The Giants won the series opener against the Rockies on Monday night by a final tally of 4-2. Hunter Pence’s three-run homer in the first inning and Buster Posey’s RBI single in the eighth inning proved to be the difference, as Madison Bumgarner yielded only one run over 5 2/3 innings despite issuing five walks.
Game 2 is an interesting pitching matchup between Juan Nicasio and Tim Lincecum. Nicasio picked up his first ever career road win on Wednesday against the Brewers. It took him two years, but he finally has a “W” in his road splits.
Lincecum, who allowed no earned runs against the Dodgers over five innings on Wednesday, has a good amount of history against the Rockies. In 23 careers starts against them, he’s 11-7 with a 3.55 ERA. Last year, he went 4-1 with a 4.41 ERA against them.
Nicasio is quite the opposite of Lincecum, as he’s made only one career appearance against San Francisco. In that one appearance in 2011 at AT&T Park, he pitched six innings and allowed only three runs, but picked up the loss. Additionally, only three current Giants have had at-bats against him–Andres Torres, Matt Cain and Brandon Crawford.
The Rockies, meanwhile, have a substantial amount of history against Lincecum:
Keys For the Giants:
Leave the Bases Clear For Carlos Gonzalez
As you can clearly see above, Gonzalez has some history against Lincecum, and it’s good history. Last night, Eric Young Jr. was picked off by Bumgarner, and just moments later, Gonzalez hit a home run that one-hopped into McCovey Cove. It was unfortunate for the Rockies because they probably would’ve played the ninth inning much differently after Josh Rutledge doubled off Sergio Romo to lead off the inning.
Make Nicasio Throw Strikes
In 2012, Nicasio walked 3.4 batters per nine innings. His fastball command was shaky, and his off-speed pitches were less effective because of that.
Tim Lincecum: First Pitch Strikes
If Lincecum gets behind in the count, the Rockies will sit on his declining fastball, which was the whole problem for Lincecum last year. Teams wouldn’t look for his off-speed stuff, and instead, they looked for his fastball. Additionally, a first pitch strike will also cut down his walk totals–he walked seven batters in Los Angeles in his first start, which tied a career high.