The San Francisco Giants make it a point to beat LA. Everything they do can come back to beating LA. Starting Friday night, however - they turn their attention to a greater evil: The San Diego Padres. I woke up this morning feeling like I should have slept for about four days, but as clarity set in I realized there was more to this series than just recalling the fact that the Padres have had their way with the Giants this year.
The teams are separated by two and a half games in the standings. The Padres atop, and the Giants trailing just behind in the NL West. So this three game series is exactly enough of a difference maker for the Giants, coming off a series win over the Chicago Cubs.
The Giants have a one game edge over Philadelphia in the wild card standings, and at the very least will need to take one from the Padres. Easier said than done, as the Giants have lost seven of their last eight against the division rivals.
Clayton Richard takes the mount for San Diego on Friday night, and he's been sensational against the Giants thus far, going 2-0 in three starts and posting a 1.77 ERA. Thankfully for San Francisco, Richard isn't riding a wave of momentum, having given up five hits over just three innings against Arizona last Saturday.
Jonathan Sanchez is the Giants answer to Richard, and he's coming in with credentials almost as impressive except for part exactly where it counts: wins. Sanchez is 0-2 in his last three games against the Padres, 2.57 ERA and limited them at the plate to a 1.55 average.
Pat Burrell will hope to play as much of a factor in this series as he did against the Cubs, going 7-for-16 with three homeruns and nine RBI. Andres Torres got the win for the Giants in game four against the cubs, after they walked both Aubrey Huff and Buster Posey (with Aaron Rowand getting the initial single), knocking a high fly ball into center field and sending Rowand home.
The Padres are coming off a three-game seep of the Pirates, which has to mean they're feeling good. A sweep is a sweep, after all.
3 game series vs Padres @ AT&T Park
|Sat 08/14 - Mat Latos vs. Madison Bumgarner||1:10 PM PDT|
|Sun 08/15 - Wade LeBlanc vs. Tim Lincecum||1:05 PM PDT|