The four-game series against the Atlanta Braves will come to a conclusion tonight. After losing the first three games, the Padres hope to avoid a sweep in the new SunTrust Park’s inaugural series. With Jered Weaver facing Jaime Garcia, this matchup features two veteran starters who rely on deception and breaking stuff, backed by two young and talented rosters.
In his 12-year career, Jered Weaver has never faced the Atlanta Braves. Perhaps more immediately relevant is the fact that only two Braves players (Nick Markakis and Kurt Suzuki) have more than a few career at-bats against the deceptive veteran, but it’s also notable that Nick Markakis has hit Weaver well in the past. Coming off a surprisingly good start in Colorado, Weaver is hoping to keep a good thing going.
Weaver faces Jaime Garcia, a nine-year veteran who spent his career prior to 2017 with the St. Louis Cardinals. The young Padres lineup has less exposure to Garcia than the Braves do with Weaver. The lefty generates a high number of ground balls, living in the lower half strike zone with sinkers, sliders, and the occasional curveball, and using a four-seam up in the zone just often enough to mess with hitters’ eye levels.
With a lefty on the mound, expect to see Andy Green favor right-handed hitters, although the expansive territory in leftfield and Jered Weaver’s fly ball tendencies may keep Travis Jankowski in the lineup.
After tonight’s game, the team will head cross-country to Phoenix to open a series the following night. Let’s hope for a quick game with the “good guys” coming out on top for a slightly more comfortable flight.
Game Time: 4:35 start PDT.
Radio: 94.9FM, La Poderosa 860AM (Sp.)