Wednesday’s Pre-Gamer: Giants looking to avoid second three-game losing streak of 2014

The San Francisco Giants have lost consecutive games for the first time since May 16th-17th and are looking to avoid their second three-game losing streak of the season, the last coming April 17th-19th (the Giants don’t like playing on the 17th, evidently) when they lost the finale against the Dodgers and lost the first two against the Padres. To make matters slightly worse in this still very early stage of the divisional race, the Dodgers have won on both days the Giants lost to the Nationals. Tonight, it will be up to Matt Cain to shut down the Nationals and Tanner Roark will hope to continue the streak of holding the Giants under two runs. Here are the lineups for the two clubs tonight, starting with the A.J. Ramos-less Nats:

As beat writer Henry Schulman noted, Brandon Crawford gets a try at the six spot tonight:

Tanner Roark isn’t going to wow you with velocity, but he’s been able to produce some solid results for the Nationals so far, with only two poor starts to speak of:

Date Opp Inngs DR IP H ER BB SO HR HBP ERA BF Pit Str StL StS GB
Apr 3 @ NYM GS-6 99 6.0 6 2 3 5 0 0 3.00 26 95 62 16 5 4
Apr 11 @ ATL GS-5 7 4.2 6 5 1 3 1 3 5.91 21 86 49 14 4 5
Apr 16 @ MIA GS-7 4 6.1 7 3 2 5 1 0 5.29 28 98 62 23 7 10
Apr 21 LAA GS-7 4 6.2 7 0 2 5 0 0 3.80 28 105 63 20 7 12
Apr 26 SDP SHO 4 9.0 3 0 1 8 0 0 2.76 31 105 73 21 12 15
May 3 @ PHI GS-5 6 4.0 7 7 1 5 2 0 4.17 20 85 52 17 13 7
May 10 @ OAK GS-8 6 7.2 2 1 0 5 1 0 3.65 26 95 62 22 7 6
May 16 NYM GS-5 5 5.0 4 2 2 4 0 0 3.65 21 87 62 23 9 6
May 21 CIN GS-6 4 6.0 6 1 3 2 0 0 3.42 27 88 54 14 7 14
May 26 MIA GS-7 4 7.0 5 3 1 4 1 1 3.47 26 95 62 15 2 9
Jun 1 TEX GS-7 5 7.0 7 1 2 4 1 0 3.25 27 104 67 21 5 14
Jun 6 @ SDP GS-8 4 8.0 3 0 0 11 0 0 2.91 29 107 77 27 14 10
77.1 63 25 18 61 7 4 2.91 310
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/11/2014.

I think he wants to pitch against the Padres more often. About 58% of Roark’s pitches are sinkers, mixing his secondary pitches fairly evenly, which can help us understand how he might keep hitters guessing. He will throw his changeup rarely to RHH and the slider rarely to LHH. Still, his slider has been the most punished pitch so far in terms of batting average against and slugging percentage against:

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 3.36.41 PM

He shows nearly the same distribution when there are two strikes, which makes predicting Roark a little difficult. His fastballs will sit low 90’s, change and slider in the low-mid 80’s, and the curve sits mid-70’s.

Matt Cain just came off of the DL and performed well against the Mets, whom the Giants ended up sweeping.

Date Opp Inngs DR IP H ER BB SO HR HBP ERA BF Pit Str StL StS GB
Apr 1 @ ARI GS-5 99 5.0 7 2 2 2 0 0 3.60 23 99 57 17 5 12
Apr 6 @ LAD GS-6 4 6.0 6 5 0 3 3 0 5.73 24 81 58 14 7 9
Apr 12 COL GS-7 5 7.0 4 1 3 8 0 0 4.00 28 116 73 20 12 8
Apr 18 @ SDP GS-7 5 7.0 4 0 2 8 0 0 2.88 26 104 70 17 16 8
Apr 23 @ COL GS-7 4 6.0 10 7 3 4 2 0 4.35 30 104 64 15 11 9
May 10 @ LAD GS-6 16 5.0 3 0 4 4 0 1 3.75 21 92 53 12 6 4
May 15 MIA GS-8 4 7.2 6 4 3 7 2 0 3.92 33 107 65 18 13 9
May 21 @ COL GS-3 5 3.0 0 0 0 3 0 1 3.66 10 36 24 9 2 4
Jun 6 NYM GS-7 15 7.0 3 2 1 3 1 0 3.52 23 96 57 19 3 10
53.2 43 21 18 42 8 2 3.52 218
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/11/2014.

Matt Cain hasn’t been 100% this year, so I’m just looking forward to him finishing consecutive starts. Here’s how his pitches have done this year:

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 3.36.52 PM

Eight homers allowed in 53.2 innings pitched, not a good ratio overall. Broadcast analyst Mike Krukow tells his audience that one home run allowed for every ten innings is acceptable. Three of them have come after Cain cut his finger.

Other news from around the league:

Chad Billingsley is being shut down as he was rehabbing.

Hanley Ramirez was a late scratch from the Dodgers-Reds game tonight with right AC joint irritation.

David Huff, DFA’d by the Giants, has been acquired by the Yankees for cash, the team the Giants acquired him from.

Tonight’s game begins at 7:15 PM PST. Thursday’s finale will begin at 12:35 PM PST, so expect Hector Sanchez to be catching and not Buster Posey.

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