In an early afternoon matchup against the Padres, Atlanta will send Tommy Hanson to the hill. Hanson's strikeout rate is finally starting to climb (6.5 K/9 over the last month), and he'll look to build upon that success this afternoon. Hanson and his 45% year-to-date flyball ratio stand to benefit from the spacious outfield of PETCO.
Hanson's opponent will be Chad Gaudin, who has reinvented himself as a strikeout pitcher this season (102 K in as many innings pitched). At the same time, Gaudin has had some difficulty controlling the strike zone. He's walked 54 batters so far this season. A selective approach by the Atlanta lineup may precipitate an early call to the bullpen.