Giants looking to gain ground, exact revenge on Rockies this weekend

Updated: August 27, 2009

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Barry Zito has been steady in August, going 2-1 with a 2.17 ERA in five starts.

This weekend's Colorado Rockies at San Francisco Giants series will be a fascinating meeting for several reasons. Perhaps the biggest reason, though, comes from the way their most recent series ended Monday night -- with a 14th-inning walk-off grand slam by Ryan Spilborghs.

That had to be the worst loss of the season for the Giants, and the biggest win of the year for the Rockies. It will be really interesting to see, less than a week later, how each team responds to that series, especially the Giants.

The Giants also have their starting pitching in perfect order for this series. They have arguably the best pitcher in the National League in Tim Lincecum going on Friday night; maybe their hottest pitcher, Barry Zito, goes against Jason Marquis on Saturday; and Matt Cain faces Jason Hammel in Sunday's series finale. It's a perfect setup of righty-lefty-righty for San Francisco. As for the first game in the series (Ubaldo Jimenez vs. Lincecum), that's another one of those great pitching matchups, featuring two great pitchers facing off in a big ballpark. I would be shocked if it resulted in anything more than a 3-2, 4-3 score at the most.

Featured Series: Rockies at Giants
FRIDAY
Rockies (Ubaldo Jimenez) at Giants (Tim Lincecum), 10:15 p.m. ET
SATURDAY
Rockies (Jason Marquis) at Giants (Barry Zito), 9:05 ET
SUNDAY
Rockies (Jason Hammel) at Giants (Matt Cain), 4:05 ET

Now, this is an extremely important series for the Giants. Because if they lose even two out of three, it's going to put them in a very difficult position to catch the Rockies in the National League wild-card race and give them very little hope to beat the Dodgers in the division. (Right now, they trail the Dodgers by seven games, and the Rockies are four games back of L.A. after Thursday's 3-2 loss against the Dodgers at Coors Field. The Rockies lead the Giants by three games in the wild-card race).

Even though Colorado has two tough starters in Jimenez and Marquis going in the first two games of the series, I'm picking the Giants to win two out of three this weekend. This time around, San Francisco is at home and has its starting pitching in order, and the Giants surely have to still be thinking about payback, considering how the last series between these two teams ended.

Past Baseball Tonight Clubhouses: Aug. 26 | Aug. 25 | Aug. 24 | Aug. 23 | Aug. 20

TOUCH 'EM ALL

Touch 'Em AllWho went deep? Keep track of all the home runs hit each day on "Baseball Tonight" and on the Baseball Tonight Clubhouse page.

For more, check out the Home Run Tracker page.

Home Run Tracker
NAME HR OPPSITUATION
Prince Fielder, MIL35LehrBot 1: 1-0, 1 Out. 2 on.
Adam Dunn, WAS34WellsTop 3: 2-2, 0 Outs. None on.
Ian Kinsler, TEX28RobertsonTop 8: 1-2, 2 Outs. None on.
Ian Kinsler, TEX27BurnettTop 4: 0-0, 2 Outs. 2 on.
Ryan Zimmerman, WAS27WellsTop 1: 3-1, 0 Outs. 1 on.
Derrek Lee, CHC25MartinBot 5: 2-2, 1 Out. None on.
Dan Uggla, FLA23ReddingBot 7: 3-2, 0 Outs. None on.
The complete list of Thursday's homers

ON DECK: WEEKEND WATCH

White Sox at Yankees

The two starters getting this series rolling enter going in opposite directions. Mark Buehrle has had a rough go of it since he tossed his perfect game July 23 against Tampa Bay. Since then, he is 0-4 in six starts. CC Sabathia, meanwhile, has won each of his past five starts.

Rays at Tigers

The Tigers open the series with Rick Porcello, who hasn't pitched more than 5 2/3 innings in any of his past four outings. Matt Garza hasn't factored in a decision in any of his four starts this month; the Rays are 3-1 in those games, however.

Braves at Phillies

The Braves need to make a push to have any chance in either the NL East or the wild card. The Phillies enter having lost two of three at Pittsburgh; the one win, by the way, came in extra innings.

For the rest of Friday's schedule, click here. To see what's on tap for Saturday, click here. And for Sunday's full slate of games, click here.


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BBTN ON THE AIR: FRIDAY

TIME WHO'S ON?
10 p.m. ET
ESPN
Host: Steve Berthiaume
Analysts: Eric Young, Eduardo Perez, Buster Olney
12 a.m. ET
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Host: Steve Berthiaume
Analysts: Eric Young, Eduardo Perez, Buster Olney

BBTN ON THE AIR: SATURDAY

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ESPN
Host: Steve Berthiaume
Analysts: Eric Young, Eduardo Perez, Buster Olney
12 a.m. ET
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Host: Steve Berthiaume
Analysts: Eric Young, Eduardo Perez, Buster Olney

BBTN ON THE AIR: SUNDAY

TIME WHO'S ON?
12:30 p.m. ET
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Host: Karl Ravech
Analysts: John Kruk, Dave Winfield, Peter Gammons
7 p.m. ET
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Host: Karl Ravech
Analysts: John Kruk, Dave Winfield, Peter Gammons

BBTN MINUTE: ROCKIES, GIANTS MEET AGAIN

THURSDAY'S BEST AND WORST

BEST
Wandy RodriguezIan Kinsler, like many other hitters before him, enjoyed a day at the plate at new Yankee Stadium. Kinsler hit a pair of homers and drove home four runs as Texas picked up a 7-2 victory against the Yankees. It was Kinsler's fifth two-homer game of the year.
WORST
Joe Martinez• The Giants hope their pitching is a bit better against the Rockies this weekend than it was against the Diamondbacks on Thursday. Joe Martinez gave up nine hits and eight runs in only 4 1/3 innings of an ugly 11-0 loss heading into the big weekend set with Colorado.

WEB GEMS

NUMBERS TO KNOW

Mark Buehrle The aces are on display Friday as CC Sabathia and the Yankees host Mark Buehrle and the White Sox.

Buehrle is winless in six starts since his perfect game July 23, posting a 6.21 ERA in that stretch. Buehrle got so comfortable pitching with the bases empty that he's no longer effective with runners on, allowing as many homers with men on as he did in his first 20 starts.

Buehrle with runners on (2009)
Before July 24 Since
BA against .203 .406
SLG against .320 .656
Miss pct. 13.9 12.7
HR allowed 4 4
K/BB 23-13 4-3

-- ESPN Stats & Information

FANTASY: PREVIEW OF FRIDAY'S GAMES

Fantasy Adam Madison examines the 15 games on Friday's slate.

Madison ranks the pitchers scheduled to take the mound and supplies loads of other information that could help shape your roster for Friday. Daily Notes