Game Thread #73: Giants (39-32) at Brewers (38-34)

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Even though they took the first series of the year from the Brewers, I certainly did not expect the Giants to have the better record at nearly the halfway point of the season. It's not like they aren't who we thought they were, either--they have the worst offense in the National League. They're being carried by a pitching staff that is, on an aggregate basis, the best in the league, but it's really only two guys propping those numbers up, wunderkind Tim Lincecum and tonight's starter (and frequent focus of BCB lust) Matt Cain.

Cain actually has a better ERA than Lincecum, though his peripherals don't match that, being merely good as opposed to otherworldly. Suffice to say, though, he's a hell of a #2 starter. "Hell of a #2 starter" is how most optimistic projections of Yovani Gallardo's career went, too, but the Mexicutioner (sorry, Joakim) has consistently teased us with his true ace upside this year. The Giants' Lilliputian offense will help him out, but he'll need to tap into that ace potential tonight to to break Cain.

Lineups, courtesy of Cash Kruth:

BREWERS
Craig Counsell 2B
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee 3B
Mike Cameron CF
Corey Hart RF
Jason Kendall C
Yovani Gallardo RHP

GIANTS
Aaron Rowand CF
Randy Winn LF
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Bengie Molina C
Travis Ishikawa 1B
Nate Schierholtz RF
Juan Uribe SS
Matt Downs 2B
Matt Cain RHP

The bullpen rest situation:

  • Carlos Villanueva pitched an inning (15 pitches) on Tuesday.
  • Todd Coffey pitched an inning (10 pitches) on Wednesday.
  • Trevor Hoffman pitched an inning (18 pitches) on Wednesday.
  • Mark DiFelice got one out (three pitches) yesterday.
  • Chris Narveson somehow blew the game yesterday on only 11 pitches.
  • Mitch Stetter got two outs (14 pitches) yesterday and pitched an inning (24 pitches) on Wednesday.
  • Chris Smith pitched two innings (29 pitches) yesterday.
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