Colorado Rockies vs. San Francisco Giants: Series Preview

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Sep 2, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence (8) steals second against Colorado Rockies short stop Josh Rutledge (14) in the eighth inning at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

After the Colorado Rockies enjoyed their opening series in Denver against the Cubs, they get their first big test of the season with a six-game west coast road trip. It starts Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in San Francisco against the Giants

DATES, TIMES, AND PITCHERS

Monday, April 13, 2:10 pm
Eddie Butler (0-0, 3.18) vs. Chris Heston (1-0, 0.00)

Tuesday, April 14, 2:35 pm
Christian Bergman (1-0, 0.00) vs. Tim Hudson (0-0, 0.00)

Wednesday, April 15, 8:15 pm
Tyler Matzek (0-0, 2.25) vs. Tim Lincecum (0-0, 0.00)

KEYS FOR THE ROCKIES

More from Colorado Rockies News

First division road trip, first test.

Sweeping Milwaukee is a feel-good series, and hosting the Cubbies to open the season back in Denver lets you know that summer is here, but now things get serious.

The Rockies go on their first west coast trip, heading to L.A. after these three against the Giants, and it’s important for this club to play better on the road (see the key number, below) if they’re to be taken seriously.

Additionally, this club needs to get off on the right foot within the division. The Series in San Francisco begins a long streak of games against NL West opponents; going 0-3 (or, say, 1-5 or 0-6 across S.F. and L.A.) wouldn’t be catastrophic, but it would be an issue.

Get off on the right foot in San Francisco and L.A., be competitive, win a couple games (hell, win a series or two!), and announce to the division that you’re meant to be taken seriously this summer. If that doesn’t happen, it might be another long slog through the National League West.

Jorge who?

It looks like Christian Bergman is going to start Tuesday’s game against the Giants after Jorge De La Rosa will need another rehab start in Albuquerque to recover from his strained groin.

Bergman is no De La Rosa, so I don’t think a 15+ win season is coming for Christian, but it’ll be an interesting test to see if he can eat innings, keep the club in the game well enough, and match up with Tim Hudson on Tuesday afternoon.

KEY NUMBER

21-60.

That, of course, is the Rockies’ road record last season. Not to harp on it, but… we need to harp on it. San Francisco always seems to be particularly unkind to the Rockies, and it’s always a tough venue to get a win, let alone win a series.

Of course, the Rockies’ last series victory before the opening trio this year in Milwaukee was an inexplicable sweep of the Giants in San Francisco last July. They (probably) won’t sweep San Francisco again, but they also can’t win 21 games on the road again this year.

San Francisco (and, up next this week, Los Angeles) will go a long way in determining whether to take the Rockies seriously this summer or not. A sweep at the hands of the Giants (or, say, a 1-5 stretch across these six games in SF and LA) will tell you a lot about this years club.

The Rockies are 3-0 on the road. Let’s hope they don’t finish the year 18-60 away from home. That’s unlikely, but at the very least, let’s hope they can take one in San Francisco, and one in Los Angeles. A 2-4 trip wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

LET’S MEET THE GIANTS

Save Madison Bumgarner’s blow-up in San Diego this past weekend, the Giants have been throwing the ball well and staying in games thanks to their starting rotation, including Tim Lincecum and Tim Hudson, both of whom the Rockies will see this series.

That’s a rotation without Matt Cain, too, who has been moved to the disabled list and replaced by Chris Heston, who will toss the Giants’ home opener Monday afternoon against Eddie Butler.

More guys than just Cain, though, are banged up for the Giants; both Hunter Pence and Travis Ishikawa are on the 15-day disabled list, as well, and Brandon Belt has been dealing with a groin issue, though he’s still on the active roster.

At the plate, Nori Aoki and Angel Pagan are leading the way thus far, with Buster Posey and newcomer Casey McGehee starting relatively slowly. The Giants have slugged four home runs as a team through their first six games.

On the mound, Bumgarner and Ryan Vogelsong have started slowly, but the Rockies won’t see either arm (unless Vogelsong appears in relief). Heston, Hudson and Lincecum all had very good first starts with the Giants and look to continue their collective 0.00 ERA (across 20 innings) against Colorado.

Monday’s game is the Giants’ home opener, so expect the club to hand out World Series rings before the game. Good motivation for Tulo and the Rockies, perhaps? Or… not. We’ll see.

Three in San Fran, including two day games. Hope you can watch at work!

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