D-Backs VS. Giants Series Preview

May 21, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Ian Kennedy (31) delivers a pitch against the Colorado Rockies in the first inning at Coors Field. Image Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona will kick off the second half of their season on the road against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on Friday. The defending champs, who stand at 43-51 have not played well this season. They are 4th in the National League West division, 6 1/2 games behind the first place Diamondbacks.

This is the fifth time in franchise history and the first time since 2003, that Arizona has won 50 games before the All-Star break and are first in their division.

This is the fourth series of the season between these two divisional opponents, a matchup that the Giants, who are 6-3 against the Diamondbacks thus far, have controlled.

Game 1 (Friday): Ian Kennedy (3-6, 5.42 ERA) vs. Chad Gaudin (3-1, 2.39 ERA)

Kennedy is probably pitching for his spot in the rotation with this start. He looked dreadful in his last start facing the Milwaukee Brewers, giving up five runs over six innings of work. There are rumors that have linked Arizona to trade for Chicago Cubs starter Matt Garza

Kennedy currently is the weak link in the rotation for the Snakes. It is somewhat ironic that he pitched the last game before the break, and will now be on the mound for the first game of the second half.

Gaudin has excelled since moving from the bullpen. He is 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP in his six starts. The Giants will have to make a decision when Ryan Vogelsong, whose spot in the rotation Gaudin took, gets off the disabled list.

Game 2 (Saturday): Wade Miley (6-7, 4.01 ERA) vs. Matt Cain (5-6, 5.06 ERA)

Miley allowed three runs on eight hits in the first three innings on July 11 vs. the Brewers. He would then toss five hitless frames to end his night and pick up his second consecutive win. The southpaw boasts a 1.66 ERA in July.

Cain’s career statistics bode well for a second half improvement. Though his lifetime record after the All-Star break is 38-38, his 3.14 ERA and 1.13 WHIP are noticeably better than his corresponding first half figures.

Game 3 (Sunday): Randall Delgado (1-3, 3.92 ERA) vs. Madison Bumgarner (10-5, 3.02 ERA)

Since joining the rotation on June 18, Delgado has been rock solid for Arizona, turning in quality starts in five of his six outings. The right-hander has been the victim of some bad luck though, as he has won just one game over that span.

Bumgarner has averaged slightly more walks per nine innings this season, but he has compensated by increasing his strikeout ratio to 8.8 SO/9 and allowing fewer hits. He is the most consistent starter for the Giants this season.

Topics: Arizona Diamondbacks, Chad Gaudin, Ian Kennedy, Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Randall Delgado, Wade Miley

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