With the San Francisco Giants fresh off a sweep at home at the hands of the Miami Marlins, the last thing they should want to see is the reigning NL MVP showing up at AT&T Park in their next series. But Ryan Braun and the Milwaukee Brewers come to town limping a bit themselves, looking for better luck on their west coast road trip during a three game set at McCovey Cove.
Questions abound for the Giants at the moment. Pablo Sandoval is out for 4-6 weeks with a broken hamate bone, their lineup is now riddled with AAA call-ups and young whipper sanppers struggling at the dish and in the field. They're averaging more than and error a game, currently sitting second to worst in MLB with 28 in 25 games. They're also just 9-48 (.186) with RISP over their last six games, which they've lost four of. But, they aren't dead in the water by any means.
Angel Pagan extended his league leading hit streak to 17 straight, while Gregor Blanco and Brandon Belt have been getting hot at the plate as of late as well. Giants starting pitchers are getting it together as well, having kept opposing teams to three runs or fewer in 14 of their last 15 outings.
As for Milwaukee, they're 4-6 in their last 10 games, including back-to-back shutouts at the hands of the the San Diego Padres. That wasn't all they lost as first baseman Mat Gamel tore his ACL in his right knee while attempting a foul ball catch at Petco Park, meaning the Giants will likely see a lot of former Giant Travis Ishikawa at first. Ryan Braun is also suffering from some tightness in his Achilles, which may slow him down this series a bit. Though he did just hit three homers in one game at Petco Park so...
San Francisco will also see another 'friendly face' on the Brew Crew as Brooks Conrad was recalled from AAA Nashville, the man now notorious with Giants fans for his 'help' in their NLDS series victory over the Braves in 2012.
Tim Lincecum (2-2, 5.74) takes the bump Friday night, but will have his hands full against right-hander Zack Greinke (3-1, 3.94) in a showdown between the NL and AL Cy Young winners of 2009. Both enter with back-to-back wins in their last two starts, each holding their opponents to one run their last time out. First pitch is at 7:15 p.m. PT. with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.
Red hot Madison Bumgarner (4-1, 2.53) opposes Randy Wolf (2-2, 6.84) in a battle of the lefties on Saturday. Bumgarner has won his last four in a row, while Wolf has gotten the W in his last two starts. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. PT with coverage on FOX and KNBR 680 AM.
Righties Matt Cain (1-2, 2.35) and Shaun Marcum (1-1, 3.19) will close out the series Sunday. Cain has pitched well but lost his last two outings in a row, while Marcum hasn't had a decision since April 14, a loss to the Braves. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.
One of these teams has to stop the bleeding. Hopefully the Giants can find some band-aids this weekend.
For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles. For the Brewers side of the story, check out Brew Crew Ball.