Series Preview: Rockies vs. Giants

The Rockies are off to a great start, and the Giants are in the midst of another slide after playing poorly against a tough team. They'll look to bounce back, and maybe even surpass the Rockies before they hit the road again. The least they want to do is get out of last place again in a very close NL West battle.

Game #1: Jeff Francis (3-3, 3.07) vs. Jason Schmidt (3-2, 3.07)
Francis has decent numbers against the Giants. Pedro Feliz is just 3-17 with a double and a triple against Francis. Ray Durham is 8-16 with three doubles and a jack, and Mike Matheny 3-9 with a double and a homer. Jason Ellison is 3-8 with a roundtripper and Omar Vizquel is 2-7 with a double.

Schmidt turned in another stellar performance against Oakland in his last start, but didn't get a decision because of Armando Benitez's blown save. He'll look to continue his dominance against a team he's done well against. Todd Helton is 10-45 with three doubles, a triple, two jacks and five punchouts. Eli Marrero is 0-15 with four strikeouts, and Brad Hawpe is 2-10 with three strikeouts. Luis Gonzalez is 2-9 with a double and a triple, but Matt Holliday is 7-21 with two doubles and two roundtrippers.

The Edge: Giants
Schmidt has been pitching close to perfect in the month of May. Francis has also been doing well this season, but he, along with the rest of the Rockies, have cooled off. Schmidt also has great career numbers against Colorado.

Game #2: Josh Fogg (3-2, 4.35) vs. Matt Cain (2-5, 5.47)
The Giants have great career numbers against Fogg. Jose Vizcaino is 5-15 with a double, Durham is 4-9 with a double and Steve Finley is 2-6 with two doubles. Matheny is 2-7 with a double and Barry Bonds, still at 714, is 2-4 without a homerun against Fogg.

After skipping a start, Cain came back really strong, pitching a complete game in his last start. Hopefully, all his problems are worked out as he faces another team he's done well against. Cory Sullivan is 0-6 against Cain, Helton is 1-5 with a homer and Gonzalez is 1-4. Garrett Atkins and Holliday are 2-4, and Holliday has a jack against Cain.

The Edge: Giants
Sometimes all it takes is a skipped start. Cain was right on with everything in his last start by going the entire nine frames. Fogg has struggled against this Giants' lineup up.

Game #3: Byung-Hyun Kim (2-2, 4.02) vs. Jamey Wright (5-3, 3.84)
Vizquel is 5-17 with a jack against Kim, and Vizcaino is 3-9. Durham is just 3-12 with a double, Matheny is 1-11 and Randy Winn is 2-10 with a homerun. Feliz is 3-10 against Kim.

Wright will be facing his former ballclub, and he has not faced many players on this lineup. Marrero is 4-10 against Wright, Helton is 0-9 with three strikeouts and former Giant Yorvit Torrealba is 0-2.

The Edge: Giants
Kim only does well against the Giants, but he is having another mediocre season. Wright turned in another good performance as he continues to surprise everyone. Hopefully he'll have just as much luck against his former team.

Closing it Out: Brian Fuentes (10, 1.37) vs. Armando Benitez (2, 0.96)
Fuentes has been doing really well for the Rockies this season. Finley is 4-14 with a double, a triple and a homerun against Fuentes. Bonds is 6-8 with two doubles and a roundtripper, and Feliz is 3-8 with a double and three strikeouts. Durham is just 1-5 with two punchouts and Ellison is 0-3.

Benitez blew a save while trying to preserve a one run lead in Oakland to ruin Schmidt's win. He did pitch a scoreless frame to get the win, and will look to keep that up in more save opportunities.

The Edge: Rockies
If any of these games go to the bullpen, then the Rockies definitely have the advantage. The Giants' bullpen is going through another year of struggles, especially in Benitez. With Worrell on the DL, Benitez will have to be close to perfect in order to get the job done. Fuentes has been doing well for the Rockies closing out games.



Sara Kwan is a writer and co-publisher for SFDugout.com. Got a bone to pick? Just want to say hi? Comments about the article and/or the site? Hit me up: sara_kwan16@yahoo.com .

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