Well, the San Francisco Giants failed to sweep the Diamondbacks, and then they failed to sweep the Rockies, but that's still two series wins in a row right there, so they're coming into this three-game set against the Atlanta Braves with a little momentum, while the latter just got beat three games to one in a four game set against the Los Angeles Dodgers. So the Giants should hold the edge when it comes to intangibles like that, if you happen to believe in them, you know.
Madison Bumgarner will take the mound for San Francisco, after Barry Zito was placed on the disabled list, his turn is skipped. Bumgarner has not had a good season thus far, going 0-2 with a 7.36 earned run average in three starts. His most recent outing was a no-decision in Arizona in which he allowed four runs off of eight hits over 6 2/3 innings, his longest outing of the season so far.
Bumgarner does have a win against the Braves though, in his only prior outing he beat them in game four of the NLDS, giving up two runs in six innings while striking out five. It was a very solid outing, one of them that gave Giants fans a lot of hope for Bumgarner, but he really needs to make it past this hump at the beginning of the season.
Tommy Hanson will take the mound for the Braves, and he's not having a good start to his 2011 campaign either. He's 1-3 with a 3.86 ERA, but has looked at least above-average at times, while Bumgarner is almost unanimously struggling. Hanson pitched five innings in his last outing, giving up five hits and three runs, while striking out an impressive nine batters. His only win on the season came a game prior, where he seven scoreless innings of four-hit ball while fanning five batters.
Cody Ross returned to the lineup for the Giants in game three against the Rockies, but he was 0-4 in his season debut. The Giants will be hoping for more production out of him, and they'll also be hoping that Pablo Sandoval, currently batting a .328 with five homeruns on the season, returns to the lineup and is healthy to support Bumgarner's efforts on the mound.