When the Braves welcome the defending World Series Champion Giants to town Monday night for a four-game set, they know this is a different Giants team than the one they swept all the way back in the end of April.
As the Braves dropped the final two games to the Cubs over the weekend, the Giants took two of three in Florida and are looking for their first three-game winning streak since July 18-20 while going 5-11 over the last 16 games.
Taking the ball in the opener for the Braves is Tim Hudson (12-7, 3.18), who will be opposed by Madison Bumgarner (7-11, 3.53 ERA).
Hudson, who beat the Marlins in his last outing by limiting the division rival to 2 runs over 7 1/3 innings, has pitched at least 7 innings in his six previous starts while posting a 1.69 ERA in his last three. The veteran was an out short of a complete game April 23 against the Giants, giving up 2 runs in that outing. In his last four starts against San Francisco, Hudson has gone 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA.
Bumgarner, who posted a win in the series clincher last October against the Braves, is coming off one of his strongest starts of the year. The young lefty pitched 7 scoreless innings against the Pirates, allowing 4 hits and fanning 10. Bumgarner lasted 2 2/3 innings against the Braves April 22, allowing 4 runs in a 4-1 Braves win.
Monday’s game will be available nationally, airing on ESPN.
In Tuesday’s contest, the Braves send Randall Delgado (0-1, 6.75 ERA) to the hill opposite Jonathan Sanchez (4-7, 4.29 ERA).
Delgado has made just one MLB start in his career, coming against the Texas Rangers back in June. Taking over for Tommy Hanson, who was placed on the DL with tendinitis in his shoulder before Sunday’s loss to the Cubs, the young righty will be looking to improve on his past outing. He allowed 4 runs on 7 hits in 4 innings, striking out 2 and walking 2 in a 6-2 Braves loss.
Sanchez has not fared well in his last 4 outings, not getting out of the 5th inning in each of them. In his last outing, he allowed 5 runs on 4 hits over 4 1/3 innings against the Pirates in a 2-9 loss. Before August 5, Sanchez did not pitch since June 24, spending time on the DL. He has made two starts since coming off the DL and given up 10 runs in 9 innings. He saw the Braves April 24 and gave up 2 runs over 5 innings while striking out 4, but he walked 3 in a 9-6 Giants loss. The left is 2nd in the NL in walks with 65. In six career starts against the Braves, Sanzhez is 1-3 with a 5.63 ERA and posts an 0-1 record and a 6.30 ERA in his two starts at Turner Field.
Wednesday’s outing pits two pitchers who will be looking to bounce back from unmemorable outings.
For the Braves, Jair Jurrjens (12-4, 2.63 ERA) will make the start opposite San Fran’s Matt Cain (9-9, 3.00 ERA).
Jurrjens allowed 5 runs on 7 hits over 5 innings of work Aug 1 before being shut down with soreness in his right knee. Before that start, the Braves had won 7 of JJ’s previous 8 starts. Jurrjens will be making his first start against the Giants in Wednesday’s game.
Cain has seen the Giants lose four of his previous 5 outings. In his previous start, he allowed 2 runs on 6 hits over 6 innings in a 2-1 loss to the Marlins. He did have an impressive start before that against the Phillies, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits over 8 innings, but the Giants lost that game as well, 2-1. Cain will also be seeing the Braves for the first time this season.
In Thursday’s finale, Mike Minor (2-2, 4.84 ERA) takes the mound looking to keep up with the Giants Tim Lincecum (11-9, 2.58 ERA).
Minor was provided with 8 runs of support in his last outing, Friday night’s 10-4 win over the Cubs. The lefty allowed 3 runs on 9 hits while striking out 6 over 5 2/3 innings. He has seen the Braves win 6 of his 8 starts this season and will also be facing the Giants for the first time this year.
Lincecum is coming off two of his strongest outings of the year after throwing 7 scoreless innings against the Marlins. He allowed just two hits and three walks while striking out 10 in a 3-0 Giants victory. In his previous start, he game up a run on 7 hits to the Phillies in a 3-1 Giants win. The talented righty took the loss against the Braves as he allowed 5 runs on 6 hits over 6 1/3 innings while walking 6 and striking out 6 in a 5-2 Atlanta win. Currently, Lincecum ranks 3rd in the NL with 175 strikeouts and 3rd in walks with 63.
Offensively, Dan Uggla saw his hitting streak end Sunday, but raised his average nearly 60 points to-.231 after the 33 games. In his return from the DL, Brian McCann was 0-for-4. The Giants, who acquired Carlos Beltran from the Mets before the Trade Deadline, must decide whether to put the switch-hitter on the DL after he has not seen action in six straight games.