With 10 games left in the regular season, the San Francisco Giants have made an impressive surge in the second half of the season to clinch the NL West title with an 8-4 victory against the San Diego Padres on Saturday night. The win makes the Giants the NL West champions for the second time in three seasons and gives the team a chance at winning the World Series once again. They have been 25-10 since Melky Cabrera's suspension and have especially benefited from the great hitting of Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro, Pablo Sandoval, and NL MVP-hopeful Buster Posey. The Giants are the second team behind the Cincinnati Reds, who clinched the NL Central earlier in the day with a win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, to clinch their division this season.
With the NL West all wrapped up, the Giants still have something to play for in these final 10 games. Currently three wins behind the Reds and Washington Nationals, the Giants could potentially catch one or both teams before the end of the season. If the team decides to go all-out for the best record in the National League, this could give the Giants home-field advantage in their Divisional Series matchup or throughout the entire postseason thanks to a National League win at the All-Star Game.
That being said, instead of starting Tim Lincecum in the series finale and possible sweep of the Padres, the Giants will opt to start Yusmerio Petit for the first time this season. A rarity for the healthy Giants rotation, Petit's start will give Lincecum extra rest for two more potential starts before the start of postseason play. Out of the majors since pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2009, Petit will face Eric Stults, who is starting the series finale in place of Andrew Cashner, who was shut down for the rest of the season.
The San Francisco Giants will host the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park located in San Francisco, CA on Sunday, September 23, 2012 at 1:05 p.m. PT. This will be the third game in a three-game series.
Giants lead series 10-4.
San Diego comes into the matchup with a 72-80 record and in fourth place in the National League West. They are 32-45 when playing on the road and have won five of their last 10 games.
San Francisco enters the game with an 89-63 record and in first place in the National League West. They are 46-31 when playing at home and have won nine of their last 10 games.
Starting pitcher matchup:
San Diego: Eric Stults
2012 season: 6-3, 2.69 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 46 Ks
Career numbers vs. Giants: 2-2, 4.81 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 18 Ks
Career numbers at AT&T Park: 0-1, 4.70 ERA, 1.96 WHIP, 7 Ks
San Francisco: Yusmeiro Petit
2012 season: No statistics
Career numbers vs. Padres: 0-3, 6.00 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 11 K
Career numbers at AT&T Park: 1-2, 6.41 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, 13 Ks
Where to watch and listen to the game:
The game can be watched and heard live locally at the following:
In San Diego: FSSD & KPRS 1090
In San Francisco: CSN-BA HD, KNBR 680 & KTRB 860
Next series on tap:
Following this series, the Padres will host the Los Angeles Dodgers from September 25-27 and host the San Francisco Giants from September 28-30.
Meanwhile, the Giants' next two series will be at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks from September 25-27 and on the road against the San Diego Padres from September 28-30.
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