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Pregame notes: Braves-Giants Game 4

Pregame notes: Braves-Giants Game 4

It's down to what could be Bobby Cox's final game or one of his last hurrahs, as the Braves host the Giants in Game 4 of the National League Division Series at Turner Field.

A few facts to chew on as the two teams prepare to square off:

The 2-1 story: Given that this is their first Wild Card appearance, the Braves have not been in a Division Series Game 4 at home in which they faced elimination. They have been down 2-1 each of the past three times they've been to the postseason, losing each time -- going to a Game 5 at home vs. the Cubs in 2003 and vs. the Astros in '04, then losing to the Astros in four in '05. The Giants, meanwhile, have not previously held a 2-1 lead in a Division Series. They were swept by the Marlins in 1997, lost in four games to the Mets in 2000, were down 2-1 vs. the Braves and came back to win in five games in '02, and then lost in four to the Marlins in '03.

Add 2-1: The only team to take a 2-1 advantage in the NLDS and not win the series was the 2002 Braves, who lost to the Giants in five games. Five of 18 AL teams that took a 2-1 lead have lost the series.

No. 6: Whether this is Bobby Cox's last game as a manager may determine whether the venerable skipper sails off to retirement with a losing record in postseason play. Cox enters the game with a 67-68 record in the playoffs and World Series. His counterpart, Bruce Bochy, has a ways to go to catch up, at 10-17 going into Game 4.

Short and Lowe: Derek Lowe, pitching Game 4 just three days after shining in Game 1, might go down as the modern king of pitching on short rest in October. Remember, this is a man who pitched on two days' rest in the 2004 American League Championship Series, delivering six innings while allowing just one run to win the clincher for the Red Sox. He also went on short rest in the 2008 NLCS with the Dodgers, pitching Game 1 and then pitching Game 4 as in this series, allowing two earned runs on six hits.

From the start: Giants starting pitchers have been spectacular though the first three games, recording a 0.39 ERA (1 ER/23 IP) and allowing a .139 average, with 31 strikeouts and just four walks.

Young gun: Madison Bumgarner, at 21 years and 71 days old, will be the youngest pitcher to start a postseason game in Giants history. Jerome Williams was 21 and 305 days old when he made a start in the 2003 Division Series vs. Florida. Incidentally, Williams' start didn't go particularly well, as he was pulled three batters into the third inning, allowing three earned runs on five hits.

Rookie watch: While the Braves' Jason Heyward remains hitless for the series at 0-for-12 with seven strikeouts, the Giants' Buster Posey is producing one of the better offensive series in Division Series history thus far. With hits in all three games, Posey is 5-for-12 -- which currently gives him the fourth-highest average (.417) for a rookie in any Division Series (minimum 10 plate appearances), behind the Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki (12-for-20, .600, 2001), the Dodgers' Chad Fonville (6-for-12, .500, 1995), and the Cardinals' Colby Rasmus (4-for-9, .444, 2009).

John Schlegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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