Previewing the Padres
For the third and final time this season, the Braves will take on the Padres, this time heading to Petco Park for a weekend set beginning tomorrow night.
With first pitch scheduled for 10:05, the Braves send Derek Lowe to the mound in Friday’s opener opposite Tim Stauffer. Lowe’s lone start against the Padres this season was a no decision April 25. He went 6 innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits, striking out 8 and walking three before the Padres came back, scoring a run in the 7th and taking the victory in 13 innings, 5-3.
Stauffer will be making his first appearance of the year against the Braves. In his last three starts, Stauffer has allowed one run over 23 innings against Colorado, Washington and Minnesota. He posts a record of 2-5 with a 3.13 ERA.
Saturday’s game, an 8:05 start features Jair Jurrjens opposite Dustin Moseley.
On April 26, Jurrjens pitched a complete game, giving up 2 runs on 2 hits against the Padres, striking out 4 and walking two in an 8-2 Atlanta victory. David Ross hit two home runs that game, providing half of the Braves offense. At that point in the season, Ross had more home runs than McCann had extra base hits.
Moseley got the start in the 13-inning contest opposite Lowe April 25 and gave up 3 runs on 4 hits over 6 innings, striking out 2 and not walking a batter.
Sunday’s 4:05 finale will pit Tim Hudson against Corey Luebke.
Hudson’s previous start against the Padres was May 30, where he was unable to record a victory after going 6 innings, giving up 2 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits in a Braves 3-2 loss, but Monday night he single-handily beat the Blue Jays.
Luebke has made four appearances against the Braves, all out of the bullpen. He has pitched shutout baseball in 6 2/3 innings against the Braves this season, allowing 5 hits and striking out 8.
Offensively, Brian McCann is a lifetime .383 hitter at Petco, belting four home runs and driving in 21. Over the past 5 games, McCann is 8-for-20 (.400 average). In 24 at bats, Freddie Freeman has 9 hits, four of those being doubles while driving in 4 runs. Chipper is 7-for-24 with a double, a triple and a homer while driving in 7. Jason Heyward is 4-for-14 with a home run, and Dan Uggla is 2-for-19, a .105 average. Nate McLouth is 3-for-13 and Alex Gonzalez is 6-for-26.
Keys to the series:
- Limit the Padres offense
- The Braves pitching staff did a spectacular job in limiting the Blue Jays to a .138 average over 3 games, but the Padres are the type of team that can surprise you at any given moment.
- Continue the strong road play
- The Braves were 7-3 on the road trip that went through New York, Florida and Houston before returning home to take on the Mets, Rangers and Blue Jays (5-4).
- Finish June strong
- Through 20 games, the Braves are 13-7 and end the month when they finish off in Seattle Wednesday. After Thursday’s loss, the Braves sit 4 games behind the Phillies in the NL East and are looking to build on their 43-33 record.
Notes: The Padres have won two in a row after losing six straight.