Series preview: Braves at Giants
When (TV): 10:15 p.m. Thursday (SPSO); 10:15 p.m. Friday (WPCH); 4:05 p.m. Saturday (Fox); 8:05 p.m. Sunday (ESPN)
Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5
Probable starting pitchers:
Thursday: Braves RH Tommy Hanson (12-5, 4.27 ERA) vs. LH Barry Zito (9-8, 4.42)
Friday: Braves RH Ben Sheets (4-3, 3.07) vs. RH Ryan Vogelsong (10-7, 2.85)
Saturday: Braves LH Mike Minor (6-10, 4.74) vs. LH Madison Bumgarner (14-7, 2.83)
Sunday: Braves RH Tim Hudson (12-4, 3.69) vs. RH Tim Lincecum (7-13, 5.30)
About the Braves:
Batting: Brian McCann was 7-for-48 (.146) with no extra-base hits and one RBI in 15 August games before Wednesday…. Dan Uggla was 31-for-215 (.144) with five homers, 40 walks and 79 strikeouts in in his past 64 games before Wednesday, including 2-for-23 in his past six…. Jason Heyward is 11-for-24 (.458) with three homers and seven RBIs in six games at spacious AT&T Park…. Chipper Jones has a .293 average, 23 homers, 86 RBIs and a .916 OPS in 114 games vs. the Giants, including .295 with four homers and 23 RBIs in 28 games at AT&T Park.
Pitching: Hanson is 3-1 in his past seven starts despite a 5.85 ERA; the Braves scored six runs while he was in three of those, five while he was in another. He’s 8-2 with a 3.78 ERA in 12 road starts, compared to 4-3 with a 4.81 ERA in 11 home starts. Hanson is 2-0 with a 2.15 ERA and .153 OA in three starts vs. the Giants, with 21 strikeouts in 21 innings…. Against the Giants, Sheets is 4-3 with a 2.34 ERA in 10 starts (0-2 with a 4.34 ERA in three at AT&T); Minor is 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA in two starts; and Hudson is 7-4 with a 3.29 ERA in 16 starts (2-2 with a 3.27 ERA in six at AT&T).
Miscellaneous: Against Zito, Reed Johnson is 9-for-29 (.310), Uggla is 6-for-22 with a homer, and Jones is 2-for-12 with a homer…. The Braves were 4-12 with a .229 team batting average and 4.83 ERA in their past 16 games against the Nationals before Wednesday, and had scored two or fewer runs in seven of those 16 games…. After hitting .249 with 43 homers and 200 runs in 40 games (29-11) through Aug. 17, the Braves hit .186 with seven runs during a four-game losing streak before Wednesday.
About the Giants:
Batting: South Georgia native Buster Posey was a blistering 51-for-125 (.408) with 11 doubles, nine homers and 36 RBIs in 35 games since the All-Star break, including 7-for-12 with three doubles and six RBIs in three games last month against the Braves…. Former Phillie Hunter Pence was 16-for-80 (.200) with one homer, 15 RBIs and 22 strikeouts in 20 games since being traded to the Giants.
Pitching: Zito is 1-2 with a 7.36 ERA and .327 opponents’ average in his past five starts, and lasted 5-1/3 or fewer innings in four of those games. Left-handers have hit just .197 with two homers and a .555 OPS in 122 at-bats against him, while righties have hit .275 with 16 homers and an .826 OPS in 403 at-bats. Zito is 4-0 with a 1.64 ERA in his past five starts vs. Atlanta, including seven scoreless inning (three hits) in a July 17 win…. Against the Braves, Vogelsong has no decisions and a 0.96 ERA in two games (one start); Bumgarner is 0-2 with a 3.78 ERA in three starts; and Lincecum is 6-4 with a 3.12 ERA in 10 starts.
Miscellaneous: The only Giants with as many as nine at-bats against Hanson are Pence (4-for-16), Pablo Sandoval (1-for-10) and Angel Pagan (2-for-9)…. The Giants were 12-6 with a .304 batting average, 6.2 runs per game and a 4.19 ERA over 18 games before Wednesday night’s series finale against the Dodgers. San Francisco was 4-2 with a .280 average and 29 runs since Melky Cabrera was given a 50-game drug suspension, including wins against the Dodgers in the first two games of the series before Wednesday…. The Giants won two of three at Atlanta July 17-19.
– By David O’Brien