Series Preview: Mets vs. Giants

It's been a long time coming, but the boys are finally back home. After a long roadtrip, the Giants are glad to be sleeping in their own beds. They'll need all the help they can muster if they're going to beat the Mets, who have a very strong team this season, and to bounce back from their first series loss this season.

The Giants will need to recover quickly when they face the New York Mets. This team will be a great challenge, and the Giants just lost an extra inning heart breaker that was filled with bad calls and intense rivalry. The odds seem stacked against the G-men, but let's look closer at who's got the edge.

Game #1: Tom Glavine (2-1, 1.38) vs. Matt Cain (0-2, 6.75)
The forty-year-old hurler is showing no signs of slowing down. Glavine has pitched very well this season, but the Giants have history on their side. Steve Finley is 23-80 against Glavine with five doubles, but also 14 strikeouts. Barry Bonds, who finally hit a homer in Colorado, is 26-79 against Glavine with six doubles, two triples, three jacks, thirteen walks and ten strikeouts. Moises Alou is 19-64 and has eight doubles, one triple, two homeruns and nine strikeouts against Glavine.

Cain has never faced anyone in the Mets' lineup. The rookie has had a rough season so far, but hopefully with the home crowd behind him, he'll adjust and get back to excelling as he did last season.

The Edge: Mets
Glavine has pitched superbly for the Mets, and the veteran is expected to have another good outing. Cain still needs to prove himself this season, but like most rookies, he is still a mystery to many players and teams. All in all, Glavine has the advantage over Cain because of experience and the performance so far this season.

Game #2: Steve Trachsel (1-1, 3.71) vs. Jamey Wright (2-0, 2.91)
Trachsel has also done a commendable job this season for New York. Bonds is 12-41 against Trachsel with three doubles and two homers. Alou is 11-40 with five doubles, and Jose Vizcaino is 10-27 with a double and a triple against Trachsel.

If Wright is going to continue a great, yet surprising, season with the Giants, then the numbers are on his side. Jose Valentin has the most at-bats against Wright, going 4-15 with two doubles. Cliff Floyd is 3-14 with two jacks, and slugger Carlos Beltran is only 1-10 with a double.

The Edge: Tied
Wright has been one of the biggest, if not the biggest, surprise for the Giants this season. He has done an exceptional job when taking the mound. However, Trachsel has again put up decent numbers for New York. Track record wise, Trachsel would get the advantage over Wright, but Wright has been doing so well this season that the odds will be balanced out.

Game #3: Brian Bannister (2-0, 2.35) vs. Jason Schmidt (0-2, 5.33)
The rookie Bannister has not faced any of the Giants before. He has been impressive for the Mets, and he'll have to go against the Giants' ace, Schmidt.

Not only is the Giants' rookie struggling, but also the Giants' ace. However, Schmidt has scattered good numbers through the Mets' lineup. Paul Lo Duca is only 3-25 with one jack against Schmidt, and Valentin is just 3-17 with a triple. There are a few players who have done well against Schmidt in the past. Beltran is 8-17 with two triples, and Floyd has eight hits in 23 at-bats with two doubles and two roundtrippers.

The Edge: Tie
Schmidt has been struggling for the Giants, but someday he will come out of his funk. While he's working the kinks out, Bannister may have already established his presence in the major leagues, giving him a tie with the Giants' ace.

Closing it Out: Billy Wagner (4, 1.00) vs. Armando Benitez (1, 0.00)
Wagner has been earning his money this season. He's done well with four saves already under his belt. Alou and Mike Matheny are the only Giants who have good numbers against Wagner. Alou is 6-15, and Matheny is 4-9. Neither have an extra base hit. Finley is just 2-12, and Bonds is only 2-11 with a double against Wagner. The only Giants who have taken Wagner to the fence are Ray Durham, Pedro Feliz and Jason Ellison.

Benitez has had sensational numbers against his former ballclub. However, since coming back from injury, Benitez has not looked well on the mound. He did manage to get one save in Colorado, but it did have everyone sitting on the edge of their seats. Floyd is 0-12 against Benitez with six strikeouts, and Julio Franco is 1-10. Carlos Delgado and Lo Duca have the most hits against Benitez at three, each with a double.

The Edge: Mets
Whenever Benitez took the mound in the ninth, most of us cross our fingers and hope for the best (which usually means don't give up more than two runs). However, hopefully when facing his former club, Benitez will go back to giving us our money's worth. Wagner has been doing well all season, every season. There's no doubt the Mets take the advantage in the bullpen category.



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

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