May 4, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Justin Upton (8) reacts to striking out in the sixth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves vs. San Francisco Giants: Series Preview and Live Thread!

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Redemption In The City By The Bay?

The last time the Atlanta Braves faced the San Francisco Giants, they got swept, putting together just 3 runs against the Giants 9 runs in that dismal three game set.  That series began back on May 2.  Now, just 10 days later, the Braves travel out to AT&T park to take on the Giants again in the City By The Bay, hoping of course for redemption, but knowing that task won’t be easy facing the NL West Division leader.

 

Floyd, The Freak, and Minor

Julio Teheran and Ervin Santana have not flinched, so I’ll move on to talk about some of the not-as-yet fully tested pitchers for Atlanta.

Gavin Floyd will make his 2nd start tonight in game 1.  Floyd has a solid debut in the starting rotation on May 6th, going seven solid innings against the St. Louis Cardinals, allowing just one run on six hits, and striking out five batters.  He’ll try to duplicate that effort and perhaps do even more facing Tim Lincecum and the always tough San Francisco Giants.

After a lengthy hiatus from the mound due to surgery and injury, Mike Minor made his 2014 MLB debut on Friday, May 2nd against these same Giants, and was roughed up for 2 runs on 7 hits, with two of those homers.  The good news that night was that Minor did strike out four Giants batters, and walked ZERO that evening!  His next outing came on May 7th, where Minor was again roughed up to the tune of 6 runs on 11 hits in just 4.1 short innings of work!  He only walked 2 that night, and struck out six batters, but clearly was not yet back in command and showing the kind of prowess he had last season.  He will be looking to turn things around in game 2 of this series, and show the kind of command we all know Mike is capable of.

Tim Lincecum is not nearly as freakish (I prefer to call him Big Time Timmy Jim).these days as the two time Cy Young award winner used to be, but no one should ever underestimate Tim.  Lincecum (2-2, 5.55 ERA) is always dangerous, even though he doesn’t seem like quite the same pitcher he was from 2007 to 2011.  In that stretch of years, Lincecum posted a 2.98 ERA, but since has put up a dissapointing 4.83 overall.  Against the Braves though, Lincecum has had the magic, going 21 and 15 overall, and 9-6 with a sub 3.0 ERA in those 15 starts against our beloved Braves.  When playing at AT&T park, Tim has gone 6-2 with just a 2.24 ERA.  Those numbers don’t bode well for the Braves, especially if Gavin Floyd isn’t again on his game.

 

RISP, Runs, and More Runs!

The Braves, put simply, have been horrible at moving runners across the plate in those few opportunities they’ve had recently with runners in scoring position.  The last couple of games though we’ve seen some small ball, and a three run game to bolster hopes for a change in their RISP stats.  As good as the pitching has been for Atlanta, the bats have been dead cold, especially in situational hitting opportunities.

I opined in a recent Live Thread that, since April 28th (at least up until last night), the Braves are (were) averaging just 1.9 runs per game, and that that must change!  It did last night, although just barely, as the Braves finally put together their highest run total (albeit at just 3 runs) in awhile.  Those three runs, and more importantly the sweep of the Chicago Cubs, certainly had to work wonders for the sagging Atlanta morale.

With Chris Johnson‘s multi-hit game, and Jason Heyward and Evan Gattis going yard, it appears at least on the surface that the Braves might be hungry again, and that perhaps the cylinders are beginning to fire. With Justin Upton set to return to the lineup tonight after having to exit a recent game with a back contusion, the Braves could just make the Giants’ recent sweep of the Braves a distant memory.  We shall see.

 

Probables

Game 1

MLB: Atlanta Braves-Photo Day          tim
Gavin Floyd – RHP | RECORD: 0-0 | ERA: 1.2
Tim Lincecum – RHP | RECORD: 2-2 | ERA: 5.55

Game 2

minor          ryan
Mike Minor – LHP | RECORD: 0-2 | ERA: 6.97
Ryan Vogelsong – RHP | RECORD: 1-1 | ERA: 3.93

Game 3

julio          madison
Julio Teheran – RHP | RECORD: 2-2 | ERA: 1.71
Madison Bumgarner – LHP | RECORD: 4-3 | ERA: 2.83

 

Live Open Thread

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