Melky Cabrera and Buster Posey are both out tonight. Posey is taking his usually scheduled off day with Barry Zito on the mound, and Melky Cabrera is still nursing a tight hamstring injury that he suffered while stealing second base yesterday in San Diego. With those two out of the lineup, I almost threw up after scanning the Giants lineup for tonight.
So what will the Giants do without their two best hitters in the lineup?
Play small ball. Plain and simple. I mean Angel Pagan is batting third, what more can I say? It would be a plesant surprise if Gregor Blanco could continue to hit for power, but that’s a long shot considering his track record.
Also, the bottom of the lineup must come through tonight for the Giants if they want to have any hope of winning. I’m talking about Joaquin Arias, Nate Schierholtz, and Brandon Crawford. Schierholtz has the tendency to get hot and have those big 4-4 days, and today is a day they need him to have one of those performances.
Barry Zito has turned back the clock in 2012 and revitalized himself as a legitimate starter, but tonight will be a test against a hungry Rangers lineup who only scored four runs in four games against the A’s this week.
Zito has to keep the ball down to the right handed power bats because his 85 mile per hour fastball isn’t going to cut it tonight if he isn’t locating it effectively. And even though this game isn’t in Texas where every fly ball seems to fly out of the stadium, Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz, and Adrian Beltre all have the power to hit it out of the spacious AT&T Park, so let’s fall back on that excuse or whatever you want to call it.
Here are some notes:
—The Giants are 13-5 against southpaws.
— The Giants are 14-2 against the Rangers at AT&T Park
— Barry Zito has a sub 3.00 ERA (2.98)
— Nate Schierholtz is the only starting Giant who was on the World Series roster back in 2010.
—The Rangers have the best road record in the American League
— The Rangers have hit just three home runs in their past nine games
—- Melky Cabrera is missing just his second game this season
First pitch, 7:15, AT&T Park
1. Gregor Blanco (L) LF
2. Ryan Theriot (R) 2B
3. Angel Pagan (S) CF
4. Hector Sanchez (S) C
5. Brett Pill (R) 1B
6. Joaquin Arias (R) 3B
7. Nate Schierholtz (L) RF
8. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
9. Barry Zito (L) P
1. Ian Kinsler (R) 2B
2. Elvis Andrus (R) SS
3. Josh Hamilton (L) LF
4. Adrian Beltre (R) 3B
5. Michael Young (R) 1B
6. Nelson Cruz (R) RF
7. Yorvit Torrealba (R) C
8. Craig Gentry (R) CF
9. Matt Harrison (L) P