Friday, April 8, 2011

Series Preview: Phillies at Braves, 4/8-4/10

The four-time defending National League East division champion Phillies head to Atlanta this weekend to take on the team that many experts say has the greatest chance to dethrone the kings of the east.

In Atlanta's home opener, the Braves will send Tim Hudson to the mound, as the Phillies counter with top off-season free agent acquisition Cliff Lee. The return of Lee to Philadelphia drew many comparisons, for the Phillies' starting rotation, to the Braves well known pitching staff of the 1990's that included Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz.

Read ahead for analysis on the pitching match ups for this series as well as plenty more key stats.


Friday, 7:05pm. Cliff Lee (1-0, 3.86 ERA) vs. Tim Hudson (1-0, 1.29 ERA). Lee has made 2 career starts at Turner Field and has a 1-0 record with a 2.45 ERA in those games. April is Lee's best career month for ERA at 2.88. In 18 career games against the Phillies, Hudson has a 6-7 record with a 3.79 ERA. In 82 career starts at Turner Field, Hudson has an impressive 40-23 record with a 3.32 ERA. Ryan Howard is 14-for-41 (.341 avg) with 9 walks, 6 HR and 12 RBI in his career against Hudson.

Saturday, 1:10pm. Roy Oswalt (1-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. Brandon Beachy (0-0, 1.50 ERA). In 9 career games against the Braves, Oswalt is 0-3 with a 6.21 ERA. Since joining the Phillies, Oswalt has a 1.83 ERA in 14 regular season games. Dan Uggla is 3-for-20 (.150 avg) in his career against Oswalt. Beachy, the 24-year-old righty, will be making his fifth career big league start. In two starts against the Phillies last year, Beachy went 0-2, but only allowed 3 earned runs over 10 innings (2.70 ERA).

Sunday, 1:35pm. Cole Hamels (0-1, 20.25 ERA) vs. Derek Lowe (1-1, 0.77 ERA). In 19 career starts against Atlanta, the lefty Hamels has posted a 9-5 record with a 3.95 ERA. In 9 career starts at Turner Field, Hamels is 4-3 with a 4.44 ERA. Dan Uggla is 6-for-37 (.162 avg) in his career against Hamels. In 4 starts against the Phillies last season, Lowe had a 1-3 record with a 5.04 ERA. In 17 home starts in 2010, Lowe posted a 10-5 record with a 3.72 ERA. Raul Ibanez is the only active Phillie with a HR (he has 2) against Lowe, however, Ibanez is just 5-for-37 (.135 avg) against Lowe in his career.


Carlos Ruiz was 15-for-40 (.375 avg) against the Braves last season. Ruiz is 3-for-4 with 2 doubles against Beachy.

Placido Polanco, who is batting .440 in the early going this season, has 4 multi-hit games in his last 5 games played. Polanco is a career .321 hitter against the Braves.

Shane Victorino is 11-for-61 (.180 avg) in his career against Hudson, Beachy and Lowe. Shane batted .156 in 8 games at Turner Field last season, but is a .301 hitter in 43 career games there.

Braves catcher Brian McCann is just 1-for-16 (.063 avg) in his career against Phillies reliever JC Romero. McCann hit .218 in 17 games against the Phillies last year.

Chipper Jones is a career .337 hitter in 218 games against the Phillies. Jones' 45 homeruns against the Phillies are the most he has against any MLB team.

In 13 games against the Phillies, Jason Heyward is 7-for-43 (.163 avg) with a homer and 3 steals.

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