Friday, June 8, 2012

Texas Rangers Preview

At some point over the last week I got caught up in the Giants' 6-1 run against the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres. A majority of these games were so fun to watch that I hadn't really been thinking of stats and standings or even snark. Who knew, for instance, that the Giants would head down to Petco Park and there would be, relatively speaking, a home run derby? (Of course, that's easier to say when the Giants took the series--and since Steve Edlefsen was nice enough to give up a walk off home run after only two pitches in the bottom of the ninth I didn't even have time to get angry).

Next thing I know, the Giants are 33-25, which is the third best record in the National League. It's also the same record as the Texas Rangers. All things considered, the Giants could be catching a break this weekend. The Rangers are 3-7 over their last ten games. With Pablo Sandoval out, the lack of a designated hitter takes one bat out of the hands of the Rangers. And, while he's been a bit of a wild card, the Giants will dodge Yu Darvish (and the injured Derek Holland). Instead, they face Matt Harrison (4.37 ERA), Scott Feldman (7.01 ERA), and Alexi Ogando (2.27 ERA). I've followed San Francisco closely enough to know that listing these ERAs won't do much in the way of predicting how the Giants' offense will fare. Especially this lineup:
Blanco LF, Theriot 2B, Pagan CF, Sanchez C, Pill 1B, Arias 3B, Schierholtz RF, Crawford SS, Zito SP
But I'd like to think, after the last seven games, that they've got a good chance of winning this series.

As always, whether the Giants take this series of not rests, as it often does, on the pitching. Lately, I should probably stipulate, the starting pitching. I don't usually say negative things about members of the Giants, but with the recently hobbled bullpen, I don't exactly look forward to seeing Steve Edlefsen or Shane Loux warming up, let alone taking the mound. I suppose this is a very roundabout way to say that I look at George Kontos's Fresno numbers--1.71 ERA in 31.2 IP with a 7.4 SO/9--and I think, "now there's an alternative to sink that doesn't sink, and sliders that don't slide. And he's on the 40-man roster!"

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