Series Preview – San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies – 9/1/14-9/3/14

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San Francisco (74-62) at Colorado (54-82)

  • COL at home (43-33), last 10 (4-6).
  • SF on road (36-29), last 10 (7-3), won six in a row.

Probable Starters:

(Innings pitcher per-start, strikeouts per-9 IP, walks per-9 IP)

Final Countdown - This will be the final time San Francisco and Colorado meet this year. The series kicks-off on Labor Day, rosters are set to expand and the Giants once again have four chances against the Rockies to aid in their pursuit of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. Why four? The afternoon begins with the conclusion of the suspended game from May 22 then they’ll grub and return to the field for their regular scheduled series. Adam Peterson has a recap of everything that went on between Colorado and Arizona in the desert here.

Fire Starters - After taking three-of-four from the Rockies the Giants swept Milwaukee over the weekend scoring 31 runs in three games. The usually suspects got the job done for the Giants offense.

San Francisco’s top hitters over the last seven days (4 vs. COL, 3 vs. MIL):

And the Giants supporting cast has stepped up.

Bruce Bochy’s lineup is clicking at the right time. Overall they are hitting .325/.389/.512 with six home runs and 42 runs scored over their last seven games. Through six games in Coors Field this season the Giants are hitting .242/.318/.475 with a whopping 11 home runs. Despite the power San Francisco is just 2-3 in Colorado this season.

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Grind TimeFranklin Morales held San Francisco to one run on seven hits last week. He didn’t give out free passes, one walk, struck out six and induced 11 ground balls. In five appearances verses the Giants this season Morales has given up four home runs. It will be a challenge for Morales who still has a .293 batting average against overall this season to limit a streaking Giants offense.

It goes down as a quality start, six innings pitched with three runs given up, for Jordan Lyles last week in San Francisco but the 23 year-old right-hander will be looking to start fresh in September. Lyles made five starts in August in his return off the disabled list posting a 5.46 ERA, 1.429 WHIP with 23 strikeouts and 14 walks. The damage in those 28 IP came from 26 hits, four of which left the yard. It was a two-run home run from Gregor Blanco that dented Lyles line last week.

Christian Bergman‘s control was not there against Arizona over the weekend. He only gave up two hits in 5 1/3 innings pitched but handed out five walks. The 26 year-old lefty does have one start against the Giants this season back on June 14th. Bergman is not going to blow hitters away with his 88.8 mph fastball so he needs to hit his spots. Opposing hitters have made contact on 89.9 percent of pitches thrown in the strike zone this year.

(Lyles - zimbio.com)

(Lyles – zimbio.com)

Where’s the Spark? - Who’s going to ignite the Rockies offense? Colorado has been outscored 24-to-12 over their last seven games going 2-5. Outside of a 3-2 win to open the series against the Giants, the Rockies offense has been held to nine runs and while striking out 57 times leading to a .144/.175/.239 team batting line over their last six games.

If it’s grind time for the Rockies pitchers, their hitters have to string together frustrating at-bats for the Giants starters. Through 16 games this season Giants pitchers have held Colorado hitters to a .249/.307/.398 slash line while racking up 123 strikeouts and only giving up 40 walks. The Rockies do have 17 home runs off the Giants and would be playing with fire just counting on one big hit to chance to momentum.

Giant HurlersTim Hudson owns a 7.05 career ERA at Coors Field through seven starts. He’s given up 48 hits in 37 IP. The veteran right-hander will hope that his 8 IP, four hit, eight strikeout, 12 ground balls induced performance against the Rockies last week will be fresh in hitters minds.

Yusmeiro Petit slide into Tim Linciecum’s starting rotation spot and just struck out nine Rockies over six innings while giving up four hit and one run. The 29 year-old righty has been very successful starting or pitching out of the pen this season posting a 3.44 ERA, 0.996 WHIP with 96 strikeouts and 17 walks.

Ryan Vogelsong started slow this season and has settled into the backend of the Giants rotation. The 37 year-old left-hander tossed 38 1/3 innings in August surrendering 11 runs on 23 hits good for a 2.58 ERA. It’s been a while since he has seen the Rockies, June 14th to be exact. Colorado has cranked out 13 hits and eight runs off Vogelsong this season in 6 1/3 innings. Colorado’s lineup will be ready.

Top “Healthy” Rockies hitters vs. Volgelsong this season:

DailybaseballData.com has a look at how Bochy has used his bullpen over the last week.

About J.J. Buck

J.J. Buck - Sports radio host in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Also a student at the University of New Mexico. I grew up just outside of Denver in Arvada, Colorado. My parents took me to the first ever Rockies game at Mile High Stadium. While my memories are hazy, I was five years-old, it got me hooked on the game. My passion for sports runs deep. From the Rockies to the Avalanche, a Rocky Mountain sports fan to the bone.
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