Derek Lowe to the Rescue

I’m not sure Derek Lowe could have picked a better spot to deliver his best start of the year.

Lowe set a season high in strikeouts with 12 through 8 scoreless. Lowe hadn’t struck out more than 6 batters in a start this season. To be fair, the umpire had a generous strike zone. That’s not to take away from Lowe’s performance, though. He allowed six hits and walked no one.

Since taking a start off to rest his elbow, Lowe is 2-0 with 14 strikeouts, 0 walks, 0.64 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP over 14 innings.

The Braves offense looked to be headed toward a big night, but only managed two hits after the four-run second inning. That’s been one of the things the Braves have done a lot of this season. They pile up 4+ runs in a single inning, but then can’t seem to drive anymore across or do anything for that matter. On one hand, it’s nice to have an offense that is capable of putting together a big inning at any moment. On the other hand, it’s incredibly frustrating to see the team do that and then fail to play ABC baseball.

Luckily, four runs was enough last night. We’ve seen teams come back on the Braves and take over an early lead. The offense is going to need to be more consistent to win in the playoffs, especially when they let a pitcher in his second career start make it to the 6th inning in a game where he was nearly knocked out in the 2nd inning.

The Braves look to potentially tie the Phillies in the NL East as they remain a game ahead of the Braves. The Braves still maintain a 1.5-game  lead over the Giants in the Wild Card. The Giants just took a big blow to their offense by losing Andres Torres. Initial thoughts are that it’s a 2 week injury, but others thing it will take 2-3 months. Either way, two weeks a lot right now.

Atlanta sends Jair Jurrjens to the mound tonight against Livan Hernandez. Jurrjens is 6-1 at home this year. First pitch is set for 6:10 p.m. CST (SportSouth).

Jurrjens: 7-5, 4.53 ERA, 1.37 WHIP

  • This month: 5.91 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, .317 BAA
  • Last Start: vs STL (L) — 3.2 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, 2 HR allowed
  • Career vs. WAS: 8 GS, 3-1, 50 IP, 2.86 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 42 Ks
  • Last Start vs. WAS: (W) 5 IP, 6 H, 6 K, 2 BB, 1ER

Livan Hernandez: 9-11, 3.82 ERA, 1.34 WHIP

  • This Month: 10.2 IP, 14 H, 11 ER, 9.28 ERA, 1.69 WHIP, .341 BAA (Batting Average Against)
  • Career vs. ATL: 30 GS, 6-16, 5.09 ERA, 1.55 WHIP
  • Last Start vs. ATL: (ND) 7 IP, 2 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 1 K
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