The last time the San Francisco Giants were on the field at Turner Field were some of the saddest moments of my sports life. It was the final time Bobby Cox would manage a game, and despite a roster depleted with injuries, the team still battled each and every night and nearly won the series.
It's time for payback.
This Atlanta Braves team is not the one the Giants faced last October. Nearly everyone is healthy, the team is firing on all cylinders despite dropping their last two against the Cubs, and they have their eyes set on revenge. The Giants have been struggling in recent weeks, and it will be the Braves job to insure those losing ways continue this week in Atlanta.
Let's take a closer look at the Giants, who Atlanta leads by four games in the wild card standings...
Lose weight, play great:
#48 / Third Base / San Francisco Giants
Aug 11, 1986
|2011 - Pablo Sandoval||79||300||39||93||18||1||14||44||22||46||2||1||.310||.352||.517|
Pablo Sandoval has turned his career around. All it took was about fifty pounds. The "Kung Fu Panda" was looking at a short-lived baseball career before getting into great shape this past off-season and he was seen immediate results. The third baseman is having a big year for San Francisco on a team that has consistently struggled to score runs and he can do a lot of damage to a baseball if his bat gets a hold of one.
An injured acquisition:
#15 / Right Field / San Francisco Giants
Apr 24, 1977
|2011 - Carlos Beltran||11||45||4||11||1||2||0||2||1||11||0||0||.244||.261||.356|
On paper, Carlos Beltran was a near-perfect fit for San Francisco. He was a corner outfielder capable of both hitting for power and bringing speed on the base paths -- two things the club desperately needed -- and could re-sign with the team after the season.
Things haven't quite worked out so far. In just eleven games he has failed expectations and he has missed a week after injuring his wrist. No word on if Beltran will return during this series or not, but let's try and keep his bat cool should he return.
Pitching matchups (hint: they're going to be good):
Monday, 7:10EDT - Tim Hudson vs. Madison Bumgarner
|2011 - Tim Hudson||12-7||24||24||1||1||0||0||155.2||132||62||55||10||38||113||3.18||1.09|
|2011 - Madison Bumgarner||7-11||26||24||0||0||0||0||145.1||149||64||57||7||33||134||3.53||1.25|
Tuesday, 7:10EDT - Randall Delgado vs. Jonathan Sanchez
|2011 - Randall Delgado||0-1||1||1||0||0||0||0||4.0||7||4||3||1||2||2||6.75||2.25|
|2011 - Jonathan Sanchez||4-7||18||18||0||0||0||0||98.2||79||53||47||9||65||102||4.29||1.46|
Wednesday, 7:10EDT - Jair Jurrjens vs. Matt Cain
|2011 - Jair Jurrjens||12-4||20||20||2||1||0||0||133.2||118||41||39||11||35||85||2.63||1.14|
|2011 - Matt Cain||9-9||27||25||1||0||0||0||165.0||138||61||55||7||44||134||3.00||1.10|
Thursday, 7:10EDT - Derek Lowe (TBD) vs. Tim Lincecum
|2011 - Derek Lowe||7-11||26||26||0||0||0||0||145.1||163||81||79||9||53||101||4.89||1.49|
|2011 - Tim Lincecum||11-9||25||25||1||1||0||0||164.0||126||53||47||9||63||175||2.58||1.15|
It may just be August, but this is a huge series. The Braves have a somewhat comfortable lead of four games in the wildcard standings. A series win is an absolute must for Atlanta.