The Rockies are back in town, and that’s good news.
It was just over two weeks ago that the Colorado Rockies visited the San Francisco Giants, so naturally it’s … time for the Colorado Rockies to visit the San Francisco Giants again. In case you weren’t getting familiar enough with teams after six games against the Miami Marlins in nine days, MLB has decided to throw you a triple dose of the Rockies, with another series against them starting a week from today.
You might complain. I might complain. But the Giants likely will not complain, as they swept the Rockies the last time through, outscoring them 11-4 in the process.
So just … you know … do that again. It’s pretty simple.
Who: San Francisco Giants vs. Colorado Rockies
Where: Oracle Park, San Francisco, California
When: Monday (6:45 p.m.), Tuesday (6:45 p.m.), and Wednesday (6:45 p.m.)
National broadcasts: None
Where they stand
San Francisco Giants
Record: 14-8, 2nd in the NL West
Run differential: +10, 4th in the NL
Postseason standing: 1st Wild Card, 1 game out of 1st in the NL
Momentum: 1-game winning streak, 6-4 in their last 10
Record: 8-13, 5th in the NL West
Run differential: +6, 7th in the NL
Postseason standing: 3.5 games out of the Wild Card
Momentum: 1-game winning streak, 5-5 in their last 10
Three Giants to watch
Alex Wood: Wood was one of the biggest question marks entering the season for the Giants, which was only exacerbated when he opened the year on the Injured List. But in his pair of starts since returning, he’s started to answer the questions in the best possible way, with a stat line of 12 innings, 4 hits, 1 walk, 1 earned run, and 11 strikeouts. Given that the Giants have over-performed largely on the back of their pitching, he’s a player to keep an eye on. The Rockies have a team OPS that’s nearly .100 points better against lefties than against righties, so Wednesday will be a meaningful game for Wood.
Tyler Rogers/Jake McGee: The Giants look to have a pretty formidable setup and closer tandem of Rogers and McGee, but neither player pitched their best the last time out. Rogers gave up three hits in his last appearance, while McGee gave up a two-run home run (which admittedly counted as unearned runs due to a Wilmer Flores error). McGee has now given up runs in three of his last four games, after starting the year with eight scoreless appearances.
Brandon Belt: It hasn’t been all that apparent, because his batting average is still pretty low, but Belt has been having a strong offensive year. Helped in part by 10 walks in just 62 plate appearances, Belt has a 124 OPS+, and is finding his groove. With the Giants dealing with some injuries to a lot of their positional players, we may see Belt slide into an everyday role, which would be nice.
Three Rockies to watch
Chi Chi Gonzalez: Gonzalez, who is scheduled to start Tuesday’s game, has pitched 15 innings this season without giving up a home run. He’s been far from dominant — he’s allowed 15 hits and 7 walks in that time, while striking out just 8 — but the Giants primary (and at times, only) offensive weapon this year has been the long ball. So this should be a fun battle.
Dom Nuñez: The Rockies rookie catcher is off to a hot start, with 4 home runs, 1 double, and a very un-catcher like 2 triples in just 47 plate appearances. The Giants are very used to most of the Rockies hitters, but Nuñez — who has fewer than 100 career plate appearances — will be a mostly new look to them.
Charlie Blackmon: Blackmon is off to a horrid start to the season, as the lefty is hitting just .153/.275/.271, good for an OPS+ of just 45. But the four-time All-Star has hit above league average eight years running, and we’ve seen divisional foes break out of slumps against the Giants way too many times over the past few years. I might feel more comfortable if his OPS+ was 145.