Look, Rockies, I get it. It’s not easy facing the Dodgers. You get a lead, you think it’s all good because you’ve got your vets going up against their rookies, but then — whoops — turns out, their rookies are ten times better than your veterans. Look how happy the Dodgers are! Acting like their easy defeat of you was some sort of awe inspiring miracle they never could have imagined — the nerve! It happens.
Unbelievable. #Dodgers 1st team in history to win back-to-back games on walkoff HRs by rookies ... make it back-to-back-to-back. Will Smith follows Matt Beaty (Friday), Alex Verdugo (Saturday)— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) June 23, 2019
Teams to sweep series of 3+ games, walkoff HR each game— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 24, 2019
1999 Dbacks May 10-12, vs MTL Jay Bell, Luis Gonzalez, Matt Williams
2013 Rangers July 29-31 vs LAA Geovany Soto, Leonys Martin, Adrian Beltre
2019 Dodgers June 21-23 vs COL Matt Beaty, Alex Verdugo, Will Smith@EliasSports
Okay, so, it turns out what happened was an exceedingly rare occurrence, to the point that one facet of it (the rookie thing) had never happened before. That’s gotta sting. The Rockies were 18-19 on the road heading into their three-game series with the Dodgers in LA, 40-34 overall — still 10 games out of first place, but secure as the second Wild Card. They’re still in that spot after losing three straight, but now tied with the Cardinals and just a game ahead of the reeling Phillies.
But, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan, how it must’ve sucked to have lost three straight games to the Dodgers in this historic fashion. A late-game tie on Friday night probably should’ve ended with a walk-off (save the home run, it’s almost exactly how the Giants’ defeat on Sunday played out), but blowing a one-run lead in the eighth of Saturday’s game only to lose it in the 11th and then losing Sunday because of a 3-run home run in the bottom of the ninth after scratching out a run to tie in the eighth — oof. Giants fans can’t relate —
— except, oh yeah, we can. Sure, this series was five years ago, but who could forget the Rockies rally for five runs in the ninth to win 7-4, followed by a 2-run ninth to win 5-4, followed by a 4-run eighth to win 8-7? Sergio Romo alone gave up seven runs in the series.
It all worked out for the Giants, though, and it could all still work out for the Rockies, too. They got Coors’d by the Dodgers in LA, but also Dodger’d by the Dodgers in LA, taking a bit of the wind out of their June sails. Well, as a petty fan writing about a bad team, all I can say is good. Here’s to the Giants continuing this unlucky streak the Rockies are on. It’s extremely unlikely, but spite’s reason enough to pull for unlikely things.
Hitter(s) to watch
Sure, there’s Nolan Arenado, but he’s boring. He’s going to demolish the Giants like he always does. That’s boring. Who else is there? Well, since returning from the IL on June 8, Charlie Blackmon has eight home runs and a 1.306 OPS in 71 plate appearances (15 games). He’s definitely one to watch out for despite a career .597 OPS at Oracle Park (60 games), but he’s not the main one to watch.
Have ya seen this David Dahl? He’s Carlos Gonzalez’s replacement in the outfield this year. The Giants have basically missed him to this point — he was on the IL in Colorado’s trip to SF earlier in the season and had just two pinch hit appearances when the Giants were at Coors — but his season line of .319/.370/.524 (.894 OPS) weights as a .374 wOBA, tying him with Tommy Pham and Luke Voit for 32nd in MLB.
The left-hander has an .898 OPS against left-handed pitching, too, with a .481 BAbip.
Also, Ian Desmond figured something out? He has a .358 wOBA, good for 54th in baseball. Better than Manny Machado, Francisco Lindor, and David Peralta. He’s having his best season since 2016, when he was an All-Star with Texas. His June line? .359/.382/.641 (1.023 OPS) in 68 plate appearances. Important to note that that’s on a .432 BAbip and with a 17:2 strikeouts to walk ratio. He’s crushing left-handed pitching, too, with an 1.103 OPS. Are we witnessing a Desmondaissance? If so, why is this happening? Who can we blame?
Pitcher to watch
Not only did the Rockies lose in historic fashion to the Dodgers, they lost in historic fashion (kinda-sorta) to the Padres just a week ago.
Not only did the teams combine for a record number of runs and hits, the Rockies also blew a 3-run lead in the ninth to lose the series finale 14-13. Closer Wade Davis has had a rough month: an 11.37 in 6.1 IP, with two blown saves. He’s had just three clean appearances all year — two of those being a one-out appearance; so, technically, just one full clean inning.
It seems highly unlikely the Giants could rally in three straight games to take out the Rockies late, but at least the Rockies’ closer is struggling right now.
Wade Davis will not struggle against the Giants. Alex Dickerson, who has just one hit in 16 career plate appearances at Oracle Park will have one extra base hit in the series. He could have more than that, but probably not many more than that, so for safety, let’s go with one.