SFO: Jonathan Sanchez (5-10) 4.49 ERA. COL: Aaron Cook (10-5) 4.31 ERA.
Huge, huge, huge series. I know I have said that before, but when it's late August and you're playing the Wild Card leader in a four game set on the road, well...the kind of momentum that will be taken from that series will either carry the Giants into the playoffs or end their hopes completely. That's how important this series is I believe. Yeah, I know, the real games are played in September, but the Giants don't have many games left in September against the Rockies. This is one of the last few chances where the Giants will be able to make serious ground on the Rockies, and this team needs to take advantage of it, especially considering the Rockies are seeming to win all the games they are supposed to win.
Tonight, Jonathan Sanchez goes against Aaron Cook, and the last time those two face each other the results didn't go so hot in the Giants favor. But there is some silver lining of hope: Cook is coming off an atrocious start where he gave up seven runs in 2.1 innings and Sanchez is coming off a start where he went seven strong innings and only gave up two runs courtesy of a two-run home run (then again, that homer was hit by Luis "I don't hit homers ever" Castillo). My hope? Both pitchers continue their trend and Sanchez has another solid outing, only this time he has a lead. My fear? Sanchez continues his trend of good-start, bad start outings and Cook bounces back at home.
The good news for this game is Freddy Sanchez is back in the lineup, who was sorely missed in the Reds series. Sorry, Uribe and Velez aren't getting it done at second. I like Uribe, but he's a strictly two to three times a week kind of guy, and Velez should only be playing in left field, period. Thankfully, with Sanchez back in the lineup, we won't worry about those guys holding down second in a series where one or two plays could sway the momentum of the four-game set. Furthermore, Sanchez has raked at Colorado in the past. For all those Colorado fans who are confident that this series is a slam dunk because of the results against the Giants about a month ago, just remember...the Giants didn't have Freddy Sanchez. I know one guy doesn't make a difference, but having Sanchez at second and second in the lineup is a lot better than having Uribe starting. So don't get too cocky Colorado. This could be a different Giants team this time around.
Then again, I say could, because you can never predict anything with this freaking Giants offense.
For game updates check out the SJ Mercury's Andrew Baggarly's Giants blog at Extra Baggs. For live game thread and chat, check out the McCovey Chronicles.
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