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National League division series: Atlanta vs. San Francisco

Game 1: Thursday, 6:30 p.m.

Atlanta ( Derek Lowe, 16-12, 4.00)

at San Francisco (Tim Lincecum, 16-10, 3.43)

Game 2: Friday, 6:30 p.m.

Atlanta ( Tim Hudson, 17-9, 2.83)

at San Francisco (Matt Cain, 13-11, 3.14)

Game 3: Sunday, TBA

San Francisco (Jonathan Sanchez, 13-9, 3.07)

at Atlanta (Tommy Hanson, 10-11, 3.33)

Game 4: Oct. 11, TBA*

San Francisco ( Barry Zito, 9-14, 4.15 or Madison Bumgarner, 7-6, 3.00)

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at Atlanta (Lowe)

Game 5: Oct. 13, TBA*

Atlanta (Hudson)

at San Francisco (Lincecum)

*if necessary

PROJECTED LINEUPS

BRAVES

Omar Infante, 2B (.321, 8, 47)

Jason Heyward, RF (.277, 18, 72)

Brian McCann, C (.269, 21, 77)

Derrek Lee, 1B (.260, 19, 80)

Brooks Conrad, 3B (.250, 8, 33)

Nate McLouth, LF (.190, 6, 24)

Alex Gonzalez, SS (.250, 23, 88)

Rick Ankiel, CF (.232, 6, 24)

Derek Lowe, P

GIANTS

Andres Torres, CF (.268, 16, 63)

Freddy Sanchez, 2B (.292, 7, 47)

Aubrey Huff, 1B (.290, 26, 86)

Buster Posey, C (.305, 18, 67)

Pat Burrell, LF (.252, 20, 64)

Juan Uribe, SS (.248, 24, 85)

Jose Guillen, RF (.258, 19, 77)

Pablo Sandoval, 3B (.268, 13, 63)

Tim Lincecum, P

KEYS TO THE SERIES

Rick Ankiel batted fourth for the Kansas City Royals on opening day, with Jose Guillen batting fifth. Here they are, in the playoffs and in opposing outfields. You’ll undoubtedly hear the television announcers talk a lot about the Braves’ postseason experience, but that is just hot air -- Chipper Jones is injured, Atlanta has not won a playoff series since 2001 and Atlanta has not even appeared in the playoffs since 2005, when Brian McCann was a rookie. The rest of the lineup has turned over since then. Neither side has an imposing offense, and both sides imported spare parts all summer -- Ankiel, Derrek Lee and Alex Gonzalez for the Braves; Guillen, Pat Burrell, Mike Fontenot and Cody Ross for the Giants. The Braves walked the most of any NL team, and the Giants’ pitchers walked the third-most batters of any NL team, the only crimp in an otherwise lopsided pitching matchup. The Giants have a slight edge in starters -- with Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez -- and a huge edge in the bullpen, with a 2.99 relief earned-run average and closer Brian Wilson (1.81) preceded by Sergio Romo (2.18), Santiago Casilla (1.95), Javier Lopez (2.34) and Ramon Ramirez (2.99).


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