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January 15, 2019 - 1:22 am
SAN FRANCISCO â€” for the second straight September when the National League West clubs open a three-game series on Friday night.Giants right-hander Chris Stratton (9-9 http://www.oriolesfanproshop.c…..ard-jersey , 4.99 ERA), bombed in back-to-back starts against the Rockies earlier this season, and Rockies left-hander Tyler Anderson (6-8, 4.89), winless in his last 11 starts, draw the starting assignments in the opener.The Rockies (81-65) begin a nine-game trip in first place in the NL West, having moved a healthy 4 1/2 games up on third-place Arizona (77-70) with a 10-3 shellacking of the Diamondbacks Thursday at Colorado to complete a 3-1 series win.Article continues below …The Los Angeles Dodgers (80-67) are in second place, 1 1/2 games behind the Rockies.The Rockies will visit Los Angeles and Arizona for three games apiece next week to complete its road â€” and NL West â€” schedule. Colorado finishes the season at home against Philadelphia and Washington.The Rockies found themselves battling the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers in mid-September last season when they went into San Francisco and lost two straight to a Giants team well out of contention.Colorado then had to scramble just to claim the second wild-card spot in the NL by one game.This yearâ€™s San Francisco club finds itself in the same situation, having lost a West Coast era-record 11 straight.Stratton has started two of those games and pitched pretty well in 4-1 and 4-3 losses to the New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers, respectably. He allowed just seven hits in 11 innings in those games.That was a marked improvement over the 13 runs and 19 hits he gave up in 9-8 and 8-1 losses in a home-and-home sequence with the Rockies bridging June and July. Nolan Arenado homered in both of the games. The star third baseman hasnâ€™t been the only Colorado player who has rocked the 28-year-old Stratton in the past. Ian Desmond (.625), Trevor Story (.556), Charlie Blackmon (.500), DJ LeMahieu (.500) and Gerardo Parra (.500) all have .500 or better career batting averages against Stratton.He has gone 1-1 with a 7.89 ERA in five games, including four starts Pedro Alvarez Jersey , in his career against Colorado.Anderson will face a Giants team that has hit even worse than he has pitched of late.The 28-year-old hasnâ€™t won since July 4 and now leads the NL in home runs allowed with 29.He was taken deep by the Giantsâ€™ Gorkys Hernandez in a 9-8 Rockies home win on Sept. 3. Anderson did not get the win, pulled after 5 1/3 innings having allowed three runs and six hits.Anderson has made six starts in his career against the Giants and went 1-2 with a 4.25 ERA.Hernandez has two career homers against him in 10 career at-bats.The Giants enter the series having scored one run in five straight home games. Theyâ€™ve totaled just nine home runs (none in the last three outings) during their 0-for-September run of 11 games. DENVER â€” The Colorado Rockies have gained control of their October destiny and will start German Marquez on Wednesday, hoping the young right-hander can continue his recent dominance against the free-falling Philadelphia Phillies.The Rockies, who blasted the Phillies 10-1 on Monday, won their fifth straight game Tuesday, pounding them 10-3. That victory coupled with St. Louisâ€™ loss enabled the Rockies to move one-half game ahead of the Cardinals in the race for the second National League wild-card spot. The Rockies also gained ground on the Los Angeles Dodgers and are a half-game behind them in the NL West.The loss was a season-high sixth in a row for the Phillies (78-79), who have dropped 17 of 23 games this month and have dipped below .500 for the first time since April 9, when they were 4-5. The Phillies were 63-48 on Aug. 5, which was the second-best record in the NL but have since gone 15-31.Article continues below …â€śWe have not played good baseball for quite some time,â€ť Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said after Tuesdayâ€™s loss. â€śWe have to find a way to perform better. We have to find a way to work harder, prepare better and come out and fight.â€ťThe 23-year-old Marquez (13-10, 3.91 ERA), who will start against Nick Pivetta (7-13, 4.58), has 210 strikeouts and is closing in on a single-season franchise record. Pedro Astacio also had 210 strikeouts in 1999 for the Rockies http://www.oriolesfanproshop.c…..ham-jersey , and Ubaldo Jimenez set the franchise record with 214 strikeouts in 2010.Marquez, who is 3-1, 2.23 in his past six starts at home, last started Friday and won at Arizona, giving up two runs and six hitsin seven innings with no walks and 11 strikeouts.He has 11 or more strikeouts in four of his past five starts and has allowed three or fewer runs in 11 consecutive turns. In those 11 outings, Marquez is 5-2, 2.36 with 14 walks and 98 strikeouts in 76 1/3 innings, limiting opposing hitters to a .207 average and .575 OPS in that stretch.An improved slider, which Marquez has used more frequently this season, has been integral to his success. According to FanGraphs, Marquezâ€™s slider usage has increased from 4.1 percent last year to 16 percent this season. Meanwhile, his fastball usage has decreased from 65.5 percent to 55.3 percent and his curveball usage has dipped to 22.2 percent from 25 percent. He has thrown his changeup 6.5 percent of the time, up from 5.4 percent last year.â€śI think he has confidence in throwing his slider for a strike,â€ť said catcher Tony Wolters, who has been behind the plate regularly when Marquez starts. â€śHe throws his slider probably more for a strike than his curveball.â€ťWolters said the slider is a pitch Marquez will use to begin an at-bat Anthony Santander Jersey , along with his very effective curveball and that the two breaking pitches complement each other and give him a first-pitch alternative to a fastball.But Marquez has been able to finish off hitters this year with the slider, because itâ€™s a sharp-breaking swing-and-miss pitch and so much better than a year ago.â€śIt has a lot of depth, and it goes down,â€ť Wolters said. â€śLast year, it was kind of sweepy. He had trouble with it going down and had trouble throwing strikes with it.â€ťMarquez is 1-1, 5.25 in two starts against the Phillies, both in Philadelphia.Pivetta had a no-decision Friday at Atlanta, where he gave up four hits and one run in five innings in Philadelphiaâ€™s 6-5 loss. He has not pitched more than five innings in five consecutive starts, going 0-3, 3.47 in that stretch covering 23 1/3 innings.Pivetta is 0-2, 16.43 in two starts against the Rockies, including a 7-2 loss June 13 at Philadelphia, where he gave up six runs and eight hits in five innings.
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