Series Preview: San Francisco Giants

(Courtesy of Ian Martin)

Barry Bonds and the first place San Francisco Giants come to town for an inter-league showdown. The Giants are starting their A.D. era, (After Dusty) and are currently looking like the team that was a game away from being World Champions last October.

Opponent: San Francisco Giants
Record: 39-23, .629, 1st place (NL West)
Place: U.S. Cellular Field
Time & TV: Game 1: 7:05 p.m. (WCIU); Game 2: 7:05 p.m. (FSN); Game 3: 7:05 p.m. (FSN)
2002 Record vs. Sox: 0-0
2003 Record vs. Sox: 0-0

THE LATEST
An underlying story line in this match-up is that of Jerry Manuel and Felipe Alou's relationship. Alou was Manuel's manager as a player, and was also Alou's third base coach. This will be the first meeting between the two, and a lot of pride will be on the line.

WHO'S HOT (Last 14 Games)
Marquis Grissom, OF: .480 (27-56), 7 RBI, 9 R, 4 2B, 2 HR
--Grissom extended his hitting streak to 12 games Sunday, batting .333 during the run.

WHO'S NOT (Last 8 Games)
Edgardo Alfonzo, 3B: .179 (5-28), .207 OBP, .214 SLUG, 1 RBI, 1 R
--After a dissapointing April, Alfonzo picked it up in May only to fall back down this month, giving himself a .222 average this season, .67 points below his career average.

PITCHING PROBABLES
Game #1:
Jon Garland (3-5, 5.61) vs. Jerome Williams (0-1, 6.75)
--This is a match-up of two very highly touted young hurlers, and it would be no shock to see a lot of runs put up in this game.

Game #2:
Mark Buehrle (2-9, 4.60) vs. Jesse Foppert (3-5, 4.58)
--Mark Buehrle has put together a nice string of strong starts, but has nothing but a couple of losses to show for it. It must be getting frustrating for him, because he hasn't had anything but success in his young major league career. Buehrle will take his 2-9 record up against rookie Jesse Foppert, who is touted as the best of all the great Giant pitching prospects.

Game #3:
Bartolo Colon (6-5, 3.68) vs. Kirk Rueter (7-1, 3.42)
--After dazzling Sox fans with his performance in Los Angeles, in which he used under 100 pitches to dispose the Dodgers in the White Sox 4-1 win. He will be faced by Illinois native Kirk Rueter who wont fool you with his amazing arm, but with his knowledge of pitching and his location. This will be the best pitching match-up of the series

KEY TO THE SERIES
Keep this sudden jolt of momentum and try to roll it into a long winning streak, or at least win this series. After a smoldering start, the Giants have not taken their foot off the accelerator. However, the White Sox will not have to face Jason Schmidt and will have Mark Buehrle and Bartolo Colon going for them. Any way you slice it; this is a big one for the White Sox.

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