Series Preview: Cardinals vs. Giants

The Giants have won nine of their last 13 games, and the hot Cardinals are still on top of their division comfortably. The Giants are sitting at the bottom of their division, but they'll look to gain ground against one of the toughest ballclubs in the game this season.

Game #1: Mark Mulder (5-1, 3.69) vs. Jamey Wright (4-3, 4.23)
Mulder is having a strong season, but most of the Giants have done well against him in the past. Randy Winn is 11-40 with two doubles and five punchouts, and Omar Vizquel is 10-28 with a double and four strikeouts against Mulder. Todd Greene is 7-23 with three doubles and a jack, and Barry Bonds is 7-14 with a double and three homeruns. However, Pedro Feliz is just 1-13 against Mulder.

Wright will be making a start after a strong start. Wright started out the season strong, but teed off quite a bit in May. He'll look to continue his good streak against one of the toughest offenses in the league, and a team who he's had decent numbers against. Jim Edmounds is 3-19 with one jack, Scott Rolen is just 3-15 with one homerun and Juan Encarnacion is only 2-11. However, slugger Albert Pujols is 7-15 against Wright with two doubles, a triple and a four-bagger.

The Edge: Cardinals
Mulder has been pitching well this season, and Wright has been on and off. However, the Giants have done better against Mulder than the Cardinals have against Wright.

Game #2: Jason Marquis (5-4, 5.08) vs. Matt Morris (3-4, 5.43)
Marquis isn't doing well this season, but run support has gotten him out of jams. However, he has done well against the Giants. Steve Finley is just 2-10 against Marquis, and Jose Vizcaino is 1-6 with a double. Mark Sweeney is 0-6 with three strikeouts and Feliz is 1-6, but Winn is 3-6 with a jack.

Morris has also been on and off this season. He has limited experience against his former tem, but with good numbers. Encarnacion is 4-16 with a jack and six strikeouts against Morris, and Rolen is just 1-7. David Eckstein is 1-4 with a double, but Scott Spiezio is 3-3 with a double and a roundtripper.

The Edge: Tie
Both pitchers have good history against the other team, and both have been struggling this season. For the Giants, it'll be up to whether they see the Morris of April of May.

Game #3: Chris Carpenter (4-2, 2.63) vs. Noah Lowry (1-1, 3.38)
Carpenter is having another solid season, but he hasn't done well against most of the Giants. Ray Durham is 11-38 against Carpenter with a double and a homer and Vizquel is 10-22 with a double and a jack. Finley is 4-6 with a roundtripper. However, Winn is just 4-19 with four strikeouts.

Lowry has pitched well since coming off the DL, and got the short end of a 1-0 game in his last start. He'll look for more run support as he pitches against a team who he's had limited experience against. Encarnacion is 1-7 against Lowry, Eckstein is 0-4, Gary Bennett is 1-3 and Pujols is 1-3.

The Edge: Tie
Carpenter is having a great season, but his numbers against the Giants bring him down. Lowry has been pitching well for the Giants, and hasn't faced most of the Cardinals many times, which may act as an advantage.

Closing it Out: Jason Isringhausen (14, 3.94) vs. Armando Benitez (2, 0.00)
Isringhausen is having another dominating season, and the Giants have the numbers to prove his dominance against them in the past. Finley is just 3-17 with two strikeouts, and Bonds is 1-12 with three punchouts. Vizcaino has the best numbers, going 5-12 with a triple, and Vizquel is 2-4.

Benitez got his first chance to get a save in a long time in the last series against Oakland, but blew the chance and the win for ace Jason Schmidt. He'll seek a save against a team who he's dominated in the past. Rolen is 2-14 with five strikeouts, and Edmounds is 0-7 with five punchouts. Pujols is 1-5, Encarnacion is 0-4 and Spiezio is 0-3.

The Edge: Cardinals
Benitez proved in his last outing that he still hasn't established himself yet in the closer role. For the Cardinals, Isringhausen has been the exact opposite, with 14 saves under his belt already.



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