Series Preview: Rockies at #SFGiants


May 26, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt (9) waits for the ball as Colorado Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler (24) makes it back to first during the first inning at AT
The Colorado Rockies are in town for a 3 game series with the Giants. The Rockies are in 3rd place in the NL West with a record of 66-78, not much better than the Giants who are at 64-79 and in last place. The Rockies just lost 3 straight in San Diego, only scoring 6 runs all series, and the Giants just split 4 games at home with the DBacks.

Strangely enough, these are the only two teams in the NL West with a winning record inside the division. The Giants are best at 35-28 and the Rockies have gone 33-31. But here they sit, 1.5 games apart for the bottom of the division.

These teams have split their previous 16 games straight down the middle at 8 apiece. Colorado has scored only 2 runs more than the Giants in these ballgames. This is the last time in 2013 that the Rockies and Giants will see each other.

With a series win the Giants would have a winning home stand for the first time since late May. That was fueled by Angel Pagan‘s late game heroics.

There are 3 different players on the Rockies with over 20 home runs. Carlos Gonzalez leads the way with 26, he is just coming back after missing a month. Troy Tulowitzki (22) and Wilin Rosario (21) are also over 20 with All Star Michael Cuddyer (18) knocking on the door. Jul 29, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Colorado Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez (5) and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) react after scoring against the Atlanta Braves during the third inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Dexter Fowler has been day-to-day lately with a left knee injury. He has missed the last 2 games for the Rockies and the switch hitting lead off man’s status for this series is unknown.

The left handed Rex Brothers has taken over the closer’s role for Colorado after Rafeal Betancourt was sidelined with a muscle tear in his elbow. Brothers blew his last save attempt Friday Night in San Diego allowing 2 runs and only getting one out. He has 15 saves on the season.

The Giants will face the top 3 of the Rockies rotation in this series. So let’s look at the matchups.

Monday Sept. 9, 7:15pt

RHP Jhoulys Chacin (13-8. 3.16) vs. RHP Tim Lincecum (9-13, 4.50)

Aug 18, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin (45) throws in the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY SportsThe last time the Giants faced Chacin he took a no hitter in to the 7th inning. Brandon Crawford finally broke it up with a 2 out single to center field. Chacin has been consistent all season. Over his last 10 starts he has a 2.47 ERA and averages just under 7 innings per start. Hitters are averaging just .240 off Chacin during that stretch. According to Baseball Reference, Chacin has the 3rd highest WAR (6.3) among all pitchers in baseball.

Lincecum hasn’t faced the Rockies since May. He has pitched better of late but still can’t seem to go too deep in games. In his last 8 starts, Timmy has allowed 74 baserunners in 50 innings pitched. He’s constantly pitching out of the stretch. His ERA is down to 3.96 during his last 8 games, but he is barely getting to the 6th inning, if at all. This could be the second to last start for Timmy at AT&T Park, depending on what happens this offseason. It would be nice to see vintage Timmy for another start or two.

Tuesday Sept. 10, 7:15pt

LHP Jorge De La Rosa (16-6, 3.31) vs. RHP Ryan Vogelsong (3-5, 5.62)

The 2013 season has been De La Rosa’s best in the big leagues. The 32 year old is on pace to set personal records in starts, wins, and have his lowest career ERA. The Rockies have won the last 6 games started by De La Rosa. He features a 91 mph fastball that he uses about half the time. His out pitch is an 83 mph change up that he will use almost 30 percent of the time. Sometimes he will mix in a slider or slow curve, but is basically a fastball/changeup pitcher.

Vogelsong has had mixed results since his return from The DL 6 starts ago. He has had 2 really good ones, 2 so-so, and 2 that were just not good. The big inning has been getting Vogelsong as of late. In 3 of those 6 starts he has given up 3 or more runs in a single inning 3 different times. We really don’t know which Vogelsong we will see out there right now. Hopefully it’s the one that gets ahead of hitters and works quickly.

Wednesday Sept. 11, 12:45pt

RHP Juan Nicasio (8-7, 4.68) vs. RHP Yusmeiro Petit (3-0, 2.05) September 6, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Yusmeiro Petit (52, right) celebrates with catcher Hector Sanchez (29, left) after the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at AT

This is Nacsio’s first full season in the Rockies rotation. He will be making his 5th start against the Giants this season. He’s had good success against our boys, not allowing a home run in any of those starts. In 22 innings pitchesd against the Giants this eason Nicasio has a 2.45 ERA with 18 strikeouts and 9 walks. The Giants are hitting .245 off Nicasio. Random note, he started for the Rockies on the day Pagan beat them with his walk off inside the park home run.

Yusmeiro Petit is coming off his best ever start in the majors. He was one strike, and one foot, away from a perfect game. The hit fell in and he retired the next batter for a complete game shutout, the first of his career. Go check out more at this link if you haven’t gotten enough of that night yet. Stuart did a great recap of the events last Friday night.

The Giants have won all 3 of Petit’s starts this season. His first start was against the Rockies in Colorado back on August 27th. That night he held them to 2 runs in 6 innings, striking out 6. He actually threw more pitches in his 2 starts before the near perfecto, than he did in all 9 innings of that game Petit has 23 K’s in 23 innings pitched as a starter and is making a strong case to be looked at for the 2014 rotation.

Enjoy the series, and let’s all hope the Giants can climb out of last place this week.