The San Francisco Giants are free-falling from playoff contention with inconsistent offense, and Jake Peavy hasn’t been putting up numbers capable of making modest production hold up.
A series loss to the last-place Colorado Rockies might be the latest sign that a World Series repeat isn’t happening, and that could come Saturday night at Coors Field with a pair of Colorado sluggers threatening club records.
After Friday’s 2-1 loss, the Giants (69-66) have dropped at least seven straight for the third time this season. They’re in danger of losing eight in a row on the road for the first time since 2000.
Should San Francisco miss the playoffs, it might look back on a rough season against the Rockies as part of the reason why. Colorado (56-78) has taken nine of 14 to account for the worst part of the Giants’ 18-22 record against the bottom three teams in the NL West.
During the recent struggles, the Giants have been held to a run or less in four of seven to fall 7 1/2 games back of Los Angeles.
"It’s a tough stretch, no doubt about it," Buster Posey said. "Be lying if you said it wasn’t. We’ve got to find a way to turn it around though. It’s all you really can do. You can’t feel sorry for yourself, you can’t pout. You just have to come ready to play and hope tomorrow is the day that we get back on track."
Colorado has won three straight, thanks in large part to Carlos Gonzalez’s five home runs and 12 RBIs. In his last 28 games at Coors, he’s batting .376 with 17 home runs, 38 RBIs and a 1.338 OPS. Gonzalez is 0 for 3 against Peavy (4-6, 4.38 ERA), but teammate Nolan Arenado is 3 for 6.
The third baseman is batting .591 while homering in five straight games, matching Dante Bichette (1995) and Larry Walker (1999) as the only Rockies to do it. All 15 games came at Coors, though the previous streaks predated the installation of the stadium humidor in 2002. Since, the top home run total is 37 by Jeromy Burnitz in 2004. Gonzalez (36) and Arenado (35) should pass that.
"We’re starting to hit the ball a lot better," Arenado said. "We were pumped up and it was a lot of fun. It was cool to do that."
The Giants won four of Peavy’s starts in a row through Aug. 4, but he’s since gone 2-2 with a 5.34 ERA in five with the club dropping three. The right-hander surrendered four runs in 5 2-3 innings of Monday’s 5-4 loss in 14 at Dodger Stadium.
He’s faced the Rockies three times since leaving the NL West in 2009, and the two starts in Colorado remained consistent with his struggles while with San Diego. Peavy has allowed at least three runs in five straight starts at Coors with a 1-2 record and 7.22 ERA.
Peavy is up against Chad Bettis (6-4, 4.78), whose return from over a month on the disabled list with elbow inflammation has resulted in a win and 4.09 ERA in two starts. The latest was less encouraging with the right-hander giving up four runs and 11 hits in six innings Monday before the lineup bailed him out with four runs in the ninth of a 5-4 home win over Arizona.
Bettis has won both of his starts against the Giants this season with a 3.14 ERA. He’s got Gregor Blanco (0 for 8) and Brandon Crawford (1 for 10) figured out, but Brandon Belt is 7 for 12.