The Rockies are...ugh, dang, are we really playing the Rockies again? And, let me guess, this is one of those "most important series of the year" dealies? If the nanny staters would loosen a couple regulations, I could have my Maalox with morphine, and I just might tolerate another one of these series.
At least it's in San Francisco. Mays Field. Kryptonite to all of those goofballs like Jeffrey Hammonds and Terry Shumpert, who'd make a living off hitting 500-foot pop flies in Denver, only to wither in the sea air. The Rockies have muttered some curse words of their own when they've come into San Francisco. Their record since the park opened:
Not digging the trend. Although if it were to continue in a nice, linear fashion, the Rockies would have to win the next six games in San Francisco to get to a 7-2 mark for this season. Yeah, right! I'd like to see that happen!
I'm blaming the humidor. The Rockies can't be fooled with Coors Field mirages anymore, so they have to find good hitters. Less Quinton McCrackens, and more Brad Hawpes. Or something. Maybe the Giants haven't lost their traditional advantage, and the past two years are just filled with sample size chicanery. Maybe.
I miss 2000.
Hitter to watch:
Freddy Sanchez. I'm thinking this is going to be a huge series for him.
Also, Aaron Rowand has a bit of a spotlight on him. With his recent slump, he's back down below a 100 OPS+, which means that every non-Pablo hiter who qualifies for the batting title is also a below-average hitter. That's not exactly shocking, but it's nice to have the validation. See:
So keep on keepin' on, Aaron. We don't need you to confuse us by rapping out a couple of doubles to put you at 101 for the season.
Pitcher to watch:
All three of them, actually. I think this is the first time that Lincecum, Good Zito, and Cain have started each game of a three-game series. It's kind of amusing to hear people say that Lincecum needs to "get back on track" -- he has a 3.77 ERA over his last four starts! The horror! -- but we were spoiled by his ridiculous run of success. Zito's certainly not this good, but it doesn't take a gravity bong and a punch to the face anymore to think he might give the Giants some value over his contract's final 43 years.
Did you know that Cain might be the most hated Giant in the post-Bonds era? Seriously. Check out the opposing team sites whenever he's on the mound. The Padres hate him for chirping at Scott Hairston, the Rockies hate him for staring down Matt Holliday, andthe Mets hate him for throwing a ninja star at Ed Kranepool or something. The odd thing is that Cain might be the most likable player on the team -- he certainly isn't the Brad Penny-like lump of distastefulness that he's made out to be by the partisans -- with a humility and wit that's hard to find in baseball. He just gets a little intense.
Don't look at me. I'm already working on my Mike Aldrete post for the Underappreciated Giants series in the offseason. I can't watch this stuff. Are you kidding? I need to keep the hair I have, and I'd like it to be the same color.
Fine. I'll watch the series. But you can't force me not to have acid reflux the entire time.