Series Preview: Phillies vs. Giants

The Giants kick off the second half at home, which followed a long, difficult roadtrip. Hopefully with everyone well rested, the Giants can start making a run for the NL West title, which isn't too far from their grasp.

Game #1: Jon Lieber (3-6, 5.47) vs. Matt Morris (7-7, 4.29)
Lieber had a good outing in his last start to end the first half on a good note. Steve Finley is 17-45 against Lieber with five doubles and a homer. Moises Alou is 11-39 with a double and two jacks, but Barry Bonds is 7-38 with a triple and four homeruns. The hot hitting Ray Durham is 13-30 against Lieber with two doubles and a triple.

Morris was doing really well, but struggled a bit in his last start. Bobby Abreu is 8-21 with two jacks against Morris. Jimmy Rollins is just 3-17 with a triple and Pat Burrell is just 4-16 with two doubles and a homerun. However, Mike Lieberthal is 5-13 with two round trippers and David Bell is 4-13 with two doubles.

The Edge: Tie
Morris has shown signs of dominating, but in his last start, he has started to teeter off again. Lieber had a great outing in his last start.

Game #2: Cory Lidle (5-7, 4.95) vs. Noah Lowry (4-5, 4.08)
Omar Vizquel is only 3-25 against Lidle with a double. Moises Alou is 7-16 with a double, a triple and two four-baggers. Durham is 4-14, Bonds is 3-12 with a double and two homeruns, Jose Vizcaino is 4-11 with a double and Randy Winn is 3-11.

Lowry has been on and off all season long. Hopefully he will be on for the rest of the season. Abreu is 2-7 against Lowry and Bell is 0-3. Rolliuns is 3-7 with a double and Chase Utley is 2-6.

The Edge: Tie
Lidle and Lowry have similar seasons, both lodging an average ERA and an almost .500 record. However, the Giants have hit Lidle well in the past.

Game #3: Brett Myers (5-3, 3.86) vs. Jason Schmidt (6-5, 2.78)
Myers has been out since June 24th after taking a leave of absence. He was arrested for striking his wife. His start on Sunday is not definite, but he will be rejoining the team in San Francisco this weekend.

Schmidt had a very dominating first half, but was a victim of poor run support, which is why his win-loss record does not reflect how well he pitched. David Dellucci is 7-20 against Schmidt with a double and a triple, and Abreu is 7-19 with two doubles and two jacks. However, Lieberthal is just 3-16 with a double and Abraham O. Nunez is 1-10. Rollis in 3-10 with a double and a four-bagger.

The Edge: Giants
Even though Myers had a good season to start, he has not pitched in almost a month. He may need some adjusting from his off field situations. On the other hand, Schmidt has been lights out for the Giants, but will need their run support in order to get him a win. Schmidt also didn't pitch in the All-Star game, where he was the Giants' lone representative, which should give him plenty of rest going into this game.

Closing it Out: Tom Gordon (21, 2.17) vs. Armando Benitez (10, 1.99)
If it's anything the Phillies need to work on, it isn't their closer. Vizquel has the best numbers against Gordon, going 12-41 with three doubles and five strikeouts. Durham is just 1-11, Finley is 2-7 with three punchouts and Winn is 0-6.

Benitez was starting to find his groove towards the end of the first half. Abreu is 3-18 with a double against Benitez, but Lieberthal is 6-17 with a double. Rollins is 2-14, and Burrell is 4-11 with three jacks.

The Edge: Phillies
Benitez is finally starting to come around, but Gordon didn't take quite as long. He filled into the Phillies' closer role very well, already with 21 saves.



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