Mar. 27, 2012; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum (55) throws during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Diamondbacks to get Tested Right out of the Gate

Probably the worst time to catch the San Francisco Giants would be the very start of the season.

With their incredibly top-heavy rotation, the Giants are able to send Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain to the mound on consecutive days.  Barring a last minute change, that appears to be exactly what the D-Backs will get this weekend.  The D-Backs will be able to counter with Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson on Friday and Saturday, but a Josh Collmenter/Matt Cain matchup seems to put the Giants at a

heavy advantage in series finale next Sunday.  After a solid rookie season, Collmenter has struggled terribly this spring–posting an 0-4 and 11.81 ERA in 16 innings.  Collmenter is expected to have a short leash to start the season with prospects Trevor Bauer and Patrick Corbin waiting in the wings for a rotation spot.

Every team runs the risk of running into the Giants terrifying trio in a series, but the opening series is one of the few opportunities to guarantee that manager Bruce Bochy will be able to use his three aces against one opponent.  Bochy could have reorganized his rotation–like Kirk Gibson did when moving Collmenter to #3–in order to maximize his matchups, but the Giants are the team in the season opening series that have more to prove.  After being in a race season long race with the D-backs in 2011, the Giants stumbled down the stretch as Arizona won the division by 6 games.  It’s important that the Giants prove that they’ve bridged the small gap between themselves and the Diamondbacks and the opening series is a quickest way to start to do this.

Hot starts in baseball tend to mean little–ask the 2011 Cleveland Indians–but in a series coming against their biggest foe, with their best pitchers going against them, the Diamondbacks also have the opportunity to make a point in the series opener.  They’re here to stay and not going to back down from any team.

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Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks Cleveland Indians D-backs Daniel Hudson Dbacks Ian Kennedy Josh Collmenter Kirk Gibson Madison Bumgarner Matt Cain Patrick Corbin San Francisco Giants Tim Lincecum Trevor Bauer

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