Rockies-Giants Preview

The San Francisco Giants are in first place in the NL West

thanks to a strong record at AT&T Park and some intradivision

dominance, patterns that continued in the opener of a 10-game

homestand.

Regardless of venue or opponent, nothing’s going right these

days for the Colorado Rockies.

The Giants on Saturday afternoon seek a seventh consecutive home

win over the sputtering Rockies, who with a loss will have dropped

their fifth consecutive series.

San Francisco (32-25) didn’t get off to a good start in defense

of its World Series crown, but after beginning 15-16 it started to

turn things around with a sweep of Colorado from May 6-8.

The Rockies were in first place by four games heading into that

series, but now find themselves 5 1/2 games behind the Giants. San

Francisco improved to 17-9 since May 6 with a 3-1 win Friday that

dealt Colorado its 20th loss in 28 games.

The Giants are 9-2 against the West and 10-3 at home in that

stretch.

The Rockies, meanwhile, scored three runs or fewer for the ninth

time in 10 games.

“Our trouble, once again, came from the lack of offense,”

manager Jim Tracy said.

San Francisco has owned the Rockies (26-30) in the Bay Area

lately despite producing little offensively. The Giants have only

totaled 20 runs in winning six straight in the series, but that’s

because their pitching has been phenomenal.

They’ve given up nine runs in that stretch as their starters

have posted a 1.56 ERA. Matt Cain on Friday became the fifth

pitcher in those six games to go at least six innings while

allowing one run or fewer.

Madison Bumgarner (2-6, 3.66 ERA) certainly seems capable of

following suit. The left-hander has made seven straight quality

starts while posting a 2.12 ERA, though he was just 1-3 heading

into Monday’s game at St. Louis due to a lack of run support.

The Giants finally gave him some help against the Cardinals,

while Bumgarner limited St. Louis to two runs over seven innings in

a 7-3 victory. Still, the 21-year-old feels he has room for

improvement.

“I don’t feel I’ve gotten into a good rhythm yet,” Bumgarner

told the Giants’ official website.

He’s 0-2 with a 3.52 ERA in four starts versus Colorado, though

he held the Rockies to a run over six innings in each of his last

two starts in the series – including a 3-2 victory May 7 in San

Francisco.

Bumgarner will definitely want to pitch carefully to Carlos

Gonzalez. The Colorado outfielder is 4 for 11 with a pair of homers

in their matchups.

One mistake could make a difference against Jhoulys Chacin (5-4,

3.33), who’s 2-1 with a 2.14 ERA in four appearances – three starts

– against the Giants. The right-hander held San Francisco to one

hit over seven innings in his lone start at AT&T Park, and the

Giants are hitting a woeful .132 against him.

Aubrey Huff, however, has managed to get to Chacin. He only has

two hits in nine at-bats, but both were homers.

Chacin has won his last two road starts, but his two most recent

outings – both at home – were losses. He settled down after

allowing three first-inning runs Sunday against St. Louis – Chacin

gave up one more in the next five – but the damage was done in a

4-3 loss.

Chacin has allowed four first-innings runs in his last two

starts after surrendering one in his first nine.