Tommy Hanson Tommy Hanson

Game Preview: Atlanta Braves vs. Chicago Cubs (Game 2)


Saturday, August 21 – 4:10 (FOX)
Atlanta Braves (72-50) vs. Chicago Cubs (50-73)

Tommy Hanson
(3.41 ERA, 4.02 xFIP, 2.61 BB/9, 8.33 K/9, 9.2 SwStr%)
(Career vs. CHC: 1 GS, 0-1, 3.38 ERA, 3 BB, 7 K)
Tom Gorzelanny
(3.85 ERA, 4.36 xFIP, 4.33 BB/9, 8.09 K/9, 9.9 SwStr%)
(Career vs. ATL: 5 G, 3 GS, 1-1, 3.80 ERA, 6 BB, 16 K)

Braves vs. Gorzelanny:
Derrek Lee: 7-15, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB
Brian McCann: 0-10, BB, 2 K
Matt Diaz: 1-8, HR, RBI, BB, K
Melky Cabrera: 0-4, 3 BB, K
Alex Gonzalez: 1-7, 2 K
Omar Infante: 3-4, 2B
David Ross: 3-4, HR, 2 RBI, K
Rick Ankiel: 3-3, HR, 3 RBI
Martin Prado: 1-2, 3B, BB

Cubs vs. Hanson:
Marlon Byrd: 1-3, HR, RBI
Blake DeWitt: 1-3, K
Kosuke Fukudome: 0-3, K
Aramis Ramirez: 0-2, BB, 2 K
Tyler Colvin: 1-2, HR, RBI
Koyie Hill: 1-2, K

What to Look For:
I hate to repeat myself, but any time a left handed pitcher faces the Braves it’s the biggest story of the game. The Braves need to jump on Gorzelanny and not sit back and wait for the big hit in the ninth inning. Neither starter has had a lot of experience against the opposition, especially Hanson, who has just one start and no Cubs hitter has had more than three at bats against him. Derrek Lee was brought to the Braves to stabilize the lineup against lefties and he will get a good shot today as he has plenty of success in his career against Gorzelanny. Brian McCann has struggled against him and David Ross has hit him well, so Ross will get the start today, as will Rick Ankiel in center over Melky Cabrera.

My Take on the Opposition:
Gorzelanny has pitched well in his first full season with the Cubs, recording a 4.35 xFIP. Walks remain his weakness as he has a 4.33 BB/9 compared to a 8.09 K/9. Still, he can be an effective lefty who throws a lot of fastballs and mixes in sliders and changeups. Gorzelanny allowed five runs to the Padres in his last start. He has a 3.80 ERA in 21.1 innings against the Braves.