|PHILADELPHIA ( HAMELS )|
ATLANTA ( HUDSON )
|911||PHILADELPHIA||+105||Ov 7.5,+110||+110||Ov 7,+100|
|912||ATLANTA||-115||Un 7.5,-130||-120||Un 7,-120|
|vs Right-handed Starters||58-51||-4||58-45||4.6||0.263||0.319||4.3||0.253||0.301|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1.1||2-5||3.1||0.248||0.301||3.4||0.246||0.303|
|vs Left-handed Starters||30-31||-5.5||27-34||3.9||0.241||0.303||4.2||0.265||0.321|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-2.4||2-5||2.6||0.232||0.295||2.6||0.188||0.220|
|4/1/2013||HAMELS(L)||@ ATLANTA||HUDSON(R)|| |
|4/3/2013|| ||@ ATLANTA|| || |
|4/4/2013|| ||@ ATLANTA|| || |
|4/5/2013|| ||KANSAS CITY|| || |
|4/6/2013|| ||KANSAS CITY|| || |
|4/7/2013|| ||KANSAS CITY|| || |
|4/8/2013|| ||NY METS|| || |
|4/3/2013|| ||PHILADELPHIA|| || |
|4/4/2013|| ||PHILADELPHIA|| || |
|4/5/2013|| ||CHICAGO CUBS|| || |
|4/6/2013|| ||CHICAGO CUBS|| || |
|4/7/2013|| ||CHICAGO CUBS|| || |
|4/8/2013|| ||@ MIAMI|| || |
|PHILADELPHIA: HITTING: This Phillies lineup had another subpar season, finishing 18th in the majors in homers (153) and 13th in runs (4.4 per game). The team re-signed free-agent SS JIMMY ROLLINS, especially because light-hitting WILSON VALDEZ is his backup. Raul Ibanez has left town, which allows OF JOHN MAYBERRY JR. to display his power on a daily basis. He had 15 HR in 267 at-bats last year. 1B RYAN HOWARD will not be ready for Opening Day after Achilles surgery in October, and will be replaced by a platoon of newcomers, JIM THOME and TY WIGGINTON. 2B CHASE UTLEY continues to be bothered by tendinitis in his knee, which has caused his numbers to drop significantly in the past two years. He will not be ready for Opening Day and no timetable has been set for his return. Veterans OF SHANE VICTORINO and C CARLOS RUIZ are both coming off typical productive seasons. OF HUNTER PENCE batted .324 with 11 HR after his trade from Houston and is poised for a huge 2012 campaign at age 28. 3B PLACIDO POLANCO is coming off his third Gold Glove season at the hot corner, but his .277 BA in 2011 was his lowest mark since 1999. Stud prospect OF DOMONIC BROWN is expected to begin the season in Triple-A. |
STARTING PITCHING: ROY HALLADAY won the Cy Young Award in 2010 in his first year in Philadelphia, but he was even better in 2011, posting a career-best 2.35 ERA and also reaching a personal best with 220 strikeouts. CLIFF LEE was also outstanding in his first full season in a Phillies uniform, tallying six shutouts, which included a stretch of three straight blankings midway through the year. He wasn't afraid to pitch in Citizens Bank Park, going 11-3 with a 1.94 ERA at his new home. Like Halladay and Lee, COLE HAMELS also notched a career-best ERA (2.79) and held batters to a .214 average. Although he has the stigma of being oft-injured, Hamels was able to start 30+ games for the fourth straight season. VANCE WORLEY was impressive once he was inserted into the rotation, going 11-3 with a 3.02 ERA as a starter and fanning 73 over 74.2 innings of his final dozen starts. JOE BLANTON rounds out the rotation, but he could be limited a bit after an elbow injury cost him much of the 2011 season.
RELIEF PITCHING: Not willing to shell out the big money for inconsistent and oft-injured closer Brad Lidge, the Phillies decided to spend their dough on JONATHAN PAPELBON instead. The former Red Sox closer was 31-of-34 in save chances last year with a career-high 87 strikeouts and just 10 walks. With the departure of free agent Ryan Madson, ANTONIO BASTARDO assumes eighth-inning duties. The southpaw allowed a microscopic .144 opponents' BA, won six games and saved eight others last season. JOSE CONTERAS (age 40) returns for his seventh-inning duty and appears healthy enough to pitch following last year's season-ending elbow surgery. He is 9-of-10 in save chances since 2010.
|ATLANTA: HITTING: The Braves were 27th in the majors in steals last year, but that number should rise with a full season of speedster OF MICHAEL BOURN, who was acquired from Houston last July. OFs MARTIN PRADO and JASON HEYWARD comprise the corner outfield spots, and are both are looking to bounce back after disappointing, injury-riddled 2011 campaigns. 2B DAN UGGLA smacked a career-best 36 HR in his first year with Atlanta, his fifth straight 30-homer season. Steady veterans C BRIAN McCANN and 3B CHIPPER JONES comprise a solid middle of the lineup. McCann has four straight 20-HR, 70-RBI seasons, while Jones, who turns 40 in April, has a career .402 on-base percentage. 1B FREDDIE FREEMAN was the N.L.'s best offensive rookie last year, batting .282 with 21 HR and 76 RBI. The starting shortstop will be one of two highly-touted, 22-year-old prospects, TYLER PASTORNICKY or ANDRELTON SIMMONS. |
STARTING PITCHING: Even with significant injuries to three starters, the Braves rotation still ranked ninth in the majors in ERA (3.73), thanks to TIM HUDSON posting a 3.22 ERA in 215 innings. The right-hander was lights-out at Turner Field again, going 10-4 with a 2.31 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. But he'll be out at least a month because of back problems. JAIR JURRJENS was outstanding through the end of July (12-3, 2.38 ERA), but a knee strain bothered him in August and shut him down for September. Although many teams inquired about Jurrjens in the offseason, it doesn't look like the Braves want to deal him just yet. TOMMY HANSON is another young star (25) that had to be shut down in early August due to a partially torn rotator cuff. His ERA was a career-worst 3.60, but he notched a career-best 9.8 K/9 rate. BRANDON BEACHY, also 25, posted a whopping 10.7 K/9 ratio with a respectable ERA (3.68) and WHIP (1.21). Atlanta is loaded with young pitchers, but expect MIKE MINOR (5-3, 4.14 ERA) and RANDALL DELGADO to start in the majors, with JULIO TEHERAN, who has the most upside of the trio, to begin 2012 in Triple-A.
RELIEF PITCHING: CRAIG KIMBREL exceeded all expectations last year, establishing himself as one of the best closers in the game. He struck out an eye-popping 14.8 batters per nine (127 K in 77 IP), and converted 46-of-54 (85%) save chances. Even though Kimbrel's job as a closer is probably locked down for the next decade, the Braves have two other great relievers, both lefties. JONNY VENTERS posted a 1.84 WHIP and .176 opponents' BA in 88 innings, and is next in line for saves (five in 2011) should Kimbrel suffer an injury. Fellow southpaw ERIC O'FLAHERTY had a 0.98 ERA (8 ER in 73.2 IP) and 32 holds, just three fewer than Venters.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (PHILADELPHIA-ATLANTA) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(With AP Photos.)
*Phillies-Braves Preview* =========================
By CHARLES ODUM AP Sports Writer
Philadelphia (0-0) at Atlanta (0-0), 7:05 p.m. EDT
ATLANTA (AP) -- Jason Heyward moved into THE locker on Sunday - the spot in the Atlanta Braves clubhouse used by Chipper Jones.
Another confirmation of a new era in Atlanta comes Monday night, when Jones throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the Braves open their season against Cole Hamels and the Philadelphia Phillies.
While Jones has retired, expectations are high in Atlanta after the Braves added brothers Justin and B.J. Upton to join Heyward in the outfield. The Braves are looking for a repeat trip to the playoffs after a wild-card loss to St. Louis last season.
Juan Francisco and Chris Johnson, who will platoon at third base, combined for nine home runs in spring training. First baseman Freddie Freeman, the Upton brothers and rookie catcher Evan Gattis also had big springs as the Braves led the NL with 49 homers.
Gattis hit a homer that landed in the parking lot outside the Braves' Double A Mississippi park in the team's final exhibition game on Saturday night. The big catcher had teammates yelling and pointing as he hit more long homers during batting practice at Turner Field on Sunday.
"Batting practice should be fun for the fans to see," Heyward said. "We've got some young guys who can put the ball out of the ballpark at will in BP."
Heyward said he had little choice when asked to move into Jones' locker. Jones spent his full career with the Braves and was the last link to the 1995 World Series championship team.
"I was kind of pushed here a little bit," Heyward said with a smile. "No one else wanted to come to this spot. I don't mind. It's a good spot."
Heyward said it will be different to see Jones out of uniform, throwing out the first pitch.
"More than anything we're happy for him that he was able to leave the game on his own power," Heyward said. "He did everything there is to do in this game. We're going to miss him as a friend and family member, but at the same time we've got a good group right here."
Gattis, who hit six spring training homers, and Gerald Laird will share time as the Braves await the return of catcher Brian McCann, who is recovering from shoulder surgery. McCann is expected to rejoin the active roster by the end of April.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Laird will catch the opener as Tim Hudson makes his sixth season-opening start, including his third with Atlanta. Johnson will start at third base because the Braves are facing Hamels, a left-hander who will begin his first season opener.
The Braves and Phillies also will play in their regular-season finales in Atlanta.
"They are gonna be a team that we're gonna battle the whole year," Hamels said. "To open with them and end with them, it's going to be a significant series to see where we stand and set the tone as to where we're going to be in the division."
Hamels said the Braves look like contenders.
"They've done a really good job with the loss of Chipper filling their needs to be a winning team," Hamels said. "Shoot, they've been a winning franchise for a really long time. We're going to have to battle them really hard this year."
Philadelphia went 81-81 last season, ending their streaks of five straight division titles and nine consecutive winning seasons as they finished third in the NL East behind Washington and Atlanta. Center fielder Ben Revere and third baseman Michael Young are the team's key additions.
Atlanta set its 25-man roster Sunday when the Braves placed left-hander Jonny Venters on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained elbow. Venters felt tightness in his elbow in his last spring training game and is to be examined by Dr. James Andrews. Andrews performed ligament-replacement surgery on Venters' elbow in 2005.
There are concerns about the status of Venters, who has been a top setup man for closer Craig Kimbrel. Otherwise, Gonzalez said it has been a "great" spring for the team.
"I thought it was seven weeks of maybe the best club I've ever had as a manager," Gonzalez said. "We were healthy. We got a lot of stuff accomplished, other than Jonny."
|Last Updated: 8/28/2014 10:34:18 PM EST|