National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, September 24th
(All times Eastern)
Milwaukee Brewers (70-86) at Atlanta Braves (92-64), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Milwaukee - Tyler Thornburg (3-1, 1.96)
Atlanta - Freddy Garcia (4-7, 4.52)
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Braves are not alone in the race for home-field
advantage throughout the National League playoffs and will try to bounce back
Tuesday in the second portion of a three-game series versus the Milwaukee
Brewers at Turner Field.
The NL East-champion Braves are battling St. Louis and Los Angeles for
home-field advantage and suffered a 5-0 loss Monday to the Brewers. Mike Minor
did the Braves no favors on the mound and was touched for three runs and eight
hits, including a pair of home runs, in seven innings.
Anthony Varvaro allowed two runs, one earned, in relief.
Justin Upton, Andrelton Simmons and Elliot Johnson had three of the hits for
Atlanta, which was outhit by an 11-3 margin and holds a half-game lead over
St. Louis for the best record in the National League. The Braves lost for the
fifth time in the past eight tries.
"Yeah, 100 percent, we need to take care of that," Braves outfielder Jordan
Schafer said about securing home-field advantage. "That's first and foremost
because obviously we've been a pretty good home team."
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was ejected in the bottom of the seventh inning
for arguing that Paul Janish should have been awarded first after being hit on
the left thigh. Home plate umpire Angel Hernandez ruled Janish didn't do
enough to avoid the pitch.
The Braves are 52-23 at home and will send veteran right-hander Freddy Garcia
to the mound Tuesday. Garcia is 1-2 with a 1.31 earned run average in five
games (2 starts) with the Braves and lost his last outing at Washington on
Sept. 17, when he pitched well and gave up a run in seven innings of a 4-0
loss. Garcia is just 1-4 in his past five decisions.
Garcia has made three career starts against Milwaukee, going 1-2 with a 3.26
ERA in 19 1/3 innings.
Milwaukee has won two straight since a three-game slide and won for the eighth
time in 12 tries with Monday's shutout. Carlos Gomez, Jonathan Lucroy and
Aramis Ramirez all homered for the Brewers, who got seven scoreless innings
from winning pitcher Marco Estrada.
"It's nice to get a 'W,'" said Ramirez, who had a game-high three hits. "We
haven't played good up until this month so it's good to finish strong."
Tyler Thornburg has a chance to pitch Milwaukee to a series win when he takes
the mound Tuesday. Thornburg has won back-to-back appearances and delivered
six shutout innings in last Wednesday's 7-0 win over the Chicago Cubs. He
improved to 3-1 in 17 games (6 starts) this season to go along with a 1.96 ERA
and the right-hander has never faced the Braves.
The Brewers have won six of their last seven versus the Braves, taking two of
three in Milwaukee from June 21-23. They were swept in three games in Atlanta
a season ago.
09/24 10:29:59 ET