There was very little surprise in last night’s 6-2 loss, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a boring game to sit through or more frustrating to contemplate. The Giants have lost 18 of 21 at Coors Field dating back to September 2016 and are looking to avoid their 10th sweep ever at the stadium. It seems like a huge ask of them, and I think we’d all agree that they have practically no shot at this point in the season, but the deep matters here are that it’s tough to see what the Giants are playing for...
A lot of the players they’ll be relying on next season or 2020 won’t be playing, the ones who will probably be back next season have unofficially packed it in this season (perhaps largely due to lingering injuries) and the fringe / younger / depth players haven’t really shown much in the way of productivity. And we don’t even get the benefit of watching the Giants play in Coors Field, although Monday’s “slugfest” was a welcome change of pace.
In that 3-18 record at Coors, the Giants have been outscored 138-86. The average score is 6.5-4. That’s remarkable. What I meant to say was that’s awful. The Giants have been very consistent on offense, and that consistency is bad.
Anyway, there’s a nonzero chance of rain in the forecast, and a rainout might be just what we need to get away from this team for a couple of days. They’re heading into Milwaukee without Buster Posey, after all. This would also delay the Rockies from extending their winning and gloating streaks, two big ones that they in particular would love to lord over the lowly Giants.
#SFGiants final day at Coors— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) September 5, 2018
1. Panik 2B
2. Hanson SS
3. Longoria 3B
4. Belt 1B
5. Slater RF
6. Shaw LF
7. Hernandez CF
8. Garcia C
9. Suarez P
We’ll see if Garcia can throw out a baserunner or two.
Looking for our fifth straight. pic.twitter.com/VHIdxymalK— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) September 5, 2018
Andrew Suarez started six games in August and the contrast between the first four and last two is stark: 26 hits allowed in 18.2 innings pitched, 16 strikeouts, 7 walks, and 16 earned runs allowed (5 home runs) versus 10 hits allowed in 14 innings, 10 strikeouts, 3 walks, and 0 earned runs.
There had been some concern that he’d hit the rookie wall, pitching beyond his previous innings limit, but I remember writing something to that effect only to have the esteemed Doug Bruzzone message me to say, “No, he’s not anywhere near the most innings of his career”, so here we are. Suarez hit a wall and for two starts anyway, he made an adjustment.
Of course, Suarez’s issue seems to be that he loses fastball command at least 1-2 innings every start. Sometimes, none of his secondary pitches are really working in the game, so when the fastball goes, the start crashes into a ditch. We’ll see if he can work through that fastball wonkiness tonight against a tough, pitch-hungry lineup that swings more aggressively than the partygoers in Eyes Wide Shut.
This will be his third start at Coors Field. In 12 innings prior, he struck out 13 and allowed 4 runs (2 home runs). The Rockies’ team OPS against LHP is .797, led by Arenado (1.265) and Trevor Story (1.052). But don’t sleep on their elder, Matt Holliday, who has a 1.055 OPS in 15 plate appearances against lefties since his August call-up.
Antonio Senzatela has been a thorn in the Giants’ side since his debut last season and he seems to be very much one of those players who’s going to have a nice career based on his performances against them. He’s pitched against them 6 times (4 starts) and has a 4-0 record (from all 4 starts), with a 3.26 ERA in 30 innings. His 94 mph fastball - 83 mph slider mix has dominated the Giants in a small sampling.
But he hasn’t pitched beyond the 7th inning nor struck out more than 6 in his previous 7 starts (28 strikeouts, 15 walks, and 22 earned runs allowed in 38.1 innings), so he could have some bouts of ineffectiveness of which the Giants could take advantage.
No, they won’t do that.
The starting pitching matchup almost doesn’t matter here. As we’ve seen over the past three seasons, it usually comes down to the offense and the bullpen. The Giants can’t hit, and whomever has taken the mound late in the game has been largely ineffective. Rather than blame the bullpen, though, I’m going to pre-blame the lineup for stranding the bases loaded twice in this game before the 7th inning. Just a prediction.