The San Francisco Giants have started the second half of the season on the right track with a sweep of the Houston Astros at home. Now, the team heads on the road to face an Atlanta Braves team that has been surging lately as well. Coming off their own sweep of the New York Mets, the Braves have won seven straight games and are benefiting from the solid pitching of two surprising sources.
The Braves are coming off a 6-1 victory Sunday behind six scoreless innings by Ben Sheets, his first start in nearly two years, and will now look to continued success by Jair Jurrjens Tuesday. After struggling in the beginning of the season and spending a stint in Triple-A Gwinnett, Jurrjens has been in the majors for less than a month and has looked like his former self with a 3-0 record and a 2.13 ERA.
With question marks about Santiago Casilla and whether he is fit to serve as the team's closer and interest in possibly bringing in another reliever to bolster the bullpen, the Giants will look to have a strong showing by Barry Zito. With a decent first half of the season, Zito has been pretty successful in his career at Turner Field, sporting a 3-0 record and 2.08 ERA in four starts. If the Giants want to continue extending their lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers, especially since they are currently in a tough series against the Philadelphia Phillies, Zito will need to be the catalyst in this matchup between two top NL clubs.
This is the first meeting of the season.
San Francisco comes into the matchup with a 49-40 record and in first place in the National League West. They are 20-24 when playing on the road and have won five of their last 10 games.
Atlanta comes enters the game with a 49-39 record and in second place in the National League East. They are 23-22 when playing at home and have won eight of their last 10 games.
Starting pitcher matchup:
San Francisco: Barry Zito
2012 season: 7-6, 4.01 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 55 Ks
Numbers vs. Braves in last five years: 2-0, 1.29 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 19 Ks
Atlanta: Jair Jurrjens
2012 season: 3-2, 4.97 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 18 Ks
Numbers vs. Giants in last five years: 2-3, 3.58 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 23 Ks
Where to watch and listen to the game:
The game can be watched live locally at the following:
In San Francisco: CSN-BA HD, MLBN, and KNBR 680
In Atlanta: SPSO, MLBN, WNNX 100.5, and WCNN 680
Batting statistic leaders:
San Francisco: Melky Cabrera - .353 batting average, Buster Posey - 11 home runs, Buster Posey - 47 runs batted in.
Atlanta: Martin Prado - .318 batting average, Jason Heyward - 14 home runs, Freddie Freeman - 54 runs batted in.
Next series on tap:
Following this series, the Giants will visit the Philadelphia Phillies from July 20-22 and host the San Diego Padres from July 23-25.
Meanwhile, the Braves' next two series will be on the road against the Washington Nationals from July 20-22 and on the road against the Miami Marlins from July 23-25.
Barry Zito Career Split Stats, Yahoo! Sports
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