Series Preview: Beat LA…Please

BEAT LA (Photo: Jill Clardy/Flickr)

Tonight marks the first game in the season between storied rivals.

The Giants make their way to Dodger Stadium and play a three game series against, obviously, the Dodgers.

On the last series of the homestand, the Giants managed to take the series from the Brewers. But now, the probable starters don’t seem as menacing as it could be:

Barry Zito vs. Ted Lilly
Ryan Vogelsong vs. Clayton Kershaw
Tim Lincecum vs. Chad Billingsley

Again, not menacing.

If Perfectly Acceptable Zito shows up tonight, then all the better. But Zitonian Zito showed up last time around, going 3 2/3 innings and walking seven. SEVEN. That’s not what you want going up against a red-hot Dodgers team who, apparently, cannot find ways to lose ground in the NL West race.

But, hey, Zito’s numbers can’t look all that bad, can it? Let’s look at his ERA/FIP/xFIP.

1.76/4.52/5.20

/takes glasses off

//stares at computer screen

///flips table and drops mic

But, hey, SIERA of 5.29!

Uh. Welp. Let’s see who else the Giants have going for them.

Ryan Vogelsong! Whose … last start wasn’t pleasant to be at, despite the fact that he did manage to go seven innings in the end. Threw too many pitches in the first few innings to even comprehend. Oh, and the Marlins won that game. That was fun.

Oh, and there’s Tim Lincecum.

Man, remember that time when Timmy was awesome and you could count on him to strike people out and go deep into the game? That was nice.

But now there’s the Timmy of late. The Timmy of the 5.68/3.40/3.65 line. The Timmy with the highest BB/9 in his career so far (4.83; the previous high BB/9 was in his rookie year and it was 4.00).

No one likes this Timmy, of course. I mean, yeah, he’s shown some improvement in his last starts, but the uncertainty of said starts is disconcerting. Especially with the walking launch pad that is Matt Kemp and his .429 ISO in the Dodgers’ lineup.

Curses.

Of course, the Dodgers are 5-5 in their last ten games. If they regress to their offseason expectations, then I’m saying there might be a chance. But I wouldn’t count on it. Unless the Giants throw their absolute worst lineup out there and it works like a reverse jinx.

Or if Bruce Bochy decides to exploit a loophole in the rulebook again. That might be fun.

Because I sure as hell don’t want to see Kemp hitting lasers off any Giants pitcher.

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