Braves B-Lineup Defeats Giants 6-3

The Braves face the Giants in a possible playoff preview featuring lots of great pitching. The four-game set runs from Thursday through Sunday.

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Braves B-Lineup Defeats Giants 6-3

Victorious recap:

When you woke up this morning and saw a lineup with no Prado, Heyward, Chipper, McCann or Hinske, I’m guessing a few select 4-letter words were said. Surely a team that had been struggling offensively for three weeks would be killed with a bunch of bench guys playing, right? Wrong. The B-Lineup came to play on Sunday.

Read the rest at Talking Chop.

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Braves Shut Out Giants 3-0 Behind Tim Hudson

Victorious recap:

I don’t know about you, but I’m warming to the idea of a 1st round series with the Giants in October. Both teams can pitch, field, and the hitting is consistently inconsistent. That would be an awesome series to watch. Anyways…

Hudson was the star of the night, and threw 8 innings and allowed only three hits. Hudson had his sinker working, and the Giants grounded into three double plays, including a slick 6-4-3 DP in the 5th inning. Be sure to check the highlights for that one.

Read the rest at Talking Chop

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One-Paragraph Recap: Braves Fall To Giants, 3-2, In 11 Innings

Tommy Hanson pitched great again, but again the Braves’ offense and defense could not secure the victory. This time, Hanson gave up just one run in seven innings and even left with a 2-1 lead, thanks to solo homers from Alex Gonzalez and Chipper Jones. But Gonzalez and Jones both committed crucial errors that allowed the Giants to tie the game in the ninth. The Giants used a pair of walks and some situational hitting to make it 3-2 in the eleventh, and the Braves could not muster a rally against closer Brian Wilson. The Giants got only four hits in the game, none in their tying or winning rallies.

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One-Paragraph Recap: Braves Edge Giants 3-2 Behind Jurrjens, Gonzalez, Hinske

Jair Jurrjens, who tossed six innings and gave up two runs, won a close duel with Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum. Jurrjens was backed by a two-run homer by Alex Gonzalez (his second as a Brave) that tied the game at two and a solo homer by Eric Hinske that put the Braves up 3-2. That score would hold up thanks to spectacular work from the Braves’ bullpen trio of Jonny Venters, Takashi Saito, and Billy Wagner. Those three allowed only one baserunner in the last three innings. The Braves managed only six hits off of the Giants’ pitchers, but the two home runs were enough thanks to Jurrjens and the bullpen.

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Top Pitching Staffs Collide As Braves Meet Giants

Fresh off a successful (though injury-tainted) series win over the Mets, the Braves start a four-game series tonight against the San Francisco Giants. The teams are both in playoff position and have similar records. The Braves (61-46) lead the NL East by two games; the Giants (62-46) lead the Wild Card by two games over the Cardinals and trail the Padres by just 1.5 games in the NL West.

Both teams feature excellent pitching staffs, so this should be a low-scoring series. The Giants, led by two-time defending Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum (who starts Thursday night) have the second-best starting rotation ERA in the National League. Their bullpen--featuring mohawked closer Brian Wilson--is excellent too, with the third-best ERA in the NL. By comparison, the Braves' rotation ranks fourth in ERA and the Braves' bullpen ranks second.

With all those low ERAs, it's no wonder that the pitching matchups are excellent. In fact, each team is throwing its top four starters (now that Kris Medlen is injured, anyway):

Thursday, 7:00 PM: Tim Lincecum (11-4, 3.10 ERA) vs. Jair Jurrjens (3-4, 4.62 ERA)
Friday, 7:30 PM: Barry Zito (8-6, 3.38 ERA) vs. Tommy Hanson (8-8, 3.83 ERA)
Saturday, 7:00 PM: Matt Cain (9-8, 2.98 ERA) vs. Tim Hudson (12-5, 2.36 ERA)
Sunday, 1:30 PM: Jonathan Sanchez (8-6, 3.38 ERA) vs. Derek Lowe (10-9, 4.44 ERA)

This series also features the number-retirement ceremony for Braves legend Tom Glavine on Friday night, so if you don't have plans, head out to the Ted to see what I'm sure will be a cool event.

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