Giants/Brewers Series Preview

Remember when the Giants faced the Brewers in the first series of the season? And the Giants took two of three, and we were all, "Maybe this team isn't so bad after all?" And then the Giants lost every game on their next road trip, and we were all, "This team is so bad after all." And then the Giants started winning, and we were all, "Maybe this team isn't so bad after all?" And then the Giants scored .5 runs on a road trip through San Diego and Seattle, and we were all, "This team is awful." And then the Giants started winning, even sweeping the A's in the first interleague series, and we were all, "Maybe this team isn't so bad after all." And then the Angels swept the Giants at Mays Field, and we were all, "This team makes my liver hurt." And then the Giants swept the Rangers and took another series from the A's? I remember that last one as if it were yesterday.

Point being, it seems like the Giants have played seventeen distinct seasons since the last time they played the Brewers. Heck, the last time these two teams met, everyone was wondering if Tim Lincecum was alright. Whoa, what's up with Tim? Fastball velocity, Verducci Effect, and sophomore slump, all rolled into one foul-tasting enchilada! He couldn't get out of the fourth inning against the Brewers! Everybody panic!

When the Brewers came around the first time, I was impressed with their offense, but to date the offense is just a shade under the league average. It's a very imbalanced offense, with Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder whomping on everyone, and Jason Kendall and Bill Hall hitting like Jason Kendall and Bill Hall. J.J. Hardy is having a rough season, and, man, I wish Jonathan Sanchez were having a good season so the Brewers would consider a swap. Of course, that would mean that Bochy would move Renteria to third and Sandoval to second, but that's a post for another time.

Hitter to watch:

Did you know that Craig Counsell has only hit .232/.320/.267 against the Giants over his career? Seriously. I would have guessed .400/.500/.500. Scrappy, OBP-dependent gritmasters always kill the Giants. At least, I thought they did. Maybe I just hate the whole sub-genre of scrappy, OBP-dependent gritmasters, and I assume that hate is rationally based on members of that sub-genre destroying my favorite team.

David Eckstein's career numbers against the Giants: .231/.279/.298. I...words fail. Scrappy, OBP-dependent gritmasters hit worse against the Giants than they do against the rest of baseball. At least, the two most annoying examples from recent history do.

Of course, you see what I've done. The scrappy, OBP-dependent gritmasters previously existed as quantum superpositions, simultaneously existing as players who killed the Giants at the same time they were ineffective against the Giants. By peeking under the hood and observing the statistics, I've forced the scrappy, OBP-dependent gritmasters into a definite state -- almost certainly, that state is one in which scrappy, OBP-dependent gritmasters will murder the Giants for the next decade. I can't apologize enough. I'm kind of embarrassed.

So Craig Counsell's upcoming four-triple game is brought to you by McCovey Chronicles. And Erwin Schrödinger. He gets most of the blame for inventing physics, or something.

Pitcher to watch:

I always wonder if Brian Sabean did a "shadow draft" after intentionally punting the 2004 draft pick for Michael Tucker. Part of me wants to think that there's a spiral-bound notebook somewhere filled with doodles, aborted diary entries, and something that reads "1. Dustin Pedroia 2. Yovani Gallardo 3. Hunter Pence", and that's what's behind the Giants newfound commitment to player development.

Gallardo is one of the nastiest pitchers in the game, with a goofy fastball/curve combo. He does have a weakness, though: he struggles against teams that don't chase pitches outside the strike zone. Ahem. So, yeah. Pitcher's duel! This should be a fine opportunity for Cain to showcase himself for his future team.

Prediction:

After the apocalypse, the sausages from the sausage race will initially band together to survive. When things move from desperate to unsustainable, the unthinkable happens: brother eats brother to survive. Only the bratwurst will remain, and his final days will be filled with regret.

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