SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 07: Jason Heyward #22 of the Atlanta Braves strikes out to end the sixth inning with Buster Posey #28 playing catcher for the San Francisco Giants during game 1 of the NLDS at AT&T Park on October 7 2010 in San Francisco California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Previewing a crucial four-game series between the Braves and Giants.
The San Francisco Giants have rebounded nicely since the suspension of Melky Cabrera, winning seven of their last ten games and sweeping the Dodgers in L.A. to claim a 2.5 game lead in the National League West. The club has scored the most runs of anyone in the month of August, which is a surprise given their offensive struggles the last few seasons.
In what could be a potential playoff preview, the Braves will head to San Francisco for a four-game series at beautiful AT&T Park beginning Thursday night.
Buster Posey is having a breakout season for the Giants and has joined the MVP race with a .327 batting average and .941 OPS. Now that Cabrera is off the team for 50 games, Posey is the only hitter with double-digit home run numbers (19) and has nearly two-times the amount of RBIs (79) as the team's second-best option, Angel Pagan (47), does.
This is a club with no real weakness, although a slump to Posey would completely kill their offensive output. The back-end of the bullpen has been a bit shaky in recent weeks, which has prompted manager Bruce Bochy to handle the ninth inning on a case-by-case basis most nights depending on the matchups.
Start Times & Pitching Probables: