ATLANTA -- Mustering offense against Atlanta's relievers already has proven to be a challenge for the Giants' hitters. And the task might not get easier for them, even with Braves closer Billy Wagner being sidelined with an injured left oblique.
The Braves named right-hander Takashi Saito, who has performed handsomely against the Giants during his five Major League seasons, to replace Wagner on the National League Division Series roster.
Saito himself had been bothered by lingering shoulder discomfort. When healthy, he has compiled a 4-1 record with a 1.14 ERA and 14 saves in 31 lifetime appearances against the Giants, primarily as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2006-08.
Position players on the Giants' Division Series roster are a combined 8-for-35 (.229) with 11 strikeouts against Saito. Overall against the Giants, Saito has 31 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings.
Given Saito's inactivity, he's unlikely to be used as a closer. Then again, it hasn't mattered which reliever the Giants face. Atlanta's bullpen has amassed 9 2/3 scoreless innings in the series' first two games, permitting six hits and striking out 11.