The Braves took three of four games against us in Atlanta just a couple weeks ago. But they haven't won a series since then, losing to the Dodgers and Nationals and splitting a series against the Giants. They're hoping that a trip to San Diego will get them back on track. However, it might not be that easy. Our Padres are riding a season-long seven-game win streak after completing back-to-back sweeps, both against teams who are still fighting for playoff spots.
Paul Maholm will make his fifth start for Atlanta and try to get his second career win against San Diego. His first win came earlier this month at Turner Field. Maholm limited our offense to just one run on five hits in his seven innings of work. He also struck out seven as the Braves went on to win that game 6-1. Prior to that, Maholm had an 0-4 record in five tries against our Friars. Since being acquired from the Cubs, Maholm has gone 2-2 for Atlanta. He gave up four runs in seven innings, losing to the Nationals, in his last start. The Braves hope to keep their streak going behind him and get their third straight win while putting a halt to Padres' momentum.
But they might have to do it without Chipper Jones. A sore oblique kept Jones out of the starting lineup for the final two games in San Francisco, and he may very well sit on the bench tonight as well. The Braves won those two games against the Giants without him, but they would miss him facing our Padres, against whom he has hit .316 in 129 games over his career. On August 16th, Jones homered twice against Padres pitching to lead his team to a 6-0 win in Atlanta.
Hopefully it won't even matter if Jones makes the start or not. Much like the 2009 team, our Friars are once again proving to be a dangerous contender killer late in the season. During their current seven-game win streak, they have averaged 5.7 runs per game. This team is a far cry from the one that started the season. The lineup is almost completely different and the pitching has gone through hell, but somehow they are making it work right now. And tonight, they will add another name to the list of pitchers who have made a start for us this season.
Casey Kelly will make his much anticipated major league debut. As a top prospect and the key in the trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox before he became a Dodger, Kelly has a lot of hype to live up to. He spent almost four months on the DL with a strained elbow and is 0-1 in the three starts he did make for Double-A San Antonio this season. But when Jason Marquis hit the DL last week with a broken hand, Kelly got the call to take his spot in the revolving door of Padres starting pitchers. He will try to live up to the expectations of Padres fans and help our team continue their trend of playing spoiler to teams trying to make a push for the postseason.
3 game series vs Braves @ Petco Park
|Tue 08/28||7:05 PM PDT|
|Wed 08/29||3:35 PM PDT|