The Colorado Rockies are back at 20th and Blake on Monday afternoon for the Coors Field opener to take on the San Francisco Giants after losing two of three to the Houston Astros. The Rockies took the opening game of the series, 5-3, on the strength of Eric Young Jr.'s acuity on the basepaths and a monster home run by Troy Tulowitzki to provide the insurance run. However, the Astros hit around Jamie Moyer and Tyler Chatwood in the second game and took advantage of a Jordan Pacheco throwing error in the rubber game to take the series victory.
However, the Rockies will put that out of mind as they return home for the Coors Field faithful. Jhoulys Chacin takes the mound for Colorado. Though he is the fourth starting pitcher to take the mound for the team this year, Chacin is the No. 2 starter and would have started the first game in Houston if not for the acquisition of Jeremy Guthrie. Chacin, fairly or unfairly, became the ace of Rockies staff after Ubaldo Jimenez was traded, but control issues continued to plague him, which is something we'll need to monitor early on.
The Giants, meanwhile, enter this series as three-game losers to the Arizona Diamondbacks after the first series of the season. All three games were lost by one run (5-4, 5-4, 7-6), but the team has already hit four home runs, including ones from Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera. Sandoval leads the team with five hits while the other two each have four.
Barry Zito takes the mound for the Giants after an injury-riddled 2011 season. In 13 games, he posted a 5.87 ERA and a 5.60 FIP. With a lack of pitching depth in the minors and $39 million left on his contract (not counting options after 2013 that can be bought out or become vested by certain thresholds (which the team will surely not want met)), Zito will stick it out in the back of the rotation until the Giants can't take it any longer.
Game time/date: 2:10 p.m. MT, Monday, April 9, 2012
Location: Coors Field, Denver, CO
TV: ROOT Sports, CSN-BA, MLB Network (blackouts in local areas)