Augusta GreenJackets (Giants) vs. Greensboro Grasshoppers (Marlins)
WHEN: today, 7:05 p.m.
WHERE: Lake Olmstead Stadium: directions
WEATHER: Isolated thunderstorms and 78 degrees at game time with a 30 percent chance of rain: forecast
PROMOTION: Thirsty Thursday. Small drinks are $1 each.
TICKETS: Start at $7. Call the box office at (706) 922-WINS or visit GreenJacketsBaseball.com.
RADIO: ESPN Radio 1340 AM WYNF
IN-GAME UPDATES: On Twitter (@BillyByler) or receive text alerts on your phone.
STANDINGS: Augusta 32-27, 64-64 (3rd SAL Southern); Greensboro 30-28, 76-52 (4th SAL Northern)
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Augusta leads the season series 3-0.
PROBABLE STARTERS: GreenJackets LHP Adalberto Mejia (9-7, 4.42) vs. Grasshoppers RHP Austin Brice (8-6, 4.43).
Expect plenty of green at the ballpark this series when the GreenJackets take on Greensboro. The two teams may sound similar but they're currently in extremely different situations. With 11 games to go in the regular season, Augusta is making one last desperate attempt at sneaking into the postseason. Greensboro, on the other hand, has already clinched a playoff spot thanks to their first-half Northern Division championship.
So this is a tune-up series for Greensboro and a must-win for Augusta. The GreenJackets were outstanding on their last road trip, winning 6 of 8 to keep them in contention for the second-half division title. Yes, mathematically Augusta is still alive, but a comeback seems highly unlikely. The GreenJackets are currently six games out with 11 to play, meaning they could be eliminated by as early as Saturday. Any combination of six Augusta losses and Rome wins would eliminate the GreenJackets from contention.
To take a more positive angle, the GreenJackets need to use this four-game series to get within striking distance of Rome - say, three games. Why? Because after this homestand, the team will go to Rome for a potential division-deciding three-game series.
One other goal the team may want to think about is their overall record. Since Augusta became the San Francisco Giants' Single-A affiliate in 2005, the GreenJackets have never finished below .500 for the season. The team is at exactly .500 right now. Eleven games left. That's the kind of history no one wants to make.
A final note: Miami Marlins first-round draft pick Andrew Heaney is now with Greensboro and the left-handed starting pitcher has a decent chance to throw in Augusta this week. I haven't seen the probables yet, but Heaney last pitched Saturday on five days' rest, meaning he's had more than five days since his last start. The ninth overall pick in this year's draft held out 'til literally the final hour of the signing period before agreeing to a reported $2.6 million signing bonus.