Series preview: Braves at Mariners
When (TV): 10:10 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, 3:40 p.m. Wednesday (SPSO)
Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5
Probable starting pitchers:
Monday: Braves RH Brandon Beachy (2-1, 3.22 ERA) vs. LH Erik Bedard (4-5, 2.93)
Tuesday: Braves RH Tommy Hanson (8-4, 2.48) vs. RH Michael Pineda (7-4, 2.45)
Wednesday: Braves RH Derek Lowe (3-6, 4.33) vs. RH Felix Hernandez (8-6, 3.19)
About the Braves:
• Batting: Entering Sunday, Brian McCann was ninth in the NL in slugging (.512) and ninth in OPS (.891), but two Braves regulars were in the league’s bottom five in on-base percentage: Dan Uggla (league-low .247) and Alex Gonzalez (.283)…. Chipper Jones’ .410 average with runners in scoring position was second in the NL before Sunday, behind Cincinnati’s Joey Votto (.435). Jones (.421) and McCann (.385) ranked fourth and sixth with runners in scoring position and two outs.
• Pitching: Beachy is 2-0 with a 2.18 ERA in his past six starts, allowing two earned runs or fewer in six innings or more of five. After five weeks on the DL (oblique), he returned with a career-high 11 strikeouts in six innings (four hits, one run) Wednesday vs. Toronto … Rookie Craig Kimbrel led major league relievers with 58 strikeouts in 38 innings before Sunday.
• Miscellaneous: It’ll be the third series between the teams. The Braves won two of three in June 2003 at Seattle, and the Mariners won two of three in June 2008 at Atlanta…. The Braves had identical 22-17 home and road records before Sunday. Their road record was the best in the National League…. Braves with more than one at-bat against Bedard are Eric Hinske (3-for-9, HR), Julio Lugo (9-for-34) and Gonzalez (1-for-4).
About the Mariners:
• Batting: One of the only hitters having a worse first half than Uggla, Chone Figgins entered Sunday with a .188 average and majors-worst .487 OPS, and was 1-for-26 with RISP and two outs…. Catcher Miguel Olivo has lately been the definition of all-or-nothing. In his past 19 games before Sunday, he was 14-for-72 (.194) with one double, eight homers, 19 RBI, no walks and 23 strikeouts.
• Pitching: Tough matchups for the Braves. Bedard is4-1 with a 1.54 ERA and .194 opponents’ average in his past 10 starts, after going 0-4 with a 7.71 ERA in his first four…. Before Sunday, Pineda ranked fifth in the American League in ERA and was fourth in opponents’ average (.199) and opponents’ slugging (.308)…. Game 3 starter Hernandez was also among AL leaders in opponents’ slugging (.334) and average with RISP (.205).
• Miscellaneous: The Mariners have had an even greater disparity between their sturdy pitching and spotty hitting than do the Braves. Seattle’s 3.26 ERA ranked second in the AL before Sunday, while its .228 batting average, .295 OBP and .339 slugging percentage all ranked last in the AL. The Mariners were 7-11 with only 47 runs in their past 18 games before Sunday, with one or no runs scored in eight of those games.
– DAVID O’BRIEN