Pre-game & lineups: San Francisco Giants go back to the American League
By Eric Nathanson
The San Francisco Giants make a quick stop to face the Chicago White Sox this week. It’s only a 2-game series so don’t blink or you’ll miss it. First pitch tonight is 5:10 PT. It’s only the third time these two teams will play since interleague play began. The Giants took 2 of 3 back in 2003, the only time they have ever played on the Southside of Chicago.
There’s some relief coming for the Giants bullpen. Santiago Casilla has been activated from the Disabled List and George Kontos has been optioned back to Fresno. It’s a welcome move for a bullpen that allowed 11 of Colorado’s 20 runs to be scored in the 8th or 9th inning this past weekend.
The Giants have the best record in baseball for the 24th (love it) day in a row. They are 43-27 and 6 games up on the rival Los Angeles Dodgers i the NL West. The Sox are 10 games worse than the Giants posting a 33-37 record so far, and they sit 5 games behind the Detroit Tigers, in 4th place in the AL Central.
The Giants have lost 3 straight and the White Sox have lost 4 straight. It’s the ol’ obvious “something’s gotta give” stat. Th starters for tonight’s game are RHP Matt Cain (1-4, 3.84 ERA) facing off against LHP John Danks (5-5, 4.17 ERA)
After a rough 4-6 home stand the Giants might be happy to see the road for a few days. They have won 6 of their last 8 on the road and have a 20-12 record overall away from AT&T Park. The lineups for tonight’s game.
Angel Pagan is getting another day off to rest his back pain. Buster Posey returns to the lineup after a foul ball knocked him out of Sunday’s game and is the DH for the game in an American League park.
This is a chance for Giants fans to see Cuban rookie sensation Jose Abreu of the White Sox. He is 3rd in the AL with 19 home runs, but leads in home runs per at bat, averaging 1 HR for every 11.53 at bats.
Nobody on the Giants roster has faced Danks more than 3 times. On the other side, Adam Dunn is 6-for-20 against Cain with 2 home runs. Adam Eaton, who you may remember from Arizona, is leading off for the Sox. He’s never gotten a hit off Cain in 8 at bats, but has worked 5 walks against the Giants right-hander.
The Giants are 6-0 against the AL Central this season, but those were home games. This is their first chance to use the DH and it comes at a hitter’s park. I can tell you from the many games I watched from the stands at U.S. Cellular Field that the ball jumps when it is warm outside. It was in the low 90’s today in Chicago so expect balls to be flying all over the yard.