Rockies/Giants series preview

Thearon W. Henderson

What's more powerful, the Rockies' inability to hit on the road, or the Giants' inability to keep the ball in the park?

You might say that writing about the same danged team every day makes me repetitive. But while you might call them "repeated ideas and jokes," I call them themes. And it's okay to reintroduce themes. Guys like Truffaut and Bay do it all the time.

Today's theme is the Rockies not being good at AT&T Park. It's a great theme, and the warm fuzzies last all the way until the first series at Coors Field. Here's the lineup the last time the Giants lost a series to the Rockies at home:

Here's the lineup the second-to-last time the Giants lost a series at home against the Rockies:

When the Giants lose a series at home to the Rockies, it's a rare comet of a loss. I'd giggle about it more if Coors Field didn't exist. It's not just the wins the Giants seem to get, it's the style points that come along with the wins. It took from the first Giants/Rockies game in 2009 until the last Giants/Rockies game of 2011 for them to score six runs at AT&T Park, and that came with a just-kill-us-now September lineup with Justin Christian leading off and Eric Surkamp starting.

The Rockies, and their fans, hate AT&T Park.

/sits back, obviously finished with series preview

Hold on a sec, though. Let's examine the two main reasons the Rockies have hated AT&T so much.

1. The Giants pitching has been almost uniformly superb since 2009.

2. The Rockies have struggled on the road historically, most likely because of the adjustment hitters can't make from the breaking-ball diluting Coors to the rest of the world.

The first one is mostly gone by this point. I'm not ready to give up on Lincecum or Vogelsong in April, nor should anyone be convinced that first-half Cain is the real Cain, and he's locked second-half Cain in a closet. But the days of expecting three straight masterpieces from the starting staff are over. It's too much to ask for three straight quality starts of the bare minimum variety.

So the hope, if this hilarious give-and-take between the two ballparks is going to continue, is that the second reason up there is so powerful, it can make up for the Giants' pitchers moving from 2012 to 2001 in the wayback machine. It might be. It just might be.

All I know is that I'm not ready to give up Hilarious Rockies Games at AT&T Park. They're an annual tradition, and I don't even feel bad about them considering the Rockies get Hilarious Giants Games at Coors Field. Not ready to give up my themes, man.

I fear change. This would be a bad weekend for change.

Hitter to watch

Michael Cuddyer is obnoxious. Talented. Clompy. Impressive. But obnoxious. In the post-PED world, hitters should clearly turn into dust at 34. They shouldn't turn into ballpark-aided Tony Gwynns and keep going until they're 40.

The good news is that Cuddyer fields like Michael Morse riding a Power Wheels Jeep. The bad news is you can go an entire series without seeing an example of that from some players, while you still have to watch them hit 12 or 15 times. It doesn't make me feel better when Cuddyer gets two doubles and I stand up in the crowd and yell, "Yes, but your subpar defense really hurts your WAR, sucker!"

I do it anyway. But it doesn't make me feel better.

Pitcher to watch

Jorge De La Rosa: On my fantasy team, not on my active roster. If you've never seen a perfect game in person, well ...

Apart from that, I'm curious to watch Jordan Lyles with fresh eyes. In an offseason where teams were desperate for outfield help, giving two-year deals to Marlon Byrd or nine-figure deals to outfielders with substantial red flags, the Rockies traded a good outfielder in Dexter Fowler for Lyles. Now, Lyles was rushed by the inexplicably desperate Astros regime of yore, and he's got that Bumgarner thing going, where's he's always, always, always two years younger than you think he is, so maybe I'm giving him short shrift.

Not like I'm going to change my mind watching him mow through Ehire Adrianza, but I want to watch him again to see what I missed.

Prediction

Fans of both sides will suddenly look up while on the potty this weekend and inexplicably think, "You know, I really miss Ellis Burks." It's okay. Run with that feeling.

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