Friday, August 3, 2012

The Rockies Series Preview

(Stop here if you do not want to see the Giants' RHB/LHB splits in Coors Field).

On July 15th, during the top of the third inning, Marwin Gonzales hit a double to right field, making him the first Astro to reach base against Matt Cain in 2012. The play itself isn't that notable; it's more notable for the audible groan emitted from the denizens of AT&T Park, who believed, albeit fleetingly, that the heavy sediment of baseball history and statistics could have been washed away by the sheer force of Matt Cain's pitching.

Hell, I groaned, too. And you never know. It's still possible--although probably not against the Astros (only because they're moving to the American League).

Now, I say this because expectations can wreak havoc on the baseball experience. Take a glance at the Colorado Rockies' numbers. 38-65. A team ERA of 5.36, with the starting pitchers putting up a 6.35 ERA. In Coors Field, opponents are posting a .307/.367/.512 slash line--although to put that in perspective, the Rockies are batting .290/.358/.490.

I see numbers like this, and I know what I want to believe, especially after that last homestand. Hmmm. Let's try to find some perspective. How did the Giants do during their last series in Colorado? .270/.344/.450. Hmmm. Not quite .307/.367/.512, but they haven't faced the Rockies since the pitching meltdown. What about platoon splits? Bruce Bochy loves him some platoon splits, and the Giants are facing a lefty tonight, so it's going to be Joaquin Arias at short and the Fresno Bomber at first.

as RHB@COL-Coors Fld 3 42 9 1 0 0 1 .225 .262 .250 .512 .273
as LHB@COL-Coors Fld 3 83 21 7 0 4 11 .296 .386 .563 .949 .288
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 8/3/2012.

Whoa. That's got to be a small sample size thing. The drastic difference in walks says that there is something about who bats left and who bats right at play. But the Rockies show a similar type of split, albeit with a larger differential in BABIP.

as RHB@COL-Coors Fld55133433473113798.276.333.447.779.307
as LHB@COL-Coors Fld5583122342173498.314.399.564.963.367
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 8/3/2012.

But, if I'm going to peruse these numbers, I will at least end by pointing out that Brandon Crawford's career numbers are .400/.464/.760 with three doubles and two home runs. Just saying. I want the Giants to clean up in Colorado, but it could be difficult.

Not to mention that they will be facing Jonathan Sanchez. I've waxed nostalgic about his contributions to the Giants before, so I won't be repeating that here. The way that the Giants play against Sanchez might just be an indicator of what to expect in August. To say that he's had a rough season is an understatement. His overall numbers for 2012 include an 8.32 ERA, 0.88 K/BB (50 BB/44 K), and a 2.092 WHIP. 

I'd like to think that the Giants have him scouted and have coached their hitters, but I fear that, despite all the information they have, they're going to get impatient and hack, hack, hack. Those are the kind of fears that a 3-7 homestand can instill in a person. 

Hack, hack, hack. 

Please, don't. 

Fine, hack a little, but win. Ryan Vogelsong's on the mound.

Win two and pound some Budweiser.


Stay in first place.

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