The San Francisco Giants are fresh off their first three-game losing streak of the season, their first negative sweep of the season, and their first dropped series since May 3-5. And before running it back for four games with the Los Angeles Dodgers team that just inflicted that damage, they get a brief interlude to recover and get back to their winning ways.
Is two games against the Arizona Diamondbacks enough for the Giants to wash the taste of Dodger dominance out of their mouths? Let’s hope. The DBacks are struggling something fierce.
Who: San Francisco Giants vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Where: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
When: Tuesday (6:40 p.m.) and Wednesday (6:40 p.m.)
National broadcasts: None
Where they stand
San Francisco Giants
Record: 28-19, 3rd in the NL West
Run differential: +47, 3rd in the NL
Postseason standing: 2nd Wild Card, 1 game behind 1st Wild Card, 1.5 games behind 1st in NL West
Momentum: 3-game losing streak, 5-5 in their last 10 games
Record: 18-30, 5th in the NL West
Run differential: -41, 14th in the NL
Postseason standing: 10.5 games out of the Wild Card
Momentum: 8-game losing streak, 1-9 in their last 10 games
Three Giants to watch
Brandon Belt: Belt was just starting to find his groove when an injury sidelined him for nearly a week. He returned for two games against the Dodgers, but, like literally everyone else on the team, couldn’t find much rhythm.
This series is right up his alley. The Giants are scheduled to face a pair of right-handed pitchers — Corbin Martin and Merrill Kelly — who both have a history of giving up a lot of walks and a good amount of hard contact and dingers. Add in a nice park for hitters, and Belt should be able to do some damage.
Kevin Gausman: The Giants are coming off one of the only times all season that one of their starting pitchers got truly knocked around. And Gausman will serve as the first chance to get the pitchers back on the right track. He’s not only been the Giants best pitcher this season, but one of the best pitchers in all of baseball.
The bullpen: If things go as they should, the Giants should hand a lead to their bullpen on one or both days. Arizona is not a good offensive team, but it’s a dangerous ballpark. Can the Giants bullpen start to find a groove, and can Gabe Kapler press the right buttons to maximize the struggling unit?
Three DBacks to watch
Carson Kelly: Kelly is one of the only catchers in baseball this year who can hold a candle to what Buster Posey is doing. The righty is on the Posey diet of getting plenty of rest — he has only 27 more plate appearances than backup Stephen Vogt, and they’ve appeared in the same number of games — and the results have been stellar, as he’s slashing .338/.491/.613, with just about 1.5 walks for every strikeout.
Corbin Martin: Martin is one of the Diamondbacks top prospects but, as is often the case with players who have very limited MLB experience, he hasn’t been able to parlay that into success at the highest level yet. He struggled in his debut season in 2019, when he allowed 8 home runs, 12 walks, and 12 earned runs in just 19.1 innings. He didn’t pitch at the MLB level in the bizarro 2020 season, and just returned to Arizona’s rotation due to some injuries. He’s only made one start this year, and it didn’t go well. On paper, the Giants have a huge pitching advantage in the series opener when he opposes Gausman.
Madison Bumgarner: Bumgarner isn’t going to appear in this series unless he gets a chance to pinch hit — and you know he’ll be campaigning for it — but this Arizona team has a 70-grade boredom tool and you know the cameras will pan to MadBum in the dugout at least five times per game, so ... there you go.
Who wins the series?
This poll is closed
Giants get swept