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Series Preview #49: Giants @ Diamondbacks

Giants trying to avoid destiny.

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Count the Giants out.

I would be inclined to say that, regardless of the result of this two-game series with the San Francisco Giants, we can count out the Giants for the play-offs.

That statement is not bold at all. Take a look at the remaining schedule of the Giants and you see 7 games against the Dodgers and 3 against the Padres. You tell me which Wild Card contender would survive that Hamburger Hill. It is not a wild statement to think that even the Padres might overtake the Giants in the standings, since San Diego is playing Giants, Rockies, Cardinals and White Sox in the remaining games of the season.

So, while the Diamondbacks are currently 2.5 games ahead of the Giants and a series loss/sweep would reduce that advantage to just 0.5 games, we only have ourselves, Cubs, Reds and Marlins to worry about.

Theoretically this is a game between two Wild Card contenders. Practically, though, these are just two games the Diamondbacks will have to win no matter what.

Weak offence, shaky closer.

The Giants are coming off a rough weekend series in Denver. They played a double header on Saturday and were about to get swept in a 4-game series, but won on Sunday after almost blowing a 11-5 lead. Giants’ closer Camilo Doval had especially been really shaky in the series with the Rockies, giving up 6 runs in 0.1 and 0.2 innings of work. He’s been having trouble of late, blowing 6 saves since the end of July although in just 2 occasions did it result in a loss.

Overall, the Giants have been a disappointing bunch, especially since the All Star break. They probably never had the offensive qualities to be a contender this season. They tried to address that with the signing of Carlos Correa and chasing Aaron Judge, but both signing didn’t come to fruition. Instead, they are playing veteran Brandon Crawford and his .594 OPS and Michael Conforto’s .742 OPS. You’d wonder why they didn’t try to lure Nick Ahmed to Oracle Park.

They have compensated that weak offence with a pitching staff I’d love to see in Arizona. It’s a bunch of arms that don’t allow many walks and have been able to keep the ball in the park. Sure, you’d have to count in the Oracle Park factor, but their 161 homeruns is allowed is one of the league’s best and the 379 walks allowed is second best in the major leagues. It’s a pitch-to-contact staff and with the troubles the Diamondbacks are having normally of bringing home the RISP, the boys in Sedona red will face a tough challenge to score runs.

LaMonte Wade Jr. was their best batter before the All Star break, but ever since is hitting a .699 OPS and has been relegated a bit in the lineup. Their current top of the lineup is Yastrzemski-Estrada-Pederson-Conforto and I do have something to say about that when we get to the matchups.

Despite the underwhelming roster of the Giants and their season about to officially fail, the Giants’ ownership confirmed that both baseball ops Farhan Zaidi and skipper Gabe Kapler will be back for the 2024 season.


Game #1 Tue 09/19 6:40 PM MST, Alex Cobb (SF) vs Zac Gallen (ARI).

Join the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday, September 19 for their inaugural German Heritage Celebration at Chase Field.

Before the D-backs vs. Giants game on September 19, get a D-backs Checkered Flag, courtesy of NASCAR & Phoenix Raceway. The first 5,000 fans will get one!

  • Alex Cobb. 27 GS, 149.1 IP, 7 W-6 L, 3.62 ERA, 4.00 FIP, 1.30 WHIP, 3.61 K/BB.
  • Zac Gallen. 31 GS, 192.2 IP, 15 W-8 L, 3.50 ERA, 3.33 FIP, 1.11 WHIP, 4.85 K/BB.

At the moment of writing the Giants’ starters are still unconfirmed and that has to do with Alex Cobb’s status. It was published these past few days that Cobb has been pitching most of the season with a hip injury and lately they have been trying to avoid the injury by giving Cobb some extra rest, i.e. pitching every 8 days. Taking that into account he is supposed to pitch in Arizona in the first game, if nothing worse happens.

Cobb’s season has been one of ups and downs. He had a really strong start of the season with a complete game shutout against the Cardinals on April 24, eventually leading to an All Star selection. But things have gone a bit downward since August, maybe coinciding with an increased soreness of the hip, although there was one small highlight in pitching yet another complete game on August 29 against the Reds.

Cobb pitched twice against Arizona this season, both games ending in a San Francisco win. On May 11 he pitched 7.1 shutout innings and got a win. On August 1 he went 6 innings and gave up 3 runs, still enough to lead the Giants to a win. Our man on the mound in that game was, just like in this one, Zac Gallen.

Gallen will take the ball for the Diamondbacks and has something to prove again. Zac’s been a bit of a wild ride since the end of August, although the anomaly of giving up a handful of runs or more has always loomed in his performances this year, it seems. Just like Cobb, he has faced today’s opponent twice this season. The aforementioned contest on August 1, where he too gave up 3 runs over 6 innings, but also on May 14, where he went almost 8 innings and got the win.

The Giants’ top of the line-up is a tough one for Gallen: Yastrzemski has a .935 OPS, Estrada a .829 and Conforto a 1.159.

Let’s be honest: match could go either way.

Game #2 Wed 09/20 12:40 PM MST, Logan Webb (SF) vs Merrill Kelly (ARI).

  • Logan Webb. 31 GS, 201.0 IP, 10 W-12 L, 3.31 ERA, 3.23 FIP, 1.06 WHIP, 6.31 K/BB.
  • Merrill Kelly. 27 GS, 159.0 IP, 11 W-7 L, 3.45 ERA, 3.81 FIP, 1.21 WHIP, 2.77 K/BB.

Logan Webb is easily enjoying one of his best seasons of his career and is certainly in the running for some Cy Young votes. The only thing holding him back this season is the amount of hard contact allowed. You could say that he is the Zac Gallen version in the Giants’ rotation, although he gets less run support than our ace.

Webb has basically gotten our number the entire season. In all 3 of the games the Diamondbacks faced Webb, he went 7.0 innings. Arizona did score a total of 7 runs against Webb in those games, but just once (2-1 win on May 14) were the Diamondbacks able to overcome Webb’s pitching performance.

Merrill, lately, has been a bit of Jekyll and Hyde too. Allowing 7 runs against the Dodgers and the Mets, but also shutting down the Reds, Cubs and Rockies. Kelly has faced the Giants just once this season and we’d rather forget that outing: it was a 9-4 loss on June 24 and Merrill went 5 innings and allowed 7 runs on 10 hits, although with a couple of nasty plays.

Merrill too has a couple of tough outs in the Giants’ top of the line-up: Yastrzemski has a .893 OPS, Pederson a .930 and Conforto a .875.

We’ll see what mask Merrill will wear in this match that, again, could go either way.


Tough series to predict...

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    We sweep!
    (24 votes)
  • 3%
    We get swept...
    (2 votes)
  • 50%
    Idk, let’s take a draw.
    (27 votes)
53 votes total Vote Now