|PHILADELPHIA ( LEE )|
ATLANTA ( MEDLEN )
|957||PHILADELPHIA||+115||Ov 7,+100||+110||Ov 6.5,+105|
|958||ATLANTA||-125||Un 7,-120||-120||Un 6.5,-125|
|vs Right-handed Starters||0-1||-1.1||1-0||5.0||0.278||0.350||7.0||0.303||0.361|
|Past 7 Games||0-2||-2.1||2-0||3.5||0.264||0.321||8.0||0.288||0.373|
|vs Left-handed Starters||1-0||+1||1-0||7.0||0.303||0.361||5.0||0.278||0.350|
|Past 7 Games||2-0||+2||2-0||8.0||0.288||0.373||3.5||0.264||0.321|
|4/1/2013||HAMELS(L)||@ ATLANTA||HUDSON(R)||5-7||L||-110||7 un||O||10||8||0||10||5||0|
|4/3/2013||HALLADAY(R)||@ ATLANTA||MAHOLM(L)||2-9||L||140||7 un||O||9||9||0||9||6||1|
|4/4/2013||LEE(L)||@ ATLANTA||MEDLEN(R)|| |
|4/5/2013|| ||KANSAS CITY|| || |
|4/6/2013|| ||KANSAS CITY|| || |
|4/7/2013|| ||KANSAS CITY|| || |
|4/8/2013|| ||NY METS|| || |
|4/9/2013|| ||NY METS|| || |
|4/10/2013|| ||NY METS|| || |
|4/5/2013|| ||CHICAGO CUBS|| || |
|4/6/2013|| ||CHICAGO CUBS|| || |
|4/7/2013|| ||CHICAGO CUBS|| || |
|4/8/2013|| ||@ MIAMI|| || |
|4/9/2013|| ||@ MIAMI|| || |
|4/10/2013|| ||@ 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) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Phillies-Braves Preview* =========================
By JUSTIN EINHORN STATS Senior Editor
Philadelphia (0-1) at Atlanta (1-0), 7:10 p.m. EDT
The Atlanta Braves haven't lost a regular-season start made by Kris Medlen in nearly three years. His outings since September haven't gone nearly as well.
That includes a playoff loss as well as an awful spring that fueled some skepticism about Medlen, who will open a season in Atlanta's rotation for the first time with Thursday night's home game against Cliff Lee and the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Braves will go for a three-game sweep behind Medlen (10-1, 1.57 ERA), who has his share of doubters about whether he can approach his astonishing performance following a move from the bullpen at the end of July. He went 9-0 with a 0.97 ERA in 12 regular-season starts and got the nod over Tim Hudson for Atlanta's one-game, wild-card playoff against St. Louis.
"Sure, there are people who still question me," Medlen said. "It's no skin off my back. I'm just going to keep doing things the same way I've been doing, just keep playing the same way I've been playing, just being aggressive and confident in my abilities and my ability to get guys out."
Medlen's 2012 season ended on a sour note as he went 6 1-3 innings against the Cardinals but was charged with five runs - two earned - due greatly to a controversial infield-fly call that led to Atlanta losing 6-3.
Spring training didn't go much better. Medlen went 1-2 with a 7.23 ERA in six starts and the last two were particularly bad, as he gave up 15 runs and 22 hits in 10 innings.
"I'm not worried or anything," he told the Braves' official website. "It's something I've done my entire life - figure out my delivery and figure out my pitches."
Atlanta (2-0) has won his last 23 regular-season starts dating to May 23, 2010. Medlen has won all 15 decisions as a starter since losing his first two as a rookie in 2009.
Philadelphia (0-2) lost 18 of Lee's 30 starts last year, and the left-hander had his first sub-.500 campaign since 2007. However, Lee (6-9, 3.16) had the fourth-worst run support in the majors at 3.20 per nine innings, and the Phillies scored no more than two runs in eight of his losses.
The former Cy Young Award winner didn't get his first victory of 2012 until July, going 0-5 with a 4.13 ERA through his first 13 outings. In his final eight starts, Lee was 4-2 with a 1.44 ERA while walking three and striking out 56.
"Physically I feel good, it's just a matter of executing pitches," Lee said after throwing four scoreless innings against Toronto on Friday in his exhibition finale.
He's executed brilliantly against the Braves recently, going 3-1 with a 0.95 ERA in the last five matchups with three walks and 37 strikeouts.
Lee should be wary of Justin Upton, who has homered in his first two games with the Braves. He's 3 for 8 with a double against Lee.
Being protected by cleanup man Freddie Freeman could bring a big year for Upton and brother B.J., the No. 5 batter who remains hitless in an Atlanta uniform. Freeman has three RBIs in each of the first two games as he's gone 5 for 7 with a homer and a double.
Phillies cleanup hitter Ryan Howard is 0 for 8 thus far. He's 4 for 7 with two homers against Medlen but hasn't faced him since 2010 - the last time Medlen started against Philadelphia.
Chase Utley had two RBIs in Wednesday's 9-2 loss after getting three in Monday's 7-5 defeat.
The Braves have six homers in the series.
|Last Updated: 9/15/2014 9:55:12 PM EST|