Game Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves (Game 1)


Friday, August 13 – 7:35 (Peachtree TV)
Los Angeles Dodgers (59-56) vs. Atlanta Braves (66-48)

Hiroki Kuroda
(3.65 ERA, 3.58 xFIP, 2.36 BB/9, 7.29 K/9, 10.5 SwStr%)
(Career vs. ATL: 3 GS, 1-2, 2.14 ERA, 8 BB, 12 K)
Tim Hudson
(2.24 ERA, 4.11 xFIP, 3.04 BB/9, 4.77 ERA, 6.8 SwStr%)
(Career vs. LAD: 11 GS, 5-2, 3.89 ERA, 22 BB, 51 K)

Braves vs. Kuroda:

Nate McLouth991100101.
Gregor Blanco761000011.
Chipper Jones662100002.333.333.500.833
Brian McCann650000011.
Martin Prado551100000.200.200.400.600
Troy Glaus332001200.667.6671.6672.333
Jason Heyward320000010.000.333.000.333
Eric Hinske321000010.500.667.5001.167
Omar Infante330000000.
Jair Jurrjens330000000.
Kris Medlen321100111.500.6671.0001.667
Rick Ankiel220000000.

Dodgers vs. Hudson:

Garret Anderson75712030314411.282.320.451.771
Manny Ramirez40369210437.250.325.361.686
Brad Ausmus22186000143.333.455.333.788
Rafael Furcal22197001132.368.455.526.981
Ronnie Belliard20203100105.
Andre Ethier15143210110.214.267.500.767
Jay Gibbons14133200110.231.286.385.670
Reed Johnson1190000002.
Russell Martin11101000014.
Matt Kemp994001103.444.444.7781.222
James Loney994100200.444.444.5561.000
Jamey Carroll880000002.
Casey Blake770000003.
Blake DeWitt652000110.400.500.400.900
Ryan Theriot660000002.
Juan Castro551000000.
A.J. Ellis320000000.
Ted Lilly330000001.
Scott Podsednik110000000.

What to Look For:
Both pitchers are having great seasons and I expect both to continue it tonight. Neither offense is exploding with runs this season so I expect some solid pitching duels this weekend, beginning with the first game. Kuroda has a good ERA against the Braves but has been lucky at times, while Hudson has pitched pretty well against the Dodgers but has a higher ERA. It could be a close matchup.

My Take on the Opposition:
Kuroda is having another good season, posting a 3.58 xFIP with a 7.29 K/9. He is walking more but it’s still pretty low at 2.36 BB/9. He’s missing more bats this season as well as getting more groundouts and allowing fewer home runs. Kuroda has pitched well against the Braves in 21 innings, allowing five earned runs. He gave up three of those in six innings against the Braves earlier this season.

Game Notes:
The AJC reports Chipper Jones will have knee surgery Saturday morning. Right now, his timetable is rehab until March, which will put him ready for Spring Training just in time if all goes well. Of course, he isn’t 23 years old anymore, so there’s no way of knowing how he will respond to rehab. For now, the Braves and fans will be sitting on pins and needles.

Also from the AJC: Bobby Cox feels Kris Medlen will have Tommy John surgery. This isn’t exactly news because most already knew he was probably bound to having it.

And finally, Brandon Hicks has been called up to take Chipper’s roster spot. Martin Prado is expected to test his pinky with batting practice today and could come off the disabled list early next week. Until then, expect to see plenty of Brooks Conrad.