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Giants/Rockies series preview

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So it begins.

Rockies, Dodgers, Padres, Padres, Dodgers. Sure there’s a Diamondbacks series mixed in there somewhere, but we don’t have to worry about that horrible team. The rest of division is a legitimate problem for the Giants, and the stretch of pain starts now.

The Rockies are due to start one of their annual sustained streaks of .800 baseball, but they’re getting a little cocky this year. They’re running out of time. They might have to start playing .900 baseball. I’d laugh at that silly notion if I weren’t so terrified that it’s actually going to happen. They’ve already won six of their last seven.

Actually, for all of the emotional baggage the Rockies have stored in our mental overhead compartments over the past two decades, there is something we often forget: San Francisco is their Denver. AT&T Park their ghoulish, apocalyptic field of horrors governed more by Murphy’s Law than the laws of physics. Since the Rockies have been in the league, they’ve gone 49-91 in San Francisco. Even last year, when the Rockies won 92 games and a playoff berth, they only won two out of ten games in San Francisco.

Which all means nothing. Absolutely nothing. Every time Seth Smith steps up to the plate, I’m just going to assume he’s going to hit a triple. Every time Troy Tulowitzki comes up, I’m going to assume he’s going to hit a home run and run around the bases slowly as we ponder the eternal conflict between party and business. The feeling of doom doesn’t change from location to location. What happens is that more often than not, I’m pleasantly surprised at home.

Which all means nothing. Absolutely nothing. At least, right now. The Giants are playing like the kind of team that can give up 24 runs in a three-game series against the Diamondbacks. The starting pitching is a mess. The relief pitching is a mess. It would be ridiculous to think that because the Rockies didn’t win a single game in San Francisco in 2000, that somehow means they’re certain to lose the series here. And just because the Rockies are pretty miserable on the road this year doesn’t mean that they’ll continue to be miserable on the road for this series.

It used to be that when the Rockies came to town, there was every reason to be confident that the Giants would take the series. Ever since last year, though, I’ve been a little skittish. It’s a post-8/24 world. And even though the Giants came right back in the next San Francisco series and gave them a reverse-Spilborghs, that kind of confidence is hard to come by.

There are ten series left this year. The Giants should probably start thinking about winning some. Please?

Hitter to watch:

Oh, I don’t know. They all kind of irritate me. Plus, when I pick someone for this section, they go nuts and get sixteen extra-base hits in the series, like Stephen Drew did. So I’ll abstain from selecting anyone. Besides, I already expressed my irritation at Billy Beane for trading Carlos Gonzalez away for four months of Matt Holliday, a few hours of man-walrus Brett Wallace, and the rights to Michael Taylor, who is stinking up AAA. Don’t worry, Billy. An Ethier/Gonzalez/Swisher outfield wouldn’t have helped you this year anyways. Jackass.

But Carlos Gonzalez is not the hitter to watch. I’d check out the final Jeopardy question when he’s up. Maybe there will be some sort of hilarious reality show on VH1. Anything you need to do, do it. Just don’t watch Carlos Gonzalez, because he is most certainly not the player referenced by the title of this section. Nice try, baseball gods, but I’m not picking anyone for the rest of the season.

Pitcher to watch:

Ubaldo Jimenez is struggling, having allowed 10 earned runs in the last 28 innings. Or, as Tim Lincecum likes to call that, Friday night.

Prediction

Every one of these stupid series is going to give me heartburn.