The Giants (63-57): It's all gross injuries and public executions and crazy mysteries for the Giants these days. Jake Peavy is looking to change numbers in hopes of ridding himself of a curse. And the team's big recent win came mostly due to baseball's new chaos-bringing home plate rule, which allowed them to turn an out into a seven-run rally against the White Sox.
But unlike the Phillies, the Giants are contending in their division, 5.5 games behind the Dodgers in a resoundingly uncompetitive NL West. The Dodgers have won seven of their last ten and 16 of their last 22, while the Giants are 5-7 in August and 6-13 since July 24.
The Phillies (53-68): A homecoming for some, this trip to San Francisco is going to be, uh, quite the. Um. Baseball.
mo'ne davis told barry larkin ‘i throw my curveball like clayton kershaw and my fastball like mo'ne davis'— martin rickman (@martinrickman) August 15, 2014
Oh my god Mo'ne is cool.
Look, there's only one Philadelphia baseball team right now, and it's not the 53-68 carnival of sadness parading around California at the moment. Ken Giles is great, but until he's coming on to save an August game that matters more than a Little League World Series contest, I don't know what to tell you.
Hitting .333 against righties in 180 AB this season. Look out Kyle!
"The dog days will end now," Pagan promised after the Giants' last game, their first win in six games. Confidence tends to swell when the Phillies come to town. You'll show him, won't you Kyle? Kyle?
/Kyle Kendrick sits in corner, eating a bowl of his own hair.
It was a mere three years ago that the Phillies sent Pence to the Giants for prospects, right after trading Shane Victorino to the Dodgers and thus canceling things like "goodness" or "fun" within city limits.
Now he's a team leader, with the highest OPS in the batting order (.803) and eating burritos by the pile.
About to crush these and head over to @Twitch to play the new @Diablo w/ the devs. (10:30am -twitch.tv/hunterpence) pic.twitter.com/PD6yN2aNfl— Hunter Pence (@hunterpence) August 15, 2014
God I'm so hungry now, too - stop it Hunter Pence!
Oh, and just in case you forgot - the Astros won the Hunter Pence trade.
Just in general a widely perceived threat, but particularly so against Cole Hamels - 8-for-14 with four doubles a home run.
8/15 - Cole Hamels/Madison Bumgarner
Hamels decimated the Giants last time out, giving up only one run and striking out 10 in eight innings. He's got an 0.73 ERA over his last five starts, averaging almost eight innings per start. Only three earned runs have squeaked by, only five walks have been issued, and 38 have gone down on strikes.
Madison Bumgarner has been breaking off complete games like business as usual, two in his last two starts, with only three earned runs and nine hits throughout. Likely, this will be a fast, hitless game, in which two pitchers will match each other skill-wise, and receive equally punchless contributions from their offenses.
8/16 - Kyle Kendrick/Tim Hudson
When the Phillies last played the Giants, SCANDAL erupted as Ryne Sandberg refused to play Ryan Howard for a few consecutive games, one of which being vs. Hudson, against whom Howard has hit .328 with a 1.112 OPS in 67 AB.
But things were different then! Howard wasn't earning every cent of his extension, suddenly! I think he isn't again, now, but boy, for like three games there, he was looking *really* good.
Kyle Kendrick will either throw a time-wasting start that brings his merits as an effective starter under intense, hyperbolic scrutiny, or he will throw a solid start that serves as the anomaly in a list of his otherwise aggressively dreadful pitching. His mission to get his ERA for the year over 5.00 is close to fruition, and the at least ten hits he will allow will be more than enough to outmatch the Phillies.
This is sort of where we're at with Kyle. You just roll your eyes wait for him to give the ball to somebody else.
8/17 - David Buchanan/Tim Lincecum
Well, after Buster Posey sends a line drive through Cole Hamels' torso and Kyle Kendrick climbs out of his shame burrow, the Phillies can ride David Buchanan to victory over a very sad Tim Lincecum who is not back.
Buchanan has shown he can give you six innings and three earned runs, whenever you'd like them - he's done so in each of his past eight starts. The important thing, during these dreary times, is that he is getting consistent chances to pitch.
Meanwhile he and A.J. Burnett, Jake Diekman, and Cody Asche have already traveled into the city of San Francisco to flash gang signs and establish their dominance.
Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $18,000 Fantasy Baseball league for tonight's MLB games. It's $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Jump in now.Here's the FanDuel link.