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Series Preview: Giants at Diamondbacks

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The Diamondbacks are hitting a collective .226/.294/.389. The Giants are hitting a combined .236/.299/.345.

Fight! Fight! Fight!

While almost everyone expected the Giants to struggle offensively, the Diamondbacks have young talent at just about every position, and that young talent is going to absolutely explode some day. Any day now. Yep. They'll score runs in bunches at some point.

Diary of a Diamondbacks fan:

March 13, 2008 - Last year we won the division even though we were outscored. This year, our young hitters will come into their own, and the NL West will crumble before us. Ha.

...

October 3, 2008 - Uh, next year.

...

March 13, 2009 - This is it! KA-BOOOOM! Offensive kersplosion! Medic, please help this poor pitcher! He has jagged pieces of run shrapnel embedded in his heart!

...

April 21, 2009 - Chris Young used his ample tools to build a nice birdhouse today. I believe a family of finches has already moved in. They're adorable. Also, Young waved through eight high fastballs today, which is strange since he only had one plate appearance.

But here's an analogy for the journalism fans in here: If the Giants go through the season hitting a combined .236/.299/.345, that's "dog bites man." The Diamondbacks doing the same is "man bites dog." The Giants' middle of the order would be "man bites hot dog, and swings at the wrapper," but that's another post entirely. The point is, though, that the Diamondbacks are going to score runs. Maybe. Any day now. They should be closer to the league average than the Giants, at least.

With Brandon Webb injured, the Diamondbacks only have one of the best pitchers in baseball (Dan Haren) active instead of two. Haren won't pitch in this series, which is good. But note the NL-to-Giants conversion chart:

is to a normal team is to the Giants
Doug Davis Doug Davis Cole Hamels
Max Scherzer Max Scherzer Dwight Gooden, 1985
Jon Garland Jon Garland Greg Maddux, 1995

So the Giants have a tough task ahead of them this series, as they're facing Hamels, vintage Gooden, and vintage Maddux. I'd predict three losses, but Giants are countering with Tim Lincecum, Randy Johnson, and Matt Cain. Not quite as good of a group, sure, but the team has a fighting chance in all of the games.

Who's hot for the Diamondbacks

  • Reliever Juan Gutierrez is striking out a ton while walking hardly anybody.
  • Doug Davis has had a fine start to the season
  • Felipe Lopez ended last season hitting .385/.426/.538 over his last 169 at-bats, and he's hitting .361/.409/.557 over his first 66 at-bats with the Diamondbacks

Who's cold:

  • Justin Upton is hitting a Bocockian .167/.250/.222
  • Diamondbacks catchers have combined for six hits in 55 plate appearances.
  • Jon Garland is getting hit, and he's also walking a ton of batters. Not a good combo.

My prediction for the series: Three games, 45 combined runs. Why? Just because, man. Just because. Baseball's a hell of a game.