Date: October 4, 2013
First Pitch Time: 6:00 PM ET
Pitching Probables: Mike Minor (Atlanta) vs. Zach Greinke (Los Angeles)
TV Channel: TBS
Radio: 93.7 FM/680 AM (Atlanta Flagship), Atlanta Braves Radio Network (Local Affiliates)
Before we get going, be sure to check out our recap of last night’s Game 1 here and Los Angeles Dodgers” href=”http://atlallday.com/2013/10/02/braves-dodgers-preview/”>our full-length series preview here!
- J Upton
- C Johnson
- E Johnson
- Crawford LF
- Ellis 2B
- Ramirez SS
- Gonzalez 1B
- Puig RF
- Uribe 3B
- Schumaker CF
- Ellis C
- Greinke P
Game 1 was only 1 game. As bad as the Braves looked in almost all facets of the game last night, it still only counts as 1 loss, and with that said, it can’t really get any worse than it was last night, right?
For Game 2, the Braves turn to lefty Mike Minor, the man who was their best starter for the majority of the season, to save their post season lives. Unfortunately, I am prepared to fall behind early again since Minor has allowed first inning runs in his last 4 consecutive starts, and it has generally been an issue with him throughout his career. The Braves have also lost the last 5 games that Minor has started. Clearly, Minor has been struggling lately, but hopefully, he can right the ship tonight against a Dodgers squad that he has had some success against in the past. The Braves won his lone start against the Dodgers earlier this season at Turner Field. Minor pitched well, but needed a late-inning comeback to prevent taking a loss. He went 6 innings, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits and struck out 9 batters on the day. In addition, he took the win in an 8-1 blowout victory over the Dodgers in LA. He went 6 innings again allowing only 1 run on 6 hits and 3 walks. Of course, the Braves also won both of Medlen’s starts against the Dodgers this year, too.
The Atlanta offense doesn’t have it any easier tonight, as they face Zach Greinke, who might be the best #2 starter in all of baseball. Greinke, like Clayton Kershaw, is a former Cy Young winner who has been absolutely on fire the later half of the season. Zach is putting up a superb 1.57 ERA over his last 16 starts and the Dodgers won 13 of those 16 games. On a positive note for the Braves, Greinke was awful in his only 3 postseason starts with the Brewers 2 years ago. He posted a 6.48 ERA and gave up 4 homers in his 16.2 innings over those 3 starts. Greinke also has a history of anxiety, and who knows if that is something that he has totally overcome or if it becomes more of an issue in the playoffs when the stakes are higher. Greinke did face the Braves once this season and pretty much shut them down. He pitched 7 shutout innings in a 5-0 Dodgers win in LA. He only gave up 4 hits and struck out 7, but did walk 3.
Last night was an awful game to watch as a Braves fan, but as long as the home team can win the game tonight, we keep the status quo, as most people expected a loss to Kershaw anyway. Greinke is good, but not unbeatable, especially if he lets the crowd and the moment get to him. Hopefully, Minor can get over the jitters of starting his first playoff game and put up a good start and turn a lead over to our excellent bullpen. I really think our guys need to be aggressive tonight and try to jump out to an early lead to keep the fans into it.
Join us in the comments section during the game to cheer or vent about what is happening. There will be a few of us in there throughout the game to cheer with you or answer questions.
Chop, chop! GO BRAVES!