The Braves missed a chance to gain ground in the NL East on Sunday and had to settle for a 4-2 road trip. Now they come home for a four-game series and their first look at the San Diego Padres.
San Diego had a dismal first half with a 34-53 record and was 13 games out of first in the NL West. They've played better since the All-Star Break, posting a 17-12 record, but their fortunes haven't changed much: they are 12.5 games out in the West and 14 back in the Wild Card. Very little has gone right for this team: they've used 13 different starting pitchers and 13 total players have seen the disabled list; nine of them pitchers. Much of their bullpen looks like a minor league squad; only three of their seven active relievers had major-league experience before 2011, and three of the other four made their debuts this year.
One of those injured pitchers is All-Star Huston Street, which has been perhaps the biggest blow to the team when he suffered a left calf strain this past Friday. Street had been nothing short of dominant in 2012, racking up 21 saves and 45 strikeouts in 36 innings and had allowed just three runs all year - that's a miniscule 0.75 ERA. The best ninth-inning options for Bud Black's team are now limited to Luke Gregerson (3 career saves, none in 2012) and Dale Thayer (6 career saves, 5 in 2012). If there's anything positve on the pitching side, it's that San Diego pitchers have the fourth-lowest opponent batting average (.240) in all of MLB. Their collective 3.82 ERA ranks 11th while their bullpen ERA (3.25) is 10th.
Street was one of San Diego's bright spots before his injury; one other has been Chase Headley. The third baseman leads the team in hitting (.275), OBP (.369), home runs (18), RBI (71), hits (117) and runs scored (61). Headley is also one of four Padres with at least 12 stolen bases; Cameron Maybin leads that category with 20 of them. Otherwise, the San Diego offense is unimpressive: out of all 30 teams, the Padres rank 27th in hitting and runs scored, 23rd in OBP and 28th in slugging.
Pitching matchups after the jump.
Monday, August 13, 7:10 p.m. ET
#36 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves
Dec 26, 1987
|2012 - Mike Minor||6-8||21||21||0||0||0||0||123.2||113||74||68||23||46||104||4.95||1.29|
#53 / Pitcher / San Diego Padres
Dec 09, 1979
|2012 - Eric Stults||2-2||9||5||0||0||0||0||36.1||34||16||11||4||11||17||2.72||1.24|
Tuesday, August 14, 7:10 p.m. ET
#15 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves
Jul 14, 1975
|2012 - Tim Hudson||11-4||19||19||1||1||0||0||121.2||115||55||51||8||34||75||3.77||1.22|
#33 / Pitcher / San Diego Padres
Sep 12, 1983
|2012 - Clayton Richard||9-11||24||24||1||1||0||0||161.2||158||78||68||20||35||85||3.79||1.19|
Wednesday, August 15, 7:10 p.m. ET
#17 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves
Jun 25, 1982
|2012 - Paul Maholm||1-1||2||2||1||1||0||0||16.0||9||3||3||2||2||13||1.69||0.69|
#37 / Pitcher / San Diego Padres
Jul 03, 1983
|2012 - Edinson Volquez||7-8||24||24||1||1||0||0||138.1||111||65||62||12||84||128||4.03||1.41|
Thursday, August 16, 7:10 p.m. ET
#54 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves
Oct 07, 1985
|2012 - Kris Medlen||3-1||41||3||0||0||1||1||71.0||60||18||18||2||17||52||2.28||1.08|
#38 / Pitcher / San Diego Padres
Aug 21, 1978
|2012 - Jason Marquis||6-6||13||13||1||1||0||0||83.2||79||44||34||10||21||70||3.66||1.20|