National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, April 9th
(All times Eastern)
San Francisco Giants (0-3) at Colorado Rockies (1-2), 4:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: San Francisco - Barry Zito (0-0, 0.00)
Colorado - Jhoulys Chacin (0-0, 0.00)
(Sports Network) - Three straight one-run losses have the Giants off to their
worst start since 1984. San Francisco now turns to Barry Zito in the hopes of
avoiding their first 0-4 beginning in 62 years.
Zito will look to get the Giants on track and spoil the Colorado Rockies' home
opener in the beginning of a three-game series.
San Francisco began its campaign with a pair of 5-4 loss at Arizona before
blowing a six-run lead in Sunday's finale. An error by catcher Buster Posey in
the seventh inning allowed the Diamondbacks to plate the go-ahead run and
rally back for a 7-6 win.
In his first start since signing a large extension, Matt Cain allowed five
runs over six innings to give San Francisco's starters an earned run average
of 8.22 in the series. Jeremy Affeldt was charged with the loss in relief.
"We beat ourselves," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Sure, this was a tough
one, but we have to bounce back and find a way to get on track here. This is
one that stings a little bit, but we have to put it behind us."
Posey hit his first home runs since April 24 of last season and Pablo Sandoval
added an RBI single for the Giants, who haven't begun a season 0-4 since 1950.
One has to wonder just how confident San Francisco is in avoiding a match of
that distinction given Zito's 7.91 ERA in six outings this spring. The left-
hander is also coming off an injury-shortened 2011 season that saw him go just
3-4 with a 5.87 ERA in 13 games (nine starts) while battling a foot injury.
In fact, Zito's biggest contribution may have been getting hurt as it allowed
Ryan Vogelsong to crack the rotation and put together an All-Star campaign.
Zito, meanwhile, fell to 43-61 with a 4.55 ERA in 146 games over his career
with the Giants.
The 33-year-old and 2002 American League Cy Young Award winner is entering the
final seasons of a seven-year, $126 million deal signed in December of 2006
and is 5-2 with a 2.60 ERA in 17 career games versus the Rockies.
Colorado, meanwhile, hopes it has a star in the making with right-hander
Jhoulys Chacin, who went 11-14 with a 3.62 ERA in 31 starts last year. His ERA
was the third lowest for a starter in a full season in Rockies history and
that came despite a second half in which he went 3-7 with a 4.31 ERA in 13
Chacin, 24, struck out 150 and clubs hit just .231 off of him. He is 3-3 with
a 2.72 ERA in seven career games (6 starts) versus the Giants and draws the
outing in today's home opener.
"It's an honor for me," Chacin told Colorado's website. "But I'm not going to
put any pressure on myself or do anything different. I just want to give the
team seven, eight or nine innings, just do my job."
Colorado begins a nine-game homestand this afternoon after losing the final
two contests of its season-opening three-game series at Houston. Wilin Rosario
hit a two-run homer for the Rockies, but a throwing error by Jordan Pacheco in
the eighth inning opened the door for an Astros rally.
"Because of our inability to do anything more offensively than the one swing
that Wilin Rosario took, we put ourselves in a position where any little
mistake that gets made is going to be magnified and potentially cost you the
game, and that's exactly what happened," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.
Juan Nicasio, making his first start since suffering a fractured skull and
broken neck on Aug. 5 when Ian Desmond's line drive struck him in the head,
allowed one run on five hits and one walk in seven innings.
The Giants won seven of their final eight meetings with the Rockies last year
and took 13 of 18 in the season series overall. They won six of nine in
04/09 10:37:56 ET