The Crystal (base)Ball:Cardinals vs Giants

Is it just me, or does this 'homestand' seem rather pointless? Two games against the St. Louis Cardinals before tramping off to Colorado without a rest day! Who is scheduling this season? The Rally Monkey? The Phillie Phanatic? WHO!?!

Ugh. In any case, to start this two game series, Jerome Williams looks to take on Garrett Stephenson. Last week, these two did battle and Williams came out on top, giving up only one run in his 6 innings to Stephenson's 3 in 7. Stephenson better watch out- JT Snow is back in the lineup and swinging well. With his 5-7 record, 3 2B's, 1 homerun and an OBP of 2.349, Stephenson would do well to stay at the corners. Jerome Williams pitched well last outing, shutting down the super-hot Pujols and Edmonds with efficient pitches.

Wrapping up this all-to-brief stop at Pac Bell is Kirk Rueter against newbie Danny Haren. Haren, who had the extreme misfortune to pitch against Jason Schmidt to start his MLB career, fell to the bat of Marquis Grissom, Neifi Perez and, more surprisingly, Edgardo Alfonso. Alfonso went 3-3 on the last night in June, getting 2 of them off of Haren. Rueter has been suffering from a string of bad starts, beginning in Oakland, where he gave up 6 in the first inning, and ending in St. Louis last week where he gave up 8 in the second. Chad Zerbe better be on the ready in case Woody decides to keep warming up through the third inning.

In any case, I'm predicting a smashing series for JT Snow, who has been so bored waiting to come off the DL (so much so that he was to the point where he was banging his head on a pole wearing an extraneous catcher's mask) that he's going to take steps to make sure that nobody takes his first base. Also, our pitchers (especially you, Woody) need to go the distance in their games to give the relievers a chance to recover. Look for Grissom to continue to do fantastic at the plate, Jose Cruz, Jr. to do fantastic in right field and Rich Aurilia to improve at the plate.



Jillian Bailles d'Err writes for SFDugout.com and has been a Giants fan since 1988. She currently writes the column 'The Crystal (Base)Ball', a preview into upcoming Giants series. If you'd like to say hey, or comment about how amazingly insightful she is (or not), contact her at Giants1BChick@aol.com

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