|ATLANTA ( SHEETS )|
PITTSBURGH ( BURNETT )
|951||ATLANTA||+125||Ov 7.5,+105||+130||Ov 7.5,+105|
|952||PITTSBURGH||-135||Un 7.5,-125||-140||Un 7.5,-125|
|vs Right-handed Starters||63-37||+21.2||41-53||4.6||0.251||0.328||3.5||0.230||0.293|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+0||2-5||2.9||0.198||0.283||2.0||0.196||0.233|
|vs Right-handed Starters||57-63||-3||51-60||4.0||0.245||0.300||4.2||0.253||0.316|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-0.6||1-6||2.4||0.193||0.257||2.9||0.250||0.297|
|9/19/2012||MEDLEN(R)||@ MIAMI||JOHNSON(R)||3-0||W||-135||6.5 ov||U||7||6||1||5||7||0|
|9/21/2012||HANSON(R)||@ PHILADELPHIA||KENDRICK(R)||2-6||L||-105||8 ov||P||6||5||0||6||2||0|
|9/22/2012||MINOR(L)||@ PHILADELPHIA||HALLADAY(R)||8-2||W||110||7.5 un||O||9||9||0||3||4||1|
|9/23/2012||HUDSON(R)||@ PHILADELPHIA||LEE(L)||2-1||W||150||7 un||U||9||8||1||2||3||2|
|9/28/2012||HUDSON(R)||NY METS||NIESE(L)||1-3||L||-160||7.5 un||U||4||6||0||6||3||0|
|9/29/2012||MINOR(L)||NY METS||YOUNG(R)||2-0||W||-190||7.5 ov||U||8||6||1||5||5||0|
|9/30/2012||MEDLEN(R)||NY METS||MEJIA(R)||6-2||W||-275||7 ov||O||8||6||1||5||6||1|
|10/1/2012||MAHOLM(L)||@ PITTSBURGH||LOCKE(L)||1-2||L||-135||7.5 un||U||2||6||0||5||5||1|
|10/2/2012||HANSON(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||CORREIA(R)||1-5||L||125||7.5 ov||U||8||7||1||10||8||0|
|10/3/2012||SHEETS(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||BURNETT(R)|| |
|9/21/2012||LOCKE(L)||@ HOUSTON||GONZALEZ(R)||1-7||L||-110||8.5 ev||U||7||7||0||6||8||1|
|9/22/2012||CORREIA(R)||@ HOUSTON||KEUCHEL(L)||1-4||L||-130||8.5 ev||U||4||3||3||8||6||0|
|9/23/2012||BURNETT(R)||@ HOUSTON||LYLES(R)||8-1||W||-135||8.5 un||O||18||16||0||4||4||1|
|9/24/2012||MCPHERSON(R)||@ NY METS||MEJIA(R)||2-6||L||-115||8 ov||P||8||9||0||6||2||0|
|9/25/2012||RODRIGUEZ(L)||@ NY METS||MCHUGH(R)||10-6||W||-110||7.5 ev||O||9||4||2||7||4||1|
|9/26/2012||LOCKE(L)||@ NY METS||HEFNER(R)||0-6||L||100||8 un||U||3||3||1||14||7||0|
|9/27/2012||CORREIA(R)||@ NY METS||DICKEY(R)||5-6||L||187||7 ev||O||9||7||0||8||3||0|
|ATLANTA: HITTING: The Braves were 27th in the majors in steals last year, but that number should rise with a full season of speedster OF MICHAEL BOURN, who was acquired from Houston last July. OFs MARTIN PRADO and JASON HEYWARD comprise the corner outfield spots, and are both are looking to bounce back after disappointing, injury-riddled 2011 campaigns. 2B DAN UGGLA smacked a career-best 36 HR in his first year with Atlanta, his fifth straight 30-homer season. Steady veterans C BRIAN McCANN and 3B CHIPPER JONES comprise a solid middle of the lineup. McCann has four straight 20-HR, 70-RBI seasons, while Jones, who turns 40 in April, has a career .402 on-base percentage. 1B FREDDIE FREEMAN was the N.L.'s best offensive rookie last year, batting .282 with 21 HR and 76 RBI. The starting shortstop will be one of two highly-touted, 22-year-old prospects, TYLER PASTORNICKY or ANDRELTON SIMMONS. |
STARTING PITCHING: Even with significant injuries to three starters, the Braves rotation still ranked ninth in the majors in ERA (3.73), thanks to TIM HUDSON posting a 3.22 ERA in 215 innings. The right-hander was lights-out at Turner Field again, going 10-4 with a 2.31 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. But he'll be out at least a month because of back problems. JAIR JURRJENS was outstanding through the end of July (12-3, 2.38 ERA), but a knee strain bothered him in August and shut him down for September. Although many teams inquired about Jurrjens in the offseason, it doesn't look like the Braves want to deal him just yet. TOMMY HANSON is another young star (25) that had to be shut down in early August due to a partially torn rotator cuff. His ERA was a career-worst 3.60, but he notched a career-best 9.8 K/9 rate. BRANDON BEACHY, also 25, posted a whopping 10.7 K/9 ratio with a respectable ERA (3.68) and WHIP (1.21). Atlanta is loaded with young pitchers, but expect MIKE MINOR (5-3, 4.14 ERA) and RANDALL DELGADO to start in the majors, with JULIO TEHERAN, who has the most upside of the trio, to begin 2012 in Triple-A.
RELIEF PITCHING: CRAIG KIMBREL exceeded all expectations last year, establishing himself as one of the best closers in the game. He struck out an eye-popping 14.8 batters per nine (127 K in 77 IP), and converted 46-of-54 (85%) save chances. Even though Kimbrel's job as a closer is probably locked down for the next decade, the Braves have two other great relievers, both lefties. JONNY VENTERS posted a 1.84 WHIP and .176 opponents' BA in 88 innings, and is next in line for saves (five in 2011) should Kimbrel suffer an injury. Fellow southpaw ERIC O'FLAHERTY had a 0.98 ERA (8 ER in 73.2 IP) and 32 holds, just three fewer than Venters.
|PITTSBURGH: HITTING: The Pirates' two-month casual flirtation with competitiveness was cute while it lasted, before this team fizzled to a 72-win season. This team is still years away. But don't blame OF ANDREW McCUTCHEN, who might be the best all-around player in the division. Of all the ballyhooed outfielders from the 2005 draft, he's the one GMs would most want to build around. OF JOSE TABATA, not so much. He's serviceable and has plus speed, but the six-year extension the Pirates gave him was absurd. 2B NEIL WALKER has settled into a respectable place short of stardom. 3B PEDRO ALVAREZ has a lot of uphill climbing to do if he wants to wake up old expectations. He'll compete with 3B CASEY MCGEHEE for a starting role, but it's most likely that Alvarez moves to first base to back up 1B GARRETT JONES. OFs NATE McLOUTH and ALEX PRESLEY are underwhelming choices for the starting left-field spot. SS CLINT BARMES and C ROD BARAJAS would like to thank the Pirates for wildly overpaying them. |
STARTING PITCHING: JEFF KARSTENS looked pretty decent for much of last year. But that's what happens when you get to log 14 percent of your innings against the lowly Astros. Better teams exposed him for the replacement-level guy he is. Contrary to what a lot of bored, lazy sportswriters wanted you to believe last year, CHARLIE MORTON doesn't pitch like Roy Halladay. At all. JAMES McDONALD could still be special if he cut down his walk rate. ERIK BEDARD was a respectable signing. Even if his shoulder acts up, he cost only $4.5 million for a year. If he's healthy, he's still well above-average. KEVIN CORREIA may only be slightly more effective at striking out hitters than a batting tee, but the Pirates are grateful for the innings he eats. BRAD LINCOLN is the designated fill-in if any of the other starters get hurt (cough, Bedard). In the meantime, he's a swing man.
RELIEF PITCHING: Closer JOEL HANRAHAN has been outstanding since first donning a Pirates uniform in 2009, converting 40-of-44 saves with a 1.83 ERA last season. It makes sense for the rebuilding Pirates to move him, but they'll probably keep the hand they were dealt. There isn't another qualified ninth-inning pitcher in this bullpen though. EVAN MEEK was bit by the shoulder bug. His early season was an unqualified disaster, but he turned it around and regained his form once he came back in September. He should be fully healthy again, and a quiet source of a few saves. CHRIS RESOP is another primary set-up man, but he posted a 4.39 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 2011. DANIEL McCUTCHEN won't be so lucky with his ERA this year if he doesn't lower his walk rate. He's just not a guy to put much faith in.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (ATLANTA-PITTSBURGH) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Braves-Pirates Preview* ========================
By JEFF BARTL STATS Writer
Atlanta (93-67) at Pittsburgh (78-82), 12:35 p.m. EDT
Ben Sheets entered the majors with plenty of hype after helping Team USA win gold at the 2000 Olympics. Now, he's about to leave unceremoniously after injuries derailed a once-promising career.
Chipper Jones possibly playing his final regular-season game should add a bit more flare.
Sheets will take the mound for the last time while Jones caps his regular-season career when the Atlanta Braves face the host Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday.
It didn't take long for Sheets to reach the majors after his three-hitter helped beat Cuba in the gold-medal game in Sydney, eventually becoming a four-time All-Star with Milwaukee.
His career, though, has been marred by injuries. Tommy John surgery forced him to miss the 2009 season, and an operation to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow after 20 starts with Oakland in 2010 caused him to sit out 2011.
Atlanta signed Sheets (4-4, 3.54 ERA) on July 1, and he proceeded to win his first three starts while allowing one run in 18 innings. He plans to retire following his outing Wednesday that comes after he missed the last five weeks with right shoulder soreness.
"I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt I'm not playing again," Sheets told the team's official website. "No matter what, there is not enough help or money to pull me out of this one."
Sheets, though, is happy he made the comeback.
"I'd do it again," Sheets said. "I definitely enjoyed it. I had a front-row seat for (Jones' final games). Some people paid for that, which was worth it if they did."
Jones, who wasn't in the lineup Tuesday, won't appear in another regular-season game after this contest, though he'll participate in his 13th postseason when the Braves host the NL's one-game wild-card playoff on Friday.
The veteran has received parting gifts during his final visit to each stadium Atlanta played in throughout the season.
The Braves (93-68), though, will try to avoid being swept by a Pittsburgh team simply hoping to end the season on a high note after an epic second-half collapse led to the franchise's 20th consecutive losing season - a North American sports record.
The Pirates (79-82), who beat the Braves 2-1 on Monday and 5-1 on Tuesday, led the NL Central as late as July 18 and were 16 games over .500 on Aug. 6 with Andrew McCutchen hitting .369 and arguably leading the NL MVP race.
Pittsburgh since has gone 17-36 with McCutchen hitting only .260 in September.
One bright spot has been the emergence of A.J. Burnett, who was acquired in an offseason trade with the Yankees after failing to live up to high expectations in the Bronx.
If Burnett (16-9, 3.43) can keep his ERA at or drop it below its current mark, it will be his best since posting a 3.30 ERA for the Florida Marlins in 2002.
He has a 2.50 ERA over his last six starts, but lack of run support has attributed to him having only one win in that span. The Pirates have scored zero or one run with Burnett on the mound five times during that stretch. They couldn't even provide a hit when he gave up seven singles in eight innings of a 1-0 loss to Homer Bailey and Cincinnati on Friday.
"The way A.J. pitched, it was going to take almost nothing short of a no-hitter to beat him," manager Clint Hurdle said.
It was a similar story for the right-hander when he faced the Braves on April 27, allowing two runs and striking out eight in six innings of a 6-1 defeat.
Pittsburgh, though, has won four of the six meetings between these teams in 2012.
|Last Updated: 4/24/2018 1:44:14 AM EST|