If the Panda can get that fired up against the D-backs then I wonder what he will be like when the rival Los Angeles Dodgers begin a three game series in San Francisco against the Giants on Friday. Pablo and the Giants will take on Josh Beckett, Chris Capuano and staff ace Clayton Kershaw in that order. This is easily the most important series for the Giants thus far this season. Even if they should get swept they would still remain in first place by a game and a half since they currently have a 4.5 game cushion.
Pablo has never faced the right handed Beckett in his career but he will kick off the series as a left handed batter where he has a better on base and slugging percentage than he does hitting right handed. Yahoo Sports gives Pablo a solid 4 out of 5 stars in his Matchup Rating based on Pablo’s performance against pitchers with similar repertoires. Tim Lincecum will pitch for the Giants to kick off the series.
Saturday should give the Panda and the Giants their best chance for a win. Capuano is 1-6 with a 5.58 ERA against the Giants lifetime and will be opposed by Matt Cain. Pablo is 4 for 6 in 7 plate appearances with one double against Capuano in his career. Although Pablo will be hitting right handed he does have a better batting average from that side and has a good shot at getting another multi-hit game in September.
The Giants will need to take one or two of the first two games before facing Kershaw in what will be their toughest game of the series. Kershaw will face Barry Zito and comes into this game with a 7-4 lifetime record to go with a 1.39 career ERA againgt the Giants. Pablo is 7 for 26 with a double in 29 plate appearances against Kershaw lifetime, this is good for a .269 batting average against him.
The Giants are more than capable of winning at least two out of three but it really depends on whose staff starts off their games better. If the Giants win at least one this weekend they would still have a 3.5 game lead on the Dodgers and Saturday is a game they definitely look most capable of winning. Pablo has been hot as of late hitting for a .348 batting average in September thus far which includes going o for 4 in Wednesday’s game Trevor Cahill took a no hitter into the 7th inning. The Giants will need Pablo to stay hot if they intend to extend their lead over the Dodgers by the end of the weekend. Here are Pablo’s numbers so far this year.
by Raul Rekow Jr