The Atlanta Braves might not have Chipper Jones or Martin Prado, but this team is capable of winning a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants.
Derek Lowe, Tommy Hanson and Tim Hudson have pitched well against the San Francisco Giants this season and have accumulated a 1.62 ERA in their starts.
Lowe will start Game 1 of the five game series which begins on Thursday evening, and in the month of September, the 37 year-old right hander has been the Braves most clutch pitcher. Lowe was undefeated in five starts and sported an earned run average of 1.17
Additionally, Cox is probably assigning Lowe due to his experience in big-game playoff situation. Lowe was an important part of the Boston Sox team that won deciding games in each playoff series during their championship run in 2004.
Lowe is a sinker ball pitcher who induces a lot ground balls, so one has to wonder how the Braves’ infield defense will fare. Brooks Conrad had gotten the starting nod in the last week after Martin Prado went down with a season-ending injury, and even though Conrad had got some key hits, he has struggled defensively.
The Giants aren’t offensive machine, but one doesn’t want to give extra outs to any team, especially during the playoffs.
With Tim Lincecum on the mound for the Giants, he is very capable of shutting out opponents and if he gets early run support, it could be trouble for the Braves.
The Giants’ right hander struggled in August, but was able to overcome his problems on the mound and was 5 and 1 in September with an earned run average under two runs a game.
Lowe must be able to battle Lincecum pitch for pitch and at least get the Braves into the seventh inning with a chance to win the game late if necessary.