Series Preview: Giants vs. Reds

The Giants and Reds will enter this series with identical records. The Giants just took two out of three in Chicago, and will look to continue their surge against the Reds, who were once on top of the Wild Card race, but have now fallen. The Giants look to take advantage of the Reds' recent struggles to better their own chances at the Wild Card, and maybe to even gain ground in their division.

Game #1: Brad Hennessey (5-4, 3.70) vs. Aaron Harang (13-10, 3.75)
Hennessey hasn't been as sharp since being entered into the rotation, and his last start against the Reds was proof of that. However, he will look to bounce back to the dependable form that the Giants' remember him as. David Ross has the most at-bats against Hennessey, going 1-4. Royce Clayton has the most hits, going 2-3.

Harang is having a solid season, but the Giants have decent numbers against him as well. Omar Vizquel is 5-15, and Moises Alou is 5-11 with three homeruns. Randy Winn and Shea Hillenbrand are also 5-11 against Harang, each with a double and a round tripper. However, Steve Finley is only 2-11 against Harang, and Ray Durham is just 1-11 with a double.

The Edge: Tied
Hennessey has the stuff to be dominate, but he has struggled with his command and location since joining the rotation. The thing stopping Harang from having the advantage is how the Giants have hit so well off him in the past.

Game #2: Matt Morris (10-11, 4.57) vs. Bronson Arroyo (11-9, 3.48)
Morris had a sensational outing against the Reds, and has looked good for the Giants in his last few starts. Morris has faced the Reds a lot on his former team, the St. Louis Cardinals. Adam Dunn has faced Morris the most, but is only 7-36 with a jack, two doubles and 13 strikeouts, but Jason LaRue is 10-29 with a homerun and three doubles. Rich Aurilia is just 3-25, Todd Hollandsworth is just 3-21 with two doubles, but Ryan Freel is 7-21 with two doubles. Ken Griffey, Jr. is 6-19 with a double and three round trippers.

Arroyo is having an excellent season, and he should have confidence going into this game. The Giants have not hit anything off Arroyo. Hillenbrand is 4-20 with a four-bagger, Alou is 2-11 with a jack and Winn is 2-11 with two doubles. Finley is 1-7, and Vizquel and Durham are both 1-5 against Arroyo.

The Edge: Tied
Morris has been pitching really well lately, but the Giants have a horrible record against Arroyo. This game looks like a pitching match-up until the very end.

Game #3: Noah Lowry (7-8, 4.00) vs. undecided
Lowry was also great in his last start against the Reds, but he was pounded by the Cubs in his last outing. This lefty earned honors for the month of August again, but he hopes to not only be effective in August, but also in the important stretch through September. Aurilia has the best numbers against Lowry, going 7-16 with a double and a jack. Clayton is 4-15, Dunn is 1-14 with a homer and Griffey is just 2-10.

The Edge: undecided
Lowry did struggle in his last start, but he was brilliant in August. The Reds still haven't decided who to put on the rubber to end the series.

Closing it Out: Armando Benitez (17, 3.52) vs. David Weathers (10, 4.02)
Benitez struggled once again in his last outing, and to top that off, he disrespected the skipper by tossing the ball to the catcher instead of handing it to the manager when he was taken out on Saturday against the Cubs. The Giants say Benitez is having minor injuries here and there, and would most likely not be available to pitch in this series.

Since Eddie Guardado went to the DL, Weathers has fit in well as the Reds' closer. The Giants also have good numbers against him. Alou is 7-22 with a double, a triple and a homerun. Barry Bonds is 9-16 with two doubles and three round trippers, and Finley is 4-14 with a double, a triple and a jack. Durham is 3-10 and Mark Sweeney is 3-8 with a jack.

The Edge: Tied It is tied only because the possibility of Benitez going to the mound is very slim. Mike Stanton has been doing very well for the Giants as a closer since coming to the team, and has already lodged five saves for himself with San Francisco.



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