September 17-19, San Diego Padres Series

The Giants are kicking off their last homestand of the regular season, and boy is it going to be an exciting one. Three series, two division rivals, and one Wild Card contender. The playoff race is heating up, and it starts with the Padres' last visit to SBC Park for this regular season.

As predicted, this season will be exciting until the end. As the Giants head into their last homestand of the regular season, they welcome the top contenders in their division, and a team that's very much in the Wild Card race.

Fortunately for the Giants, rookie shortstop Khalil Greene will be out for the season, which vastly hurts the Padres' lineup, but helps the Giants a whole lot because Greene has killed the Giants this season.

For the Giants, Barry Bonds is still seeking #700, which we all know will be hit at home because Bonds wanted to hit it at home. Marquis Grissom's bat has suddenly awaken, and almost every Giants player is starting to come out of their slump, including the pitchers.

For the series opener, there will be a pitching duel of young talents as Jake Peavy (15-12, 3.91) of the Padres goes against the Giants' lefty, Noah Lowry (4-0, 4.35). Peavy has been good against the Giants all season, but career wise, the Giant who's given him most trouble is Bonds, who is 10-20 with two doubles and three jacks.

Lowry pitched real well in his last start, which was encouraging because he had a string of bad starts before. Against the Padres, Phil Nevin is 2-3 with a double, and Brian Giles is 2-2 with a jack. Terrence Long, Sean Burroughs, Ryan Klesko, and Peavy himself all have singles against Lowry.

In the next game, David Wells (11-7, 3.60) will pitch against the Giants' Jason Schmidt (16-6, 3.14). The Giants have handled Wells well this season. Ray Durham is 20-51 against Wells in his career, with four doubles and two homeruns. Deivi Cruz is 15-40 with six doubles, and Grissom is 9-19. Dustan Mohr is 6-19, but J.T. Snow is just 1-18, so he may sit out this game as Pedro Feliz is 5-12 against Wells.

Schmidt's last start was very encouraging for the Giants. The ace established himself again as the Giants' best starter, pitching another complete game in a win against the Diamondbacks. Schmidt has decent success against the Padres, including holding Klesko to 5-33 with a double and a jack, and Giles is only 1-20 against Schmidt, but that one hit was a homerun.

For the series finale, Justin Germano (1-2, 8.02) will take the mound against Kirk Rueter (8-11, 5.02). Germano hasn't had a good time since he came up, but looks to bounce back against a club that hasn't faced him before.

Rueter has also started turning it around, with another solid start in his last outing. Klesko is just 14-51 against Rueter with two doubles, a triple, and two homeruns, but Nevin is 16-35 with two doubles and three homeruns. However, Giles has struggled against Rueter in the past as well, going 4-30, and Burroughs is just 4-23.

For the Padres, Trevor Hoffman (2-3, 2.52) has been real good all season long. However, against the Giants, Hoffman does have one blown save, and the Giants are hitting .310 against him as a team career-wise. Bonds and Grissom are both hitting above .300 against Hoffman.

There can not be enough things to say about Dustin Hermanson (5-6, 4.24), who has proved to be a savior for the Giants' bullpen. However, his numbers aren't so good against the Padres, including Jay Payton's 10-24 with three doubles, and Nevin's 6-17 with two doubles and a triple.

Sara Kwan is a writer for Got a bone to pick? Just want to say hi? Hit me up:

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