not faced the Giants much, but has done well. Grissom and Alfonzo both have six at-bats, but no more than two hits against Koplove. Bonds is 2-4, and Dustan Mohr is 1-3.

For the Giants, Dustin Hermanson (5-6, 4.42) continues to be solid as their closer. Other than Gonzalez's 10-23 against him, Hermanson has done well against the Dbacks, including a 3-9 by Carlos Baerga, a 2-9 by Chad Tracy, and a 0-7 by Danny Bautista.



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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