San Francisco's Matt Cain faces the Braves' Jair Jurrjens.
The Giants have hit a stretch of bad
road with injuries and a lack of offense threating to derail their hopes of
back-to-back World Series championships. San Francisco suffered another one-run
loss to the Braves last night and with the Diamondbacks winning, they are now
3.5 games back of Arizona in the National League West.
Meanwhile Atlanta sits behind the Phillies in the National League East, and are now six games in
front of San Francisco in the wild card race as they go for a sweep of the
defending world champions.
The Giants will send Matt Cain to the
hill opposite Atlanta ace Jair Jurrjens. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM at
Turner Field in Atlanta where the Braves are 37-24 this season.
MLB odds makers are backing Jurrjens, and despite having missed two starts because of a strained right knee, opened him as a -140
favorite with the total at seven.
Tuesday night the Braves used an 11th
inning walk off single by Martin Prado to beat the Giants 2-1. Atlanta’s rookie
starter Randall Delgado threw six no-hit innings before giving up a solo home
run to Cody Ross to start the seventh inning.
The game remained tied at 1-1
until Brooks Conrad doubled to lead off the 11th inning and then
scored on Prado’s clutch hit. The Braves are now 11-4 against San Francisco in
their last 15 regular-season meetings and have won six straight in the series.
There’s still plenty of baseball left to
be played but San Francisco has to be concerned with the direction their season
is going. The champs have lost six of their last ten while scoring just 26 runs
over that stretch and not only have fallen out of first-place but are losing
ground on a daily basis to the both the Diamondbacks and the Braves.
The Giants are dropping like flies.
Carlos Beltran was placed on the disabled list with sprained wrist as was
reliever Sergio Romo. Pablo Sandoval fouled a pitch off his foot on Monday
night and hasn’t played since. Jonathan Sanchez suffered a sprained ankle and
was forced out of last night’s game in the third inning.
San Francisco needs as many healthy
bodies as they can get to turnaround a slide that has seen them lose 13 of 18.
Tonight SF turns to Matt Cain (9-9, 3.00
ERA) to try and salvage the final game of the series. The veteran right-hander
is 0-3 in his last three starts but has a solid 3.66 ERA over that stretch. In
his last 19.2 innings Cain has allowed eight runs but the Giants have given him
just four runs of support.
Going back even further his ERA is 2.79 in 38.2
innings but his record is 1-4 and his teammates have given him just nine runs
of support. Cain is 2-2 with a 4.03 ERA in five career starts vs. the Braves.
Jair Jurrjens returns to the hill for
Atlanta after missing two starts due to a knee injury. Jurrjens (12-4, 2.63
ERA) Since the All-Star break he’s 0-1 with a 6.26 ERA but he’s poised to get
back on track against the struggling G-Men.
Freddie on fire
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is
on his way to securing the Rookie of the year Award in the National League. The
Southern California native is setting the pace for all first-year players
hitting .296 with 16 homers and 60 RBI’s.
Freeman who delivered the two run
walk-off single on Monday night to beat the Giants is hitting .363 over the
last month. He’s been as hot as the Atlanta weather which tonight will feature
80 degree temperatures and clear skies.
Harvey’s Take: I’m going to make a small play on the ‘under’.
It’s no secret that the Giants have no offense and the players who could have
helped them are either on the DL or headed there. Jurrjens has established
himself as one of the top pitchers in the league while Cain has handled the
Braves in recent years including the 2010 playoffs. I expect a low-scoring game
that could easily be decided again by one run.