Jair Jurrjens (50 IP, 1.80 ERA, 2.80 FIP, 3.43 xFIP, 1.44 BB/9, 5.22 K/9, 50.6 GB%, 6.6 SwStr%)
(59.8 FB%, 22.9 CH%, 17.3 SL%; 48 Swing%, 86 Contact%)
Charlie Morton (55 IP, 2.62 ERA, 3.74 FIP, 3.89 xFIP, 4.25 BB/9, 4.75 K/9, 61.9 GB%, 6 SwStr%)
(81.5 FB%, 9.8 CB%, 7.3 CH%, 1.4 SL%; 45.1 Swing%, 86.7 Contact%)
Jurrjens continued his strong pitching with 6.2 innings in his last start against the Diamondbacks, allowing two runs on eight hits with one walk and three strikeouts. He had double digit ground balls for the fourth time in five starts, and while the strikeouts were a bit low, he held his walk total to less than two for the fifth straight start.
Morton, a former Brave, has rediscovered the ability to pitch this season due to a newfound sinker that he is throwing 81.5% of the time; his fastball percentage last season was 59.1%. The pitch has been very successful for Morton and is the real reason for his turnaround. His ground ball rate is second-best in all of MLB and No. 1 in the National League, and it has seen a 15% jump from his total last season. The one issue with Morton has been walks, but that comes with increased movement on the fastball, especially when it's a new pitch.
Considering he is young and is a former Brave, Morton hasn't seen the Braves much. Chipper Jones, Brian McCann and Eric Hinske have one hit each, including a homer for Hinske.
Chris Snyder is 2-5 with two doubles against Jurrjens. Lyle Overbay is 1-5 and Andrew McCutchen is 0-3 with two strikeouts.
What to Look For:
The Braves are sporting a makeshift lineup in this series, so that could either hurt the struggling offense even more or jumpstart it. They will have their hands full with a revived Morton.
Schafer is making his first appearance of 2011 in the leadoff spot while Dan Uggla sits due to his struggles.