The last time the Giants went to Coors Field they didn't get all of what they wanted. Sure, they got some wins, but what a lot of them were looking forward to was to smash baseballs out of the park. Players always look forward to hit at Coors Field because of it's smaller dimensions and higher altitude where there is practically no wind present.
The Giants just came off a sweep of the Cardinals (the whole two games), but Colorado can't say the same. They fell short both times to the now second place NL West holders, the Dbacks. Well, fell short is being nice about it, they were pounded the first game 6-14 and the second game by 3-9.
The Giants are the best road team and the Rockies are the best home team, so it should be a showdown in Colorado.
Chris Richard (1B): hamstring (60-day DL)
Jesse Foppert (5-7, 5.21 ERA)
Aaron Cook (2-6, 5.91 ERA)
Darren Oliver (6-5, 4.82 ERA)
I am giving Foppert the benefit of the doubt against Aaron Cook. We finally found someone who's doing just a little worse than Foppert is, who'd know they'd be facing each other? Foppert somewhat found a bit of his rhythm back in his last start, but still has a long way to go. Cook has just been... not good for the Rockies, and since both pitchers are struggling in the park known as Coors Field, the hitter's park, then they've got their work cut out for them. It's going to be a high scoring game. Foppert did well against the Rockies last time he faced them, limiting their team batting average against him at a .188. The Giants have a .324 success against Cook.
Jason Schmidt has pitched three complete games consecutively, and the All-Star break wouldn't be much of a break for him either since he'll most likely be starting the game. He needs to rest, and Schmidt and Alou both make it sound like it's best that Schmidt rests during this start in Colorado, which is not a pitcher friendly ballpark. So the sizzling Jim Brower may get this spot start, and this man just won't stop. He limited the Cards to one run in his last spot start for Damian Moss and he only gave up one run to the Cards in early relief for Kirk Rueter, who had to leave the last game against the Cardinals with a strained shoulder.
J.T. Snow (.274)
Andres Galarraga (.302)
Todd Helton (.344)
Mark Sweeney (.209)
Snow has a great extension and is able to get those wide throws. He is also an experienced first baseman and makes little errors.
Helton has been a hot batter for the Rockies and was voted to start in the All-Star game, but still, we can't ignore Galarraga's hot hitting in Colorado. Snow has also been coming around, getting hits consistently.
Ray Durham (.304)
Neifi Perez (.286)
Ronnie Belliard (.302)
Durham has been a defensive presence for the Giants, being a great middle man in a double play. Perez continues to wow us with his defensive abilities.
Belliard and Durham have been good hitters for their respective teams. Durham has been doing his job of getting on base and so has Belliard, so this position is up for grabs.
Rich Aurilia (.261)
Juan Uribe (.257)
Uribe makes many errors at shortstop, but Aurilia has been solid along with the rest of the Giants' defense.
Aurilia is finally hitting the ball, and since he didn't have that great of a series at Coors Field last time, look for him to shoot for another long one, longer than the one he has at the park which already holds the record for the longest homerun hit at Coors. Uribe is a high strikeout victim.
Edgardo Alfonzo (.235)
Pedro Feliz (.231)
Greg Norton (.256)
Chris Stynes (.279)
Mark Bellhorn (.219)
Alfonzo was acquired for his offense, but who'd knew he'd be such a great third baseman? He came up with some impressive stops in the last series against the Cardinals.
Alfonzo is starting to heat up and has been very consistent with his hitting, although the Giants wouldn't mind if he started jacking the ball. Alfonzo has gone close to two hundred at-bats without hitting a homerun. He's due, he's definitely due.
Benito Santiago (.294)
Yorvit Torrealba (.270)
Chris Johnson (.233)
Bobby Estalella (.225)
Depending on whether or not Santiago returns to the line-up for the series, this can go either way. Johnson is a good throwing catcher from his knees, probably the best in the league. Santiago will be very much needed in the line-up, but Torrealba has shown that he is able to do a decent job as well.
Santiago is a needed part of the Giants' offense, but they seem to be doing fine without him, the question is for how long can they do without him? Especially at Coors Field where five runs may not be enough to win the ball game.
Barry Bonds (.308)
Jay Payton (.297)
Greg Vaughn (.194)
Bonds still has it. He made a spectacular catch against the Padres and continues his great defensive play in left field.
Bonds will be looking forward to playing at Coors Field. He won't go easy on those high pitches, so Colorado should be ready for a show, Bonds will be smacking baseballs in the stands all series long.
Marquis Grissom (.305)
Preston Wilson (.295)
Both Grissom and Wilson have shown that they are able to cover ground and to play center field. Wilson is not afraid to dive for balls and Grissom can run down any ball hit in his direction.
Both Grissom and Wilson have about the same batting average. Grissom has a better record against the Rockies than Wilson does against the Giants, but Wilson has been one of the hot hitters for Colorado.
Jose Cruz, Jr. (.264)
Larry Walker (.296)
Cruz continues to show his brilliance in the outfield, running down fly balls the look to be extra bases for the hitters that end up as outs.
Walker is one of the most feared hitters in the league and is second to the most walks given behind Bonds. Cruz is heating up though and showing definite signs of the way he was in the beginning of the season.
The Giants' bullpen has been very impressive in their last few outings, especially showing poise when Rueter had to leave early due to his strained shoulder in the last game. Even in an early emergency relief job, Jim Brower was able to perform well. The combination of Joe Nathan, Scott Eyre, and Felix Rodriguez as the set up men have worked out well for the Giants.
Justin Speier has been good out of the Colorado bullpen. Tim Worrell continues his brilliance and is showing signs of a closer. He was calm and relaxed in his last save, quietly retiring the three batters in the ninth to earn the save and to give the win to his teammate.
Sara Kwan was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. She currently writes game recaps, other articles, and is the Giant Prophet for SFDugout.com. Any comments or questions about the article, baseball, or the meaning of life can be sent to Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org
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