Friday, July 31, 2009

Potent Preview: Philadelphia Phillies (58-42) at San Francisco Giants (56-46)

Probable starters:
PHI: Cliff Lee (7-9) 3.14 ERA (Stats with Cleveland). SFO: Ryan Sadowski (2-3) 4.81 ERA.

I'm still on cloud nine from that victory yesterday. I don't know. To me, after suffering from that road trip last week, it was awesome to see the Giants bats come alive against a very good team like the Phillies. Granted, I took the game with a grain of salt. Rodrigo Lopez is basically turning into Ryan Sadowski on the hill for Philadelphia: he had a good first couple of starts, but his last two starts haven't been very good. In his previous start before he faced the Giants last night, he gave up ten hits and five or six runs (I don't know the exact number and I'm too lazy to check the exact number). Then last night, he got shelled. If anything, with the acquisition of Cliff Lee, I think Lopez will be either moved sometime today or sent to the bullpen. The Phillies have Happ, Moyer, Lee, Hamels and coming-soon Pedro in the rotation, so there won't really be a place for Lopez come next week.

Speaking of Sadowski, this is a make or break start for the kid. Personally, I want him out. I really want to see what Kevin Pucetas is made of and I just don't think we're going to see those two starts Sadowski had against St. Louis and Milwaukee. I think teams have enough scouting on him, and people know what to expect from him. Furthermore, Sadowski just doesn't have any confidence out there on the mound. He's just a wreck out there, and I just don't think the Giants can afford to have that on the mound while they are in the thick of the Wild Card race with Colorado.

To make matters worse, Sadowski will be facing a challenge on the mound in Cliff Lee. Seriously, could Sadowski have gotten a worse draw here? He's facing last year's Cy Young winner with this being a crucial start for him. Lee doesn't have dominating stuff, but he's exactly the kind of pitcher that troubles the Giants' aggressive mentality at the plate: throws a lot of junk, and gets a lot of guys to chase out of the zone. If Sadowski is going to have a good start, he will need run support. Sadowski has showed that if he has gotten run support he can be a very good pitcher. However, when he is pitching in a tight game this year, he simply doesn't have the confidence to get it done and he ends up trying to pinpoint too often instead of simply rearing back and throwing like any pitcher should.

I seriously don't know how the offense will do tonight. This game has all the makings of the offense hitting the tank, and Sadowski getting shelled. However, if Pablo can continue this hot-hitting trend at home, and if Eugenio Velez can continue to marvel his doubters with the bat, then I think the Giants can pull this one out. They have succeeded against good pitchers this year. They beat Chris Carpenter in St. Louis, and they mashed Jake Peavy earlier in the year.

Will they do that againt Lee? I don't know. But hey, let's cross our fingers, heh?

For game updates check out the SJ Mercury's Andrew Baggarly's Giants blog at Extra Baggs. For live game thread and chat, check out the McCovey Chronicles.

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