There's a reason this weekend's series against the San Francisco Giants has earned the highest tier in the new Arizona Diamondbacks' variable ticket pricing plan. They are not only the reigning World Champions, but they also feature one of the top pitch rotations in all of baseball (Philly be damned). Fortunately, the Diamondbacks won't see their freaky ace, Tim Lincecum (1-1, 1.86) or Mr. Two, Jonathan Sanchez (1-1, 3.24).
Avoiding Lincecum and Sanchez doesn't let the D-backs off the hook by any means. They get Matt Cain in the series opener at Chase on Friday and all he's done is throw 13 innings of two-run baseball this season (1.38). After that though, things could get a bit easier.
Former stud, turned high-priced pitching enigma Barry Zito (0-1, 5.56) goes on Saturday. Sunday the Giants will roll out behind one of last summer's surprise stories, Madison Bumgarner. Bummy is off to a rocky start this season with an 0-2 record and ERA of 9.0. Bummer.
The D-backs counter the Giants three through five pitchers with their two through four guys. Seems like a fair handicap for the NL West's worst team in 2010.
Daniel Hudson will take the mound on Friday (0-2, 3.46), followed by Joe Saunders (0-1, 6.00) and Barry Enright (0-1, 6.00).
For more on this fun series, check out AZ Snakepit's fine preview:
Series Preview #5: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Francisco Giants - AZ Snake Pit
The 2010 Giants were a nice story. There, I said it.
Even though they're our division rivals, it was kinda cool to see them catch fire from out of nowhere partway through the season, make the playoffs and win the World Series for the first time since the team moved to San Francisco. The fact that they did it without a ton of stars, and with a team filled with zany "characters" (baseball code for white guys with weird facial hair who dance and spit and rub dirt in weird places while playing) instead just made the whole thing more fun.
Overall, it caused a lot of people to take West-Coast baseball in general (and the NL West in particular) a lot more seriously than they did before, which is a good thing. And hey, at least it wasn't the Yankees again.
The series opener starts at 6:40 p.m. and will be broadcast locally on Fox Sports Arizona. AZ Snakepit will have a lively game thread for those online viewers.