Jason Schmidt’s dominant first half earned him the start for the National League in Tuesday’s All-Star game. A spectacular second half could help San Francisco get back into the World Series.
The 30-year-old righty went 7-1 down the stretch last season to help propel San Francisco to the World series. But this season, he has emerged as the team’s clear-cut ace.
He is 9-4 with 139 strikeouts and a 2.37 ERA in 18 starts. Schmidt needs only four wins and 58 strikeouts to set career highs in both categories
Schmidt’s maturation on the mound has garnered the respect of his teammates as well as his opponents.
“Boy, Jason Schmidt, I’ll tell you what, he’s legit,” Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly said after Schmidt led the Giants to a 10-7 win last Friday. “This guy is one of the best pitchers in the game.”
Schmidt has had some success against Colorado in his career, going 6-2 with a 4.26 ERA in 12 outings.
San Francisco has won six of its last nine games overall.
Colorado’s Todd Helton went 4-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, during which he is hitting .524 (22-for-42). He also homered in the All-Star game Tuesday.
The Rockies, who start the season’s unofficial second half with an eight-game road trip, had won four of their last five.
STANDINGS: Rockies - 4th place, 9 1/2 GB, NL West. Giants - 1st place, NL West.
ROCKIES PROBABLE STARTER: Darren Oliver (7-5, 4.67 ERA). The veteran southpaw is 2-5 with a 6.05 ERA in 10 road starts. Oliver beat the Giants at Coors Field on July 10, allowing just two runs and six hits over seven innings in an 11-3 win. He’s 4-3 with a 4.34 ERA in seven career starts against San Francisco.
GIANTS PROBABLE STARTER: Schmidt (9-4, 2.37 ERA). Schmidt allowed three runs and seven hits, while striking out eight and walking two, over eight innings in his win over Arizona last week.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Rockies - Helton, .355 avg. and 89 runs; Preston Wilson, 23 HRs and 91 RBIs; Wilson and Larry Walker, 6 SBs. Giants - Barry Bonds, .318 avg., 30 HRs, 63 RBIs and 70 runs; Marquis Grissom, 8 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Rockies, 6-5.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Rockies - OF Walker is batting .438 (7-for-16) with two home runs lifetime against RHP Schmidt. … 1B Helton is on pace to join Joe DiMaggio as the only player to hit at least .315 with 25 homers and 95 RBIs in his first six seasons. … OF Wilson leads the NL with 91 RBIs and is second in the league with 33 doubles, one behind MLB leader Helton. Giants - 3B Alfonzo is batting .377 (20-for-53) over his last 16 games. … SS Juan Uribe committed two errors on Thursday after committing only four before the All-Star break. … OF Bonds went 1-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored on Thursday. He leads the majors with 30 home runs.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rockies - 15-32 on the road; Giants - 28-15 at home.
INJURIES: Rockies - RHP Shawn Chacon (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Nelson Cruz (shoulder), 15-day DL; OF Chris Richard (shoulder), 60-day DL. Giants - OF Marvin Benard (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Kurt Ainsworth (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Robb Nen (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Kirk Rueter (shoulder), 15-day DL.