Series Preview: Giants vs. Phillies

After another short two-game series in Milwaukee, the Giants head to another live ballpark in Philadelphia. The Giants received a brilliant performance from Jason Schmidt in the first game, but lost the second game. In both contests, the San Francisco's bats remained cold. Hopefully with a live yard, the Giants will be able to regain their swings. The Giants and Phillies have identical records coming into this series, but that will no doubt change after this weekend.

Game #1: Matt Cain (1-3, 5.28) vs. Gavin Floyd (2-2, 6.57)
Cain was struggling again in his last start. He has never faced the Phillies before, so this will give him a new slate, and hopefully, the advantage.

The Phillies will counter with another young arm. Floyd has never faced the Giants either.

The Edge: Tied
This game is obviously a toss-up because the only experience either team has with either pitcher are video tapes.

Game #2: Jamey Wright (2-2, 4.63) vs. Ryan Madson (2-1, 8.14)
After being consistent in his first few starts, Wright's last start was anything but good. He will look to bounce back against the Phillies, but he'll be working against the numbers. Bobby Abreu is 9-23 with three doubles and three jacks, and Jimmy Rollins is 6-17 with a double and one homer against Wright. Bay Area native Pat Burrell is 4-11 with a double and roundtripper, but Abraham Nunez is just 3-18 with two strikeouts.

Madson has excellent numbers against the Giants. He has blanked everyone in the Giants' lineup except for Moises Alou, who is 1-3, Jose Vizcaino is 1-1 and Mark Sweeney is 1-1. Pedro Feliz is 0-4 against Madson with two punchouts.

The Edge: Tied
Madson has a bloated ERA, but the Phillies have players who have done well against Wright in the past. Wright has done better than Madson this season, but only three players on the Giants have a hit against Madson. This will be a match-up of history against current performance.

Game #3: Matt Morris (2-2, 5.18) vs. Jon Lieber (1-4, 6.87)
Morris also slightly struggled in his last start, but he'll look to put up another outstanding performance against the Phillies. Alex Gonzalez is only 2-20 against Morris with a double and seven strikeouts. Rollins is only 2-15 with two punchouts, and Burrell is 3-14 with two doubles and five strikeouts. However, Abreu is 7-18 with two jacks, and Mike Lieberthal is 5-13 with two homeruns.

Lieber's experience against the Giants make up for the two previous young pitchers. Steve Finley has faced him the most, going 16-47 with five doubles and one jack. Alou is 11-39 with a double and two roundtrippers. Ray Durham, still on the DL, has the best numbers against Lieber, going 13-30 with two doubles and a triple. Barry Bonds has not done well against Lieber, but Bonds does have three homeruns off Lieber with a triple.

The Edge: Giants
The Giants' lineup is full of players who have good history against Lieber, and the Phillies have the opposite against Morris. Lieber has not pitched well so far this season, and Morris picked up his game towards the end of his last start.

Closing it Out: Armando Benitez (1, 0.00) vs. Tom Gordon (9, 0.66)
Benitez still hasn't had a chance to save a game yet after the last series. However, he does have good numbers against the Phillies. Abreu is just 3-17 with a double, Rollins is 2-14 and Gonzalez is 3-12 against Benitez. All three are combined for 13 strikeouts.

Gordon has done an exceptional job closing for the Phillies. He has not faced the Giants many times, but he has faced Omar Vizquel a lot. Vizquel is 12-41 with three doubles against Gordon. However, Mike Matheny is just 1-11 with five strikeouts against Gordon, Finley is 2-7 and Randy Winn is just 0-6.

The Edge: Phillies
Benitez has still not had the chance to close out a game for the Giants between Jason Schmidt's complete game and the Giants' loss in Milwaukee. Gordon has been outstanding in the late innings of close games for the Phillies.



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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