The Braves (21-16) just lost three out of four games to the San Francisco Giants over the weekend, and will now start a three-game series with Arizona. One of the reasons why they struggled against the Giants is that their offense was non-existent and their pitching gave up too many runs.
Arizona (21-17) had a chance to earn a series victory against the Philadelphia Phillies, but a mistake by manager Kirk Gibson cost them a victory. The starter for the Diamondbacks Brandon McCarthy pitched a great game, and had only thrown 88 pitches going into the ninth inning.
Gibson opted to use the bullpen, and they blew another save opportunity for the team, this is the 11th save the bullpen has blown this season.
This was a bad loss for Arizona, but now they will face a very good Braves team and they also will see their former franchise player Justin Upton return to Chase Field.
This is the first time that Arizona will face the Braves this season. Arizona went 2-5 against the Braves last season.
Mike Minor has pitched great this season for Atlanta, and looks to continue his success against Arizona. Minor in his last start against the Cincinnati Reds gave up one run, walked three, struck out seven batters in seven innings. Arizona will struggle on offense once again because Minor is another left-handed starter they have to face.
Wade Miley rebounded from his last two starts where he had issues with his command. He went seven innings did not issue a walk, and threw more strikes against the opposition. Miley has been one our most dependable starters this season and needs to have great command in this start against the Braves.
Julio Teheran has been pitching better in recent starts for Atlanta, and one of the reasons is that he has changed the grip on his change up. He has just allowed two runs or less in each of past three starts.
Patrick Corbin has pitched excellent in each start he has made this season. He has pitched at least six innings, and has given two earned runs or less in each start. He will need to have his best stuff once again against a Braves team that can score runs in bunches, though they are struggling to hit. Corbin has faced the Braves only once in his career, he threw three shut-out innings in relief last June.
Tim Hudson has not pitched great this season for the Braves, as he has thrown fewer than five innings in three of his eight starts this season. The positive for Hudson is that he is 4-0 in his career against Arizona with a 0.94 ERA in five starts.
Ian Kennedy did not have have a good beginning to his last start, but managed to pitch better as the game went on. The key for him was that he was able to throw more strikes, and he used his fastball more than he used his breaking pitches.