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Sunday, April 05, 2009

Opening Day Preview

The 2009 Major League Baseball season gets underway Sunday night, as the reigning world champion Philadelphia Phillies take on the Atlanta Braves in Philadelphia Sunday. Most of the rest of the baseball world starts Monday, with a handful of teams christening their season on Tuesday, including our San Francisco Giants.

It's been a long winter and spring, but on Tuesday, at or around 1:30 pacific time, Tim Lincecum will throw the first pitch of the '09 season to Milwaukee's Rickie Weeks and another 6-month journey begins. I won't be in attendance on Tuesday, as I have some scholastic obligations that will run into the early afternoon, but I will be there Wednesday night when the 'Unit takes the mound for the first time as a Giant. The Giants have the clear advantage in the pitching match-up for their opening series vs. the Brewers, but they are going to have to keep their powerful lineup (Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, J.J. Hardy, Corey Hart) in the ballpark if they are going to take the set. It's really any ones guess as to what the Giants lineup will do, but they need to take advantage of the Lincecum vs. Suppan match-up. These are the types of things winning ball-clubs do and if the Giants are going to indeed be "competitive", then these are the games they should take. They are really throwing some guys into the fire this year (Pablo Sandoval, Travis Ishikawa, Emmanuel Burris) right off the bat, which is something that hasn't been done in San Francisco in years, and it should be interesting to see how these guys respond to the pressures of opening a big league season in a big league starting lineup. With the young team in-tow, it's extremly crucial that the Giants get off to a good start this year. It could be a huge downer for this young squad if the Giants go 7-15 in April. Judging on how things went in the cactus league though, I think these guys have as much confidence as they can at this point and I would be surprised if they didn't play decently to start to season.

Unlike the last couple of seasons, the Giants actually have some expectations this time around and a lot of people are anxious to see what transpires on Tuesday. Again, I have to admit, I don't quite know what to expect from the Giants this season. If their young hitters develop and contribute and some of their recent free agent signings (Aaron Rowand and Edgar Renteria) can provide positive impacts, then the Giants could have something. They've had two off-season's to now build in the post-Barry Bonds era, so it's time to put up or shut up. The NL West isn't the strongest division in baseball and although the D-Backs and Dodgers may have a little more talent on paper, the Giants rotation equals or betters any in the NL. I like Brandon Webb, Dan Haren and the unproven Max Scherzer(who's an injury concern), but I like Lincecum, Cain, Johnson and Sanchez a little better.

Here is a glimpse of the Opeining Day lineups for both teams:

Giants:
1. CF Randy Winn 2. SS Edgar Renteria 3. LF Fred Lewis 4. C Bengie Molina 5. 3B Pablo Sandoval 6. CF Aaron Rowand 7. 1B Travis Ishikawa 8. 2B Emmanuel Burris 9. P Tim Lincecum

Brewers: 1. 2B Rickie Weeks 2. SS J.J. Hardy 3. LF Ryan Braun 4. 1B Prince Fielder 5. RF Corey Hart 6. CF Mike Cameron 7. 3B Bill Hall 8. C Jason Kendall 9. P Jeff Suppan

Click Here for the final updated version of the Giants Season Predictions.
_________________________________________________ Get expert matchup reports and predictions on every single MLB game at Doc's Sports click Here _________________________________________________

4 Comments:

  • At 6:51 PM, Anonymous J-Bill said…

    Can't wait for opening day, though rain is in the forecast... Hopefully they play.

     
  • At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Bleacher Bum 138 said…

    Ahhhh, finally baseball!!! I'm so stoked. Is it me though, or do the Giants always seem to start later than most of the rest of the league. I know a few other teams are opening tomorrow and I can wait, but why does that always happen to San Fran?

    I think the Giants will shut the Brewers down behind Tiny Lincecum. I'll be in in the bleachers in sect 138 if anyone wants to come say hello. Thats where my season tickets are... I say the Giants win 6-2 on home runs by Ishikawa and Rowand and 7 solid innings from Lince. It's like a kid on Christmas eve...

     
  • At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Bleacher 138 said…

    BTW, CC is getting hit pretty good in his debut in New York, maybe it's a good thing the Gigantes didn't get him after all.

     
  • At 8:58 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Yeah, I'm pretty stoked for the opener too Bleacher. I will probably make my way out to the bleachers on Wednesday night and say hello to some of the fans out there before the game. Tuesday's game has Giants written all over it and if they can't take advantage of the Suppan/Lincecum matchup then I'll be ticked. Wednesday nights match up of Yovanni Gallardo and Randy Johnson should be a terrific pitching match-up though.

    That being said. I really like how Giants match-up w/ the Brewers and I really do expect them to take 2 of 3 at home.

     
  • At 10:21 AM, Blogger Desiree said…

    Check out this cool Tim Lincecum "The Freak" T-shirt!
    http://www.zazzle.com/tim_lincecum_the_freak_tshirt-235882186330220087

     

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