Edinson Volquez hasn't been the sharpest tool in the Padres pitching shed this season. But today he'll get the chance to lead the team to a sweep over the NL-East-leading Atlanta Braves, a feat that would (at least temporarily) let him win back the hearts of San Diegans. He's coming off a disastrous start in Colorado over the weekend. In only 2 1/3 innings, he threw 63 pitches and gave up nine runs on eleven hits. Today he'll have the comfort of pitching in the (still) pitcher-friendly Petco Park as opposed to the hitter's delight that is Coors Field. He's pitched slightly better at home this year, going 2-3 with a 5.73 ERA, 29 strikeouts, and 14 walks in six games, as opposed to the road where he is 2-2 with a 6.87 ERA, 20 strikeouts, and 19 walks in seven games.
Atlanta will counter with Paul Maholm, who is seeking his eighth win of the season, which would pull him even with Mike Minor for the most victories on the Braves staff. He was sharp in his last outing, giving up just one run in 7 1/3 innings against the Dodgers, though coming away with a no-decision. Maholm hasn't had the best luck against the Padres in the past, going 1-5 in seven career starts against them. Although he's 3-0 in his past five games altogether, he's only 1-3 with a 6.82 ERA in his last six road games.