San Francisco Giants vs. San Diego Padres Series Preview

Brian BodenContributor IApril 10, 2009

SAN DIEGO - SEPTEMBER 14:  Starting Pitcher Barry Zito #75 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the San Diego Padres during their MLB Game on September 14, 2007 at Petco Park in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

The first game of this series between the 2-1 San Francisco Giants and the 2-2 San Diego Padres begins today in San Diego. 

The Giants are coming into this series with hot bats where they scored nineteen runs and racked up 30 hits in the three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers.  The hottest player so far is Aaron Rowand who is batting .545 with a home run and four RBI.

The Padres are coming into this series after splitting four games with the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The Padres so far have been riding high on their pitching because in their four games they only gave up fourteen runs.  Against this hot offense for the Giants their pitching will have to continue their success since the Padres offense has only scored eleven runs.

Pitching Matchup 4/10:

Barry Zito vs. Shawn Hill

Barry Zito is coming off a 10-17 season in 2008.  Zito, who had a 5.15 ERA in '08, is hoping to start off this season much better than he did last year where he lost his first eight decisions.

If Zito can come right out of the gate and pitch the way in did last September where he compiled a 2-1 record and a 3.15 ERA, he has the ability to put the numbers he did in Oakland.

Hill is in his first year with the Pads where and started his career with the Montreal Expos.  In his four-year career in Montreal/Washington he had made 37 starts and has a career record of 7-15. 

Most Intriguing Matchup:

Barry Zito vs. Adrian Gonzalez

Adrian Gonzalez has six career hits in 22 at bats with only one RBI against Zito in his career.  If Zito can continue his success against the big left-handed batter he should do fine against this weaker offense for the Padres.

Pitching Matchup 4/11:

Jonathan Sanchez vs. Jake Peavy

Jonathan Sanchez in his second season in the starting rotation where he finished the 2008 season with a 9-12 record.  This season he is looking to make even greater strides than he did after his 2007 campaign with the club where he mostly came out of the bullpen.  

With Sanchez's great strikeout ability and great movement he brings great depth to the back end of the Giants' potent rotation.

Jake Peavy will be making his second start of the year. In his opening day start he had a quality outing pitching seven innings and giving up three earned runs in a loss to the Dodgers. 

Peavy is coming off a 10-11 and a 2.85 ERA season with the Padres last season.  He is one of the best pitchers in the MLB so if he can get some run support this season he can be a dominating pitcher in the division.

Most Intriguing Matchup:

Jake Peavy vs. Bengie Molina

Peavy has dominated Bengie Molina in their career appearances where Molina only has one hit in 12 at bats.

Pitching Matchup 4/12:

Tim Lincecum vs. Chris Young

Tim Lincecum will be making his second start of the season where he would love to improve upon his first start.  In that outing he only pitched three innings and gave up three runs against the Milwaukee Brewers. 

Lincecum is hoping for the same type of success this year against the Padres as he did last season where he went 3-0 with a .62 ERA.

Chris Young will also be making his second start of the season.  In his first outing he beat the Dodgers pitching six innings and only giving up two runs.  His 2008 season was shortened by injuries where he only made 18 starts but finished with a winning record of 9-8. 

If he can stay healthy this season, he and Peavy can be a great 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation.

Most Intriguing Matchup:

Tim Lincecum vs. Kevin Kouzmanoff

Not many of these Padres batters have had great success against this tough right hander. But Kevin Kouzmanoff has faired well against him with eight career hits in 23 at bats.  If the top of the order for the Padres can get some base runners againts Lincecum, Kouzmanoff definitely has the ability to knock them in.