Giants' bullpen nearly matches Padres'

SAN FRANCISCO -- If Clayton Richard settles down the Giants dig themselves out of this four-run hole and this game turns into a battle of the bullpens, you'd probably figure the Padres have the edge.

And you might be right. But you might be wrong.

Yes, San Diego's relievers sport a 2.81 ERA, lowest in the National League. But the Giants aren't far behind, in third place with a 3.09 mark.

Let's look at their specific guys.

The Padres have Heath Bell (1.86 ERA, 86 strikeouts/27 walks), but the Giants have Brian Wilson (1.83, 92/26).

The Padres have Luke Gregerson (3.21, 88/18), but the Giants have Santiago Casilla (2.08, 53/26)

The Padres have Mike Adams (1.80, 71/23) , but the Giants have Sergio Romo (2.24, 68/14!).

Really, the Padres have just one real weapon the Giants don't: left-hander Joe Thatcher, who's been almost unbelievably brilliant in his 63 games -- and only 35 innings -- this season. If Bud Black needs to retire a lefty swinger in a key spot, he can bring Thatcher in and feel really confident.

As edges go, though, this one's particularly small tonight. Because the Giants have just one key left-handed hitter, Aubrey Huff. And I'll bet Joe Thatcher's thinking about Huff already.