Series preview: Braves vs. Reds

Reds-Braves series at Turner Field in Atlanta.

When (TV): 7:35 p.m. Friday (WPCH), 7:10 p.m. Saturday (Fox), 8 p.m. Sunday (ESPN2).

Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5

Probable starting pitchers:

Friday: Braves RH Tommy Hanson (5-3, 2.72 ERA) vs. RH Mike Leake (3-2, 5.70)

Saturday: Braves RH Derek Lowe (3-4, 3.53) vs. RH Bronson Arroyo (3-5, 5.28)

Sunday: Braves RH Jair Jurrjens (6-1, 1.56) vs. RH Johnny Cueto (2-1, 2.19)

About the Braves:

• Batting: Eric Hinske is 20-for-56 (.357) with three doubles, four homers, nine RBIs and a .998 OPS in his past 19 games. The Braves are 10-3 in his starts in that period…. Brian McCann has a .325 average with 10 homers, 26 RBIs and a 1.024 OPS in 33 games against the Reds…. Dan Uggla is 5-for-50 with one RBI (solo homer) in his past 14 games, and 2-for-33 with no extra-base hits in his past nine….David Ross is 10-for-26 (.385) with three homers against right-handers, and 1-for-10 against lefties.

• Pitching: Hanson had not allowed more than three earned runs or two walks all season before giving up four of each in six innings Saturday for no decision at Anaheim. He’s 7-4 with a 2.33 ERA and .193 opponents’ average in 17 starts since Sept. 1. Hanson is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in three starts vs. Cincinnati, with eight of nine earned runs coming in one start; he had an 0.68 ERA in the other two…. Lowe is 4-2 with a 3.00 ERA in six games (five starts) vs. the Reds, and Jurrjens is 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA in four starts.

• Miscellaneous: The Braves went 3-4 while batting .233 and totaling 17 runs on a seven-game trip that ended Wednesday. They went homerless in five of seven…. Against tonight’s starter Leake, Uggla is 1-for-2 with a homer. Martin Prado is 2-for-3, while Hinske, McCann and Chipper Jones each is 0-for-3…. Among National League qualifiers, Uggla’s .180 average was third-lowest before Thursday, his .250 OBP was second-lowest, and his .128 average with runners in scoring position was fourth-lowest.

About the Reds:

• Batting: Before Thursday, reigning NL MVP Joey Votto hit .341 with four homers, 17 RBIs and a 1.072 OPS in 23 road games, compared to .323 with 2 homers, 12 RBIs and .916 OPS in 26 games at Cincinnati’s hitter-friendly ballpark…. Jay Bruce had six homers and 20 RBIs in 23 road games…. Ex-Braves SS Edgar Renteria was 9-for-53 (.170) with two extra-base hits  and a .498 OPS in May, and was hitting .233 overall with three doubles, no homers, .590 OPS in 29 games before Thursday.

• Pitching: Leake is 3-1 with a 5.77 ERA in six starts, and made three relief appearances since his last start May 3. In his only game against the Braves, he gave up three runs (one earned) and five hits in six innings for no decision in Atlanta on May 20, 2010…. Against the Braves, Arroyo is 6-3 with a 5.29 ERA in 13 games (12 starts), and Cueto is 1-0 with a 3.44 ERA in three starts.

•  Miscellaneous: Votto was third in the NL in batting average (.331) and OPS (.991) before Thursday, trailing St. Louis duo Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday in both. Votto’s .457 OBP was second in the league (Berkman, .463)…. Scott Rolen hit .241 with no homers and a .294 OBP in his past 20 games before Thursday…. In Leake’s past 19 starts dating to June 10, he’s 6-5 despite a 6. 23 ERA. He has received more than 7.2 support runs per nine innings pitched in that period.

– David O’Brien

28 comments Add your comment

reckingball

May 26th, 2011
5:35 pm

go braves!!!!

chris

May 26th, 2011
5:43 pm

we should take 2 of 3 against the reds. reds pitching hasnt been too great. that drew stubbs guy is great though. would be a perfect replacement for centerfield for the braves. best centerfielder in the national league

daniel buck

May 26th, 2011
5:49 pm

I cannot stand watching Arroyo pitch… Horrid windup

daniel buck

May 26th, 2011
5:52 pm

Here is a scary and odd stat all at once for everyone… Dan Uggla’s OBP this year matches ex-brave Paul Bako’s career OBP…. I hope like hell this changes…….

scodee23

May 26th, 2011
6:33 pm

Hey, Braves just traded Rodrigo Lopez to the Cubs. What did we get in return?

GOP Cannon

May 26th, 2011
6:47 pm

The Braves traded Rodrigo Lopez for Ryan Buchter? I am not sure Buchter is, but he is a young player, I think 23… Anyone know what he plays?

RBG

May 26th, 2011
6:55 pm

Ryan Buchter is a minor league relief pitcher currently in the Chicago Cubs farm system.

He was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 33rd round of the 2005 amateur draft as a draft-and-follow out of high school. After a year of junior college, he began his professional career the next year with the GCL Nationals. That season, he went 1-1 with a 7.24 ERA in 11 games with 13 walks in 13 2/3 IP. In 2007, he pitched for the Vermont Lake Monsters, going 1-2 with a 6.82 ERA in 20 relief appearances. He struck out 34 batters in 31 2/3 innings. With the GCL Nationals and Hagerstown Suns in 2008, Buchter went a combined 4-2 with a 2.59 ERA in 17 relief appearances. In 24 1/3 innings, he struck out 25 batters.

On November 3, 2008, Buchter was traded to the Cubs for right-handed pitcher Matt Avery. Buchter went 3-0 in 38 games with a 1.33 ERA for the Peoria Chiefs in 2009

RBG

May 26th, 2011
6:57 pm

Ryan James Buchter

* Bats Left, Throws Left
* Height 6′ 3″, Weight 185 lb.
* School Gloucester County Junior College
* High School Highland Regional High School
* Born February 13, 1987 in Reading, PA USA

http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Ryan_Buchter

vermont 39

May 26th, 2011
7:21 pm

Boatdoc

May 26th, 2011
7:50 pm

I haven’t seen this question yet: obviously Uggla is performing at a “much lower than advertised, even after warning us about his awful Aprils” level. How much is the Braves’ brain trust talking about giving our previous All-Star 2nd baseman at least a temporary change of venue? Could he get his stroke back by tearing up Triple A for a few days?

acbwcmm

May 27th, 2011
12:58 am

This is what I call rivalry weekend! I’m a huge Braves fan and my wife is a die-hard Reds fan. We’re going to all 3 games. I can’t wait and I hope the Braves don’t let me down!!!

[...] Atlanta Braves [...]

CincyGirl

May 27th, 2011
11:25 am

bronkelliott

May 27th, 2011
11:32 am

Agree with others that think Uggla should be sent to the minors. I know it is embarrassing but so is his performance and it is dragging the rest of the team down with him. Otherwise the pitching has been pretty good and I like our chances with Hanson. The Reds are decent but unpredictable. Should be a fun series.. Go Braves!

Fols

May 27th, 2011
11:36 am

I highly doubt he’s going to the minors to work on things…..he’s a big boy he can just start producing because that’s why he was added to the line-up. Enough excuses, get out there and hit the dam ball. I’m tired of hearing about how poorly he’s playing, time to man up.

htownbravesfan

May 27th, 2011
12:01 pm

I found it funny how I clicked on an icon stating “Braves On a Roll” to get to a story about the team. I would hardly consider scoring 4 runs in regulation play (2 in extras) to beat a sub-par Pirates team twice as a “roll.” Hopefully a fairly modest Reds staff will be just what the doctor ordered. But then again, we missed both Angels aces and struggled, and were fairly anemic against less than ordinary AZ and Pitt pitching. Wake up, bats!

CharlieAlphaBravo

May 27th, 2011
12:32 pm

A .991 OBP? That’s pretty descent, I suppose…

vermont 39

May 27th, 2011
12:33 pm

Stats don’t win games.
GO BRAVES!!!

BravesWin

May 27th, 2011
12:39 pm

Patient with Uggla for another week or so, but I agree he oughta be sent down soon if he doesn’t turn it around. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for Uggla, he’s having serious batting issues

Fols

May 27th, 2011
12:46 pm

I’ll take an Uggla 0 for 5 team win anyday!

Lobosolo

May 27th, 2011
12:48 pm

Go get ‘um, Bravos!!! Uggla gonna find that stroke!!!

AP Retro News

May 27th, 2011
12:54 pm

ATLANTA (AP) — After being swept during their recent weekend series with the Phillies, John Smoltz couldn’t help but toss in his opinion on the 27 run explosion against his team. “That park is a joke,” said a slightly amused Smoltz. “Who’s going to want to pitch there?” When it was quickly brought to his attention that the series was played at Turner Field and not Citizens Bank Park, Smoltz appeared agitated and confused. Before it could be further explained that the Phillies have possessed one of the best offensive teams in baseball over the last several years, he had already run up to a group of reporters while shouting unknown obscenities. Braves skipper Bobby Cox quickly rushed to his player’s aid and joined in the tirade. Cox, also appearing agitated and confused, was frantically making a kicking motion at the carpet, as if he wanted to brush something on reporters. Both men were escorted past a smiling Andruw Jones and ejected from the clubhouse. When reached for comment, Braves GM John Schuerholz only added to the confusion by saying, “The economics in baseball stink.”

Mark (another one)

May 27th, 2011
1:40 pm

Uggla cannot just be sent to the minors. MLBs rules don’t work that way. The Braves would have to waive him making him eligible to every other team, or out right him, meaning he could decide to retire and collect his $62 million. The Braves aren’t going to chance such a thing.

Uggla is just going to have to get his swing back while playing at the major league level. This season has been rough but after the last five years, there’s no doubt he can hit.

Tom

May 27th, 2011
1:45 pm

Mark – Your wrong. Uggla can be sent down to the minors if he agrees too if the Braves ask him or if the come up with a reason to DL him and have a rehab assignment in the minors. Will that actually happen, I highly doubt it.

phil

May 27th, 2011
2:21 pm

Lobosolo

May 27th, 2011
12:48 pm
“Go get ‘um, Bravos!!! Uggla gonna find that stroke!!!”

Sure he will….and I plan to find the lost confederate gold over the weekend…

phil

May 27th, 2011
2:22 pm

daniel buck

May 26th, 2011
5:52 pm
“Here is a scary and odd stat all at once for everyone… Dan Uggla’s OBP this year matches ex-brave Paul Bako’s career OBP…. I hope like hell this changes…….”

I never use this phrase normally but OMG!!!!! The name Paul Bako has been typed….Uggly is now even with Paul Bako, which confirms in my mind just how truly awful Uggly in fact must be…..dear god.

phil

May 27th, 2011
2:23 pm

chris

May 26th, 2011
5:43 pm
we should take 2 of 3 against the reds. reds pitching hasnt been too great. that drew stubbs guy is great though. would be a perfect replacement for centerfield for the braves. best centerfielder in the national league

We should but here’s the thing…the Reds aren’t playing well at all….stay tuned to see that change in a few hours…

Frank Wren

May 27th, 2011
6:32 pm

Let’s see; that K.K. trade didn’t work out too good, nor the McLouth deal, and then I spent mega millions more on Uggla and he can’t hit …………

I wonder what J.S. meant when he asked me if I had ever taken an IQ test?

(anyone out there know what IQ stands for?)

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