The San Francisco Giants started a six-game road trip sitting in first place in the National League West. They held onto that lofty position after a 10-5 win over the Colorado Rockies on Monday, and they’re looking for more when the teams meet Tuesday night.
San Francisco will send Logan Webb (8-3, 2.56 ERA) to the mound while Colorado counters with righty Chi Chi Gonzalez (3-6, 6.13).
The Giants (88-50) have the best record in baseball despite a depleted rotation. Before Kevin Gausman pitched seven innings in Monday’s win over the Rockies, the bullpen had averaged nearly six innings over the previous seven games, taxing the relief corps.
The good news is teams were able to expand rosters to 28 on Sept. 1, and San Francisco took advantage of that. Righty Kervin Castro was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on Monday to bring a fresh arm to the roster.
San Francisco starters Johnny Cueto (right elbow strain) and Alex Wood (COVID-19) are on the injured list, so Castro gets a chance to show his stuff.
“What I think is interesting is that he’s among the league leaders in various categories if you filter by number of innings, but he’s a real outlier from an age standpoint,” manager Gabe Kapler said Monday. “Most of the dudes on that list are 25, 26, sometimes 27. Kervin is 22. What that tells me is that he’s really held his own and performed well and situations don’t seem huge for him. He’s able to manage that having not spent a lot of time at the upper levels.”
Webb is making his sixth start and seventh career appearance against Colorado (63-75). He is 3-1 with a 4.75 ERA against the Rockies, and 1-1 with a 7.07 ERA in three starts at Coors Field.
Gonzalez is back in the rotation after Jon Gray landed on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He had a rough outing against Atlanta on Thursday, lasting just 3 2/3 innings and was taken out due to a high pitch count.
“I thought his stuff was fine,” Rockies manager Bud Black said after the game. “The ball-strike ratio wasn’t great. He wasn’t as sharp as we’ve seen him.”
Gonzalez has faced the Giants seven times in his career, including six starts, and is 0-2 with a 4.75 ERA. Two of those starts have been this year, both in San Francisco back in April. He allowed four runs on 11 hits in going five innings in both outings.
Tuesday will be the sixth straight game Colorado will play a first-place team. The Rockies split a four-game series with Atlanta over the weekend and have now lost two straight overall. With no postseason on the horizon, Colorado has gotten looks at rookie pitchers.
Maybe the most impressive so far is reliever Julian Fernandez, who had his fastball clocked at 102.4 mph Sunday.
“There are a lot of pitchers around baseball now that are touching 100,” Black said. “What I liked about our guy is that he was around the strike zone with that velocity. And he threw strikes with his secondary pitches — his changeup and a slider — that were close to 90 mph.”
–Field Level Media