San Francisco Giants & Colorado Rockies: An Epic Showdown Out West
With the exception of the Colorado Rockies' miracle run to the World Series in 2007, both the Rockies and the San Francisco Giants have been amongst the bottom teams in the National League the last few years.
Last season, the Rockies and Giants finished third and fourth respectively in the NL West, with Colorado winning 74 games, just two more than the Giants' 72.
From 2006-2007, the Giants finished a combined 147-176, and from 2005-2006 the Rockies finished a combined 143-181.
However, as we sit here today on the 23rd of July, 2009, the Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants are separated by just one game for the Wild Card lead.
Ladies and gentlemen, it's safe to say that this is the biggest series in the history of Rockies/Giants.
And it's not every day that you can make that type of claim about a series, but with the Rockies being a young franchise, and the Giants having struggled in recent years, there has been no other single series with as much on the line for both teams.
Plus, for the Giants sake, it's without a doubt the biggest series in over four years since they played a four-game set against the San Diego Padres back in late September of 2005.
That year was the most recent season in which the Giants were still in contention come September.
Yet here we are today, and wouldn't you know it, the Giants and Rockies meet for the first-time with legitimate post-season implications on the line.
Yes, I realize it's only July, and you can give me a bunch of chicken scratch about how the loser of this series can still easily win the Wild Card. But in truth, this is still a big-time series.
At this point in time, who knows if the Giants will make a trade come the July 31st trading deadline? If they don't, and they go onto lose this series to Colorado, then you can pretty much kiss the postseason goodbye for the orange and black.
And as for the Rockies, they just might be the hottest team in baseball if it weren't for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who never seem to lose, either.
Colorado has won five of seven games since the All-Star break. Since firing manager Clint Hurdle earlier in the season and promoting bench coach Jim Tracy, the Rockies have catapulted themselves to the top of the standings.
However, whether or not they can sustain this run is yet to be determined. A series loss to the Giants may just cool them off, and there are still numerous other teams in the Wild Card race chomping at their heels.
Don't look now, but the Atlanta Braves are flaming hot, and may catch and surpass both the Rockies and Giants to win the NL Wild Card.
But as for now, the two teams at the top of the Wild Card hunt are the Rockies and Giants, who open up a three-game series Friday night in Denver.
The Giants will send All-Star Matt Cain to the mound in the opener against Colorado's Jason Hammel.
Of all three games to watch, this one may just be the biggest because the Giants have been reeling lately, and will be sending their best starter of the series out in game one.
If the Giants can't pull out the victory in the opener, the Rockies just may be ready to open a big-time lead in the Wild Card race.
Whether or not your a Rockies fan, Giants fan, or just a baseball fan, if you're anywhere near the Denver area, try to make it out to game in this series because you should be treated to some excellent baseball.
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