Friday, July 6, 2012

Lineup, Series Preview, Notes & News

The Giants will send LHP Barry Zito (6-6, 3.84 ERA) to match up against LHP Erik Bedard (4-9, 4.57) tonight. Zito has had some issue throwing strikes, but his only outing against Pittsburgh was a 4-3 win back in April. He's only given up a run in his last two starts, but has walked nine in 13 frames. Bedard has hit a rough patch since June. He's been smacked around in four of his last six outings and only gone six innings in three of the games. Control and finishing at-bats has been his main problem; he's been falling behind and going deep in counts. The game begins at 7:05 and will be aired by Root Sports.

The Lineup: Josh Harrison SS, Drew Sutton RF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Casey McGehee 1B, Neil Walker 2B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Rod Barajas C, Gorkys Hernandez LF, Erik Bedard P.

Red hot Garrett Jones gets to cool off in the dugout against a lefty while Barajas is scheduled to start again; we'll see if he makes it to the opening pitch tonight. Gorkys gets a start in left.

Preview: The matchups favor the Bucs this series. Pirate aces James McDonald/AJ Burnett work this weekend, and Matt Cain/Madison Bumgarner miss the set for the G-Men. On top of that, San Fran was just swept by the Nats, though at 19-22 they're not a terrible road club. Expect the Bay Boys to try to manufacture some offense. The Giants enter the series third in the NL in stolen bases with 38 while the Bucs toss out swipers once every lunar cycle. And at 45-37, the Giants should be a good measuring stick of where the Pirates stand competitively.

Tomorrow's game should be the series highlight when Ryan Vogelsong faces James McDonald, both by-passed but deserving of All-Star recognition. There should be some good pitching all around even w/o the Giants aces; oddly enough, only Tim Lincecum has an ERA that isn't sub-4.00 of all the scheduled starters. Let's hope his regression doesn't begin here.

  • The White Sox claimed LHP Daniel Moskos, who the Pirates had recently DFA'ed. 
  • Grant Brisbee of The McCovey Chronicles (thanks to Pat Lackey at WHYGAVS) writes that "Just about every one of the best things the Giants have experienced over the last two decades had to do with the Pirates" in his series preview.
  • Jonah Keri of Grantland (thanks again to Pat Lackey of WHYGAVS) crunches the numbers and discovered that the busiest GM in the trade bazaar is Neal Huntington. Keri concludes that "There's a very real chance the Pirates get someone significantly more interesting than Derrek Lee this time around."
  • Fifteen K's in his last 15 IP? No wonder Karstens is spelled with a capital K!
  • SS Alen Hanson took the top spot in this week's Baseball America "Prospect Hot Sheet." Indy LHP Jeff Locke also got a mention in the "In The Team Photo" segment. BA says of Hanson "Sano is still the better prospect, (but) Hanson has narrowed the gap considerably and has a broader set of skills." As for Locke, the staff writes "...he's well on his way to a career as a mid-rotation starter for the Pirates." 
  • While Hanson has quite deservedly gotten most of the lower-level prospect love this year, JJ Cooper of Baseball America said of Hanson's running mate, CF Gregory Polanco "Definitely a name to watch. If we had gone 100 deep (it was a Top Fifty Q&A) he would have been on the list." In a couple or three years, Rene Gayo's guys may have as much impact on the Pirates as the draft classes.

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