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Diamond Preview -- A Look at the Upcoming Week

   by Matt Fargo - 06/10/2008

Tuesday, June 10th

Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Mets 7:10 PM ET

The Mets looked to have gotten back in line after winning four of five games including a series win in San Francisco. However they were swept in San Diego in their four-game series and maybe even more disturbing was how they lost. New York lost the first three games all by identical 2-1 scores while the finale was won by the Padres thanks to a pinch-hit, three-run home run in the eighth inning. The Mets are now home for a possible make or break homestand as they trail the Phillies by 7.5 games.

Wednesday, June 11th

Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Angels 3:35 PM ET

This is a great pitching battle as Scott Kazmir is to take on John Lackey. Kazmir has been solid once again this season as he is 6-1 with a 1.40 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in seven starts. In three career starts against the Angels, he is 2-1 with a 3.36 ERA including six shutout innings this season. Lackey has started right where he left off last year as he is 2-1 with a 1.70 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in five starts, all of which have been quality outings. In 10 starts against Tampa Bay, Lackey is 8-1 with a 2.35 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.

Thursday, June 12th

Washington Nationals at Pittsburgh Pirates 12:35 PM ET

This has the makings of an offensive showcase. Pittsburgh goes with Tom Gorzelanny, who has a 6.83 ERA, one of the worst in baseball for qualified pitchers. He is coming off a quality start against the Diamondbacks but his struggles don’t seem to be too far away. He faces off against Jason Bergmann who had thrown three straight games without allowing a run but has allowed nine runs over his last two outings, covering 11 innings. In his lone starts against the Pirates last season, he allowed six runs in just four innings.

Friday, June 13th

Oakland A’s at San Francisco Giants 10:15 PM ET

The second installment of Interleague games starts on Friday and the big Bay Area rivalry highlights the weekend between Oakland and San Francisco. The storyline in this first game is Barry Zito going against his former team. He faced the A’s twice last season in his first year in San Francisco and the results were not good. He went 0-2 with an 11.25 ERA and 2.88 WHIP which covered just eight innings. He is having a horrendous year in 2008, going 2-9 with a 5.83 ERA and he is winless at home.

Saturday, June 14th

Florida Marlins at Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6:10 PM ET

This game between the two Florida teams used to be for pride only but now there is a lot more on the line as both came into this week well above expectations. Both teams were in second place in their divisions at the start of the week and this is a big series for each side as these out of division games are huge since they are each involved in very tough divisions. The edge goes to the home team with Edwin Jackson on the hill along with a record of 24-10 at Tropicana Field. The Marlins are a game under .500 on the road.

Sunday, June 15th

San Diego Padres at Cleveland Indians 1:05 PM ET

Two of the early season disappointments conclude their series on Sunday. San Diego and Cleveland were both supposed to compete for division titles but neither has come out of the gates strong. The Indians entered the week nine games behind the White Sox while the Padres entered 6.5 games behind Arizona. If for nothing else, the pitching matchup should be a good one as last season’s A.L. Cy Young Winner C.C. Sabathia squares off against four-time Cy Young Winner Greg Maddux.

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