(Disclaimer: I am friends with Snyder so I took great pleasure in ribbing him about the Cubs not being good.)
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The Cove: The Astros were supposed to be the team that got the Giants back on track but kept derailing us instead. Are the Cubs the team to save the Giants season? And why?
Matt Snyder: Yes. The tone is going to be set tonight, as the Cubs offense hasn't been very good lately and Lincecum is as locked in as ever. Randy Wells can be good, but he's very inconsistent and allows lots of baserunners (1.48 WHIP). Even if Wells has a good outing -- and there's a decent chance he does, considering the Giants' offensive woes -- he won't shut them out. I fully expect a Lincecum shutty. I believe the Garza-Vogelsong matchup is a tossup, but Vogelsong's home success trumps Garza's inconsistency and Bumgarner-Lopez significantly favors the Giants. Pitching matchups aren't everything, but the way these two offenses are going, it's most of the picture. A Giants sweep wouldn't surprise me, but they'll at least get two of three. Of course, if the Cubs' bats do get going, it could mean trouble. Between Castro, Ramirez, Pena, Soriano, Byrd, etc., there's some firepower -- just inconsistent firepower.
Cove: Brian Sabean will trade you guys last year's World Series trophy if you take Barry Zito's contract AND pick up his 2014 player option as well. Deal or no deal?
MS: No, I want to actually see and experience the march. As I'm sure Giants fans can attest, nothing can match that. Certainly not a stupid trophy.
Cove: Shouldn't Tim Lincecum be given the Cy Young award (again) just for having to pitch on the same team as this dreadful offense?
MS: Are we inventing new criteria? Maybe we should start measuring how a pitcher feels on each given start. Because it's a touchy-feely world, right? And we're supposed to feel sorry for a two-time Cy Young winner on a team that just won it all.
Cove: Will you trade Starlin Castro for Aubrey Huff? (But, no, seriously, tell Giants fans how awesome Castro is and what you think his upside is.)
MS: Starlin feels a lot to me like a young Hanley Ramirez. Build is similar at this age and you expect him to develop more bulk -- and in turn, power -- as he ages. He's also had spells of laziness and needs to get tons better with defensively consistency and plate discipline. The tools are all there and he's only 21. Prepare to see several lasers mixed in with mental lapses and a bad feel for the strike zone.
Cove: Over or under on runs in this series at 8.5?
MS: I was thinking more like 5.
Cove: Give us one player to watch on the Cubs that we might not otherwise be watching and who will entertain us?
MS: Tony Campana. I honestly think he's as fast as -- if not faster than -- Michael Bourn. He's only been on base 36 times but has 17 stolen bases. He hit an inside-the-park home run a few weeks ago on a ball down the left-field line and was almost home before the Reds even knew what was going on.