Having won five of their first seven games, the San Francisco Giants head into Denver today to face a Colorado Rockies team that just gave up 32 runs in three games to the otherwise punchless San Diego Padres.
That bodes well for the Giants, who are third in the National League in OPS and second in home runs during this young season.
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The Rockies happen to be first in both categories, due in large part to the historic run that rookie shortstop Trevor Story has been on, belting seven home runs in the first six games of his major league career.
Story has also struck out eight times in 27 at-bats and has no other extra-base hits; in fact, he only has a pair of singles as his only non-home run hits. So the Giants will aim to keep Story in the park this week, which should neutralize Colorado’s week-one star.
Even if they accomplish that, the Giants still have to deal with Carlos Gonzalez, Nolan Arenado and D.J. LeMahieu. And Charlie Blackmon and Gerardo Parra, who have both gotten off to slow starts, are offensive forces looking to get their bats going.
Keeping Colorado’s lineup in check will be Jeff Samardzija’s task on Tuesday, at least enough for the Giants’ bats to go to work on Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood. While toeing the rubber for the Rockies is usually a death sentence for one’s ERA, Chatwood has managed some success in Colorado—and against the Giants.
He carried a 3.15 ERA in 2013, including an impressive 3.50 ERA in 11 home games, during which he only gave up four home runs. He holds a 3.46 ERA in 39 career innings against the Giants. But he missed most of 2014 and 2015 due to injury, so the Giants will be reacquainting themselves with the right-hander.
In his lone 2016 start, Chatwood held the Arizona Diamondbacks to one earned run over 6 ⅓ innings.
The Giants’ shouldn’t have much trouble boosting their slugging percentages on Wednesday, when Jordan Lyles, he of a career 5.15 ERA, goes up against Jake Peavy. No. 1 Rockies starter Jorge de la Rosa takes the mound Thursday against Matt Cain.