Giants-Rockies: Series Preview

D WizzleSenior Analyst IApril 30, 2009

DENVER - APRIL 26:  Center fielder Dexter Fowler #24 of the Colorado Rockies slides safely into third base against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field on April 26, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Dodgers 10-4.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The San Francisco Giants will finish off their six-game homestand this weekend with three games against the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies are in last place in the NL West with an 8-12 record and are beginning a five-game road trip out West.

The Giants are 10-10 and are only three games behind the Dodgers.

The Giants are playing very well at home this season and have an 8-3 record at AT&T Park. The Rockies have a 4-7 road record.

Colorado will be sending Ubaldo Jimenez to the mound to start the series Friday night against 45-year-old Randy Johnson.

Jimenez has a 1-3 record with a 7.58 ERA while Johnson is 1-2 with a 6.16 ERA.

Johnson has been prone to the long ball this season, already giving up five homers. On the other hand, Jimenez has not given up a single homer in four starts.

Jimenez has a high ERA because he got rocked by the Dodgers in his last two starts. Johnson is coming off a start against the Diamondbacks where he only lasted 3.1 innings and walked seven batters.

Johnson's ERA at home is 3.00 though and he has had tremendous success in his career against the Rockies. Johnson  has a career lifetime record of 18-7 with a 2.31 ERA against the Rockies.

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Jimenez has a lot of talent, but he has had too many control problems in the past. In his last three games pitched, he has issued more walks than strikeouts.

Saturday's game will be a match-up between Jason Marquis and Matt Cain. Cain is having a great year so far with a 2-0 record and a 2.08 ERA. Marquis is 3-1 with a 4.10 ERA.

Sunday's match-up is between Jason Hammel and Barry Zito. Zito has pitched better in his last two starts, but he is still winless. He has a good chance of getting his first win on Sunday since he has had pretty good numbers against most of the Rockies' batters.

The player to watch for on the Rockies is OF Dexter Fowler. Fowler is a speedster who stole five bases in a recent game. He is batting .290 with two homers and seven RBI. He is the leadoff batter for Colorado and he can wreak havoc on the basepaths so he will be a big key in this series.

The player to watch for on the Giants will be 3B/C Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval will be playing third base for the first two games, and probably will behind the plate for Sunday's game when Zito pitches.

Zito has pitched a lot better with Sandoval as his catcher than when starting catcher, Bengie Molina, is behind the plate. Sandoval struggled to hit to start the season but he seems to be heating up. He has eight hits in his last 18 at-bats.

It should be a very competitive series and there could be a lot of pitching duels. Expect the bullpens to be a big factor in who wins the games this weekend.

The first game will be a night game and the weekend games will be both played in the afternoon.

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