Jun 14, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Kansas City Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur (21) works out prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Series Preview: Atlanta Braves vs. San Diego Padres

It was looking good after taking two of three from the Phillies, but then the freaking Fish from Miami came to town and took three of four from the Braves in a series that either lacked offense, timely offense or, for once, timely pitching.

Now the Braves will shift their focus to a non-divisional opponent, as the San Diego Padres are ready to take the Turner field for a historic four game set, that will cultivate in an odd 5 p.m. start time on Sunday, the same day Bobby Cox, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux are inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and a what I’m going to call a “hangover,” game on Monday, before the Bravos head west. Below are the pitching matchups and start times for the three games this weekend:

Friday: TBA vs. Alex Wood (7-7, 3.24 ERA) 7:35
Saturday: Odrisamer Despaigne (2-1, 1.31 ERA) vs. Julio Teheran (9-6, 2.64) 7:10
Sunday: Eric Stults (3-12, 5.00 ERA) vs. Mike Minor (3-6, 5.32 ERA) 5:05
Monday: Ian Kennedy (8-9, 3.66 ERA) vs. Ervin Santana (9-6, 3.87 ERA)

The Padres come into this weekend in third place in the good ol’ NL West, and while they’re only four wins off the pace of the NL East’s third place team (that’d be the New York Mets, for those of you keeping track at home), they’re 12 full games back of the West-leading San Francisco Giants. However, they’ve been able to keep afloat since the All Star game, having won four of their six games they’ve played, including taking two of three from the Chicago Cubs this past week.

The Padres aren’t quite the young-gun studded team the Marlins were, er, are, and honestly, their trip to Atlanta can be better highlighted by roster moves than what the roster has actually done. First and foremost, news broke a couple of days ago that center fielder Cameron Maybin (.247/.286/.368) was suspended 25 games for violating MLB’s substance policy. But, an item that Braves fans might find a bit more interesting, is the fact that Brooks Conrad and Jeff Francoeur are coming home (well, for one of them, “home,” is figurative), as Brooksy got the call-up after the All-Star break, and Frenchy got the call just days ago. It’ll be fun to (hopefully) see them get time against the Braves, and will also be interesting to see how the Ted reacts to them.

Looking up and down their offense, it’s pretty amazing the Padres have won 40 games period. Of those with the minimum of 100 plate appearances, no one has a batting average at or over .300. In fact, the highest average is owned by Seth Smith, who is hitting .286. Hopefully Braves pitching can feast on the struggling offense.

Oh yeah, if you think that Despaigne name sounds familiar? It is. He nearly threw the first ever no-hitter in Padre history over the weekend. But didn’t. Let’s hope the Braves don’t fall victim to that and become another trivia answer.

Tags: Atlanta Braves

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