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Braves Vs. Giants: Atlanta's Four-Run Third Backs Strong Outing By Tommy Hanson

Friday, April 22
(9-12) Atlanta Braves - 4
(10-9) San Francisco Giants - 1

Box Score

Video Highlights

The Braves needed a win in the series opener with the Giants as insurance considering the combination of Tim Lincecum and Jonathan Sanchez due up in the next two games. Luckily for Atlanta, they got to face the struggling Madison Bumgarner, who had allowed 12 earned runs in his previous 14.2 innings.

After two scoreless innings on both sides, the Braves broke through in the third with four runs. Walks by Nate McLouth and Martin Prado put runners on first and second with one out for the middle of the order, which usually ends well. It did this time, as Jason Heyward singled through the hole in right to plate McLouth, worth .150 WPA, the biggest swing in the game. Chipper Jones followed with a double off the right field wall on a high fastball that plated Prado and Heyward, worth .137 WPA.

After Brian McCann struck out for the second out, Dan Uggla reached on an error by Miguel Tejada to keep the inning alive. That set up a RBI single by Freddie Freeman that plated Chipper, worth .059 WPA.

Neither team made a play worth .100+ WPA for the remainder of the game. Pablo Sandoval doubled with one out in the seventh, worth .024 WPA, the Giants' biggest swing in the game. He eventually scored on a groundout by Pat Burrell for their only run.

(Courtesy of Brooks Baseball)

As you can see from the chart, Hanson's command was on point with all of his pitches. He threw 50% fastballs and kept them on the outer half or off the plate throughout. For the most part, the slider was thrown effectively on the outer half and down, and Hanson worked it in much better as the game went on. The curve was thrown sparingly, but it was effective when used.

Stat of the Day:
Jason Heyward's two hits marked his third multi-hit game of the season.

The Game Changer:
Jason Heyward's RBI single in the third put the Braves ahead 1-0, worth .150 WPA.

WPA Winners:
(ATL) Tommy Hanson: .218
(ATL) Jason Heyward: .165
(ATL) Chipper Jones: .099

WPA Losers:
(SF) Madison Bumgarner: -.288
(SF) Freddy Sanchez: -.065
(ATL) Brian McCann: -.047
(SF) Aubrey Huff: -.047

Courtesy of FanGraphs:

For more on the series, Braves fans check out Talking Chop and Giants fans check out McCovey Chronicles.

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