April 08, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner (40) pitches the ball against the Colorado Rockies during the third inning at AT

Giants Battle Diamondbacks In Rubber Match: 3 Keys for Victory


Despite tying the game in the ninth inning Tuesday night, the San Francisco Giants couldn’t win their second consecutive comeback win.

So, Arizona Diamondbacks ace, Ian Kennedy, will oppose Giants left-hander, Madison Bumgarner, in the series finale on Wednesday afternoon.

Pitching would presume to be the headline on Wednesday. Bumgarner is 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA and Kennedy has a lifetime 2.38 ERA in 13 starts against San Francisco. In 2013 thus far, he has a 5.47 ERA, but the Giants’ bats seem to bring out a different color in him.

Meanwhile, Bumgarner has a career 3.78 ERA in nine games (eight starts) against Arizona.

Keys for the Giants:

Avoid Comeback Ball

The Giants won Monday thanks to a late-inning rally, but fell short on Tuesday. The reality is that Arizona’s bullpen isn’t going to yield comebacks consistently, and the Giants don’t have the resources to win like that consistently. It’s entertaining, but If history goes Arizona’s way, Kennedy will be doing most of the heavy lifting anyway. A nearly surefire way of success is to score first. San Francisco is a robust 8-1 when drawing first blood.

Look for Kennedy’s Fastball Often

Combined, Kennedy throws his four-seam fastball and two-seam fastball more than 70 percent of the time. He also has a change-up, but that’s basically. He generally sets up his fastball with a change-up away. Then, he jams the opposing hitters with a heater at the hands, as Texas Leaguers shows. It’s not an overpowering fastball, but it’s set up perfectly with a devastating change-up.

Patience

Kennedy isn’t wild, but he isn’t the biggest strike-thrower in the league. So far in 2013, he has a 3.3 BB/9 rate. Over the past four seasons combined, he has compiled a 2.6 BB/9 rate, which isn’t bad, but it evidences that he can lose his command. But it’s not a consistent loss of control. He’s either sharp or wobbly. Patience early on could bode the Giants well in their second at-bats against Kennedy.

 

Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks San Francisco Giants