Game Preview: Atlanta Braves (13-15) at Philadelphia Phillies (14-12)
Atlanta Braves (13-15) at Philadelphia Phillies (14-12)
Pitching matchup: Jo-Jo Reyes (0-1, 5.00 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (0-2, 7.27 ERA)
Time: 7:05 p.m. EDT
Location: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
TV: Peachtree TV Radio: WGST 640
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 73 degrees
Twitter: Tomahawk Take
With the Braves (13-15) having completed a two-game sweep of the Florida Marlins Thursday afternoon, Atlanta will travel the City of Brotherly love tonight to begin a three-game set with the Phillies.
The weekend series will continue a 10-game stretch where the Braves will play all National League East division rivals — a period that has culminated in, so far, a 2-2 record. Following the series in Philladelphia, Atlanta will head to Citi Field for three games verse the New York Mets.
But first things first is taking care of a Phillies club that the Braves took two of three from in the opening series of the season, while also putting the horrific series finale loss where Atlanta’s bullpen blew a seven-run lead behind them.
Jo-Jo Reyes (0-1, 5.00 ERA) will head to the mound for the Braves. The lefy is searching for the win column — he hasn’t won a decision in 16 stars.
Reyes has a downright ugly track record against the Phillies, posting an 0-4 record last season against the NL East rival with a 7.65 ERA. Despite his putrid history versus Philly, Reyes has allowed just 10 runs in his first three starts of the 2009 season.
Taking the ball for the Phillies will be Cole Hamels (0-2, 7.27 ERA), who hasn’t started since April 28 when he threw just 4 1/3 inning before leaving the game with a turned ankle. Hamels was scheduled to start the series opener against the Cardinals on Monday, but was pushed back for extra rest. The southpaw missed a significant amount of time in Spring Training with an elbow injury and was hit in his pitching shoulder with batted ball in his April 23 start.
The Rancho Bernardo High (Calif.) grad has made just four starts on the year and has given up an average of 3.5 runs per game in each appearance. In his last outing against the Washington Nationals, he looked to be his usual self, notching a strikeout in each inning he pitched, but left the game early with the injury.
When on, Hamels has a devastating changeup that he mixes well with a low-90s heater. However, his health will determine how effective he can be against the Braves.
Yunel Escobar (1-for-11) and Jeff Francoeur (6-for-31) have both had their share of struggles against Hamels, while newly returning Brian McCann (8-for-21, five doubles) and Chipper Jones (5-for-15, three extra-base hits) have had some success.