Series Preview: #Rockies (58-87) vs. #SFGiants (83-63)
The last time the Giants played the Rockies, Colorado was but a 56-win team. Now, Colorado has graduated to 58, and has visions of a 60-win season for 2012. That’s me being a big ass, and hey, maybe the Rockies will split, or even win the series over the Giants — never know with this crazy sport! If it was easy to predict, we’d all be rich from betting on it. As far as I know, Troy Tulowitzki is with the team, but of course we haven’t seen him play since the first half of the season, which seems like forever ago. The Giants have a four-gamer with the Rockies, and could knock off as much as 7 E# from that “9″ that currently stands next to their name by the end of this series. The Dodgers have Monday off, and then begin a three-gamer in Washington D.C. This of course means that the Giants cannot clinch a playoff spot on the last day of this series, even if the Giants can actually pull off a sweep, which would be worthy of celebration in and of itself.
Monday, September 17th: RHP Jhoulys Chacin vs. LHP Madison Bumgarner
One sentence summary: The rematch you’ve been waiting fo– no you haven’t, but you do want MadBum to go longer than the 4.1 IP he did last time, but wouldn’t mind Chacin only going 4.0 IP or less again.
Tuesday, September 18th: LHP Jeff Francis vs. RHP Tim Lincecum
One sentence summary: Another rematch and last time Tim Lincecum (6.0 IP, 8 K) had twice as long of an outing as Jeff Francis did (3.0 IP, 5 K), lots of thanks to that good ol’ 75-pitch ceiling!
Wednesday, September 19th: RHP Tyler Chatwood vs. RHP Matt Cain
One sentence summary: Chatwood is of the rare breed that has a higher ERA on the road than at his Coors Field home (5.33/5.96), while Matt Cain is of the Giants breed that has a lower ERA at his AT&T yard than on the road (2.26/3.56). **Remember, defense can play a role in ERA!**
Thursday, September 20th: LHP Drew Pomeranz vs. LHP Barry Zito
One sentence summary: Through 3-0 counts, Pomeranz (in 22 tries), has one strikeout and a .479 wOBA against, while Barry Zito (in 39 tries) has no strikeouts and a .759 wOBA against (moral of the story: don’t fall behind, Barry).
From the hot to the cold
It’s been less than a week since the last time these two teams faced off, so you’re likely to remember the names of the Rockies players that step up to the plate. Chris Nelson (.601 wOBA L7, .345 wOBA overall) has been on the biggest tear of late, while part-timers Charlie Blackmon (.503, .292) and Matt McBride (.452, .216) have also made positive contributions in their limited PA of late. The powerful catcher Wilin Rosario (.421, .343) and OF Carlos Gonzalez (.390 wOBA L7, 4 SB L7; .381 wOBA overall, 20 SB overall) have also been making their mark on the ball. Josh Rutledge is still the guy on the weakest tear within the past week (.168 wOBA L7, .359 wOBA overall), but due to these sample sizes being so small, they really are in no way predictive of what’s to come.
The nation is pushing its love affair for Buster Posey to another level as he makes his MVP push, and he’s kept his foot on the gas of late in the midst of his second-half destruction of the opposition (.542 wOBA L7, 2 HR; .403 wOBA overall, 22 HR overall). Angel Pagan, though silent on the steals in the past week, has been getting his hits at the top of the order to set things up for the offense (.438 wOBA L7, .340 wOBA overall), and Marco Scutaro is right behind him (.414, .317). Hunter Pence looks to be getting going (.412 wOBA L7, 2 HR L7; .327 wOBA overall, 21 HR overall), and is making some hard contact on pitches, both fair and foul. The two guys that are struggling to contribute are the two boys that have the nickname “Panda” associated with them — Pablo, of the Kung Fu (.143 wOBA L7, .317 wOBA overall), and Hector, sometimes called “the Baby Panda” (.176, .270). I get the feeling Pablo’s body would welcome the off-season if it came today, but for now, he’s going to have to continue playing in his current condition.
Someone the other day said to me, “Imagine how good the Giants would be if their pitching was as dominant as it was a couple of years ago.” Weird that we’re saying that, isn’t it? In front of the home familiars, I’m expecting dominance.
Monday: Giants win
Tuesday: Giants win
Wednesday: Rockies win
Thursday: Giants win
When we wake up on Friday, I predict the Giants magic number to be at 4. Imagine if both the Giants and Nationals sweep.