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Braves Vs. Dodgers: Momentum On The Menu For Atlanta Offense In Game 3

A 10-1 rout of the Dodgers on Tuesday evened the series for the Braves after two games. The same teams face off Wednesday at 10:10 on SportSouth.

Braves Lineup:
1. Martin Prado, LF
2. Jason Heyward, RF
3. Chipper Jones, 3B
4. Brian McCann, C
5. Dan Uggla, 2B
6. Freddie Freeman, 1B
7. Alex Gonzalez, SS
8. Nate McLouth, CF
9. Derek Lowe, SP

Dodgers Lineup:
1. Jamey Carroll, SS
2. Casey Blake, 3B
3. Andre Ethier, RF
4. Matt Kemp, CF
5. Juan Uribe, 2B
6. James Loney, 1B
7. Jerry Sands, LF
8. Rod Barajas, C
9. Jon Garland, SP

Derek Lowe (24.2 IP, 1.82 ERA, 2.91 FIP, 3.18 xFIP, 2.55 BB/9, 6.93 K/9, 55.7 GB%, 8.3 SwStr%)
(45.3 FB%, 28.6 SL%, 17.7 CH%, 8.4 CT%; 41.1 Swing%, 78.7 Contact%)
Jon Garland (2010: 200 IP, 3.47 ERA, 4.41 FIP, 4.22 xFIP, 3.92 BB/9, 6.12 K/9, 51.9 GB%, 7.2 SwStr%)
(56.8 FB%, 14.4 CT%, 10.7 SL%, 9.1 CB%, 9 CH%; 43.9 Swing%, 83.1 Contact%)

Derek Lowe has been the best pitcher on the team through four starts, allowing no more than two runs in any outing. The Braves are showing their trust in Lowe by starting him on three days rest, which he has done five times in his career. He continues to post solid rates, striking out four in his last start while allowing just two runs to the Mets. The double-digit fly ball counts in his last two starts have not been great to see, but they haven't bit him. It's something to watch to see if it is a pattern.

Jon Garland was hit hard in his season debut against the Cardinals, allowing five runs on nine hits - two homers - in just four innings. Garland is off to a rough start for his new team, starting the season on the disabled list with an oblique injury and now getting pounded in his debut. He has reached 200 innings six times in his career, and all six have come in his last seven seasons, so he has always been a dependable starter. Garland is throwing fewer fastballs and changeups while upping his cutters and breaking pitches. This would make sense if his velocity was decreasing, but it's not, and his fastball and changeup were actually quite valuable last season.

Opposing Numbers:
Eric Hinske is hitting .350 with three home runs in 42 plate appearances against Garland, in case the situation arrives. Dan Uggla is 3-15 and Alex Gonzalez is 2-8. Brian McCann is 3-8 with a homer and Chipper Jones is 2-4 with two RBI.

A few Dodger hitters have had success against the former Dodger. Casey Blake is 5-17 with four RBI against Lowe. Juan Uribe is 3-10, while Jamey Carroll and Rod Barajas are both 5-11. Andre Ethier is 4-8 with a triple and homer. James Loney is 4-9.

What to Look For:
Baseball performances fluctuate wildly from game to game, but there is always hope a big offensive showing will carry over to the next game, and that is what the Braves are hoping for here. They have a good candidate in Garland, who is making his second start of the season and was pounded in his first.

For more on the series, Braves fans check out Talking Chop and Dodgers fans check out True Blue LA.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.