The San Francisco Giants' current series with the Atlanta Braves has been memorable for all the wrong reasons thus far, but can leave Hotlanta with a series split with a win on Thursday night at Turner Field. The Black and Orange will have ace Tim Lincecum on the mound, looking to build off his great start against Florida last weekend.
Lincecum (11-9 2.58 ERA) blanked the Marlins in his last outing, throwing seven innings of two hit ball with 10 strikeouts along the way. It was the fifth time this season Timmy took out 10-plus batters but his first time doing so since July 23. Sporting a 5-3 record since the start of July, Lincecum has pitched very well while taking a few tough-luck losses; He's allowed only nine earned runs in his last 51 2/3 innings, a 1.56 ERA over that span.
The Braves will send Mike Minor (2-2 4.84 ERA) to counter Lincecum, making his third start since being recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett. Minor has been somewhat effective since his return, allowing seven earned runs on 16 hits over 11 1/3 innings, striking out 11 with only three walks along the way.
Even though the Giants have lost 14 of their last 22 games, there still are some bright spots that give them playoff hope: Giants pitchers have tallied five straight quality starts, sporting a 1.51 ERA with six earned runs in 35 2/3 innings during that span. Their starters lead the League with 81 quality starts, while allowing only 74 homers all year, the fewest in all of baseball. The second is Pablo Sandoval, who is batting .462 (52-for-112) with eight home runs and 28 RBIs since July 1.
First pitch is set for 4:00 pm PT this evening with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.
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