Hello again, DBacks.
The San Francisco Giants have lost three games in a row. It’s only the second time they’ve lost three games in a row this season. And in the six losses that comprise that pair of three-game losing streaks, the Los Angeles Dodgers have accounted for five of them. How lovely.
But the good news is that the Giants get to jump from facing the top of the division (non-Giants category, that is), to the bottom of it, with a four-game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
If you want to know how bad the DBacks have been, well … we’re at the halfway mark of the season and they’ve already lost 13 more games than the Colorado Rockies, of all teams.
Sadly Madison Bumgarner will, once again, not be playing. Between the pandemic and injuries, Bumgarner has only faced the Giants once — and zero times when fans or Buster Posey were present.
That doesn’t seem fair.
Who: San Francisco Giants vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Where: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
When: Thursday (6:40 p.m.), Friday (6:40 p.m.), Saturday (7:10 p.m.), and Sunday (6:10)
National broadcasts: Thursday (ESPN) and Saturday (MLB Network, out of market only)
Where they stand
San Francisco Giants
Record: 50-29, 1st in the NL West
Run differential: +97, 2nd in the NL
Postseason standing: 1st seed
Momentum: 3-game losing streak, 6-4 in their last 10 games
Record: 22-60, 5th in the NL West
Run differential: -117, 15th in the NL
Postseason standing: 27 games out of the Wild Card
Momentum: 4-game losing streak, 2-8 in their last 10 games
Season series: Giants lead 6-0
Three Giants to watch
Alex Dickerson: Dickerson is still looking for the hot bat that defined his inaugural two seasons with the Giants and led to phallic clubhouse chants on a near-nightly basis. And Chase Field — where the ball flies, and an awful Diamondbacks staff with a lot of righties pitches — is as good a place as any to find it. Dickerson went 2-8 with a double and a triple when the Giants visited Phoenix earlier in the year, sported an .846 OPS there last year, and rocked a .994 OPS there in 2019. This is the series he’s been looking for.
Johnny Cueto: Cueto keeps ending up on this list, and Thursday’s series opener will be a fascinating one for him. After scuffling for quite a few starts, Cueto shut down the Oakland A’s last week, with 7 scoreless innings. Curt Casali was effusive in his praise of the veteran righty, saying Cueto looked to be at pre-injury levels. Another nice start would go a long ways towards the Giants feeling good about Cueto’s spot in the rotation.
Jaylin Davis: Davis just got called up, replacing Mike Tauchman, who heads to the 10-day IL. Davis has struggled in brief MLB stints in 2019 and 2020, but his rehab assignment this year has been dynamic: in 14 AAA games he’s 18-57 with 7 home runs, 4 doubles, 8 walks, and 19 strikeouts. The Diamondbacks are using at least one left-handed starter in this series, so Davis should see some playing time.
Three DBacks to watch
Merrill Kelly: The Giants have faced Kelly twice this year, with varying results. In the first matchup the righty was solid, allowing 5 baserunners and 2 earned runs in 6 innings. But the last meeting went the Giants way, as Kelly lasted just 3 innings, and gave up 4 hits, 3 walks, and 4 earned runs. The Giants will try to replicate that.
Eduardo Escobar: It’s pretty hard to find interesting hitters on this Arizona team, which isn’t helped by the injuries they’re currently dealing with. So enter Escobar, a switch-hitter with 17 home runs, but still a very pedestrian batting line: .246/.292/.465, good for a .757 OPS and a 104 OPS+. Just keep him in the park.
Stephen Vogt: The Giants should see a healthy dose of Vogt due to Carson Kelly’s fractured wrist. Vogt is a forever Giant despite spending just one year with the team. We like him. We also hope the Giants keep him in check.