The Rockies handed the Giants their first sweep of the season, even though it was only two games... And even though it was at Coors Field. The Rockies are not the same team at Coors Field as they are in other ballparks. They are one of the best home teams in the league, but one of the worst road teams. Thankfully, the Giants only had two games there and four games at Pac Bell.
Pac Bell Park and Coors Field are two completely different ballparks. Hitters look at Coors Field and smile, and hitters look at Pac Bell and shiver. The Rockies are used to hitting at Coors Field, and with that home field advantage, they are a more confident team. Please, the two Preston Wilson homeruns in game two of the last series would have died at Pac Bell.
Home field advantage usually doesn't mean a lot nowadays in the league, but to the Rockies, it's everything they've got, and the Giants will try to use that to their advantage.
Chris Richard (1B)
Jason Jennings (9-6, 4.56 ERA)
Darren Oliver (7-5), 4.67 ERA)
Shawn Chacon (11-4, 4.27 ERA)
Denny Neagle (2-3, 6.89 ERA)
Damian Moss (7-6, 5.06 ERA)
Jason Schmidt (9-4, 2.37 ERA)
Jim Brower (5-2, 4.47 ERA)
Jerome Williams (5-1, 2.64 ERA)
Jason Jennings is one of the Rockies best pitchers next to Darren Oliver. Damian Moss says he's ready to get back into the starting rotation, and by the way he ended his first half of the season, he better be ready. The Giants will look for him to bounce back at the second half opener.
Oliver started three games against the Giants this season. He won two and he lost one. The two he won were at Coors Field and the one he lost was at Pac Bell... Enough said. Jason Schmidt has been superb everytime he's on the mound for the Giants, and that earned him a starting job in the All-Star game earlier this week.
Jim Brower had his most shaky outing in his last start against Arizona. He will be looking to recover against Shawn Chacon. Chacon will be coming off the 15-day DL with his first start against the Giants. The Giants were able to contain Curt Schilling coming off the DL, but Brower will have to forget about his last start and to concentrate on this one going against Chacon, who has won eleven games this season already.
Jerome Williams just doesn't stop, and he rises to the occassion, especially against veteran pitchers. In the last game of this four game series, the 21 year old rookie will be going up against another veteran, Denny Neagle. Neagle has a whopping 6.89 ERA and Williams has a 2.64 ERA, but aside from numbers, this is not a time for Williams to be slacking. He will need to continue his outstanding performance and to not stop doing what he's doing.
Todd Helton (.349)
Mark Sweeney (.239)
J.T. Snow (.277)
Andres Galarraga (.295)
Helton is a good defensive first baseman, but Snow is one of the best. He has the ability to dig up throws on bad hops and to extend if a throw is beyond his reach.
Helton is one of the top batters in the league, and he displayed that at the All-Star game, hitting a jack to dead away center, proving to everyone that his great hitting record is not all depended on him playing half his games at Coors Field. Snow's bat has been coming alive as well.
Ronnie Belliard (.298)
Ray Durham (.300)
Neifi Perez (.284)
Belliard and Durham have speed and are able to play second base to the same ability.
Durham and Belliard are good lead off men for their teams, both having a high on base percentage as well.
Juan Uribe (.250)
Rich Aurilia (.256)
Uribe makes many errors at shortstop, but Aurilia has been solid along with the rest of the Giants' defense.
No one can be more frustrated in the Giants ballclub than Aurilia. He's been having a bad season, but coming off the break and into the second half, he hopes, and the Giants hope, that his offense will be able to come alive again.
Greg Norton (.256)
Chris Stynes (.281)
Edgardo Alfonzo (.236)
Pedro Feliz (.226)
Stynes and Alfonzo have the same defensive ability at third base.
Offense: Rockies Stynes has been a hot hitter for the Rockies as of late, but it has been the opposite for Alfonzo and the Giants. Alfonzo is showing little inconsistent signs of beginning to hit the ball again, but Stynes has been consistent all the way.
Charles Johnson (.228)
Bobby Estalella (.211)
Benito Santiago (.289)
Yorvit Torrealba (.254)
Johnson and Santiago are two of the best throwing catchers in the league, so it will be interesting to see how steals will go off.
Johnson and Estalella have been slumping offensively for the Rockies. Santiago will be playing for the first time since his last start against Colorado which sidelined him by making his injured finger worse. Torrealba has been doing a decent job during Santiago's absence.
Jay Payton (.297)
Barry Bonds (.316)
Bonds has shown that he can still play defense. Payton's speed is better than Bonds, but Bonds has the experience.
Bonds has been Bonds. He recently had a five game homerun streak which ended on the last day of the first half, so he'll be coming into the second half looking to start another streak.
Preston Wilson (.307)
Marquis Grissom (.311)
Grissom's age never stops him from playing baseball, but Wilson has fresh legs and can get to those flyballs faster than Grissom can.
Wilson has been hot, and coming off his big series against the Giants in Colorado, he'll be looking to do more damage. Grissom continues to stay consistent in the batter's box.
Larry Walker (.295)
Luke Allen (.000)
Jose Cruz, Jr. (.262)
Walker has a good throwing arm, but Cruz has the most feared throwing arm in the league. His presence on the field makes runners hesitate when rounding the bases.
Walker is one of the best hitters in the league, and he's done well against Giants pitching. Cruz, on the other hand, is coming out of his slump, but has a horrible batting average against Rockies pitching.
With the addition of Matt Herges to the ball club, the Giants have strengthened their bullpen. The Giants' bullpen has also been putting in a good amount of work during games. The Rockies count on their starting pitching to win games, but the Giants count on their bullpen, especially with struggling starters.
Although Justin Speier has been an important part of the Rockies bullpen, Tim Worrell has provided a lift. If he was going to have a bad outing, it mind as well be with a huge lead, as was the case against the Dbacks. It is a different situation for Worrell when he comes into the game in a save situation, where he will buckle up and quietly retire the remaining three outs without question.
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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