San Francisco Giants Begin Decisive 4-Game Series with Pirates
Game One: Suarez (4-7, 4.60 ERA, 1.32 WHIP) vs. Nova (6-6, 4.49 ERA, 1.34 WHIP)
One guy that’s likely suffering from the fatigue of a long season is Andrew Suarez. The rookie pitcher has not had to endure a long and grueling season, but it could be getting the best of him. After blazing through June and the first part of July, Suarez has given up an average of 4-5 runs per start in his last four starts.
This does not bode well for his history, as his last start against the Pirates saw him give up five earned runs over four innings. Jose Osuna, Starling Marte, and Jordy Mercer were responsible for those RBI. Suarez may benefit from being at home, where his numbers are drastically better than on the road.
Ivan Nova has been having issues in his last few starts as well. In three of his last four starts, he has failed to get past the five innings of work. In his last start against the Giants, he gave up four runs over 5 2/3 innings pitched. Of course, the offense provided him with no support, and the Giants exploded in the sixth inning to get their win.
Brandon Crawford, who has started collecting hits, has great history against Nova (5-for-11, 2 2B, 1 3B, 4 RBI). The other guy who is heating up, Evan Longoria, also has some good history (.295 AVG, 3 HR, 2 2B, 9 RBI). If the Giants plan to score more than one run per game, they will need these guys to step up.
Game Two: Holland (5-8, 3.88 ERA, 1.25 WHIP) vs. Williams (9-8, 3.88 ERA, 1.27 WHIP)
Although he didn’t get a win in Arizona, Derek Holland pitched well enough in the getaway game to give the Giants a split. Derek Holland has not had a winning decision since the middle of June, and basically hasn’t had a decision at all in the middle of the summer, other than a loss to the Cubs. Still, he continues to rise to the challenge of being a dependable starter.
He went 6 1/3 shutout innings in his last start against Pittsburgh, striking out seven and surprisingly giving up four doubles. For the most part, he has kept the Pirates hitters at bay, and will look to do more of the same on Friday night.
This is the first time Trevor Williams will see the Giants this season. Last season he started against the Giants twice, and ultimately did not receive a decision in either game as the bullpen could not hold on. Gorkys Hernandez and Buster Posey have batting averages at or above .500 against Williams.
However, the right-handed starter has thrown three shutouts in his last five starts, turning it around from an abysmal May and June.