A team in a pennant race needs to rely on players to come through in big moments.
When it comes to playing Colorado, the San Francisco Giants can't ask more than what Anthony DeSclafani has done this season.
The right-hander has faced the Rockies four times in 2021 and is 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA.He pitched a three-hit shutout against them in April and had only one mediocre outing -- and the Giants won that game anyway.
DeSclafani (12-7, 3.23 ERA) will go for win No. 4 against Colorado when the teams face off Saturday night in Denver. The Rockies will counter with righty Jon Gray (8-11, 4.17) in the second of the three-game weekend series.
The Giants (100-54) used four home runs to win 7-2 Friday night and maintain first place in the National League West, one game ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In his career against Colorado (71-82), DeSclafani is 4-1 with a 2.83 ERA in seven starts, and at Coors Field he has a 4.76 ERA in two starts but hasn't recorded a decision.
San Francisco will need DeSclafani to have another strong outing against the Rockies to help keep the Dodgers at bay. Los Angeles has won the NL West eight straight years. The Giants are trying to win the division for the first time since 2012.
"They've been right there pretty much the whole season, so this isn't really anything new for us," Giants outfielder Austin Slater said of the Dodgers. "I think we're treating it the same as we have all season, keeping our mind and thoughts on that team that day and staying right there mentally. It's going to come down to the wire, but at the end of the day, you can only control what you can control."
San Francisco has beaten up on Colorado this season, going 13-4 with two games left between the teams.
The Rockies have tried to impact the NL West race this week. Los Angeles took two of three from Colorado, with both wins coming in extra innings.
Gray could be making his final home start for Colorado. He is a free agent after this season, but after the Rockies didn't deal him at the trade deadline, it looked as if he might sign a long-term deal with the club. However, talks between his camp and Colorado's front office have stalled, and the possibility he will sign elsewhere has increased.
After his start against the Washington Nationals on Sunday, he talked like he planned to be with the Rockies following a successful road trip.
"I mean, it does great for the here and now, but at the end of the year, to play like this, it's just going to be huge momentum," he said.
Saturday will be his 28th start of the season and fourth against San Francisco. This season he is 1-1 with a 4.70 ERA against the Giants, and for his career he is 2-7 with a 5.85 ERA.
--Field Level Media