August 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm by David Lee under Atlanta Braves
Game 1 vs. Padres
The Braves began their West Coast swing with a four-game split with the Giants, highlighted by a 7-1 win to earn the split Sunday night.
Atlanta heads down the road to San Diego for three games to finish the road trip. Paul Maholm gets the start for the Braves in the series opener tonight. While Maholm wasn’t quite as sharp against the Nationals last time out, allowing four runs, he still went seven innings and struck out six. His start before that was against the Padres, where he allowed one run over seven innings.
The Padres have promoted one of their better prospects, Casey Kelly, to make his major league debut against the Braves tonight. Kelly was one of the keys to the Adrian Gonzalez trade with Boston. As Ben Badler wrote for Baseball America in April, scouts who saw Kelly reported a fastball 90-95 with sink with above average breaking stuff and changeup. Baseball America ranked Kelly as having the best curveball in either Boston’s or San Diego’s system since 2008.
He has missed much of this year with a strained right elbow, but Kelly has a combined 3.35 ERA with only three walks and 39 strikeouts in 37.2 innings this season. It will be interesting to see how he handles his debut tonight.
Braves.com recap for Sunday’s win.
AJC quotes following Sunday’s win. Tim Hudson on his stuff: “It was pretty good. I was mixing in some change-ups. I was just mixing everything in. Like I said, as hard as it was to see, it just made [the sinker] a little more effective, probably, than it normally would. It wasn’t a walk in the park out there [for hitters seeing the ball with the shadows], no question. I’m not trying to short-change what I did.”
The Braves are hoping it will only be a day or two before Chipper Jones returns from his sore oblique. He pinch hit from the right side last night, giving the impression it affects him more from the left side. However, he aggravated the injury while hitting right-handed, so that’s not entirely clear.
Also in the same link, the Braves will pick their spots in starting Dan Uggla from here on, meaning he’s not the everyday second baseman as he was before. He sat last night but is expected back in the lineup tonight.
Kevin Goldstein included J.R Graham in his latest Ten Pack (sub. required). Goldstein had nothing but good things to say about Graham, who threw six shutout innings with eight strikeouts on Sunday for Double-A Mississippi.
The Braves placed Ben Sheets on the 15-day disabled list and called up Miguel Batista to pitch out of the bullpen.