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Preview/Matchup/Game Thread Game # 39 vs. Giants

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Hennessey Tennessee tootles the flootle, the music is something grand
Brad Hennessey Taylor Buchholz
2 - 1, 3.06 2 - 2, 3.82

OK. I'm a little worried.

Not about the game, mind you: the Astros are at home, and they're just a better baseball team than the Giants.

Taking 2 of 3 even with Taylor and Fernando scheduled should not be an issue.

No, what's got me worried is that Taylor might just give up this stupid home run they keep talking about, this number 714. It was bad enough poor Wilfredo Rodriguez was thrown to the wolves by Dierker; now I'm afraid another Astros pitcher is going to be inextricably linked with the Rajah of 'Roids for all freaking time.

Although as you know Buchholz has certainly proven that he belongs in the majors, he has shown a weakness for giving up majestic homers of the sort that Bonds has been known to hit in the past. And if there's a side that Taylor's weaker to it would be to the left, where he's given up 3 homers in 63 AB's (as opposed to two in 78 AB's to righties).

True, Taylor was able to retire Bonds both times in San Francisco, and true, Bonds is just a shell of what he was, can't run, can't follow through.

But I'm worried. It's my nature, it's what I do. For a good guy like Taylor to be soiled by an association with Bonds' name: the unfairness is almost too much to contemplate.

However, if I'm worried, I do hope that Garner is not. Again, this issue has nothing to do with our winning the game, which of course is the only thing that Garner is paid to think about. And believe me, it makes no sense to walk the guy intentionally with the frankly very average numbers he's putting up these days. Intentionally walking Bonds would be giving the very mediocre Giants offense an advantage they don't deserve. I truly hope that Scraps understands this.

The Giants come in last in the league in ERA, and 13th in the NL in both OPS and runs scored. The Astros are sixth in OPS, sixth in runs scored, and sixth in team ERA. Again, there is not much doubt who has the better team.

But thanks to the Astros' abysmal road trip, the teams do look similar offensively for the month of May. The Giants carry a .719 team OPS in May, which, happy happy joy joy, is the number for the Astros in the month of May as well.

OPS in May
OPS in May Giant Pos Astro OPS in May
x .916 Mike Matheny C1 Brad Ausmus .811
1.100 Todd Greene C2 Eric Munson 1.500 x
.669 Lance Niekro 1B Lance Berkman .837 x
.530 Ray Durham 2B Craig Biggio .732 x
.439 Omar Vizquel SS Adam Everett .630 x
x .994 Pedro Feliz 3B Morgan Ensberg .673
x .845 Steve Finley OF1 Preston Wilson .766
x .773 Randy Winn OF2 Willy Taveras .635
x .673 Barry Bonds OF3 Jason Lane .576
.946 Jason Ellison OF4 Eric Bruntlett .971 x
.277 Jose Vizcaino Util/PH Mike Lamb 1.474 x
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