Monday, August 15, 2011
Giants-Braves NLDS rematch in Hot-Lanta
The San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves open a four-game series in Atlanta at 7 ET on Monday Night Baseball on ESPN.
San Francisco makes its first trip to Atlanta since clinching the 2010 National League Division Series over the Braves, which began the Giants' march to the World Series title.
Chances are if this game is close late in the game, the winning team just might close out the game in its final at-bat. Among all National League teams, the Braves (20) and Giants (18) have the most wins in their last at-bats this season.
On the mound
Madison Bumgarner takes the mound for San Francisco, hoping this turn on the hill is much better than the last time he faced the Braves. On April 22, Bumgarner allowed four runs (three earned), four hits, two walks and two strikeouts in only 2⅔ innings of work in a 4-1 loss.
A major key to success for Bumgarner has been getting through the third inning without too much damage, something he didn’t do back in April (allowed all four Atlanta runs to score). In innings 1-3, Bumgarner has allowed 42 ER in 69.0 IP (5.48 ERA). But in innings 4-9, he has allowed just 15 ER in 76⅓ IP (1.77 ERA).
Tim Hudson will take the mound for Atlanta. In his past six starts against the Giants, Hudson is 4-0 with a 2.70 ERA, and in his past three starts against San Francisco, he’s allowed only four earned runs in 23⅔ innings.
Hudson thrives with David Ross behind the plate, winning nine of 10 decisions this season. Ross has served as Hudson’s personal catcher since June 15, well before Brian McCann was injured, and the numbers demonstrate exactly why that move was made.
As a member of the Philadelphia Phillies from 2006 to 2007, Aaron Rowand hit .315 with a .368 on-base percentage and .454 slugging percentage in 29 games against Atlanta. However, since joining the Giants, Rowand is hitting only .250 with two HRs with a .316 OBP and .426 slugging percentage in 21 games against the Braves.
Dan Uggla went 0-for-3 in the Braves' 6-5 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, snapping his 33-game hitting streak. Uggla was struggling before the streak began, hitting only .173 (he raised his average to .232 before the streak ended). Since 1900, among single-season hit streaks of at least 30 games that did not begin the season, Uggla had the fourth-lowest BA.
Stat of the game
This stat comes courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau: Atlanta’s Chipper Jones has not walked in his past 53 plate appearances. That’s the longest such streak of his career; his previous high was 49 plate appearances without a walk in June 1995 (his rookie season).