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San Francisco Giants Begin Decisive 4-Game Series with Pirates

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 04: Derek Holland #45 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second inning at AT&T Park on June 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 04: Derek Holland #45 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second inning at AT&T Park on June 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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San Francisco Giants
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 03: Dereck Rodriguez #57 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies in the top of the first inning at AT&T Park on June 3, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Game Three: Blach (6-6, 4.28 ERA, 1.53 WHIP) vs. Musgrove (4-6, 3.41 ERA, 1.22 WHIP)

Making his first start since May, Ty Blach will be asked to fill-in the void that is the fifth starter. In his starting appearances he has been somewhat decent, but the last few were not great. As a middle/long reliever he’s been pretty serviceable.

He has never seen the Pirates before, so this might be a good opportunity for him to deal with a lineup that is not as dominant against lefties.

Since coming over from the Astros, Joe Musgrove has been relatively decent for the Pirates. His biggest struggles came in June, but he has bounced back and proven to be serviceable. The problem is that he gets inconsistent run support. His numbers on the road have been stellar, and the Giants have never seen him.

Andrew McCutchen scorched an RBI double against him back in 2016, starting off a four run first inning in that game. Alen Hanson and Longoria also saw him when he was with the Astros, but have yet to record a hit.

Game Four: Rodriguez (5-1, 2.34 ERA, 1.05 WHIP) vs. Taillon (9-8, 3.63 ERA, 1.22 WHIP)

Every time I see Dereck Rodriguez, I become more and more impressed with him. He’s a guy I have total confidence in, and his last start against the Astros cemented that confidence. This is his fourth NL Central opponent he’s faced this season, and his home numbers should intimidate the Pirates.

His HR/9 is at a decimating 0.49, his ERA ranks third amongst all NL Starters, and his fastball command is spectacular. The Giants have a good opportunity in the final game of their homestand to send the Pirates packing with a loss.

They will need to do so against Jameson Taillon, who silenced the Giants over three innings in his last start against them. He was pulled for a laceration on his right hand. Posey and Crawford both have extra base hits in their history against Taillon, and Joe Panik also had a three-run triple against him.

In his last start at AT&T Park, he gave up nine earned runs over three innings pitched. Taillon has recently had some pretty good starts, including a nine-inning effort at Coors Field where he gave up only two runs.

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