In Denver last week, the Colorado Rockies notched their first series victory over the San Francisco Giants since May of 2011, sparking conversation about whether or not the purple pinstripers truly turned the tides in what has been a very one-sided rivalry.
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However, the real test comes this weekend, when the Giants host the Rockies at AT&T Park, a place in which Colorado has not won a series since June of 2010 and holds a record of 8-22 since the start of the 2010 season. It's not just the Rockies than San Francisco has dominated at the bay, either; the Giants have a .575 winning percentage at home since 2010, the best such mark in the game.
At home this year, the Giants are 17-8, including a three-game sweep of the Rockies in early-April. San Francisco outscored Colorado, 23-8, on the strength of a 10-0 victory in the series finale. Colorado was in the first two games -- and actually held a four-run lead on two separate occasion in Game 2 -- but was unable to come away with a victory.
The Giants, of course, continued their theme of resiliency last weekend in Denver, erasing a 6-0 deficit in Game 1 en route to an 8-6 win. San Francisco squandered its own four-run lead in Game 2, but nearly came back from five runs down later in the game, ultimately settling for a 10-9 loss. Colorado dominated the final two games of the series unlike anything we've seen from the team in games against the Giants over the past few seasons, outscoring San Francisco, 15-2, across both games to secure the 3-1 series win.
Even though San Francisco's starting pitching was already developing serious question marks even before that series, allowing 31 runs in four games in Denver made those questions rapidly multiply. Of course, upon returning home, the Giants' starters righted the ship, allowing just four runs to Washington in a 2-1 series victory. Matt Cain, who will start Game 3 of the series against the Rockies, got back on the right track after a rough start in Denver, allowing just two runs on four hits in seven innings. Cain was good in his two starts before allowing six runs at Coors Field, so the Giants have to feel good about their ace going forward.
San Francisco's bats went cold in its final two games in Denver, but the team bounced back with eight runs on 17 hits in Game 1 against Washington. The Giants didn't have the same type of success in the next two games, but they faced the task of going against Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, who can obviously shut anyone down on any given day.
For the Giants to be successful in this series, they'll likely need a stronger offensive showing thean they had in the last two games, although Colorado's bats have the propensity to disappear at AT&T Park, as we all know.
*Thanks to Grant Brisbee for the inspiration.*
Game 1: Friday, May 24 at 8:15 p.m. MT (ROOT Sports)
Tyler Chatwood (2-0, 2.55 ERA) vs. Tim Lincecum (3-3, 4.70 ERA)
Game 2: Saturday, May 25 at 2:05 p.m. MT (ROOT Sports)
Juan Nicasio (4-1, 4.47) vs. Barry Zito (3-3, 3.91)
Game 3: Sunday, May 26 at 2:05 p.m. MT (ROOT Sports)
Jon Garland (3-5, 5.19) vs. Matt Cain (3-2, 5.12)