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For the Giants this weekend, it’s heckin’ payback time

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Try or fail, the Giants will hurt one of their rivals this weekend, and the payback will have been long overdue.

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San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

You remember the Colorado Rockies, right? Those obnoxious purple monsters who play a mile high and de-soul the Giants about a dozen times a year? Those meanies?

When the Giants have needed a little help from the Rockies, whether it’s beating the Braves just once in the course of a season or the Dodgers at a crucial time, the Rockies have gleefully driven themselves off a cliff, laughing maniacally as they plunge to the bottom of a ravine, all to make sure the Giants don’t get that help and either don’t make the playoffs or have a harder row to hoe in order to get there.

Now it’s the Giants’ turn to roll over and play dead. Or, to stick with the original metaphor, it’s the Giants’ time to run the tank off an overpass and into the bottom of a ravine. StubHub has tickets for all three games, and for Friday and Sunday’s game, prices start at $6. Don’t you want to watch the Giants get their revenge?

They can do this in one of two ways:

Revenge Scenario 1

The Rockies have a precarious 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for first place in the NL West and they’ve had a lot of fun playing NL West opponents all month long (took 2 out of 3 from the Padres, swept the Giants, lost 2 of 3 to the Dodgers, and are closing to splitting 4 against the Diamondbacks) because that’s what’s helped catapult them to their present position, and man oh man would they get off on embarrassing the Giants three more times in AT&T Park. For the Giants’ sake, Colorado asphyxiation would give the team their biggest burst of pleasure in 2018: it would totally screw the Dodgers.

The Dodgers are all but assured to win the final series of the season in San Francisco (and the Giants will probably try to fight Yasiel Puig one final time just to make the losing worth their while), but wouldn’t it be great if that didn’t matter? The Dodgers would be punching down for nothing, because the Giants will have already killed their chances.

Getting swept won’t erase The Salomón Torres Game or the Steve Finley Game, but man oh man would it be a start. The Rockies should win these games, and even if the Giants give 100% effort, the Rockies should still win these games. A Giants loss is a Dodgers loss, and isn’t that something?

Revenge Scenario 2

I mean, the Rockies really need these games. The Wild Card is looking a little dicey for the trio of NL West teams contending for a playoff spot. That trio of NL Central teams seemingly have both spots on lock (the Dodgers trail the Cardinals by two games as of this writing, the Diamondbacks by 4.0), and with the Giants scheduled to play three games in St. Louis next week, that’s a series no NL West trio can bank on to help them out.

BUT! Getting swept by the Cardinals is not Revenge Scenario 2. Revenge Scenario 2 is winning any of these games against the Rockies.

As I said back in July, the Giants might not be very good, but there are some things they can do the rest of the way to still make this season enjoyable:

10. Disrupting the Rockies. But even if they don’t surprise us, they can still surprise the NL West. Maria Bamford says it best:

Look, it’s an extremely long shot that the Giants could win any of these games or even a game the rest of the way — on paper, they’re extremely over-matched and as luck would have it, they’ve been extremely unlucky. The Rockies need these games!

Can you imagine how grotesquely pleasing it will be to watch them suffer the indignity of losing a baseball game to the Giants? The Giants can’t score more than a run a game, they can’t play defense, and they blow leads more dramatically than a David Mamet play.

Bryan, you unremarkable idiot, it’s baseball — anything can happen. In a three-game series, a good team can lose to a bad team.

Of course! But the whole point is that this isn’t Baseball, it’s the Giants, and they stopped playing Baseball a long time ago. They’re stuck in the 1960s, they’re stuck on 68 wins, they’re stuck on a losing record since the second half of 2016 — they’re stuck! Every team they play the rest of the way has to wade through the sludge of this team and wouldn’t it be something if every team, like, (metaphorically) lost a watch or a wallet while doing so?

The Rockies couldn’t beat the Braves once in 1993. They couldn’t roll over in 1998 when the Giants had a 7-0 lead in Colorado. The Rockies have made the Giants the subject of a snuff film practically every season. The Giants’ revenge is not even winning the series or sweeping, it’s just winning one game. Plant that little seed of doubt in them as they try to hold onto the NL West.

You might win the series, but you couldn’t sweep the Giants. Do you really think you can hold onto the West?

Hitter to watch

Before Thursday afternoon’s game, Trevor Story had gone just 3-for-24 with 1 home run, 11 strikeouts, and 0 walks since his marvelous three-homer game against Andrew Suarez eight days ago. I figured he’d be the hitter to watch since the Rockies would be looking for him to get going against versus Giants pitching, but after his performance Thursday afternoon, he and the team will be looking to keep it going.

Pitcher to watch

Sunday’s starter, Antonio Senzatela, is literally only good against the Giants (4-0 in 5 career starts). They’re the team he’s pitched the most innings against (35.1) and his 3.57 ERA and 1.02 WHIP are well below his career norms (4.80 ERA, 1.35 WHIP). If he can’t clinch a sweep or series win against the Giants, then Revenge Scenario 2 will have been achieved.

Prediction

The Giants will win one of these games, just so we can remember the feeling.