Get Ready It’s Time: Giants set to duel with the Intangibles in Arizona

The San Francisco Giants did not warn us June was going to be this tough. A 2-8 stretch in their last ten games has led to an overall June record of 7-9, prompting everybody to put the phrase “June Swoon” into full force. Like the Giants, the Arizona Diamondbacks haven’t had a winning June, going 8-10 within the month and are 3-7 in their last ten, so this really is a meeting of a couple of teams trying to garner up the heart to win some games this weekend. We know the Paul Goldschmidt vs. Tim Lincecum tales, although what makes the Diamondbacks more intriguing, and ultimately to me a more hated organization, are the tales like the Ryan Braun plunking that manager Kirk Gibson would like to move on from. The D-Backs are currently 14.0 games back of the still first-place Giants. From a swinging the bats perspective, when you look at the more mainstream statistics, even some of the pitching peripherals, the Giants and Diamondbacks are pretty familiar. The stats that are really close:

  • Slash line: .253/.313/.405 for Giants vs. .256/.308/.400 for D-Backs
  • BABIP: .300 (SF) vs. .301 (AZ)
  • wOBA: .315 vs. .312
  • Hitter BB/K: 0.35 vs. 0.31
  • Pitching K/9: 7.61 vs. 7.68
  • Pitching BB/9: 2.57 vs. 2.76
  • Pitching Ground ball rate: 47.3% vs. 47.5%

Now, their ERA, FIP, strand rate, bullpen WPA are nowhere close to each other, so you can guess what side of the ball these two teams differ. Their NL West records are only separated by four games, the Giants being 18-16 (should really not be that low, but I’m trying to forget that series), the DBacks at 16-20. Arizona has really gotten themselves into a hole with their performance against the Dodgers, 4-10. They’re under-.500 against every other division so that’s not helping, either. With that quick scouting report in mind, here’s a look at the pitching probables for this weekend.

Friday, 6:40 PM PST: Tim Lincecum vs. Josh Collmenter

Collmenter threw a shutout in the last start of May, which still confuses me a little. Started this season as a reliever, but not long after the beginning was put into the rotation. He has gone at least five innings in all but his first start, but has been getting hit in his June starts, averaging eight hits an outing, as well as two walks, and five swinging (and missing) strikes.

Saturday, 7:10 PM PST: Ryan Vogelsong vs. Brandon McCarthy

McCarthy has been getting hit to the same degree as Collmenter, and his high ERA is a product of the mostly awful first half to his season, though the twenty-one earned runs in the last five starts aren’t helping his cause. He has allowed four walks and four home runs total in his last three starts. Has induced double-digit ground balls in his last seven starts.

Sunday, 1:10 PM PST: Madison Bumgarner vs. Mike Bolsinger

In the six starts Bolsinger’s made, opponents are 5-1 against the Diamondbacks, but you can’t say Bolsinger isn’t forcing the game to be out of reach by the time the book on him for the day has been closed. One start in May and one start in June to speak of, so it’s tough to get a gauge on the consistency of the 15th round former Arkansas Razorback that will be on the mound against Bumgarner.

Hitters with above a .400 wOBA in the last seven days that play for Arizona: Paul Goldschmidt (.405), Chris Owings (.463), and in eight plate appearances, Roger Kieschnick (.488). Yup, that guy. Has three hits in his two games with the Diamondbacks, including a home run into the pool on Tuesday.

Hitters with above a .400 wOBA in the last seven days that play for San Francisco (not including Bumgarner in three plate appearances at 1.060): Hunter Pence (.453), Buster Posey (.452), and Pablo Sandoval (.420). Good guys to have hitting well, especially as they go in order in the lineup.

I expect the Giants to finally win a series again thanks to the Diamondbacks being their normal selves, and for the Giants to even add a game to their division lead (bold prediction, I know)! By the way, the Diamondbacks are also 13-27 at home. No other team in the Majors is more than five games under-.500 at home. Seems like a recipe for a slump-buster to me, but the games aren’t played on paper. Go Giants.

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