A day after waving goodbye to Nolan Arenado, the San Francisco Giants will have to deal with the other side of the superstar's trade last February when Austin Gomber pitches for the visiting Colorado Rockies in the opener of a three-game series on Monday night.
The Giants earned a split of theirfour-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals with a 4-3 victory Sunday afternoon, a game that ended when Arenado, among the National League leaders with 24 RBIs this season, struck out with the potential tying run at second base.
The Rockies received five players from the Cardinals when they dealt Arenado last February. Gomber (2-2, 3.58 ERA) was the headliner -- and he's certainly lived up to the billing lately.
While he's gone 11-11 with the Rockies since his arrival, he's been pitching his best ball of late, having allowed four earned runs and 14 hits over 18 2/3 innings in his last three starts.
He's served up just one home run in three road starts, and now he will encounter a Giants squad that has hit three homers in the last two games. LaMonte Wade Jr. and Mike Yastrzemski, both of whom came off the injured list last week, contributed homers to Sunday's win over St. Louis.
"It's part of our game," Giants manager Gabe Kapler said of the long ball. "We're a team that goes deep into counts. We're selectively aggressive. ... Some combination of walks and home runs usually leads to good stuff for us."
Gomber faced the Giants three times last season -- all in San Francisco -- and didn't experience any success. Walks played a big part in it.
The 28-year-old left-hander, who had never faced the Giants, went 0-3 with a 12.00 ERA in those outings. He allowed 11 walks in 12 innings, helping produce 16 runs.
San Francisco has ace lefty Carlos Rodon (3-1, 1.55) lined up to pitch the series opener.
Like Gomber against the Giants, Rodon will look for his first win against the Rockies. He's faced them just once, and it wasn't pretty. He was roughed up for six runs in 5 1/3 innings in a 10-0 loss for the Chicago White Sox at Colorado in 2017.
Rodon has had no such stumbles as a Giant. He hasn't allowed more than two runs or three hits in any of his five starts, including a 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers last Tuesday in which he gave up two runs in six innings.
The Rockies are coming off a 2-1 series loss at Arizona, capped by a 4-0 defeat on Sunday. They scored just five runs in the series, getting only three extra-base hits (all doubles) among their 20 hits.
The Giants won't see Kris Bryant in the series after he stayed behind in Arizona to have his sore back examined. Bryant finished last season with San Francisco before joining the Rockies as a free agent in March.
"It's not doing any good to go out there and feel like you are going to hurt the team," Bryant said of having gone 1-for-14 over his last four games before electing to take time off. "(Defensively), if there is a ball in the gap or something, and I'm hesitant to even go out there and pick it up or something, that's not a good spot."
--Field Level Media