Giants Not Letting Melky Cabrera Suspension Slow Down Offense Against Padres: Fan’s Preview

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Despite the suspension of Melky Cabrera, things have been going well offensively for the San Francisco Giants. Following their first off day in 20 days, Matt Cain and the Giants offense dominated the San Diego Padres with a 10-1 win on Friday. This win also propelled the team back into a small lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.

Cabrera's absence put concern in the middle of the Giants lineup. In the second game with a Pablo Sandoval-Buster Posey-Hunter Pence configuration for the No. 3 to 5 hitters, the three batters accounted for four hits, two RBIs, and four runs scored. Although the Giants accomplished their eight-run third inning against a beatable Ross Ohlendorf, this strong offensive showing and excellent outing by Cain was exactly what the team needed to rebound from their bad news from earlier in the week.

The middle game of this series will be a little tougher, as Eric Stults, a 32-year-old left-hander who has been solid in his last two starts since returning to the rotation, has been a nice find for the Padres. In and out of the majors throughout his career, his last start against the Giants was in 2009, which resulted in a four-hit shutout. The Giants will use another left-hander in Barry Zito, who has struggled against the Padres in recent starts (1-7 with a 6.05 ERA in his last 11 starts against San Diego).

Matchup:

The San Francisco Giants will visit the San Diego Padres at Petco Park located in San Diego, CA on Saturday, August 18, 2012 at 5:35 p.m. PT. This will be the second game in a three-game series.

Season series:

Giants lead series 7-3.

Standings:

San Francisco comes into the matchup with a 65-54 record and in first place in the National League West. They are 30-28 when playing on the road and have won six of their last 10 games.

San Diego enters the game with a 52-69 record and in fourth place in the National League West. They are 27-31 when playing at home and have won five of their last 10 games.

Starting pitcher matchup:

San Francisco: Barry Zito

2012 season: 9-8, 4.29 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 78 Ks

Numbers vs. Padres in last five years: 4-8, 4.73 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 59 Ks

San Diego: Eric Stults

2012 season: 3-2, 2.49 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 24 Ks

Numbers vs. Giants in last five years: 2-2, 4.78 ERA, 1.75 WHIP, 16 Ks

Where to watch and listen to the game:

The game can be watched live locally at the following:

In San Francisco: CSN-BA HD & KNBR 680

In San Diego: FSSD & XPRS 1090

Pitching statistic leaders:

San Francisco: Madison Bumgarner - 13 wins; Sergio Romo - 2.00 ERA; Matt Cain - 154 strikeouts

San Diego: Clayton Richard - 9 wins; Eric Stults - 2.45 ERA, Edinson Volquez - 133 strikeouts

Sources:

Stults out to continue starting success, MLB.com

Giants-Padres Preview, AP

San Francisco Giants/San Diego Padres Box Score Friday August 17, 2012, Yahoo! Sports

More from this contributor:

Fan's Preview: How will Giants fare against Padres without Melky Cabrera?

San Francisco Giants' Melky Cabrera Suspended 50 Games for Positive Testosterone Test, Out for Rest of Regular Season: Fan's Reaction

Stephen Strasburg vs. Tim Lincecum Dream Matchup Concludes Nationals-Giants Series: Fan's Preview

Fan's Preview: Will Giants' Pablo Sandoval Return to Starting Lineup Make a Difference Against the Nationals?

Giants Start Series Against Best Second-Half Team in Baseball in Nationals: Fan's Preview

Austin Chang is a lifelong San Francisco Bay Area native, baseball fan, and supporter of the San Francisco Giants. Follow this Featured Contributor on Google+ and Twitter @_austinchang.

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