Franklin Morales has been awful in each of his last four starts. He's allowed at least four earned runs every time, his ERA is 7.29 over this stretch, opponents have hit to a .986 OPS against him, and his WHIP is a dreadful 1.91. This is extremely disappointing considering that he has a 4.53 ERA for his career and a .755 OPS allowed. If Morales is going to start, I don't expect him to be great, but I do at least expect him to be that guy.
If you want to find the last game where Morales performed well, you have to back to April 22, where he went seven innings, allowed just one run, struck out seven and only walked only two in a narrow 2-1 victory. Even better, he beat Madison Bumgarner who he will face again tonight. If there was ever a good game for Morales to get back on track, it would be this one against the hated Giants.
If Colorado finds a way to win tonight, the tables could rapidly turn on San Francisco with Jhoulys Chacin an Jorge De La Rosa going in the final two games of this series.
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One of the most important aspects of Giants vs. Rockies is the where the game is being played, because as we know, the home team tends to win a ridiculously large amount of these match ups. In fact, in the last 12 of these games at Coors Field, the Rockies are 9-3; which mirrors perfectly with the Giants 9-3 record against the Rockies in the last 12 games at AT&T park dating back to the beginning of the 2013 season. Since the Rockies are home in this series, they must protect the mountain if they want to win the season series, because they are very unlikely to pick up games on the Giants when they visit San Francisco.
One other aspect of Giants vs. Rockies games: They are usually wild affairs. The last ten games between these two teams for instance has come down to one run NINE TIMES, and the one that didn't went to extra innings. This actually makes the home and road records even more perplexing, because it's not like these teams are ever blowing each other other out, but the home team usually does end up coming out on top.
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With Morales on the mound, the Rockies figure they are going to have to score a bunch of runs. So they've loaded, and I mean loaded the lineup with right handers against lefty Madison Bumgarner. The only everyday lefty the Giants' starter is going to see tonight is Carlos Gonzalez, and Cargo has a 1.252 OPS against him in 41 career plate appearances. For his career Bumgarner has allowed a .578 OPS against to lefties, and a .688 OPS to righties. The Rockies have also hit to a .745 OPS against him at Coors Field so this is not the easiest match up for him.
As far as the Giants lineup is concerned, Buster Posey is out with a nerve irritation and is listed as day to day. With Brandon Belt on the DL, this leaves the Giants short an ideal catcher and first baseman. As a result, Hector Sanchez will start behind the plate (no surprise there), Michael Morse will come in from left and play first base, and Tyler Colvin who hit to the tune of a .472 OPS with the Rockies last season will make his return to Coors in the left Field corner.
In just eight games for the Giants so far, Colvin has already racked up six extra base hits (ugh!!!), and in 24 plate appearances, he's hitting .364 with an 1.189 OPS.