|ATLANTA ( MINOR )|
PHILADELPHIA ( LEE )
|903||ATLANTA||-105||Ov 7,-110||-115||Ov 7,+100|
|904||PHILADELPHIA||-105||Un 7,-110||+105||Un 7,-120|
|vs Left-handed Starters||22-13||+6.5||16-19||4.1||0.244||0.315||3.5||0.226||0.287|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+1.5||2-4||4.0||0.269||0.335||3.4||0.251||0.312|
|vs Left-handed Starters||14-20||-7.4||17-15||4.0||0.241||0.294||4.1||0.244||0.314|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-3.1||3-3||3.4||0.209||0.270||5.9||0.269||0.364|
|8/23/2013||MEDLEN(R)||@ ST LOUIS||WAINWRIGHT(R)||1-3||L||140||7 ov||U||6||5||0||8||5||0|
|8/24/2013||TEHERAN(R)||@ ST LOUIS||MILLER(R)||2-6||L||120||7.5 un||O||7||6||0||10||9||1|
|8/25/2013||MINOR(L)||@ ST LOUIS||LYNN(R)||5-2||W||110||7.5 un||U||10||4||0||8||6||0|
|9/2/2013||MAHOLM(L)||NY METS||MATSUZAKA(R)||13-5||W||-220||8.5 ev||O||17||10||1||10||8||1|
|9/3/2013||MEDLEN(R)||NY METS||TORRES(R)||3-1||W||-230||7.5 un||U||7||5||0||8||8||0|
|9/4/2013||LOE(R)||NY METS||GEE(R)||2-5||L||-135||8 ov||U||7||7||0||12||11||1|
|9/6/2013||MINOR(L)||@ PHILADELPHIA||LEE(L)|| |
|9/7/2013||WOOD(L)||@ PHILADELPHIA||KENDRICK(R)|| |
|9/8/2013||MAHOLM(L)||@ PHILADELPHIA||HAMELS(L)|| |
|9/9/2013||MEDLEN(R)||@ MIAMI||ALVAREZ(R)|| |
|9/10/2013||TEHERAN(R)||@ MIAMI||KOEHLER(R)|| |
|9/11/2013||MINOR(L)||@ MIAMI||FERNANDEZ(R)|| |
|9/12/2013||WOOD(L)||@ MIAMI||EOVALDI(R)|| |
|9/13/2013|| ||SAN DIEGO|| || |
|8/26/2013||LEE(L)||@ NY METS||WHEELER(R)||2-1||W||-135||7 un||U||6||7||0||5||3||0|
|8/27/2013||KENDRICK(R)||@ NY METS||NIESE(L)||0-5||L||115||7.5 un||U||3||3||2||5||6||0|
|8/28/2013||HAMELS(L)||@ NY METS||MATSUZAKA(R)||6-2||W||-155||7.5 un||O||12||14||0||9||8||3|
|8/29/2013||MARTIN(R)||@ NY METS||TORRES(R)||3-11||L||105||7.5 ov||O||7||4||0||11||7||1|
|8/30/2013||HALLADAY(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||SAMARDZIJA(R)||6-5||W||125||9.5 ev||O||9||5||0||10||9||0|
|8/31/2013||LEE(L)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||RUSIN(L)||3-4||L||-145||7 un||P||6||8||2||11||11||1|
|9/1/2013||KENDRICK(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||ARRIETA(R)||1-7||L||110||9 ev||U||4||7||0||9||7||0|
|9/10/2013||MARTIN(R)||SAN DIEGO||CASHNER(R)|| |
|9/11/2013||HALLADAY(R)||SAN DIEGO||ERLIN(L)|| |
|9/12/2013||LEE(L)||SAN DIEGO||SMITH(R)|| |
|9/13/2013|| ||@ WASHINGTON|| || |
|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.
|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.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (ATLANTA-PHILADELPHIA) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(CORRECTS Braves' lead in 2011 was in wild card, not division)
*Braves-Phillies Preview* =========================
By JEFF BARTL STATS Writer
Atlanta (85-54) at Philadelphia (63-77), 7:05 p.m. EDT
The Atlanta Braves appear in no danger of losing their sizable NL East lead, and only a collapse for the ages - one even bigger than their 2011 debacle - would prevent them from securing a second straight postseason berth.
None of that, not even the team's recent run of eight victories in 10 games, prevents manager Fredi Gonzalez from feeling dejected from time to time.
"It's funny, the game of baseball, you're as good as the last game you played," Gonzalez said.
He'll likely be in a much better mood if Atlanta can bounce back from a rare defeat while beginning its seven-game road trip with a victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.
The Braves (85-54) are up by 14 games over Washington in the East, and their first division title since 2005 seems inevitable. The size of the lead even seems to render their 2011 collapse irrelevant to their current situation.
Atlanta led the wild-card race by 10 1/2 games in late August of that year when its slide to eventual elimination from contention began, a lead that had been cut to 8 1/2 that Sept. 6.
They're coming off a 7-2 homestand, but Wednesday's 5-2 loss to the New York Mets left Gonzalez feeling a bit down as the team headed for Philadelphia.
"I've been on airplanes after going 9-1 and you just happened to lose that last game, and you feel terrible," Gonzalez said. "Same thing, we won two out of three (against the Mets), happened to lose the last one here and we feel terrible. But we've said our goal is to win series, and that's what we did. We won three of them (on the homestand)."
Atlanta also took two of three from the Phillies in their last series Aug. 12-14, and it has won five of the last six meetings. The Braves also got the best of Cliff Lee the last time they faced him, and he'll be on the mound again Friday.
Though Lee (11-6, 3.09 ERA) has gone 5-2 with a 1.73 ERA in his last eight starts against Atlanta, he allowed four runs - three earned - in five innings of a 4-1 loss Aug. 4.
The left-hander also didn't have his best stuff Saturday, tying his season high with three walks while allowing three runs - two earned - and nine hits in five innings of Philadelphia's 4-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
"He just seemed a little out of sync the whole start, throwing a lot of pitches, missing just off the plate," interim manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He's a guy that usually pitches ahead in the count and goes after it and pounds the zone."
The Phillies' 4.27 ERA ranks last in the NL, and the bullpen faltered Wednesday after Roy Halladay pitched six solid innings of a 3-2 loss to Washington.
Chase Utley had three hits and rookie Cesar Hernandez drove in both runs for the Phillies (63-77), losers of four of five. They'll face a Braves team that boasts a major league-best 3.19 ERA as Mike Minor takes the mound Friday.
Minor (13-5, 3.08) went 2-1 with a 3.46 ERA in four starts against Philadelphia in 2012, giving up two runs and two hits in six innings of an 8-2 win the last time he faced the Phillies on Sept. 22.
The left-hander, who has yet to pitch against Philadelphia this season, has gone 2-0 with a 5.16 ERA over his last four starts. He allowed four runs in seven innings of a 5-4, 11-inning win over Miami on Saturday.
Minor went 3-1 with a 1.74 ERA in his previous six outings for Atlanta, loser of four of six on the road.
|Last Updated: 10/2/2014 7:28:20 AM EST|