When Horacio Ramirez takes the mound to face the Dodgers on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium, he'll be looking to show his many friends and family members in attendance that he's determined to put last year's mistakes behind him.
Making his season debut, Ramirez will be opposed by former Brave and fellow southpaw Odalis Perez. The teams have split the first two games of this three-game series.
Ramirez, who grew up about 25 minutes from Dodger Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., posted a 4.48 ERA in the 32 games he started last year. The team-high 31 homers he surrenderd came from from his inability to command the inside part of the plate against right-handed hitters.
"I look at this as I'm learning from the mistakes I made last year," said Ramirez, who didn't allow a homer during the exhibition season. "I just want to get better than I was last year."
Working with new pitching coach Roger McDowell, Ramirez has focused on regaining that command on the inner part of the plate. In addition, he's determined not to rely so heavily on his two-seam fastball. He plans to throw his four-seamer and curveball with more frequency.
Perez, who pitched for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, went 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA against the Braves last year. In his previous three career starts against them, he'd totaled 22 innings and allowed just five earned runs.
ATL: LHP Horacio Ramirez (11-8, 4.63 ERA)
Allowed two earned runs and lasted seven innings while getting the no-decision in his Dodger Stadium debut.
LAD: LHP Odalis Perz (7-8, 4.56 ERA)
Went 4-1 with a 3.65 ERA in April last year.
Player to watch
Perez has had trouble with Atlanta's Jones boys. Chipper has hit .333 (5-for-15) with a homer against him, while Andruw is .375 (3-for-8) with two homers.
On the Internet
Official game notes
Thursday: Braves (Jorge Sosa, 7-3, 4.57 ERA in 2005) at Giants (Matt Cain, 2-1, 2.33 ERA in 2005), 4:35 p.m. ET (Giants home opener)
Friday: Braves (Kyle Davies, 7-6, 4.93 ERA in 2005) at Giants (Jamey Wright, 8-16, 5.46 ERA in 2005), 10:15 p.m. ET
Saturday: Braves (Tim Hudson, 0-0, 11.25 ERA) at Giants (Jason Schmidt, 0-1, 5.14 ERA), 4:05 p.m. ET
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.