Friday, April 22, 2011

Giants vs. Braves Series Preview

The NLDS rematch.


Friday, April 22, 7:15 PM
0-2, 7.36 ERA, 7.60 tRA
1-3, 3.86 ERA, 4.75 tRA

My worry level has crept up with each start from Bumgarner. He has shown flashes of putting things together, but has not yet done it for a full game. He hasn’t allowed less than three runs in any of his outings and has walked more than he has struck out.

He looked much better in the second half of his start against the D-Backs, so hopefully that is sign of his mechanics clicking.

Hanson, like Bumgarner, has gotten off to a little bit of a rough start. He had one good start against the Marlins and the rest were less than stellar.

His strikeouts have dropped off a little bit, reaching back to the middle of last year and have been disappointing thus far this season as well. His 9K game against the Mets in his last outing should give some comfort to Braves fans.

Saturday, April 23, 1:10 PM
2-1 1.67 ERA, 2.01 tRA
2-2, 4.05 ERA, 2.93 tRA

Lincecum has been really really good to start this season. He had a no hitter going into the seventh inning at Coors Field and notched his second 10+ strikeout game of the season.

His fastball has life again and his slider is a consistent out pitch. It is early, but it looks like the makings of another special season for Lincecum. Also, remember what happened last time he faced the Braves.

Hudson is his usual groundball inducing self, getting 64% of his balls in play hit on the ground. His ERA is a little inflated because he hasn’t as many of the base runners (just 59% compared to his career 74% mark). His tRA also shows that he has been tough on hitters.

This should be a very nice pitching matchup and a tough day for the hitters.

Sunday, April 24, 1:05 PM
2-1, 3.13 ERA, 2.51 tRA
1-1, 3.86 ERA, 3.85 tRA

Sanchez has pitched well in the number two spot of the rotation this season. Sure he has had his days where he walks too many, but he has continued to miss bats at an elite rate.

Sanchez currently sits in second place with a K/9 of 10.96 behind only Matt Garza and ahead of teammate Lincecum.

If he can keep doing what he is doing, I am confident that he will put together an excellent season.

Beachy is a rookie pitcher who has done very well in his early stint in the majors. I don’t know much about him, so here is what John Sickels wrote about him:

“The 24-year-old Beachy has a 90-94 MPH fastball to go with a solid curveball and changeup, and he has an excellent feel for pitching. It is hard to believe that a guy like this went undrafted, but he's come a long way very quickly. Although many scouts still see him as "just" a number four starter, he outpitched many more-heralded prospects last year, and could certainly do so again this season, making him a sleeper candidate for National League Rookie of the Year.”


The Braves are a good team but they have gotten off to a slow start. Even though they are below .500, they have a positive run differential. They have a great pitching staff, a good bullpen, and a solid lineup. This should be a tough match-up for the Giants, just like it was in the playoffs.

The Giants have some good mojo going after taking two out of three against the Rockies, so hopefully it carries over coming back home. The long ball has been the Giants friend, but that will be hard against the ground ball heavy Braves, but maybe they can take advantage of some mistakes.

This should be close and I think it could go either way, but it would be big if the Giants can win another series before going on a ten game east coast road trip.

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