Saturday, August 22, 2009

Potent Preview: San Francisco Giants (67-55) at Colorado Rockies (68-54)

Probable starters:
SFO: Joe Martinez (3-1) 4.76 ERA. COL: Jorge De La Rosa (11-8) 4.58 ERA.

The Giants got a big win last night against the Rockies. Granted, there were some odd events that swayed in the Giants' favor. Troy Tulowitzki was sick from an illness and missed yesterday's game and could possibly miss today game as well (killer for my fantasy team though). Aaron Cook was taken out of the game after three innings due to some problems with his arm. And lastly, Aaron Rowand, of all people, hit a three-run home run to make the game 6-1 and out of reach for the Rockies.

That being said, the game felt close the whole game mainly due to two factors: the Giants couldn't come through time and time again with RISP, and the Giants bullpen had problems with walks. We all know the problems with the former, but the latter in my mind is a more disturbing trend. This Giants bullpen doesn't seem to get overmatched very often. However, they seem to get into trouble very offten when they lose their command and aren't able to locate the strike zone. Affeldt, Wilson, Romo and Medders have all had innings where they have shut down the opposition. But they also have had outings where they walk the house and give up a big, run-producing hit which could have been avoided had they kept their pitches under control. Granted, I can't complain too much. Compared to last year when the Giants were going with Jack Taschner, Tyler Walker and Keiichi Yabu in the big moments, this Giants bullpen actually looks phenomenal.

De La Rosa has been a very solid pitcher this second half and pitched incredibly well against San Francisco, especially in the last outing against former No. 5 starter Ryan Sadowski. That being said, the Giants have a much better starter this go-around in Joe Martinez, a guy who does all the right things to succeed in a park like Colorado. He's a sinker ball pitcher, he's going to induce groundouts, and those are two things you need to do in Colorado. When you throw straight, and allow a lot of fly balls, things are going to get rough for you as a pitcher. Thankfully, Martinez really doesn't embody those qualities too much.

On one last note, I hope to god Freddy Sanchez is in the lineup. I know he's beat up, but the one thing we can't have is him sitting the bench. This is one of the biggest series of the years and if he misses more than one game, then the Giants' chances aren't going to look so good. Furthermore, him sitting the bench starts to get me skeptical about the Sanchez-for-Alderson trade, which at the deadline I accepted as a good trade...as long as he was healthy.

If this issues continues to be a trend (With Sanchez taking three to four games off every couple of weeks), then I'm afraid that GM Neal Huntington and the Bucs may have swindled us.

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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