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Matchup Game Thread at Giants 8:05 CST


Roy Oswalt   Matt Cain
1 - 0, 3.14    0 - 0, 6.00

Well, that certainly could have gone better.

Alysson Footer is actually talking about the possibility that Backe might even return to make his start Sunday on short rest, which I think is ridiculously optimistic. But the talk is there, and it is undeniably true that Backe hasn't been placed on the DL yet. So the Backe injury is bad, and has put the proverbial mixmaster to a rotation and pitching lineup already thoroughly scrambled by the rainouts, but maybe it's not a disaster.

The anemic offensive showing against Morris doesn't bug me quite so much for some reason. We were one Eric Munson homer off one old and miscast closer from tying it at the end, and a Lamb ribbie off a guy he came in owning in the middle could have changed things, too.

I 'spect the offense will look better in the second game against the youngster Cain.

But who might pitch?

Pitcher Game One
Game Two
Backe 30 X
Buchholz 58 X
Springer 16 ?
Gallo 17 X
Qualls   2
Wheeler 13

Not sure where they're gonna go with Springer. Him being one of the older folks on the staff I might think would make you lean away from using him, and you got a bunch of games in a row coming up. But I could see the veteran reaching back argument, too.

Gallo got touched up a bit in the opener, and for a situational guy like him, 17 pitches is a lot, even though he's pitched that many on back to back days more than a couple times in the past. Sometimes I think jakechap expects too much out of his situational relievers, but I know what he'd say about using Gallo in the nightcap. I agree with him. Trever Miller of course would be available.

Qualls obviously has gas in the tank, and Wheeler is something of a workhorse. Eight times last year and once this year did he throw more than 35 pitches on consecutive days, or more than 40 on any single day. He threw 55 against the Braves in The Chris Burke Game and 41 against the Nationals in the John Patterson/Eric Bruntlett game. He's throwing the ball very well now, and I wouldn't hesitate to use him if you needed a bridge from Oswalt to Lidge.

Of course, hopefully Roy can go at least eight, but it's good to have contingency plans, right?