The Atlanta vs. San Francisco series begins with Game 1 tonight. The 2010 MLB Playoffs have already been pretty exciting, but fans of the Braves and Giants have had to wait until the second day of the National League Playoffs to get their turn. There is another triple header Thursday, as two other games (Texas vs. Tampa Bay at 11:30 a.m. PT / New York vs. Minnesota at 3 p.m. PT) take place before the Braves and Giants take the field. Atlanta vs. San Francisco Game 1 is scheduled for first pitch at 6:30 p.m. PT (9:30 p.m. ET) on TBS.
The San Francisco Giants won the National League West on the last day of the season, beating out the San Diego Padres in a race that rivaled some of the best we have seen in baseball. With the Giants knocking off the Padres, it made the Atlanta Braves the National League Wild Card winner, and set up a match-up between the two teams in the first round of the playoffs. Now Thursday night brings Game 1 of the series, in what can best be described as the introduction of the rest of the world to the Giants pitching staff. The stable of aces in San Francisco will try to tame the hitters of Atlanta in the best-of-five series.
Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum will face off against Derek Lowe, who has plenty of postseason experience with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox before this point. Lowe went 16-12 with a 4.00 ERA in his second season for the Braves, and has proved once again that he is a pitcher who can perform well in big games. In his career, Lowe has pitched in 21 postseason games, including a start in the 2004 World Series that the Red Sox won. Then we have Tim Lincecum, pitching in just his fourth season, and once again posting a nice record of 16-10 and an ERA of 3.43 in 2010.
The San Francisco Giants have only given up 583 runs in 2010, only two more than San Diego, and good enough for second best in the major leagues. They have a distinct advantage when it comes to the pitching department in this series, but it would seem that Atlanta has the advantage when it comes to offense. The Braves pulled off a trade for Derrick Lee from Chicago for just this opportunity, and Lee as well as rookie Jason Heyward will have a lot asked of them this weekend. Game 1 is Thursday night, followed by Game 2 on Friday, and Game 3 on Friday.