Series preview: Braves at Pirates

Series preview: Braves at Pirates

When (TV): 7:05 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, 12:35 p.m. Wednesday (SPSO)

Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5

Probable starting pitchers:

Monday: Braves LH Paul Maholm (13-10, 3.71 ERA) vs. LH Jeff Locke (0-3, 6.35)

Tuesday: Braves RH Tommy Hanson (13-9, 4.38) vs. RH Kevin Correia (11-11, 4.33)

Wednesday: Braves RH Tim Hudson (16-7, 3.62) vs. RH A.J. Burnett (16-9, 3.43)

About the Braves:

Batting: Martin Prado had a .324 average with 24 extra-base hits (five home runs) and an .873 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in his past 46 games before Sunday…. Jason Heyward is 20-for-60 (.333) with six extra-base hits, eight RBIs and a .946 OPS in 15 career games against the Pirates, including 10-for-21 (.476) with a homer in six games at Pittsburgh.

Pitching: Maholm is a longtime former Pirates pitcher with a 41-39 record and 3.70 ERA in 113 starts at PNC Park. The lefty is 4-4 with a 3.65 ERA in 10 starts for the Braves since being traded from the Cubs. With Chicago he went 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts against the Pirates earlier this season, both in Pittsburgh…. Hanson is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in three starts against the Pirates, and Hudson is 6-5 with a 2.90 ERA in 12. Hudson is expected to be replaced for the regular-season finale and rested so he’s ready to start a potential division series opener Oct. 7.

Miscellaneous: This will be the last regular-season series for retiring Braves icon Chipper Jones, who has a .298 average with 17 homers and 86 RBIs in 123 games vs. Pittsburgh, with a .402 OBP and .472 slugging percentage. At PNC Park, he has a .295 average with nine extra-base hits (two homers), 15 RBIs and a .443 OBP in 27 games…. The Braves are 6-4 with a 2.71 ERA against the Pirates in the past two seasons, and the teams haven’t met since splitting a four-game series April 27-30…. Injured SS Paul Janish is the only Brave who’s faced Locke.

About the Pirates:

Batting: CF Andrew McCutchen looked like a clear MVP frontrunner until mid-summer. But after hitting .371 with 44 extra-base hits (22 homers), 66 RBIs and a 1.071 OPS in 91 games through July 23, he had a .265 average with 21 extra-base hits (nine homers), 28 RBIs and an .898 OPS in his past 62 games before Sunday. He has a .226 average with three homers and a .748 OPS in 29 career games vs. the Braves.

Pitching: Locke makes his 10th career start. He’s 0-3 with a 7.50 ERA and .320 opponents’ average in five starts this season, all in September, and hasn’t worked more than five innings. Lefty batters are 9-for-26 (.346) with a .985 OPS vs. the lefty, while righties are 25-for-91 (.275) with a .749 OPS…. Against the Braves, Correia is 3-2 with a 3.54 ERA in 11 games (seven starts), and Burnett is 5-10 with a 3.70 ERA in 19 games (18 starts).

Miscellaneous: The Pirates went 58-42 with a 3.47 ERA in 100 games through July 28. Then the bottom fell out for the second year in a row. They were 19-39 with a 4.62 ERA in their past 58 games before Sunday, including 7-20 in September…. Clint Barmes is 14-for-32 (.432) with two homers against Maholm.

By David O’Brien

18 comments Add your comment

Desibrave

September 30th, 2012
4:09 pm

I wish all those games against Pirates are meaningful

ChipperisGod

September 30th, 2012
5:51 pm

Thought they would be about a month and a half ago. And well, they still could be if the Nats lose out. But that is not likely to happen. One can hope though.

lee maye

September 30th, 2012
6:51 pm

And, you failed to mention that Locke is a former Brave and we have major problems against lefties and young pitchers.

Nat's Champ's?

October 1st, 2012
7:56 am

Braves play, Monday night. Does that mean Braves, lose.National’s clinch the division.

lee maye

October 1st, 2012
12:49 pm

yes, it would

not a pitching coach

October 1st, 2012
2:09 pm

It looks like the weather for tonight’s game in Pittsburg is OK, but the forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday is for rain and thunderstorms.

http://old.post-gazette.com/weather/

Does anyone know how a rained-out game(s?) would be handled? Is it possible that the Braves could be forced into a double-header on Thursday, then have to play a one game “play-in” in Atlanta on Friday?

Good Grief Charlie Brown

October 1st, 2012
4:08 pm

@not a pitching coach: i think if the Tuesday game gets rained out, the Braves would lobby to play a doubleheader on Wednesday just so they could get back to Atl in a timely fashion to prepare for Friday’s WC game. but if the Wed game gets rained out, a Thursday makeup sounds like a distinct possibility.

Hudson vs Burnett should be fun to watch. Burnett has pitched well overall and facing him would be more like facing a postseason quality opponent (a tune-up for Friday perhaps?).

noslok

October 1st, 2012
4:11 pm

If the Nats win tonight – or the Braves lose – it is unlikely any rained-out games in Pittsburgh would be made-up. But if the Braves win and the Nats lose tonight, and tomorrow’s game is rained-out, then the teams would have to play a double-header on Wednesday.

Carl Farvman

October 1st, 2012
4:22 pm

Pobably a double header on the next available day. Texas/Angels did this Sunday due to a Saturday rainout.

HOF 10

October 1st, 2012
5:01 pm

Of course it is a bummer for us to have to play St. Louis to advance to the regular playoffs. But adding the second wild card was a good idea. We all can remember times when two teams in a division came down to the final series or game tied or within a game of one another where one would win their division and the other would be the wild card. Always they have held out their best pitcher to use in game one of the playoffs and really not given a dang whether they are the wild card winner or the division champ. Now winning the division is big. Also, having a second wild card team makes it harder for a wild card to reach the World Series. One will go home immediately, and the other will have just used its best pitcher before the playoffs begin.

Big Brave

October 1st, 2012
5:19 pm

So, we sweep in Pittsburgh and Phillies sweep Nats, would we play a one game playoff for the division on Thursday in Washington or Atlanta? While unlikely, would like to know how it would work…

Daniel Crawford

October 1st, 2012
5:25 pm

I think that if we sweep and the Nats get swept that they would win the division based on head to head record.

Brian

October 1st, 2012
5:33 pm

No longer use head to head to determine the Division. They would have to play a one game playoff

Rob Moffett

October 1st, 2012
5:34 pm

There would be a one game playoff if they end in a tie. Part of the new format is that all divisional champions will be decided in a one game playoff and not head to head.

J J

October 1st, 2012
5:51 pm

Is your Hooters Hero playing?

Teddy B

October 1st, 2012
6:14 pm

GO BRAVES!!! Lets close out this regular season with a BANG!!! Catch the Gnats!!! The Gnats are playing conservative lately, so hopefully they fall asleep while we catch up and force a tie breaker!

I believe!!

GO CHIPPER! GO HEYWARD! GO MARTEEEN! GO GO GO Let’s DO THIS!

J J

October 1st, 2012
7:14 pm

what are you smokin? I want some.

icon design

October 7th, 2012
7:23 pm

Add your comment