A lot of the other blogs on the Sports Blogs network preview each and every series. I can't think of a good reason why a Giants fan shouldn't be able to write one of those, so I thought I'd give it a shot:
The Diamondbacks are hitting .267/.342/.431 (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) as a team, and are getting contributions from unlikely sources. Craig Counsell is hitting .364, and Jeff DaVanon is playing like he's been an All-Star his entire career.
Shawn Green has been woeful in the early part of the season, hitting .268/.307/.352. He has 15 strikeouts to only three walks which, even after just 20 games, is a bright red flag. Some players age like Steve Finley, others age like Dale Murphy. Green isn't done yet, but things are looking bleak.
My goodness, this bullpen is awful. Guys walking people, tossing up meatballs for the convenience of the opposing hitters, more walks...it's tough to watch. Little known fact: If every earned run given up by the Giants bullpen were magically transformed into Legos, and those Legos were lined up end to end on King Street, stretching toward the Embarcadero, the Giants bullpen would still suck.
The Diamondbacks have had a rough time with their starting staff, as only Brandon Webb has an ERA under 5.00. Miguel Batista, Claudio Vargas, and Orlando Hernandez have all pitched much worse than their 6-4 combined record would indicate. Russ Ortiz might be removed from the rotation if he refuses a DL assignment. That's the funny thing about baseball. Who could have predicted that contract wasn't going to work out?
I mean, really. Look at this bullpen, one player at a time. The only pitcher with an ERA under 5.00 is Kevin Correia. Yes, I'm aware of Armando Benitez's sterling "0.00" mark, but that certainly isn't indicative of how he's pitched, especially with inherited runners. The rest of the numbers? 5.14, 5.40, 5.59, 6.97, 7.84, 34.71. And Barry Bonds is the one undergoing a federal investigation? How did the bullpen get to be so terrible? I want answers! ANSWERS, DO YOU HEAR ME?
The Diamondbacks have received a lot of help from their bench. Damion Easley has been getting on base at a fantastic rate, and Tony Clark and Chris Snyder have supplied a little pop in the early part of the season.
THE BULLPENOCALYPSE IS UPON US. REPENT, YE SINNERS, OR BE CAST INTO A LAKE OF BILE AND FLAMES; WHERE BASEBALLS RAIN UPON YOUR HEAD AMIDST THE GNASHING OF TEETH AND SCREAMS OF THE TORMENTED. THE END IS NIGH, AND IT CLUTCHES A ROSIN BAG! AIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!
The bullpen has been a strength for the Diamondbacks so far. Other than the home run to Mark Sweeney, closer Jose Valverde has been untouchable. Luis Vizcaino and Brandon Lyon have allowed just three runs between them, and spring addition Juan Cruz has also been stingy.
The Giants have had their share of bullpen struggles, but we're all pulling for them down at the station.
Hmm. Perhaps a Giantscentric series preview format would be prone to knee-jerk reactions, gross embellishments, and painful overreacting. I was able to avoid all of that this time, but I might not be able to exhibit as much self-control with the next preview. Series predictions are welcome in the comments section.