May 25, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) throws against the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning at the Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Braves and Blue Jays: Series Preview

The Atlanta Braves are back on the road now, and after a series win in New York are headed to Toronto and Rogers Centre for one of those strange, two-away, two-at home series against the Blue Jays.  Monday and Tuesday the Braves will be in Toronto, and Wednesday and Thursday the Blue Jays will head to Atlanta for the final two games of the four game series.  It’s considered to be two separate series, but nonetheless it’s 4 straight games against the same opponent, so I guess sue me for calling it four.  As folks on Twitter are fond of saying, smh (that’s Shake My Head for the Twitter illiterate).

Despite a hiccup in game 3 of the series with the Mets, the Atlanta Braves are white-hot coming off an eight game win streak.  By contrast, the Blue Jays are struggling mightily and are in last place in AL East, a full 9.5 games behind the division leading New York Yankees.  As the series with the Mets will attest though, you can never count out any opponent, and the Blue Jays will be looking to get the series started on a fine note by sending Mark Buehrle (1-3, 5.90 ERA) to the mound for game 1.  Buehrle has struggled this year, but the 13 year veteran and 4 time All Star is no easy task for hitters, and the Braves will need to be on point as always against the 26 interleague game winner.

Taking the mound for Atlanta in game 1 will be 14 year veteran, Tim Hudson (4-3, 4.98 ERA).  Tim has struggled as well lately after a strong start to the season, and will hope to make a turnaround himself.  Tim has gone 0-2 with 8.56 ERA in his last three starts, but the experienced veteran has been adept his whole career at finding out what is wrong while struggling, and making the needed corrections.  Tim Hudson is a pitcher who never stays down for long, and if he can keep the ball down, he’ll get Blue Jay hitters to ground out more often than not (Tim Hudson’s bread-n-butter).

Of Note:  The Blue Jays have offensive weapons in Colby Rasmus.  Colby is the older brother of Brave’s reliever, Cory Rasums.  Colby has faced Tim Hudson before, and is 5 for 11 with one home run against the veteran.   The always dangerous Jose Bautista is 14 for 25 with 2 home runs and 5 RBIs in his last six games.  We may see some long balls in game 1 of the series.  The Braves lead the NL with 65, and Mark Buerhle has given up the most (11) in baseball.  Finally, it’s interesting to note that in game 4, the Braves will face R.A. Dickey, the 2012 Cy Young Award winner.  Since being traded to the Blue Jays, he hasn’t had that same magic knuckle ball as usual, which could be somewhat because of playing in an indoor stadium, where little wind swirls.

Game 1 – Monday, 7:07 PM EST
TOR:  Buehrle (4-3, 4.98 ERA)
ATL:  Hudson (1-3, 5.90 ERA)

Game 2 – Tuesday, 12:37 PM EST
TOR:   Morrow (2-3, 5.50 ERA)
ATL:   Maholm (6-4, 3.38 ERA)

Game 3 – Wednesday, 7:10 PM EST
TOR:   Rogers (1-2, 4.56 ERA)
ATL:   Medlen (1-5, 3.16 ERA)

Game 4 – Thursday, 7:10 PM EST
TOR:   Dickey (4-6, 4.85 ERA)
ATL:   Minor (6-2, 2.47 ERA)

Tags: Atlanta Braves FanSided

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