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Know Your Foe: San Francisco Giants come to Coors Field fresh off sweep of Dodgers

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The Giants bounced back with a sweep of Los Angeles to salvage a 4-6 record on their recent 10-game homestand.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

After losing nine of 10, including a sweep at the hands of the Rockies at AT&T Park, the Giants swept the Dodgers this week thanks to walk-off wins Wednesday and Thursday.

The three straight wins over Los Angeles shot the Giants all the way up to...last in the NL West. Yes, the defending champions are in last place with a record of 7-10, two-and-a-half games behind the Rockies and three games out of the division lead.

Most of the Giants' struggles have come at the plate, where they have just 35 extra-base hits in 17 games this season and are scoring fewer than three runs per game. Here's hoping a trip to Coors Field can't solve their offensive woes.

Hitters to watch

When discussing San Francisco's offense, you have to start with catcher/first baseman Buster Posey. Posey, like many of his teammates, is off to a slow start in 2015, hitting .250/.333/.350 with a pair of home runs but no doubles or triples. Posey has been a Rockies killer in his career, hitting .373/.441/.615 in 299 career plate appearances against Colorado, with a .412 career batting average at Coors Field.

San Francisco's best hitter this season has actually been outfielder Nori Aoki, who came to the Giants as a free agent after playing with Kansas City last season. Aoki is hitting .315/.375/.397 this year and leads the Giants with 29 total bases.

The only Giant with more than two home runs this season is Brandon Crawford, another Rockies killer with an OPS against Colorado 140 points higher than his career number.

2015 Batting Stats

Name G PA HR R RBI SB BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ BsR Off Def WAR
Nori Aoki 17 80 0 7 3 4 7.5% 12.5% .082 .365 .315 .375 .397 .345 127 -0.1 2.5 -0.8 0.4
Angel Pagan 17 72 0 5 4 2 6.9% 11.1% .091 .356 .318 .361 .409 .339 123 0.3 2.3 0.2 0.5
Joe Panik 16 69 0 6 4 0 8.7% 14.5% .082 .340 .295 .348 .377 .320 110 -0.1 0.7 0.2 0.3
Buster Posey 17 69 2 4 7 0 11.6% 10.1% .100 .250 .250 .333 .350 .304 99 -0.1 -0.1 0.3 0.3
Brandon Crawford 17 62 3 7 9 0 9.7% 22.6% .222 .243 .222 .323 .444 .334 120 -0.4 1.0 0.7 0.4
Gregor Blanco 17 47 0 5 1 1 12.8% 14.9% .146 .265 .220 .319 .366 .298 96 0.2 -0.1 -0.4 0.1
Brandon Belt 12 45 0 1 3 0 11.1% 26.7% .000 .259 .179 .289 .179 .221 44 0.0 -3.0 -0.8 -0.3
Matt Duffy 14 42 1 2 7 0 7.1% 16.7% .135 .300 .270 .317 .405 .317 108 0.0 0.4 0.1 0.2
Casey McGehee 12 42 1 3 2 0 7.1% 21.4% .103 .207 .179 .238 .282 .236 54 -0.4 -2.6 0.1 -0.1
Justin Maxwell 15 35 1 5 5 0 11.4% 22.9% .200 .381 .300 .400 .500 .396 161 0.0 2.4 -0.3 0.3
Hector Sanchez 11 25 0 0 1 0 .0% 32.0% .040 .176 .120 .120 .160 .122 -22 0.0 -3.5 -0.6 -0.4
Joaquin Arias 9 17 1 2 1 0 .0% 29.4% .188 .200 .188 .188 .375 .244 59 0.0 -0.8 0.0 0.0


Pitchers to watch

As they did in San Francisco, the Rockies will miss Giants ace Madison Bumgarner this weekend at Coors Field. The Giants will begin the series with rookie Chris Heston on the mound in Friday's opener. Heston has just 26 major league innings under his belt, the majority of which have come at AT&T Park. Heston has never pitched at Coors Field and a pitcher's first start at altitude is always a dicey proposition.

The Giants' starters for Sunday have considerably more experience. Veteran right-handers Tim Hudson and Tim Lincecum have combined for 316 wins in their careers to go with eight All-Star appearances and Lincecum's two Cy Young Awards.

On the other hand, while I was looking up stats on Hudson and Lincecum, the song "Kryptonite" by 3 Doors Down came on (true story), which I found poetic because both pitchers have the same kryptonite: Coors Field. They have combined to make 22 starts in Denver, pitching 123⅔ innings with a 5.46 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. Hudson, who gets the ball Saturday, has especially struggled, with a 7.29 ERA in his 42 innings at Coors Field.

2015 Pitching Stats

Name W L SV G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
Madison Bumgarner 1 1 0 4 4 23.1 6.56 1.54 1.16 .333 74.7% 38.2% 10.0% 4.63 4.17 4.21 0.2
Chris Heston 2 1 0 3 3 20.2 6.97 2.18 0.44 .246 81.6% 62.1% 7.1% 0.87 3.00 3.28 0.4
Tim Hudson 0 2 0 3 3 18.1 5.40 3.44 0.49 .310 75.2% 60.7% 7.7% 3.93 4.03 4.27 0.1
Tim Lincecum 1 1 0 3 3 18 7.00 3.50 0.50 .292 82.5% 60.4% 7.7% 2.00 3.39 3.63 0.2
Ryan Vogelsong 0 1 0 4 2 16.1 8.27 5.51 2.20 .358 63.4% 37.5% 17.4% 7.71 6.42 5.12 -0.4
George Kontos 1 0 0 9 0 11.2 6.17 0.77 0.00 .222 88.9% 41.7% .0% 0.77 1.94 3.31 0.2
Jean Machi 0 0 0 9 0 9 5.00 4.00 0.00 .267 75.0% 70.4% .0% 3.00 3.27 3.87 0
Santiago Casilla 2 0 5 9 0 8 7.88 4.50 1.13 .304 95.2% 60.9% 25.0% 2.25 5.18 4.22 -0.2
Jake Peavy 0 2 0 2 2 7.2 8.22 4.70 1.17 .423 54.8% 48.1% 10.0% 9.39 4.49 4.53 0
Yusmeiro Petit 0 0 0 5 0 7.1 11.05 1.23 1.23 .350 65.8% 28.6% 10.0% 4.91 2.78 2.83 0.1
Sergio Romo 0 1 0 8 0 6.1 14.21 4.26 0.00 .250 66.7% 33.3% .0% 2.84 1.32 2.79 0.2
Jeremy Affeldt 0 1 0 8 0 6 3.00 4.50 0.00 .211 85.7% 57.9% .0% 1.50 3.89 4.78 0
Javier Lopez 0 0 0 8 0 3.1 2.70 0.00 0.00 .111 .0% 88.9% .0% 2.70 2.45 2.85 0.1


Probable Starters

Game 1: Chris Heston vs. Eddie Butler

Game 2: Tim Hudson vs. Jorge De La Rosa

Game 3: Tim Lincecum vs. Tyler Matzek