FanGraphs Baseball

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  1. This game isn’t “tonight.”

    Comment by Ron A. — October 6, 2010 @ 4:03 pm

  2. One thing that should be noted is that the Giants hit more grounders than your average team. In fact, they lead the NL in GIDP. With Lowe, Hudson, Venters, and Moylan……..that could spell trouble.

    But then you look at the shape of the Braves infield. Lee is great at 1B, Gonzalez is at least average at SS……but Conrad, Infante, and McCann leave a lot to be desired.

    Giants have been hitting a ton of homers lately, but the Braves staff has given up the fewest in the NL. If the Braves can start fielding better, this could be an insanely even series….

    Comment by Undocorkscrew — October 6, 2010 @ 4:11 pm

  3. Yeah, realized I’d made that mistake right as I posted it and fixed it.

    Comment by Matt Klaassen — October 6, 2010 @ 4:12 pm

  4. Hanson would be on regular rest actually, making Bobby’s decision more less defendable.

    Comment by Brent — October 6, 2010 @ 5:10 pm

  5. That may be true, but if the series goes to games 4 and 5, Lowe would be able to start 4 on 3 days rest, while Hanson would get 4 days rest between games 2 and 5.

    Comment by Nitram Odarp — October 6, 2010 @ 8:55 pm

  6. Plus Lowe has been amazing since getting the cortisone shot in his elbow between his August 29 and September 8 starts. Since then he has a 1.17 ERA, 1.90 FIP, 2.24 xFIP, 8.51 K/9, 0.88 BB/9, and 68.1% GB rate.

    Comment by Nitram Odarp — October 6, 2010 @ 8:59 pm

  7. Which is directly traceable to increased use of his slider, up to over 30% from under 15%, per Capitol Avenue Club.

    Comment by Nathan — October 7, 2010 @ 12:16 am

  8. I don’t get why having Lowe pitch game 1 is such a big deal. I mean if you look at his career against the Giants he holds his own against them. I think one of the things that should be noted is that Hanson is pitching his first post season game in San Francisco. I don’t know about you guys, but throwing my first game away with thousands of fans booing at me will throw me off my game a bit. I was surprised when Cox slated Hudson for game 3.

    Comment by GabeS — October 7, 2010 @ 2:43 am

  9. Lowe has been very good, and I think all 3 pitchers give the Braves a chance to win. But 5 game series are so random you have to give yourself the best chance to win, and that means putting your best pitchers in position to throw twice. If the series goes 4 games, the Braves may walk away having used their 3rd best pitcher twice and neither of their two best pitchers more than once.

    That being said, there are some legitimate reasons to think Derek Lowe has turned some sort of corner and is a different pitcher than he was for most of the year. But isn’t that putting a lot of faith in 1 month of work? We have 350 innings of Derek Lowe as a Brave that suggest he is a middle of the order pitcher, and Bobby Cox has opted to go with him over two pitchers who have demonstrated over an awful lot of innings that they are better than him.

    Comment by Brent — October 7, 2010 @ 9:08 am

  10. Which in turn may be traceable to taking his cues from Braves’ pitching coach Roger McDowell. Media reports make it sound as though Lowe has given over “game planning” to McDowell since early September, and the results have been excellent.

    Comment by Anon21 — October 7, 2010 @ 4:02 pm

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