The San Francisco Giants, who enter Friday with a record of 15-16, will make their way to Chase Field this weekend for a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. For the D-backs, a team that has struggled mightily the last two weeks, this is a solid opportunity to gain some ground on a National League West foe.
The Giants will be without Pablo Sandoval for the next few weeks due to a wrist injury. In his absence it has been guys like catcher Buster Posey (.304/.355/.471) and outfielder Melky Cabrera (.315/.371/.449) stepping up in a big way. As a team, San Francisco ranks 23rd overall in runs scored. They do not to a ton of base stealing, ranking in the middle of the pack in terms of successful stolen base attempts.
The Giants rely heavily on their strong pitching staff to carry them. Closer Brian Wilson is out for the season, but their bullpen still sits among the best in the game. The D-backs will catch a break in the series by missing Tim Lincecum's turn in the rotation, but they'll still face a tough trio.
Start Times and Probable Pitchers:
Game one of the series, which is set for 6:40 p.m. from Chase Field, will feature young Patrick Corbin against ace-in-the-making Madison Bumgarner. The young lefty has been phenomenal this season, going 5-1 with an ERA of 2.31.
Game two will set Matt Cain (1-2, 2.38 ERA) against Trevor Cahill (2-3, 3.26 ERA). This is the best matchup on paper in the series, and first pitch is set for 5:10 p.m.
The series finale on Sunday afternoon (1:10 p.m.) will face veteran southpaws Joe Saunders (2-2, 2.50 ERA) against Barry Zito (1-1, 2.21 ERA). Zito has been a huge surprise for the Giants this season, although his xFIP (read more here; think of it as a better measure of ERA) of 5.16 suggests he's been very lucky thus far in 2012.
For more on the Diamondbacks and their upcoming series, be sure to check out AZ Snake Pit.