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Atlanta Braves (3-3) at San Diego Padres (2-4)
April 12th-15th at Petco Park in San Diego, California
April 12th, 6:35 PM: Jair Jurrjens (0-0, 0.00) vs Kevin Correia (0-1, 6.00)
April 14th, 10:05 PM: Tommy Hanson (0-1, 3.38) vs Clayton Richard (0-1, 3.86)
April 15th, 6:35 PM: Tim Hudson (0-0, 2.57) vs Mat Latos (0-0, 6.00)
Jair Jurrjens makes his second start of the year for the Braves tomorrow against the Padres, looking to get into the winning column after a no decision against the Cubs in his first start of the year. He threw 5 innings without allowing an earned run in that start, though 2 unearned runs were charged to him. He wasn't great in that outing, striking out only 2 while allowing 5 baserunners. He'll look to rebound against a Padres team he fared well against in 2009, allowing only 1 run in 7 2/3 innings and picking up a win despite walking 4 San Diego hitters. This will be his first career start in Petco Park, so he'll hopefully be able to thrive.
Kevin Correia lost his first start of the year last week to the Diamondbacks, allowing 4 runs and 7 hits in 6 innings. On the bright side, he struck out 7. On the really not so bright side, he allowed 3 homers. That game was in Arizona and not San Diego, so the hitting environment is not what Correia is used to starting most of his games in...but its the NL West, so he should be used to Arizona. 2009 was Correia's first year as a full time starter, and he was quite successful, posting a K rate of 6.5 and a walk rate of only 2.9. He did not face the Braves in 2009.
Game 2 is the long anticipated (what was it...6 days?) return of Braves superace Tommy Hanson. He looked a little off against the Cubs last Thursday, allowing a pair of homers in a loss. On the bright side, he struck out 7 in that start in only 5 2/3 innings. Hanson pitched one game last year at Petco Park and earned a win and a quality start, going 6 innings while allowing 2 runs while walking 3 and striking out 5.
His opponent is Clayton Richard, who was dealt a hard luck loss last week after allowing 3 runs in 7 innings to the Rockies in a game where his offense couldn't get him any runs. Richard came over to the Padres from the White Sox last season in the Jake Peavy deal. He's still growing as a pitcher, as evidenced by his 48:34 K:BB ratio after joining the Padres. The Braves beat the tar out of him last year in a start at Turner Field, plating 6 runs in 2 1/3 while banging out 9 hits. They'll look to repeat that performance on Wednesday.
The final game of the series takes place on Thursday...late afternoon, early evening. Regardless, I'll be sitting in class attempting to watch the game on my phone without the battery dying. Tim Hudson will start for the Braves, and he's looking to get into the win column after getting jipped out of a win thanks to Edgar Renteria on Friday in San Francisco. Huddy was amazingly great after allowing a pair of runs on only 3 hits without a single walk in 7 great innings. But alas, Billy Wagner popped into play, hung a slider, and took care of that. Hudson didn't face the Padres in his abbreviated 2009 season.
His nemesis in the finale is young Mat Latos, who scouts all over baseball are very high on. Latos made his major league debut last season, and showed growing pains in his 10 starts, posting a 4.62 ERA in 50 2/3 innings. His main rival was the base on balls, which had a rate of 4.1 per 9. In his first start of the year, there was an improvement, as he didn't walk anyone. But there was also a huge step back, as he allowed 3 homers to the high-powered Rockies offense. The Padres ended up winning the game, so his struggles didn't end up hurting the team that much. He actually faced the Braves twice last year, and stymied the tomahawked ones, pitching 14 innings while only allowing 8 hits and walking 2 while earning a victory and a no decision.
In their 6 games against the Padres last season, Matt Diaz was the most successful Brave offensively, posting a .391 batting average in 24 plate appearances. No other current Braves were really that great against San Diego though...in fact, despite a .321 overall team batting average, the ISO was only .072, which is obscenely low. Must be a Petco Park thing. The Padres offense on the other hand, was nearly the opposite: the team only posted a .245 average while their ISO was a huge .167. Adrian Gonzalez and Will Venable led the way in killing the Braves, with slugging percentages in the .700 range. Not a good thing.
The series kicks off in only 18 hours...watch it! And if you're not going to be able to, just watch my
, because I will be live tweeting the game as always!