Last year at the this time San Francisco Giants were trying to claw their way atop the division against the leading San Diego Padres. But this year they find themselves in an opposite role as the Arizona Diamondbacks attempt to reach the pinnacle of the NL West over the Giants, starting Monday at AT&T Park.
Matt Cain (9-5 2.91 ERA) will get the ball for the first game of this three game set in China Basin, looking to keep his All-Star form intact in the dog days of summer. Cain had one of the lowest ERA's in baseball in June at 1.65, and followed up with another decent mark in July of 2.53. Cain had a 5-3 record and a 2.71 ERA at AT&T Park over the last few months, and is 3-0 with a 3.54 ERA against Arizona already this season.
Arizona will send out Ian Kennedy (12-3 3.22 ERA) who has won four decisions is a row along with at least six innings pitched in nine of his last 10 starts. Kennedy has had some tough luck with the Black and Orange though, scoring two no-decisions against the Giants despite 16 innings pitched without allowing a single earned run. With Cain's stellar outings as of late, the amount of runs the Giants score at home as is, and their track record with Kennedy this season, we might have another pitcher's duel on our hands (who would'a thought).
The Giants will also have the chance to showcase their newest additions to the Club in front of the home crowd for the first time this season as Carlos Beltran and Orlando Cabrera will make their AT&T debuts with the defending champs. Hope they like sold out crowds screaming at the top of their lungs, cause that's what they're going to get.
First pitch is set for 7:15 pm PT this evening with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.