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Several Giants nearing career numbers

Several Giants nearing career numbers

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants might be fading from the postseason picture, but the season's final 20 games still will have meaning for several players who are pursuing individual accomplishments.

These and other Giants can continue pursuing their goals in Sunday's series finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers, which is to be televised nationally on TBS. Chip Caray will handle play-by-play duties, accompanied by analysts Buck Martinez and David Wells.

Left-hander Jeremy Affeldt is striving to put the finishing touches on what has been by far his best year. He has a 1.89 ERA, nearly half of his previous best (3.33 last season), and he leads the Major Leagues with 29 holds. Affeldt also had induced 16 double plays, more than any reliever in the Majors.

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Closer Brian Wilson already has exceeded the 67 strikeouts he accumulated last year by amassing 72. He'd also like to maintain his opponents' batting average of .232, which would eclipse last year's figure of .263.

Matt Cain needs one victory to reach a career-high 14. His ERA of 2.61 would be his best by more than a run. And right-hander Justin Miller has an opportunity to record his lowest ERA. It's currently 2.89, which would top the 3.65 he posted with Florida in 2007.

On offense, Pablo Sandoval ranks fourth in the National League with a .322 batting average. He's seeking the first top-five finish by a Giants hitter since Barry Bonds topped the NL with a .362 average in 2004 (Moises Alou would have made the top five with his .321 average in 2005 but lacked enough at-bats to qualify).

Sandoval is also hitting .363 at AT&T Park, the NL's highest home batting average.

Catcher Bengie Molina needs two home runs to match the season high of 19 he reached in 2006 and '07.

Defensively, Randy Winn remains the NL's lone outfielder to have played error-free baseball while recording at least 800 innings.

Pitching matchup
SF: RHP Brad Penny (9-8, 5.15 ERA)
This matchup will be intriguing, to say the least. Penny excelled for the Dodgers from 2006-07, posting a 32-13 record, making the All-Star team both years and finishing third in the NL Cy Young Award balloting in 2007. But he endured shoulder problems in 2008, wasn't re-signed after a 6-9 finish and was openly criticized by Dodgers coach Larry Bowa, among others. So far, Penny has found new life with the Giants, allowing two runs and eight hits over 15 innings.

LAD: RHP Chad Billingsley (12-9, 3.93 ERA)
Billingsley didn't have typical velocity with his fastball and he fell behind early to the D-backs during his last start. But relying on a sharp breaking ball, he kept the game close enough for the Dodgers to pull out a victory after he was removed. Still, he allowed four runs in six innings, hasn't won since Aug. 18 or pitched longer than six innings since July 5.

Tidbits
The Giants have used 44 players this year -- 21 pitchers and 23 position players. Last year, the Giants used 49. ... Clayton Tanner fired seven scoreless innings before relievers Daniel Turpen and Rafael Cova completed the shutout as San Jose, the Giants' high Class A affiliate, posted a 1-0 victory over the Bakersfield Blaze in Game 1 of the best-of-five North Division Series on Saturday. Tanner scattered seven hits while the Giants scored in the bottom of the third on Nick Noonan's single. ... Penny will face the Dodgers on Sunday for the first time since 2004.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

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

On television
• CSN-BA, TBS

On radio
• KNBR 680, KIQI (Español), KATD 990 (Sp.)

Up next
• Monday: Giants (TBD) vs. Rockies (Jason Hammel, 8-7, 4.31), 7:15 p.m. PT
• Tuesday: Giants (Barry Zito, 9-12, 3.99) vs. Rockies (Ubaldo Jimenez, 13-10, 3.32), 7:15 p.m. PT
• Wednesday: Giants (Matt Cain, 13-5, 2.61) vs. Rockies (TBD), 7:15 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.

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