Monday, April 18, 2011

Giants vs. Rockies Series Preview



The Giants head east to face the red hot division leading Rockies in what feels like the most important series of the young season. I am nervous to even type up a preview to this.

The Probables:

Giants
Dodgers
Monday, April 18, 5:40 PM
1-1, 1.86 ERA, 2.50 tRA
2-0, 2.77 ERA, 2.89 tRA

Lincecum was a little less than sharp his last outing, lasting just five and a third innings, but he has still had an outstanding start to the season.

His velocity is up from last year and his slider/change up combination gives him the best strikeout stuff in the game right now.

This originally was supposed to be Jimenez’s spot, giving us the tasty match up of aces. Instead, we get Rogers. Rogers has pitched well this season, which has helped the division leading Rockies.

Rogers doesn’t have a great track record (in the minors or against the Giants), so I am a little skeptical of these early season numbers.

Tuesday, April 19, 5:40 PM
1-1 3.24 ERA, 2.14 tRA
0-0, 7.50 ERA, 10.45 tRA

Sanchez has pitched really well to start the season. He is sporting a k/9 of 13 while also lowering his bb/9 to a manageable 3.8. If he can keep his ratio of k/bb around 3, this could be a season to remember for Sanchez.

He gets the tough matchup going against Jimenez, but I like the way that "Dirty" is pitching.

Jimenez was far from his normal self on Opening Day and he was hammered. He was pitching with a cut cuticle that apparently sapped his fastball velocity, which averaged only 93.4 compared to his usual 96.

After giving it some rest, the velocity is reportedly back. This could be an exciting strikeout fest.

Wednesday, April 20, 12:10 PM
2-0, 1.42 ERA, 3.10 tRA
2-0, 3.18 ERA, 2.60 tRA

Cain, the fly ball master, has been a groundball machine to start the season off. He is currently inducing ground balls at a 50.9% clip, which is a full 14% higher than his career norms. His strikeout numbers have fallen, but it seems that getting more ground balls have worked out well.

He seems to have changed his approach a little this year with less fastballs and more off speed pitches. It will be interesting to see if this continues all season.

De La Rosa poses another tough pitcher for the Giants to face. He is a very solid pitcher that had some bad luck with home runs last year. This year. he has managed to keep the ball in the park so far.

He has good strikeout stuff but walks too many batters. If he has his control (or the Giants are impatient), this could be a low scoring affair.

The last thing to watch for is his blister problems re-surface.


Thoughts:


Troy Tulowitzki has been the best baseball player to start this season. To put into perspective just how good he has been, he is more valuable than Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey put together (1.6 WAR vs. 1.5 WAR). It's ridiculous and explains why the Rockies are in first place in April instead of their usual slow start.


Hopefully the Giants pitching can quite his bat and induce a slump.


I hope the Giants pull out at least one victory. Two would be amazing. A sweep would be unfathomable.

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