Jair Jurrjens Jair Jurrjens

Game Preview: Atlanta Braves vs. Cincinnati Reds (Game 2)


Saturday, July 31 – 4:10 (FOX)
Atlanta Braves (59-43) vs. Cincinnati Reds (57-47)

Jair Jurrjens
(4.37 ERA, 4.75 xFIP, 3.72 BB/9, 6.63 K/9, 8.2 SwStr%)
(Career vs. CIN: 3 GS, 0-2, 6.75 ERA, 10 BB, 7 K)
Bronson Arroyo
(4.21 ERA, 4.94 xFIP, 2.94 BB/9, 4.34 K/9, 6.4 SwStr%)
(Career vs. ATL: 12 G, 11 GS, 5-3, 5.90 ERA, 27 BB, 43 K)

Braves vs. Arroyo:
Chipper Jones: 11-25, 2 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 5 BB, 3 K
Eric Hinske: 11-26, 4 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K
Troy Glaus: 5-15, HR, 3 RBI, 3 BB, K
Brian McCann: 4-12, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 BB, K
Omar Infante: 3-15, 3 2B, 3 RBI, 5 K
Melky Cabrera: 0-3

Reds vs. Jurrjens:
Brandon Phillips: 3-7, 2 2B, HR, RBI
Scott Rolen: 2-6, RBI
Joey Votto: 1-2, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K
Jay Bruce: 2-4
Drew Stubbs: 0-4, 2 K

What to Look For:
A matchup that could go either way. The Braves have hit Arroyo hard in the past, allowing 40 runs in 61 innings, including 14 home runs. After allowing seven runs to the Nationals, Arroyo responded with three runs on three hits in eight innings against the Brewers in his last start. Jurrjens has had equal struggles against the Reds, allowing ten runs in 13.1 innings, including ten walks. He gave up four unlucky runs to the Marlins in his last start, pitching much better than the numbers showed. It could be a game similar to last night’s in that it may be hotly contested and relying on late bullpen work. Or the Braves may win 10-0. I like to think positive.

My Take on the Opposition:
The Braves always enjoy seeing Arroyo take the mound. He has a 5.90 ERA in 11 starts and 12 total games against them, including 14 homers allowed. Arroyo is having a down season, posting a 4.93 xFIP and 1.48 K/BB, due to a big drop in strikeouts at 4.34 K/9. He’s getting pounded yet it could be even worse. His whiff rate is tied for the lowest of his career. With two tough opponents in the first and third games, the Braves have to take advantage of this matchup.

Game Notes:
Martin Prado has a fractured pinky and could miss 7-10 days, though a decision will be made in the next couple days regarding a DL stint. Alex Gonzalez is scheduled to start today but it is questionable. Omar Infante is scheduled to start at second base and lead off.