I’m assuming everyone reading this site knows that life isn’t fair and Baseball, especially, isn’t fair; so, given that, let’s talk about how unfair it is that the San Francisco Giants won’t sweep the Colorado Rockies at home in this final weekend before the All-Star Break.
Like I said in the series preview last month ahead of the Giants playing three in Coors Field:
The Rockies mess me up. They’re not setup to be a great team and the notion that they’re a thorn in the Giants’ side has mostly been disproved in the Zaidi era (Giants are 45-22 against them); and yet, here I am waiting for the other foot to drop. What am I missing in this analysis?
Their best hitters — right now — are Randal Grichuk (121 wRC+) and Elias Diaz (114). Jurickson Profar has generated -1.1 fWAR and yet he’s played in 53 of their 61 games. Charlie Blackmon is 1) still on the team and 2) generating offense (105 wRC+). And yet, they give whatever they get from their offense and pitching away on their tremendously bad defense (-12.3 Defensive Runs, 9th-worst in MLB).
Here’s what’s changed in the 30 days since that was written:
- The Giants swept the Rockies at Coors and are now 48-22 against them in the Zaidi era
- Their -24.3 Defensive Runs is 5th-worst in MLB, behind the Red Sox (-36), Nationals (-32.2), A’s (-25.2), and Phillies (-24.9).
- Their team wRC+ of 80 is worst in Baseball. Yes, the Rockies literally have the worst hitting team in baseball. They have a .146 Isolated Power, 8th-worst in MLB. They play in Coors Field! Right now, they’re on pace to tie last season’s and 2005’s franchise low of .144 ISO.
- Diaz is down to a 94 wRC+ — they have just three hitters who’d be league average or better: Nolan Jones (129), Ryan McMahon (103), and Randal Grichuk (101). Credit to Profar, though. He’s managed to raise his total value to -1.0 fWAR.
Pitching-wise, they have the distinction of not being the worst in Baseball, just the worst in the National League. They’re better than the A’s. That said:
- They have the lowest K/9 in Baseball (7.52).
- They have the highest BB/9 in the NL (3.98), behind the A’s (4.47) for #1 in MLB.
- They have the highest HR/9 in Baseball (1.54) — and before you go screaming at me about being unfair to them because they play at Coors Field, I’m here to point out that their HR/9 on the road is also the highest in Baseball (1.64).
- Their xFIP on the road is 4.91, worst in the NL. Based on the quality of contact they allow away from Coors Field, they should actually be giving up just slightly less than their 5.26 road pitching ERA. By the way, that 5.26 ERA is third-worst in MLB, behind the A’s (6.76) and Dodgers (5.L-O-L-DODGERS-30).
They’ve lost nine straight games on the road. Their road record since June 1st is 4-12 (13-31 on the season). Their overall record since June 1st is 9-22, They’re 7-17 since the Giants swept them at Coors, 33-55 on the season. They’re 14-29 at Oracle Park since 2018, but they just won a series in San Francisco last season, their second series win in the same span.
I’m gonna sound like such a whiny piss baby here, but the Giants should really sweep the Rockies this weekend. They won’t, because that’s how Baseball goes, but they really ought to — they really have the ability, even with the absence of Thairo Estrada, the uncertain health of Michael Conforto and maybe even Austin Slater, along with the absolute wet farts being dropped by Joc Pederson, Brandon Crawford, and J.D. Davis the past two weeks.
A sweep would get them to 50-40 at the All-Star break. A nice round number. I like to look at history not because it’s instructive, but just to get a sense of how things could go — to feel better about the rest of the way.
There have been 52 seasons where the Giants have had 50+ wins after their first 90 games, 11 of those have been exactly 50 wins, including 1999, 2000, 2004, 2011, 2012, and 2014. Ten times they’ve had 49 wins through the first 90 games, including 2010 and 2009. Weirdly, they’ve been 48-42 just once: the 1930 New York Giants (who ended the season 87-67). Eight times they’ve been 47-43 through 90, including 2022, 2015, and 2001, all seasons that wound up being competitive-ish in terms of the playoffs until they suddenly weren’t.
So, you can see why I’m a little concerned. The weekend sets up this binary: the Giants are either last year’s team or better than last year’s team.
And yes, I realize that some of these teams to excel through the first 90 also ended in pain, like so much of Baseball does. Three times, Giants teams wound up with losing records, but those all happened in New York: 70-84 (1953), 71-53 (1918), and 72-80 (1940). And then there are teams like 2002 (52-38), 1989 (53-37), 1993 (60-30), 2016 (57-33), 2021 (58-32), and 1912 (65-25) where we got to see some really cool stuff on the way to a bitter end (well, okay, not the 1912 team).
I don’t know if history can serve as any guide, but with the Mets coming back to life midseason and the Padres still looming, that’s ten teams competing for six spots. I’d like to think the Giants have a real shot here, and if that’s the case, they really should be able to rinse the Rockies in McCovey Cove.
But that’s why they play the game. It never works out that way. Though I do apologize for posting this so late on a Friday, the timing means nobody is going to read this, so, it doesn’t matter if I’m right, wrong, jinxing, reverse jinxing, whatever.
Where they stand
Record: 33-55, 5th in NL West
Run differential: -147, 15th in the NL
Postseason standing: 15 games back of Wild Card, 17 games back in division
Momentum: 4-game losing streak; 3-7 in their last 10 games
Record: 47-40, 3rd in NL West
Run differential: +31, 4th in the NL
Postseason standing: 0.5 games back of Wild Card , 2.5 games out of the division
Momentum: 1-game winning streak; 3-7 in their last 10 games
Who: San Francisco Giants vs. Colorado Rockies
Where: Oracle Park, San Francisco, California
When: Friday (7:15pm PT), Saturday (1:05pm PT), Sunday (1:05pm PT)
National broadcasts: None.
Friday: Ross Stripling vs. TBD
Saturday: TBD vs. TBD
Sunday: Logan Webb vs. TBD
Rockies to watch
Ryan McMahon: Like the Giants’ lineup, he’s been in a terrible slump the past couple of weeks, hitting .159/.245/.227 and featuring a Win Probability Added of -0.696. He’s a career .202/.246/.279 at Oracle, too.
Kris Bryant: After missing all but the last day of June, Bryant is 5-for-22 since coming off the IL. His season line of .259/.335/.373 is pedestrian, but through his first 40 games of the season, he was flashing power and balance — .297/.370/.426 (.796 OPS) — and the Rockies were 18-22. If he gets going, that might be enough to stymie the Giants. Either way, I don’t think anyone believes the Giants made a bad call not extending him after 2021.
Jurickson Profar: It felt like he had all the hits in that Coors Field series last month (7-for-14, 2 doubles, 1 triple), and over the last two weeks, he’s starting to fill out a box score, too: .310/.420/.429 (50 PA) with a home run, 2 doubles, 7 walks, 6 strikeouts, 1 stolen base. Do I **want** to see a -1.0 WAR play torment my favorite team? No, but I don’t have a choice.
Nolan Jones: His last two weeks have been solid, too: .263/.378/.395 (.773 OPS) with a home run, 2 doubles, 7 walks, 13 strikeouts 1-for-2 in stolen bases. Statcast shows that the left-handed hitter has been really good against sinkers and sliders (both +3 Run Values for him), which could be a problem for a staff of right-handed sinker-slider guys.
The pitching: It’s true that their bullpen is probably their greatest strength, and even though it’s only middle of the pack (15th in MLB by fWAR), that still means a bad start by a Giants starter or a great start from whoever the Rockies throw out there (at the time of this writing, all three games are TBDs for Colorado) could pull the lineup into the path of a buzz saw.
Giants to watch
Ross Stripling: Were those two scoreless innings against the Mets a mirage? We’ll find out.
LaMonte Wade Jr.: He tormented the Rockies last month and despite the Giants’ little skid here (2-5 in last seven), he’s still put up a .407 OBP.
Joc Pederson: Is he alive? Is he just injured? The Giants’ $19 million bat is slugging just .442 this season (career .468) and has just three home runs over his last 100 PA.
Mike Yastrzemski: If Pederson is withering on the vine and Conforto is still discomforted, a quick return of Yaz’s timing will be just what the Giants need. The Rockies pitching offers a chance for that to happen.
Casey Schmitt: Ty Blach is on the Rockies staff. Fernando Abad. Austin Gomber. Kyle Freeland. None of these guys have K/9 above 6.5. They’d be great opponents for a young player looking to rebuild confidence.
Giants vs. Rockies - How will it go?
This poll is closed
Rockies win series
Giants win series