Friday, April 4, 2014

Game 4 Preview: Atlanta Braves (2-1) at Washington Nationals (3-0)

First Pitch: 1:05 pm ET (FS South)

Pitching Probables:

David Hale (ATL) 1-0, 0.82 ERA in '13
Jordan Zimmermann (WSH) 19-9, 3.25 ERA in '13

Braves starting lineup (career vs. Zimmermann)
Jason Heyward - RF (3-11, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, BB, 2 K)
BJ Upton - CF (2-7, 2B, 2 K)
Freddie Freeman - 1B (2-11, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K)
Chris Johnson - 3B (2-7, 2B)
Justin Upton - LF (5-12, BB, 3 K)
Dan Uggla - 2B (2-17, 2B, 2 BB, 4 K)
Evan Gattis - C (0-3)
Andrelton Simmons - SS (1-5)
David Hale - P (N/A)

Nationals starting lineup ('13 season stats)
Denard Span - CF (.279/.327/.380 4 HR 47 RBI)
Anthony Rendon - 2B (.265/.329/.396 7 HR 35 RBI)
Jayson Werth - RF (.318/.398/.532 25 HR 82 RBI)
Adam LaRoche - 1B (.237/.332/.403 20 HR 62 RBI)
Ryan Zimmerman - 3B (.275/.344/.465 26 HR 79 RBI)
Bryce Harper - LF (.274/.368/.486 20 HR 58 RBI)
Ian Desmond - SS (.280/.331/.453 20 HR 80 RBI)
Jose Lobaton - C (.249/.320/.394 7 HR 32 RBI)
Jordan Zimmermann - P (.123/.134/.138 0 HR 2 RBI)

The 2014 season may be less than a week old, but Braves rookie RHP David Hale's third career big league start comes in an important game this afternoon against the division rival Nationals at Nationals Park. Braves beat the Nats in all five matchups last April, which gave the Braves the lead in the NL East for good. Despite running away with the division last season, Braves once again come in as the underdog in this year's race.

Braves are relying on the likes of Hale and journeyman Aaron Harang to keep the rotation afloat until Mike Minor, Ervin Santana, and Gavin Floyd join the rotation later this month.

Nationals RHP Tanner Roark was originally slated to start today's game, but was bumped up after Jordan Zimmermann was skipped due to flu-like symptoms. On short notice, Roark allowed just two runs in six innings against the Mets on Thursday.

Harper hitting lower in the order:
Nationals LF Bryce Harper hit sixth in the order on Wednesday after spending most of last season in one of the top four spots in the lineup. Moving Harper lower in the order takes the pressure off of the star outfielder and possibly create more RBI situations for him with Werth and Zimmerman hitting in front of him. Harper did hit second in the Nats order in yesterday's game and went 1-for-5 with a run scored in the 8-2 win over the Mets.

Kimbrel ties Garber:
Braves closer Craig Kimbrel recorded his 141st career save in Wednesday's 1-0 win over the Brewers to tie Gene Garber for second place in franchise history. Kimbrel is just 13 saves away from tying John Smoltz's record of 154 saves.

Braves claimed RHP Pedro Beato off waivers from the Reds following Wednesday's game. In a corresponding move, the Braves optioned reliever Ryan Buchter to Triple-A Gwinnett. In 81 career appearances, Beato owns a 4.55 ERA with the Red Sox and Mets.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Braves' 1-0 win against the Brewers on Wednesday was their first 1-0 win in Milwaukee since they were the Milwaukee Braves in 1964.

Nats C Jose Lobaton will take over the catching duties from Wilson Ramos, who was placed on the 15-day DL after breaking a bone in his left hand.

No comments:

Post a Comment