Moore takes ball as Giants host Rockies
SAN FRANCISCO -- As San Francisco Giants left-hander Matt Moore awaits what could be the biggest game of his career in the regular-season finale Sunday, there's one thing he can do to help make it happen.
Pitch well in his second-biggest game.
Moore begins what could be a six-day trek into Giants lore Tuesday night when he gets the ball to open a three-game series against the visiting Colorado Rockies.
The Giants will begin a six-game homestand with their destiny in their hands, thanks to the St. Louis Cardinals' loss Monday night at Cincinnati.
San Francisco (82-74) will take the field one game ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals (81-75) for the second of two National League Wild Card playoff spots.
The New York Mets (83-74), who also lost on Monday, begin play Tuesday in the first wild-card spot, a half-game ahead of the Giants.
Moore is slotted to pitch two of the Giants' six games this week, capped by the regular-season finale at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.
It was fitting Monday that one of the Giants' best days since the All-Star break was a result of not having played. Because when they've taken the field in the past 11 weeks, little has gone right.
The Giants, who had the best record in baseball at the All-Star break (57-33), have compiled the worst in the NL (25-41) since then.
Moore has been better than your average Giants pitcher since he was acquired at the trade deadline. He's gone 4-5 with a 4.96 ERA as a Giant, and the club has won half his 10 starts.
One of his worst outings came Sept. 5 at Colorado, when he was bombed for two home runs -- including a Carlos Gonzalez grand slam -- in the third inning of a 6-0 loss.
He had to be pulled before the end of the third, having allowed six runs on five hits.
The Rockies are coming off a four-game sweep at the hands of the Dodgers, but did help the Giants with an 11-1 home win over the Cardinals last Wednesday.
Right-hander German Marquez earned his first major league win in that game, limiting the Cardinals to one run on four hits in five innings.
The reigning Eastern League Pitcher of the Year, just 21 years old, will get the call Tuesday against the Giants.
"I was putting hitters away," Marquez gushed after the win. "It felt wonderful, man. I was excited."
The Rockies flew to San Francisco shortly after watching the Dodgers clinch the NL West with a walk-off win Sunday.
The Giants had been hoping their three season-ending games against the Dodgers could help them mount an 11th-hour comeback. Now, they figure to need wins in that series just to secure a Wild Card spot.
"Sure, you're always disappointed you don't win your division," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said after getting word of the Dodgers' clincher. "But right now our focus is keep trying to win games and get there and have a shot at it."