Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (57-79) vs. Norfolk Tides (71-64)
Mon: RHP Freddie Garcia (8-3, 2.84) vs. LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (4-6, 4.52)
Tue: LHP Sean Gilmartin (2-8, 5.63) vs. RHP Steve Johnson (1-3, 4.58)
With the G-Braves officially eliminated from playoff contention and Norfolk half a game behind the Wild Card leading Rochester Red Wings (72-64), Gwinnett will look to play spoiler in their final series with the Tides.
Batters: Gwinnett Braves are coming off a 3-5 road trip were they were held to four or less runs on seven of the eight contests… Jose Constanza rolls into the series having reached base on 23 consecutive games. The left-handed hitting outfielder is batting .267 (85-for-318) with six doubles, three triples, 15 RBIs and 20 stolen bases… Newly acquired Tyler Greene is off to a good start for the G-Braves. In seven games, he is hitting .300 (6-for-20) with two doubles, and one RBI. On the season, in a combined 63 games with Charlotte and Gwinnett, the utility player is hitting .246 (56-for-228) with 12 doubles, two homers, three triples, 28 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.
Pitchers: Last week, Freddie Garcia was playing for the Norfolk Tides, on Monday night he will face his old squad as a member of the G-Braves. The right-hander is having a great season. In 13 starts, he is 8-3 with a 2.84 ERA. He has fanned 61 batters in 82.1 innings for the Tides…On the other hand, left-hander Sean Gilmartin is having a rough year. He is 3-8 with a 5.83 ERA in 15 starts for the G-Braves, while missing over two months with shoulder tendinitis. The southpaw will try and ride the ship in his second to last start of the 2013 season.
Norfolk enters the series in the middle of Wild Card race. The Tides owned the Wild Card lead most of the season, but were surpassed by the Red Wings. However, with a five game losing streak by Rochester, Norfolk is back in it and half a game out of first place.
Batters: Henry Urretia will look to push the Tides over the hump. The left-handed batter is hitting .354 (29-for-118) with five doubles, one triple, one homer and seven RBIs in 21 games for the Tides. He has owned the G-Braves, hitting .364 (12-for-33) with two doubles, one triple and five RBIs… Slick-fielding Yamaico Navarro is having a great season at the dish. In 99 games, he is batting .275 (98-for-356) with 20 doubles, one triple, nine round trippers and 45 RBIs.
Pitchers: Tsuyoshi Wada will take the ball for the Tides in game one. The southpaw is 4-6 on the season, but has picked up one of those victories against the G-Braves. On 8/6, he went five innings of scoreless baseball, while scattering four hits and striking out seven for his fourth victory of the season… Steve Johnson will pitch in game two. The right-hander is making his seventh start (ninth appearance) of the season. He has faced the G-Braves once, tossing three innings of scoreless, one-hit baseball. Johnson has struggled as a starter, going 1-3 with a 5.52 ERA (18ER/29.1IP), while posting a 0.00 ERA in six innings of scoreless relief.