National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, April 22nd
(All times Eastern)
Atlanta Braves (10-5) at Arizona Diamondbacks (7-8), 4:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Atlanta - Randall Delgado (2-0, 4.35)
Arizona - Ian Kennedy (2-0, 3.86)
(Sports Network) - Randall Delgado figures to have two more starts in order to
prove he belongs in the Braves' starting rotation. The 22-year-old looks to
flash the form today that has made him one of the game's top prospects as
Atlanta concludes a four-game series against former 21-game winner Ian Kennedy
and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Delgado cracked the Braves' starting five to begin the season partially due to
Tim Hudson opening up the campaign on the disabled list following back
surgery. Hudson, though, is nearing a return and Delgado could be the odd-man
out despite a decent 2-0 record and 4.35 earned run average through his first
two starts of the season.
"He's pitched good enough for me, and that's what he needs to keep doing,"
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez told his club's website. "If he's the one to go
down, then we're going to need him again. There are not very many rotations,
if any, that go intact the whole year. So there is an option for him to go
Delgado will try to make Gonzalez's decision a tough one in his first career
start against the Diamondbacks.
The right-hander opened his season with a win at Houston on April 11, allowing
two runs over five innings while fanning six. Delgado then beat the Mets six
days later, getting charged with three runs on seven hits and three walks with
five strikeouts over 5 1/3 frames.
Delgado faces a tough challenge today in countering Kennedy, who has won six
straight decisions dating back to last season and 15 of his last 16.
Coming off a career year, the 27-year-old righty won his first two starts of
2012 before struggling a bit in a no-decision against the Pirates on Tuesday.
Kennedy yielded four runs on eight hits over six innings, striking out five
without a walk in a game his club lost 5-4. Arizona, though, lost more than
the game as outfielder Chris Young suffered his shoulder injury that landed
him on the disabled list after crashing into the wall making a catch.
Kennedy has a 2.03 ERA in two career meetings with the Braves without a
decision and will look to help his club avoid a four-game sweep at the hands
of Atlanta and a sixth straight loss overall.
The Braves won their sixth in a row over the Diamondbacks on Saturday, earning
a 3-2 win behind Tommy Hanson's seven innings of two-run ball. Martin Prado
and Chipper Jones each drove in a run while Dan Uggla's solo homer in the
third proved to be the winner.
"At the end of the year, I think we will be known for our pitching, that's
what has been the constant here in the Atlanta Braves organization," said
Gonzalez. "We got a bunch of pennants up in the stadium of ours, most of the
that the common denominator in that is good pitching and good defense."
Jason Kubel hit a solo homer and Miguel Montero drove in a run for the
Diamondbacks. Joe Saunders gave up three runs -- two earned -- on six hits
over seven innings to take the loss.
"I felt good, the first inning again was a little dicey and I just tried to
minimize the damage," said Saunders. "I gave up that home run to Uggla and
that was kind of the difference, especially against a team like that, you get
to their bullpen that's going to be real tough. We played our butts off
tonight and just came up one run short."
Atlanta has won 10 of 11 since an 0-4 start. The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, have
lost eight of 11 after beginning the season with four straight wins.
04/22 10:37:05 ET