National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, October 1st
(All times Eastern)
Atlanta Braves (93-66) at Pittsburgh Pirates (77-82), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Atlanta - Paul Maholm (13-10, 3.71)
Pittsburgh - Jeff Locke (0-3, 6.35)
(Sports Network) - It's still a possibility for the Atlanta Braves to capture
a National League East crown, but they will need some help in the final stages
of the regular season.
The Braves will take on the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday in the opener of a
three-game series at PNC Park and are three games behind the Washington
Nationals in the division standings. The Nationals, though, can win the
division tonight with a victory over Philadelphia or a loss by the Braves.
Atlanta leads the wild card and has won seven of eight games. It took two out
of three from the New York Mets over the weekend and recorded a 6-2 triumph on
Sunday behind another solid start by Kris Medlen. The Braves set a record by
winning 23 straight starts by Medlen, who allowed one unearned run in six
"I think the best part about it is that my name is in the history books, but
it's a team thing, they are team wins," said Medlen. "Guys go out and battle
for me because they know I'm going to go out and throw strikes and try and
execute my pitches. It's been a fun ride and I don't think we're done."
Medlen broke the record set 49 years ago by Whitey Ford of the New York
Yankees. Craig Kimbrel registered his 42nd save by getting the last out of the
David Ross hit a three-run home run to back Medlen.
Paul Maholm gets the nod for the Braves tonight and he is 4-4 with a 3.65
earned run average in 10 starts with Atlanta. The left-hander threw 6 2/3
shutout innings in a 3-0 win over Miami last Wednesday and struck out six
batters. Maholm is a former Pirate and owns a 1-0 mark with a 2.08 ERA in two
career starts against his old club.
Pittsburgh has dropped four of five games and lost a three-game series to the
Cincinnati Reds over the weekend. In Sunday's 4-3 setback, Joel Hanrahan gave
up the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning to absorb the loss.
Wandy Rodriguez hurled six innings of two-run ball and struck out seven
batters, while Garrett Jones homered for the Pirates, who haven't had a
winning record since 1992.
Pittsburgh was 63-47 on Aug. 6, but has gone just 14-35 since.
"One of my goals when I got here was to re-bond this city with this baseball
team and to be a group of men who do that collectively. So it's definitely
disappointing, especially when we were able to get to a certain point of the
year where we were talking playoffs," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
Jeff Locke draws the start for the Buccos tonight and he is 0-3 with a 6.35
ERA in seven games, five starts. He previously took the mound in last
Wednesday's 6-0 loss to the Mets and was reached for five runs and nine hits
in 3 2/3 frames.
Locke, a left-hander, has never faced the Braves.
Pittsburgh and Atlanta split a four-game set from April 27-30 at Turner Field.
10/01 10:40:43 ET