Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Big Game Tonight

Tonight should be a really good matchup, considering it will be Ace vs. Ace – Lincecum vs. Kershaw.

I must admit that it does appear Pablo is starting to come out of it. I don’t wont to get too ahead of myself because a there were a few times where it seemed he was waking up in late May and June but he never sustained it. Tonight will be a big obstacle because 1) he’ll have to face a good pitcher and 2) Kershaw is left-handed and everyone seems to think his right handed swing is finally coming around.
Is it me or is Burrel not playing nearly as often? His defense is poor but I really like seeing his bat in there. That’s another OBP type hitter with lots of pop. I guess he’s struggled a bit in July.
The Giants just have to keep pushing to win series’ and win as many games as possible. I still think the Padres have to hit some type of skid at some point but I don’t think the Giants should sit around waiting for it. It’s inexplicably not happened to this point so you-never-know.

As far as catching the Padres, after a look at the their August schedule and the Giants, we have the far more difficult one. They play Az like 8 times in August, they play Mil, Pit, and Philly, while we get Az 3 games and play Philly, STL and ATL in August. It's going to take the giants current momentum and a serious fall off of the Padres staff. Would you not say?

I did see the Padres’ schedule and concur it is more favorable, opponent wise. But the Giants have more home games from here on out than do the Padres so that has to be a consideration. I think it now stands 35-34 versus the Padres 32-37. I was chatting with Mike Helms yesterday and sort of broke it down. It should come down to September 9th through October 3rd, in my opinion. The Padres will play the Giants 4 straight at San Diego starting Sept 9 and then go on an 11 game road trip including St. Louis, Colorado and Cincinatti. They also finish the season against the Giants in San Francisco. In fact, I think they play 13 of their last 20 on the road. Of the 10 games left head to head, 6 are in SF, 4 in SD. That favors the Giants as well. What else? Well, the Padres have danced around facing Aces it seems like to me. For example, the Padres have played the Giants, what, 9 games? They’ve faced Lincecum 0 times. They didn’t face Strasburg either. It should come down to head to head games and the Giants aren’t going to go 1-8 again.

Let’s not forget that the last time the Padres played the Giants they were a much different team. The Giants now have Torres at leadoff, Posey catching, they’ve added Burrel and perhaps most importantly Bumgarner pitching every 5th day versus Wellermeyer. The Giants have significantly improved themselves in key areas since they last saw the Padres. When we think of Posey – we think offense. Well, I’m pretty certain that teams have taken notice of Posey’s athleticism and arm and flat out have reduced their stealing attempts. Their best starter, Latos, also went on the 15 day DL. If the Giants’ deadline deal improves them more than does the Padres, I think the Giants can do it.

And if not, there’s the Wild Card too. I wouldn’t bet against the NL West taking the honors for that.

Fireworks at the park tonight. Timmy looked like there was something wrong with him again. His fastball was down a few MPH, and his curveball didn't have any snap. It almost seemed like his changeup was the only pitch he had faith in.
I love that these guys have some heart again. I never count them out, even when down 4 runs. Watching the game now, hoping we can pull this out late.
I'm still not a believer in the Padres to run the table. I keep waiting for them to fade. Can they really stay in it all season with so many young guys, relying solely on good pitching, and defense?

I love this rivalry so much.

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