Giants/Rockies series preview

nope - Doug Pensinger

Coors Field! That probably shouldn't have an exclamation mark.

Without cheating, guess how many games the Giants have played in Denver since the Rockies came into the league.

First answer: 7,309.

Second answer: 7,308.

Third answer: no, 7,309, I was right the first time.

The actual answer: 168. Seems low. But think of it like this: The Rockies have been in the league for just over 20 years, and in that time, the Giants have played the equivalent of a full season in Denver. Now it doesn't seem low. It seems heartbreaking.

It used to be that Coors Field was the worst place in history, baseball or otherwise. True story: In the early, early days of the Internet, I ordered a custom shirt that read "BURN COORS FIELD." I'll bet the custom t-shirt website had one of these on it:

Coors_medium


Don't know whatever happened to that shirt, which is good because it was a little weird to hate a ballpark that much. For perspective, though, here's the progression of Colorado baseball and the Giants:


Loooook at that 2000. That's why a lot of Giants fans still twitch when they think about Coors Field. If you think that's awful, you're right, but you might not be prepared for just how awful.

One team scored at least 10 runs in every single game between them at Coors Field, and it was usually the Rockies. The games were three-and-a-half hours on a good day. Leads were lost. Bigger leads were lost. It wasn't baseball, and I wanted the skies to open up and swallow the entire ballpark, preferably when Neifi Perez was in it.

Another way to express just how awful it was to watch baseball at Coors Field in 2000 is to use my favorite toy: What would those seasons have looked like in Coors Field, 2000? Here's Joaquin Arias:


Pablo Sandoval would probably be challenging Pete Rose:


Andres Torres would have been a .320 hitter last year, even though he was pretty lousy:


Madison Bumgarner wouldn't even be a last-round pick in your fantasy league:


Just the worst. And I'm conditioned to think it's the same Coors Field whenever I hear the Giants are playing there. The headline at Purple Row is "San Francisco travels to Coors Field, presumably to ruin our week." Hey, no, that's not fair! We're supposed to be the ones with a sense of lurking dread! That's copyright infringement.

The Rockies' fabled home-field advantage came back last year:


Home winning % Road winning % Difference
1995 .611 .458 0.153
1996 .679 .346 0.333
1997 .580 .444 0.136
1998 .519 .432 0.087
1999 .481 .407 0.074
2000 .593 .420 0.173
2001 .506 .395 0.111
2002 .580 .321 0.259
2003 .605 .309 0.296
2004 .469 .370 0.099
2005 .494 .333 0.161
2006 .543 .395 0.148
2007 .622 .481 0.141
2008 .531 .383 0.148
2009 .630 .506 0.124
2010 .642 .383 0.259
2011 .469 .432 0.037
2012 .382 .354 0.028
2013 .556 .358 0.198

Major League baseball started monitoring the humidor usage in 2011, so I was really, really, really hoping for some hot conspiracy chatter when I looked at the difference last season. Unfortunately, it was a very normal, very Rockies split between home and away.

Long, rambling, factlet-stuffed post short: The Rockies aren't scoring as many runs as they were in the pre-humidor, pre-Mitchell Report days, but they're still obnoxious when they play at home. I don't want to burn the place down because they'd just put another annoying baseball field there. But I wouldn't mind if they moved Denver to, like, Idaho or something. Seems nice, there. Idaho.

Hitter to watch

Troy Tulowitzki's going nuts, which makes sense, considering this is the first year I haven't had him on my fantasy team since 2011. Good work, jackass. Way to stay healthy and productive this year.

Tulowitzki is close to joining that Bagwell/Sheffield class of opposing hitters who make you nauseous every time they're up with runners on. The only good thing about him is that he's one of the players who reminds me to look up the 2005 draft periodically. I'd make fun of the Mariners, except the Giants didn't have a pick in that first round because they signed Armando Benitez.

Pitcher to watch

Jorge De La Rosa, because he allows grand slams to Madison Bumgarner.

Prediction

The Giants hit a dinger or two. The Rockies hit more.

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