The San Francisco Giants are headed to Coors Field, where baseballs see their dreams of sprouting wings come to fruition. It’s a magical place for hitters, a demonic place for pitchers, and equal parts mesmerizing and infuriating for fans.
You might be excited to see a road series against the Colorado Rockies. You might be horrified.
You might even be both, which is not only allowed but encouraged.
Unfortunately Kris Bryant is still injured, so the Giants will have to wait a while to see what he looks like in the purple and grey.
Who: San Francisco Giants vs. Colorado Rockies
Where: Coors Field, Denver, Colorado
When: Monday (5:40 p.m. PT), Tuesday (5:40 p.m. PT), and Wednesday (12:45 p.m. PT)
National broadcasts: None
Monday: Alex Wood vs. Antonio Senzatela
Tuesday: Alex Cobb vs. Chad Kuhl
Wednesday: Logan Webb vs. Kyle Freeland
Where they stand
Record: 20-14, 3rd in the NL West
Run differential: +33, 4th in the NL
Postseason standing: 2nd Wild Card, 1.5 games out of the division
Momentum: 2-game losing streak, 6-4 in their last 10 games
Record: 17-17, 5th in the NL West
Run differential: -28, 12th in the NL
Postseason standing: 2 games out of the Wild Card, 4.5 games out of the division
Momentum: 1-game losing streak, 3-7 in their last 10 games
Season series: Giants lead 3-0
Three Giants to watch
Joey Bart: In the last series preview, I noted that Bart was mired in a 4-42 slump with 24 strikeouts. Curt Casali then started the series opener, which made it seem like maybe Bart was being pushed to the backup role for a little while. But no. He started the final two games of the series, and hit 2-5 with two walks, no strikeouts, and a home run (admittedly off of Albert Pujols, but...). His funny season continues, as he remains well below the Mendoza Line (.185 batting average), but well above average on the whole (108 OPS+, 117 wRC+). If there’s a ballpark where the strategy of swinging and either missing or hitting the ball hard pays off, it’s the one that’s in Denver.
Logan Webb: Webb’s last start was an interesting one, as he did a great job suppressing runs (he gave up just one), and gutted through a long outing (he made it through six innings) despite not having his best stuff (he struck out just one, and had just five swing-throughs). That’s been his season so far. His ERA and FIP are still nice (3.48 and 2.93, respectively), but a year after having 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings, he has just 6.1 in 2022. Coors Field isn’t exactly a place pitchers go to in search of answers, but it’s what Webb is stuck with this week.
Joc Pederson: After a brilliant start to the season, Pederson went ice cold. From April 26 to May 14, the powerful lefty hit just 2-32 with no extra-base hits and four walks. But on Sunday he broke out a bit, hitting a home run off of Adam Wainwright. The Giants are facing a pair of righties to start the series, and they’re in Coors Field. If Pederson wants to make up for a rough few weeks, now is the time.
Three Rockies to watch
C.J. Cron: Cron has been one of the best hitters in the Majors this year, with a slash line of .305/.352/.588, an OPS+ of 154, and a wRC+ of 148. He’s not drawing many walks, but his contact has been excellent, and he leads the National League with nine big flies, though playing in Denver certainly helps. If he keeps this up, he’ll likely play in his first All-Star Game in two months. But the Giants kept him in check last week, as he hit just 2-12 with no extra-base hits and six strikeouts. It will be harder to do that at Coors.
Antonio Senzatela: I guarantee you every Giant who will be in the lineup for Monday’s game is drooling at Senzatela’s line this season. In 27.2 innings this year, Senzatela has given up 47 hits — 47! — and struck out just eight batters. He’s faced 129 batters this year, and 55 have gotten on base by hit, walk, or hit by pitch. That’s 42.6% of batters he’s faced getting on board, while just 6.2% have gone down on strikes.
Chad Kuhl: On the other side of things, Kuhl has been pretty decent this year, with a 2.88 ERA, a 3.54 FIP, and 30 strikeouts in 34.1 innings. But the Giants roughed him up last week, tagging him for seven hits, three walks, and five earned runs in just 4.2 innings. Did they figure something out that they can apply x2 in Colorado? Stay tuned to find out.
Last week’s optimism was not rewarded, as 72% of poll responders thought the Giants would win the series, and only 25% accurately predicted a St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 series win.
Who wins the series?
This poll is closed
Giants win 2-1
Rockies win 2-1