The Miami Marlins swept the Braves last week at home. The San Francisco Giants came to town and took three games from the Braves this weekend. Today, the St. Louis Cardinals open a three-game series in Atlanta. The Braves send well-traveled right-hander Aaron Harang to the hill to stop the six-game skid.
Harang has always been, at best, a league average innings muncher, or LAIM. He rehabilitated his career by going to a great pitchers’ park in Petco in 2011, and the Dodgers used him judiciously in 2012. Upon further exposure last year in Seattle, he reverted to form, posting an ERA above 5.
Harang started the season pitching extremely well, until the Marlins blasted him for several extra-base hits in his last outing. Harang has a long history against the Cardinals, but not against this particular group. Harang’s WHIP is high (1.63), so it’s likely he’ll have to deal with men on base throughout the evening. With Shelby Miller on the mound against a team near the bottom in several key offensive areas, the Cardinals have an advantage going into tonight’s game.
Gavin Floyd starts Tuesday in place of Ervin Santana, who has a bruised thumb. Floyd is on a one-year deal and was supposed to be in the bullpen. Once Santana comes back, Floyd may be forced back into the rotation, depending on how Aaron Harang does. The Cardinals counter with Tyler Lyons. The finale pits Adam Wainwright against Mike Minor, a pairing that kicked off a series the Braves swept from the Cardinals last season right before the All-Star Break.