Friday, 7:35, Cliff Lee v. Tim Hudson
Saturday, 1:10, Roy Oswalt v. Brandon Beachy
Sunday, 1:35, Cole Hamels v. Derek Lowe
The Braves Offense:
Avg - .226 (24th)
OBP – .287 (25th)
Slug - .348 (22nd)
The middle of the Braves offense is solid. They don’t have a Pujols/Howard-type player that can carry a team offensively, but the combination of a (healthy) Jones, Uggla, Heyward and McCann can certainly hit with enough power and score enough runs to make a playoff push. Early this season though, they are struggling to find offense at the top and bottom of the order. They also lack any significant speed. Leadoff man Martin Prado has nine career stolen bases. He usually makes up for the lack of speed with a good OBP. Unfortunately for the Braves, he’s getting on base at a .250 clip, mirroring the team’s lackluster .287 OBP. Rookie first baseman Freddie Freeman is off to a very slow start hitting a paltry .130. Nate McLouth, who many pundits thought would bounce back this season, is struggling early to the tune of .217.
The Braves Pitching:
ERA – 2.75 (4th)
WHIP – 1.29 (15th)
BAA - .242 (11th)
The ERA of the three respective pitchers that will throw this weekend are 1.29, 1.50, 0.77. Granted, the total innings pitched is 24.2, but trust me, it’s no fluke. After the Phillies, the Braves rotation ranks among the tops in the National League. The other strength of this team is the back end of the bullpen, with the hard throwing duo of Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel.
Prediction:The Phils will win the first and lose the second. I'll give the rubber match to the home team so, Braves take two of three.
April 8, 2000
Phils (1-4) 5 – Astros (3-2) 8
W – Mike Maddox, L – Chris Brock, S – The Rat
For the Phils: Homer by Doug Glanville and two hits each for Mickey Morandini and Tomas Perez. The Phils pitchers that day – Chris Brock, Amaury Telemaco, Kirk Bullinger and Scott Aldred. Yikes.
For the Astros: Dwight Gooden got the start, lasting only four innings. Home runs by Ken Caminiti and Moises Alou.
Magic Number Watch: