Jon Garland Jon Garland Jon Garland

Game Preview: Padres vs. Braves (Game 2)


Wednesday, July 21 – 7:10 (Peachtree TV)
San Diego Padres (54-38) vs. Atlanta Braves (55-38)

Jon Garland
(3.45 ERA, 4.44 xFIP, 3.85 BB/9, 5.81 K/9, 6.7 SwStr%)
(Career vs. ATL: 2 GS, 0-2, 14.04 ERA, 4 BB, 5 K)
Tommy Hanson
(4.19 ERA, 4.02 xFIP, 2.93 BB/9, 9.14 K/9, 9.7 SwStr%)
(Career vs. SD: 2 GS, 2-0, 2.25 ERA, 7 BB, 12 K)

Braves vs. Garland:
Omar Infante: 17-40, 5 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, BB, 2 K
Eric Hinske: 14-38, 3 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 6 K
Troy Glaus: 4-23, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K
Alex Gonzalez: 2-6, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K
Brian McCann: 1-5

Padres vs. Hanson:
Everth Cabrera: 2-5, 2B, BB, K
Adrian Gonzalez: 2-3, RBI, 3 BB
Chase Headley: 2-5, 3B, 2 K
Tony Gwynn: 0-4, K
Jerry Hairston: 1-3
Nick Hundley: 0-3

What to Look For:
A solid matchup on the mound. Garland has been hit hard by the Braves in two career starts but he has pitched well this season, though not as well as his ERA indicates. His strikeouts are at a career high and he isn’t giving up as many home runs, but he’s walking more, and as long as his K/BB remains so poor his xFIP will remain poor. Garland takes advantage of Petco more than any Padres pitcher and is vulnerable on the road. For the Braves, Hanson is looking to repeat his start against the Padres in April when he allowed one run in six innings for the win. He has allowed three runs in 12 career innings against San Diego. Maybe he won’t be so unlucky. Maybe I’ll grow pig feet.

My Take on the Opposition:
Jon Garland will face the Braves on Wednesday. He has benefited from Petco in his first season on the team, posting an ERA two full runs higher on the road and allowing three more home runs in eight fewer innings. His ERA is usually in line with his xFIP but a move to Petco has changed that. He is striking out hitters at a career-best 5.81 K/9, but is also walking the most since 2002 at 3.85 BB/9. A low BABIP of .276 means he will continue to regress in the second half. One thing worth noting is Garland is getting balls on the ground at a rate of 50% compared to his average of around 45%, so that justifies some of the lower amount of home runs allowed despite pitching in Petco. Garland has yet to see the Braves this season but he has struggled mightily in two career starts against them, allowing 14 runs on 21 hits in only 8.1 innings. Five Braves hitters have at least one career homer off Garland, and Eric Hinske and Troy Glaus have three each.