Colorado hitters have had little success against San Francisco’s
talented pitching staff this week. Facing Matt Cain in the series
finale won’t make things any easier.
The NL West-leading Rockies will likely need some rare success
against Cain on Wednesday to avoid being swept at home by the
surging Giants for the first time in nine years.
Colorado (12-5) has been outscored 14-4 by San Francisco while
losing two straight for the first time in 2011. After Tim Lincecum
and Ryan Vogelsong held the Rockies to four hits in Monday’s 8-1
loss, Colorado managed three hits off Jonathan Sanchez and three
relievers in a 6-3 defeat Tuesday.
Winners in six of seven, the reigning World Series champion
Giants (10-7) have scored a combined nine runs in the first inning
of the last two games. That’s a trend the Rockies must end if they
want to avoid being swept by San Francisco at Coors Field for the
first time since Aug. 26-29, 2002.
“It would be nice to not spot them four runs,” said Rockies
shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who is 0 for 7 in the series. “It’s a
tough uphill battle for us, especially with the pitchers that they
“(Wednesday is) an important game. You don’t want anyone coming
in here and sweeping you. At the same time, it is April
Colorado faces a daunting task against Cain (2-0, 1.42 ERA), who
has carried his 2010 postseason success over to 2011.
After pitching 21 1-3 scoreless innings to go 2-0 in three
playoff starts, Cain has allowed three runs and 14 hits over 19
innings in his first three outings this year.
“I definitely go back to the postseason where I mentally was and
try to use that to my advantage,” Cain said.
The right-hander allowed one run and four hits in six innings of
a 5-2 win at Arizona on Friday.
“He’s really, I think, grown so much over the past year and a
half,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s got good poise out
Cain enjoyed a great deal of success last season against the
Rockies, going 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA in four starts. The last two
came at Coors Field, where he is 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA in his last
four starts dating to 2009.
Though Tulowitzki has struggled the last two nights, he is
batting .323 on the season and .304 with three homers, two doubles
and a triple versus Cain.
Jorge De La Rosa (2-0, 3.18) will oppose Cain, trying to
continue his recent success both this season and against the
The left-hander gave up season highs of four runs, four walks
and five hits Thursday in the nightcap of a doubleheader at New
York, but his 6 2-3 innings were also a season high and he got
credit for the Rockies’ 9-4 victory.
De La Rosa is 6-1 with a 2.26 ERA in nine starts versus San
Francisco. However, the loss came in his most recent outing against
the Giants on Sept. 26, when he allowed three runs and five walks
in six innings of a 4-2 defeat at Coors Field.
San Francisco first baseman Aubrey Huff, 3 for 7 with two
doubles versus De La Rosa, homered for the second time in three
games Tuesday. He has five RBIs during that span.
The Giants could be without center fielder Aaron Rowand, who
left Tuesday’s game with a bruised left forearm after he was hit by
a pitch from Ubaldo Jimenez. Rowand is batting .320.