April 12-13, Los Angeles Dodgers Series

The Giants hit the road for the first time this season, and what can be more satisfying than to walk into Dodger Stadium and give the Bums a taste of their own medicine? If the Giants are planning on doing this, then they better set some things straight.

Yes, we all know. The Giants' bullpen better shape up if they plan on giving the Dodgers a fight. Hopefully, after seeing how the Rockies' bullpen is even worse than themselves, Giant relievers will shake the rust off and get this season started.

However, the guy with the hot hand now is Edgardo Alfonzo, who has already sent two roundtrippers over the wall. His lost weight has very apparently helped him move quicker on defense, and helped him pick up his bat speed. Omar Vizquel is also proving his critics wrong with acrobatic plays on defense, but more importantly, he has been swinging the bat very well.

The two pitching match ups for the Giants are the same starters as the two on the games which they lost to L.A. Kirk Rueter (1-0, 3.60) took an undeserving loss in his first start of the season, after pitching decently until the bullpen took over. He will go up against Jeff Weaver (1-0. 0.00), who was flip flopped with Odalis Perez to get the opening day start in Los Angeles. Milton Bradley and Jeff Kent have hit Rueter well in the past, but Bradley has two homeruns off Rueter where Kent has none.

Against Weaver, the only Giant with success to talk about is Marquis Grissom, who is 7-19 with two doubles, but three strikeouts. Other than that, Weaver has done a good job against the Giants' lineup.

In the second and last game of this short series, Brett Tomko (0-1, 4.50) will go up against Perez. Tomko was pitching brilliantly until his last inning, where he left the game for the bullpen to finish, and finish they did. However, on the bright side, the only Dodger to have success against Tomko is Kent, who is hitting .343 against Tomko with four doubles and ten RBIs.

Edagardo Alfonzo is 13-36 with four doubles against Perez, and Deivi Cruz is 5-17. The Giants will hurt without Barry Bonds, especially in this match up because Bonds is 11-28 with four bombs against Perez.

The bullpen is no doubt a huge problem for the Giants, and hopefully they will be able to give Armando Benitez more outings, but he's doing poorly with a posted 4.50 ERA. The Giants would love to get a piece of Eric Gagne, but he is currently on the DL.

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

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