Giants face unknown at Fenway

Giants face unknown at Fenway

The Giants will have a chance to see what the fuss is all about.

In this case, it's the fuss surrounding Boston right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka, who won seven of his first nine decisions to give the Red Sox an immediate return on their $100-million-plus investment. Matsuzaka will face the Giants on Saturday in the second game of the three-game Interleague series.

Matsuzaka has lost his last three starts, but he remains among the American League leaders in wins, strikeouts and strikeouts per nine innings. Inside the Giants' clubhouse, his reputation precedes him.

"Obviously, it goes without saying that he's made an impact from the get-go," Mark Sweeney said.

Still relatively unfamiliar to American ballplayers, Matsuzaka is guaranteed to force Giants hitters to consult videos of his previous outings.

"A lot of guys are going to rely on that," Sweeney said.

The afternoon start also could be a factor.

"I think the biggest thing on our hitters' minds is that hopefully it's not sunny, so there's no shadow," Sweeney said.

Pitching matchup
SF: RHP Matt Cain (2-6, 3.31 ERA)
Cain turned in a worthy performance in his last outing, but as is usually the case for him, the Giants struggled offensively. Cain has received two or fewer runs of support in eight of his 13 starts. He received none in his last start against Oakland, when he threw seven spectacular shutout innings before giving up Marco Scutaro's eighth-inning homer.

BOS: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (7-5, 4.52 ERA)
Matsuzaka has lost his past three starts, but that isn't indicative of the way he's pitched. In fact, he yielded a total of four runs over 13 innings in his last two outings. He lost to Randy Johnson in his last start, giving up two runs in six innings while striking out nine on Sunday. Matsuzaka has taken some lumps at Fenway Park this season, where he's 3-2 with a 5.62 ERA.

Player to watch
Barry Bonds loves a challenge. He'll certainly receive a challenge against Matsuzaka, who has limited left-handed batters to a .241 batting average.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FOX

On radio
• KNBR 680

Up next
• Sunday: Giants (Matt Morris, 7-3, 2.56) at Red Sox (Tim Wakefield, 6-7, 3.92), 11:05 a.m. PT
• Monday: Giants (Noah Lowry, 6-5, 3.46) at Brewers (Yovani Gallardo, MLB debut), 5:05 p.m. PT
• Tuesday: Giants (Tim Lincecum, 2-1, 5.25) at Brewers (Ben Sheets, 7-3, 3.31), 5:05 p.m. PT

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.