San Diego Padres take on San Francisco Giants in Closing Game of a 4 Game Set

San Diego Padres (40-48) AT San Francisco Giants (49-39)
July 7th, 2011 at 10:15 PM EST
Opening Line:  SF -120, SD +100
Current Line:  SF -114, SD -105
Opening Total:  6.5
Current Total: 6.5

SP:  SD- Cory Luebke; SF- Barry Zito

Adrian Gonzalez went 0 for 1 last game in a pinch hitting appearance and is hitting just .215 on the year.

Barry Zito is back after missing over two months with a right mid-foot sprain.  On June 28th, Zito returned to and gave up only 2 runs over 7 innings, as he recorded a quality start and the Giants won by a count of 6 to 3 over the Cubs.

The veteran Zito, however, doesn’t feel as though he has to “prove [himself] to anyone,” saying “I just want to do what I know I am capable of doing.”  What he has been capable of hasn’t been so great, however.  Zito has gone 1-5 with a 4.98 ERA in his last 8 starts at home, but facing the Padres could be just what he needs to get back on track, even though he is 0-6 with a 5.40 ERA over his last 8 outings against the Padres.  In his last four at home against San Diego he has posted a 9.35 ERA while failing to pitch past the fifth inning in any of the outings.

The Giants were able to avoid a fourth straight loss last night with a 6-5 victory in 14 innings.  Nate Schierholtz had a nice game, as he hit two home runs, including the winning homer in the 14th inning, which gave the Giants only their third win in the last 12 home games against San Diego.  Giants manager Bruce Bochy was impressed with Schierholtz, simply saying, “It’s hard to have a better game than Nate did.”

Pablo Sandoval also had a nice game for the Giants, as he collected 3 RBIs, including the game tying runs in the 8th inning, bringing the Giants back from down 3 runs.  Sandoval is hitting .352 over his last 12 games and he has an extra base hit in 10 of those games.  He is 10 of 21 against the Padres this season with 6 RBIs.

The Giants’ bullpen has not given up a run in their last 10 innings.  San Diego’s last 17 hitters failed to record a hit against the Giants’ pen and all 15 of their attempts were thwarted in extra innings.

Padres manager Bud Black attempted to credit his team as well, despite the loss:  “That was two good bullpens going at it…”

The Padres began the series with the Giants by winning the first two games, both by a count of 5 to 3.  Last night, however, they struck out 19 times.

Both lineups don’t offer a lot of run support, as the Padres are last in the NL with only 302 runs scored and the Giants have only 321, right behind them for the worst run production.  The Giants, unlike the Padres, however, have a top notch pitching staff that enables them to be competitive, even when they aren’t driving in runs.

Cory Luebke will take the mound for the Padres.   He is 2-2 on the yea with a 2.52 ERA and he has struck out 13 batters in his last 11 innings, all scoreless innings.  He gave up 2 hits over 6 innings in Saturday’s 1 to 0 victory over the Mariners.

Some betting trends:

The Padres are 10-3-1 SU in their last 14 games and they are 15-7-1 SU in their last 23 against the San Francisco Giants.  The Padres are 11-2-1 SU in their last 14 on the road against the Giants.

The San Francisco Giants are 1-3-1 SU in their last 5 games and they are 1-3-1 SU In their last 5 against the Padres.  The Giants are 1-5-1 SU in their last 7 home games against the San Diego Padres.

The total is set low, despite Zito’s struggles.  He might have his way with the Padres, but I have my doubts, even with San Diego’s bad offense.  The fact remains, the Padres produced 10 runs in the first two games of this series, and Zito is washed up.  I fully expect the total on this one to go ‘over.’

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