The Giants are flying high as they welcome the Phillies into town.
The San Francisco Giants are four games into a seven-game home-stand, and they’ve already secured a winning record. That’s a pretty lovely thing.
But they won’t be satisfied with throwing the last three games away, even if it still leaves them with a winning record.
The Giants were able to find some offensive rhythm this week, thanks in part to the Arizona Diamondbacks’ putrid pitching; San Francisco scored 37 runs in their last four games, after just three runs in the four games prior.
So they’ll try and keep that offense happy as the Philadelphia Phillies come into town.
Two programming notes:
First, all three games in this series are broadcast exclusively on Peacock, NBC’s streaming service. You can download the app for your computer or smart TV, or it should be included in your service if you have TV through Comcast or Xfinity. If you are out of market, you can still watch on MLB TV; however it will be the Peacock broadcast, which features a crew of Mike Krukow, Jon Miller, John Kruk, and Jimmy Rollins.
Second, due to this series falling on a holiday and a weekend, there will not be any recaps for the games.
But go Giants nonetheless.
Who: San Francisco Giants vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Where: Oracle Park, San Francisco, California
When: Friday (6:45 p.m.), Saturday (1:05 p.m.), and Sunday (1:05 p.m.)
National broadcasts: None
Where they stand
San Francisco Giants
Record: 44-25, 1st in the NL West
Run differential: +86, 2nd in the NL
Postseason standing: 1st seed
Momentum: 4-game winning streak, 7-3 in their last 10 games
Record: 33-33, 2nd in the NL East
Run differential: -7, 10th in the NL
Postseason standing: 3.5 games out of the Wild Card, 4.5 games out of the NL East
Momentum: 1-game winning streak, 7-3 in their last 10 games
Season series: Giants lead 2-1
Three Giants to watch
Brandon Belt: Arizona was just what the doctor ordered for the Giants, and for Belt in particular. After going 0-12 with 1 walk to 7 strikeouts in the series against the Washington Nationals, Belt exploded against the DBacks, hitting 9-16 with 3 doubles, 2 triples, 1 home run, and 3 walks to 4 strikeouts. Philly is scheduled to use only right-handed starting pitchers in this series, so Belt will have ample opportunity to carry the offense.
Johnny Cueto: Cueto has been a staple of this segment lately, as he keeps occupying this odd middle ground of not being all that good, but still looking encouraging. In his last start, against the Nationals, he allowed 5 runs (4 earned) in 5.1 innings, giving him 14 runs (12 earned in his last 4 starts and 21.2 innings. All that said, he still has a 3.78 FIP, is allowing just 1.8 walks per 9 innings, and has been worth 0.8 fWAR in just 54 innings. He starts the series opener.
Steven Duggar: What a series Duggar had against Arizona, going 7-10 with 1 double, 1 triple, 2 home runs, and 3 walks to 0 strikeouts. He was nothing short of phenomenal, and against the Philies’ trio of right-handers, he’ll get a lot of chances to build on that this weekend. There are two ways to look at Duggar: there’s the player sporting a .979 OPS in 119 plate appearances, with as many home runs as in the rest of his career combined, and with a comfort at the plate I didn’t think we’d ever see. There’s also the player with 11 walks to 42 strikeouts and an almost laughable .483 BABIP. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Duggar is due for some regression, but he also is above-average in hard hit rate and average exit velocity, and is barreling baseballs at more than twice the league average.
Three Phillies to watch
Bryce Harper: Harper is always worth watching, even when he’s not having an MVP season like in past years. But he’s especially worth watching right now, since he went 7-11 with 1 home run, 3 walks, and just 1 strikeout the last time these teams met.
Sam Coonrod: Safe to say that many Giants fans — and readers of this site in particular — would love to see some runs scored at the expense of Coonrod, the former Giant. The fire-throwing right-handed reliever is having his best MLB season thus far, with a 3.29 ERA, 4.37 FIP, and 28 strikeouts to 7 walks in 27.1 innings.
Spencer Howard: Howard, a hybrid starter-reliever, is currently scheduled to pitch the series finale on Sunday. And the Giants’ eyes must be huge when they look at the right-hander’s walk numbers: 12 free passes issued in just 17.2 innings. That’s the stuff that excites Giants hitters.