Game Two: The Battle of Inconsistency
While Tuesday night wasn’t his worst start, Jeff Samardzija was all over the place with his control and location mistakes. Getting tattooed for 2 home runs and effectively putting the Giants narrowly out of reach is not something they needed on a 10-game road trip.
However, the velocity is there and it seems like every other start for Samardzija has been decent. If there is an outing where Samardzija can get back on track, it’s this one. Pirates hitters have struck out 31 times against him.
Chad Kuhl saw the Giants at PNC Park last season, going six strong innings, giving up only one run on two hits. Ultimately, it was Daniel Hudson in the 11th inning that blew the tie with a wild pitch, scoring Denard Span. It was also the first save for the Giants via Sam Dyson.
The only Giant with a batting average against Kuhl is Gregor Blanco, and that’s when he was with the Diamondbacks. Kuhl has been up-and-down all season, and much like Samardzija, when he’s off he’s way off.
Game Three: American meets National
After winning his first game of the season, Derek Holland coughed up three runs to the Phillies on Monday night. It’s safe to say that Holland is not built for the starting position, but he will be asked to do it again on the getaway game. The only Pirate with considerable experience against Holland is Sean Rodriguez, who is currently struggling this season and is assuming backup infield roles.
On the other hand, Ivan Nova has struggled recently after having some good starts in April. The Giants have seen him a couple of times, but the ones who have the biggest resume are Evan Longoria and Austin Jackson.
Longoria, who has cooled off a bit, will look to crank the heat back up. He is 13-for-41 against Nova, with three home runs and four doubles.
Jackson is a career 8-for-16 against Nova with three doubles of his own.
Nova has thrown 171 pitches in 6 2/3 innings in the month of May so far, so the Giants should really not squander the opportunity.