Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Game 40 Preview: Atlanta Braves (22-17) at Arizona Diamondbacks (22-18)

Pitching Probables:
RHP Tim Hudson (ATL) 4-2, 4.70 ERA
RHP Ian Kennedy (ARZ) 1-3, 4.83 ERA

Today's Starting Lineups (3:40 pm ET, SportSouth):

Braves (career vs. Kennedy):
Jordan Schafer - LF (N/A)
Andrelton Simmons - SS (N/A)
Justin Upton - RF (N/A)
Freddie Freeman - 1B (1-1, 2 RBI, BB)
Brian McCann - C (2-8, HR, RBI, BB)
BJ Upton - CF (3-11, HR, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K)
Juan Francisco - 3B (0-3, K)
Ramiro Pena - 2B (N/A)
Tim Hudson - P (N/A)

Diamondbacks (career vs. Hudson):
Gerardo Parra - RF (2-3, 2 BB)
Didi Gregorius - SS (N/A)
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B (0-6, 2 K)
Eric Chavez - 3B (0-2, K)
Cody Ross - LF (4-26, RBI, 5 K)
Miguel Montero - C (2-7, BB, K)
Martin Prado - 2B (N/A)
AJ Pollock - CF (N/A)
Ian Kennedy - P (N/A)

Lost in all the Justin Upton hoopla is the fact that both the Braves and the D-backs field all-around talented teams which includes stocked pitching staffs. The two teams aces will face off in the finale of this three-game series at Chase Field.
After a rough start to the 2013 campaign, it seems as if D-backs ace Ian Kennedy is returning to form that guided him to 21 wins in 2011. The right-hander, who is 1-3 with a 4.83 ERA in eight starts this season, limited the Phillies to two runs on six hits, walked three, and struck out four over seven innings in the no decision last Friday.
D-backs will need Kennedy to be at his best because Braves RHP Tim Hudson has flat out owned the Diamondbacks in his career. In nine starts against Arizona, Hudson is 7-0 with a 1.33 ERA, including a 4-0 record with a 0.94 ERA in five starts at Chase Field.
Braves (22-17) come into play holding a one-game lead in the NL East over the Nationals, who lost 2-0 to the Dodgers last night behind Clayton Kershaw's masterful performance. D-backs (22-18) are in 2nd place in the NL West, but trail the Giants by 1.5 games.
Braves are currently 4-5 on their ten-game road trip which wraps up this afternoon. After today's contest, Braves will go home for a six-game home stand with the Dodgers and Twins. D-backs will head out on the road for a six-game trip against the Marlins and Rockies.

BJ back in lineup after HBP to shoulder:
BJ Upton left Monday's game in the 6th inning with a left shoulder contusion after he was hit by Wade Miley. Upton was listed as day-to-day with the injury. After sitting out last night's game, Upton is back in the lineup today and will hit 6th.

Side note:
In his first two games against his former club, Justin Upton has reached base six times in nine plate appearances.
D-backs OF Cody Ross has struggled against Tim Hudson in his career, going 4-for-26 (.154).
Tim Hudson is 7-0 with a 1.33 ERA in nine starts against the Diamondbacks, including a complete game.
Ian Kennedy is 1-0 against the Braves with a 2.66 ERA in three starts.

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