August 3, 2013 at 12:28 PM #52535
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
Atlanta Braves (65-45) vs Philadelphia Phillies (50-59)
Saturday August 3
Citizen’s Bank Park
ATL: Brandon Beachy (R)
PHI: John Lannan (L)
Moneyline: No ML currently listed
O/U: No O/U currently listed
Atlanta held the Phillies in check to take the first game of their weekend set against the division rivals. The Braves struck out 14 Philadelphia hitters and were led offensively by the unheralded 3B Chris Johnson, who had is 8th multi-hit game in a row, tying a club record – I have to admit I hadn’t noticed that he was leading the National League in batting average. OF Justin Upton was hot in the Braves last series going 7 for 14. He might be coming around but his brother B.J. is still struggling and is in and out of the lineup.
Brandon Beachy has made one start this season and it was absolutely terrible. He was supposed to bolster the rotation but instead he gave up 7ER in less than 4 innings against Colorado (not in the humidor). I know it it was just one start coming and he might have been shaking out the rust but it hardly inspires confidence. Getting Philadelphia on the road to try and get back to form isn’t ideal either as he has never beatent the Phillies – though his peripherals are not that bad.
The Phillies need this series to try and close some ground on Atlanta and they are not off to a good start. The game got a little heated at the end as a blown call on a third strike got manager Charlie Manuel tossed from the game – SS Jimmy Rollins too for chirping from the bench. At least this shows that there is some emotion and frustration and the Phillies are not just mailing it in. They didn’t make any real moves at the deadline so maybe those in and around the team think there is a run left in them. I don’t see it though.
Rookie starter Jonathan Pettibone was supposed to get the start but instead they are going with veteran lefty John Lannan. Lannan is familiar with Atlanta having spent his entire career in the NL East but this is his first year with Philly after 6 seasons with Washington. Over that time he has always pitched well against Atlanta posting a 9-5 record and 3.20 ERA. He has been good of late too, working 7 or more innings in 3 of his past 4 starts. The Phillies are 4-2 in his last 6 starts.
Score Prediction: Philadelphia 4 – Atlanta 2
The Phillies are down a couple of sluggers right now (Ryan Howard and Domonic Brown). They are going to be hard pressed to bounce back but I like the fact that Lannan is feeling good lately. There are a lot of weak bats in that Braves lineup but the Phillies have to play from ahead to avoid the best arms in the Atlanta pen.
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