The Giants will be kicking off their series against the dreaded blue ones tonight at Mays Field in a 3-game series. The pitching match-ups for the games are as follows:
- Friday August 8th – RHP Brad Penny (5-9, 5.88 ERA, 4.66 FIP) vs. LHP Barry Zito (6-13, 5.40 ERA, 4.89 FIP)
- Saturday August 9th – RHP Hiroki Kuroda (6-8, 4.21 ERA, 3.83 FIP) vs. RHP Kevin Correia (2-6, 5.53 ERA, 4.75 FIP)
- Sunday August 10th – RHP Chad Billingsley (11-9, 3.01 ERA, 3.07 FIP) vs. RHP Matt Cain (7-9, 3.60 ERA, 3.51 FIP)
Zito, coming off his best start of the year, will hope to continue whittling his ERA down to under 5. Zito’s second best performance this year was the 10K effort against the Dodgers on July 5th, hopefully Zito can repeat some of that magic and beat the Dodgers again.
Correia pitched decently last time out against the Padres, making it only the third time this year he’s pitched 6+ innings in a game. Is the oblique healthy? A good start would help to halt those fears.
And in the Sunday game, the best match-up of the series, is a Billingsley v. Cain battle. Cain has been phenomenal in the second half and Billingsley — a guy that’s often been compared to Matt Cain — is having the best season of his young career. Their pitching styles are similar, this should be a really fun game to watch if you’re into watching pitching match-ups (and watching Matt Cain lose 1-0).
Other News and Links
~ Chris Dial of BBTF has posted his National League defensive numbers. Some notable numbers: John Bowker has struggled lately on defense and his overall defensive numbers have him as a (-2.3) defender. That’s somewhere between Wes Helms (-2.7) and Dmitri Young (-2.3). Surprisingly, Aurilia is not that far behind Bowker at (-2.1) indicating that he might not be much of an upgrade as a late inning defensive replacement. Omar Vizquel is rated as a (+7.7) SS putting him as the best defensive SS in the NL, albeit in a smaller inning sample than runner up Jimmy Rollins (+5.6). Aaron Rowand is slightly above average in this system (+1.3) meaning that his reputation as a glovemaster might be overblown.
~ Fred Lewis shares his story of a painful automobile accident on ESPN’s Outside the Lines.
~ Eric Seidman — who just recently published a book, check it out if you haven’t! — has an article on the age old question of: “Do closers perform worse in non-save situations?“. The findings might surprise you. Hat tip to Delorean Ian! for the link.
~ Nate Silver of BP has an interesting article on “Bonds Bingo” of just where, if anywhere, could Bonds fit. Nate details 5 teams that could use the slugger’s services. I doubt we’ll see Bonds play this year, but an injury or two could change the opinion of a couple of teams and you never know what might happen. I think the bigger, and more realistic question, is will Bonds appear this weekend in San Francisco for a pre-game celebration?