Tomorrow begins our three game series with the San Francisco Giants. The first match-up is really the only one I’m going to talk about here. After our crushing defeats in San Diego, most notably last night’s game against Jeff Suppan, (seriously Milwaukee?!?) things don’t get much easier going north heading into the Bay Area. Tomorrow’s match-up features the Brew Crew’s Zack Greinke (3-1, 3.94 ERA) against the Giants’ Tim Lincecum (2-2, 5.74 ERA). I’m not saying this first game will necessarily dictate how the series goes, but beating Lincecum, aka The Freak, at his own home isn’t the easiest thing to do. Greinke on the road had a very bad outing against the Cubs, giving up eight earned runs, but went on to beat the Cardinals on April 29th at Busch Stadium. This start is certainly the biggest of the three game series, so let’s delve into the match-up:
Zack Greinke this year has shown us that he still is a pretty dominant pitcher. Excusing the Cubs’ start, Greinke has only given up five runs in 26 innings (translates to an ERA of 1.73) while striking out 25. Originally, this match-up wasn’t supposed to happen. Ron Roenicke decided with our off day today that he would skip Marco Estrada’s turn in the rotation and give tomorrow’s start to Zack. What we have seen from Zack is that he’s still a solid force in the rotation and maybe has earned his spot as the number one guy going forward. Greinke’s starts after the Cubs series have been pretty decent and more Zack Greinke-ish (yes I just made that word up). While he didn’t get the win against the Dodgers, Zack went seven strong, only allowing two runs on four hits and striking out seven. His next outing against the Astros was a win, but barely as the bullpen nearly blew the game. Zack’s last appearance hopefully gives him enough confidence to pitch against another World Series championship team in the Giants. An interesting note here is that Greinke has never pitched against the Giants, yet alone pitched in AT&T Park. He has faced Melky Cabrera and Ryan Theriot, but that’s about it for the Giants’ lineup. The Giants’ lineup hasn’t been too tough in the past seasons so let’s hope Greinke pulls out a W here.
The season for Tim Lincecum did not exactly start off as planned. Lincecum had a rough season debut with the Astros, followed by two rough outings against the Rockies and Phillies. After his first three starts of the season, Lincecum’s ERA had ballooned to 10.56, something that never happens with him. His outing with the Mets proved much different than the three before hand and Lincecum got the win. His latest outing was a win over the Padres where he went eight strong innings, striking out five and only allowing an unearned run on three hits. What Lincecum has shown us though is something that resonates from seasons past, his control struggles at times. In his past two outings, Lincecum has gone a total of 13 innings with a total of nine walks. Lincecum has struggled with walking around four or five batters a game for the past two seasons and it looks like something that could translate the rest of this season. I don’t know if maybe his velocity is slipping at times or what, but I don’t think that’ll hurt him too badly, especially if he continues to strike out a high amount of batters, as he’s done before. Against the Brewers, Lincecum is a career 3-3 (facing the Brew Crew a total of eight times), with a 4.50 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 46 innings pitched.
My prediction for tomorrow:
Z. Greinke: 7 IP, 5 hits, 1 ER, 6 K’s, 2 BB’s, Win
T. Lincecum: 7.1 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, 8 K’s, 3 BB’s, Loss
Of course my prediction is a little biased, but with the lack of run support Lincecum gets, he gets those hard luck losses. On the other hand, the Brewers’ bats will not be silent. The humiliating loss to Jeff Suppan and just the Padres in the general, will not go unnoticed and unfortunately for Lincecum, I think tomorrow starts our turn around. Ryan Braun is batting .283 and is pretty much leading us in every offensive category except OPS which is held by Corey Hart at .971. Offensively for the Giants, everyday is a battle and with Pablo Sandoval hurting his left land, the offensive slackens tremedously. Buster Posey is leading the team in batting average at .342 and OPS at .975 while Sandoval leads in every other category. Also to note is Melky Cabrera has been doing fairly well with the Giants, so he’s a guy that Greinke needs to watch out for. Other than Cabrera and Posey, I think Greinke can take this lineup head on and win.
Also, Mat Gamel will have to have surgery on his torn ACL and will miss probably a good portion of this season. It’s an awful injury and we here at Reviewing the Brew wish Gamel nothing but the best and speedy recovery. In his place, Brooks Conrad will be called up before the series with the Giants begins. As always, go Brew Crew!
Until next time guys and gals.
Topics: Brooks Conrad, Buster Posey, Corey Hart, Jeff Suppan, Marco Estrada, Mat Gamel, Melky Cabrera, Milwaukee Brewers, Pablo Sandoval, Ron Roenicke, Ryan Braun, Ryan Theriot, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Tim Lincecum, Zack Greinke