Braves Vs. Phillies: Atlanta Hammered 14-1 By Philadelphia In Series Finale

The Braves managed to avoid a sweep in Philadelphia, but will head into the All-Star break on a sour note after getting pummeled 14-1 Sunday.

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Braves Vs. Phillies Final Score: Atlanta Heads Into All-Star Break After 14-1 Spanking By Philadelphia

Philadelphia's bats erupted for 14 runs and 20 hits as they head into the All-Star break after a 14-1 beat down of Atlanta. The Phillies took an early 4-1 advantage before blowing the game completely open in the seventh and eighth innings where they combined to score ten more runs. Derek Lowe suffers his seventh loss of the season while Cole Hamels earns his 11th win heading into the break. 

The most surprising part of today's game was that Atlanta actually led in it. The Braves took an early 1-0 lead when Dan Uggla scored on a ground out by Julio Lugo in the 2nd. Atlanta failed to do anymore damage against Hamels who allowed just three hits over his eight innings of work. 

The Phillies quickly tied the score in the bottom half of the inning with a John Mayberry Jr double. They would add two more runs in the third and one more in the fourth extending the lead to 4-1. 

The wheels would completely come off for the Braves and reliever Cory Gearrin in the seventh. The big hit in the inning was a bases loaded single by Raul Ibanez that pushed the score out to 6-1. Dominic Brown and Mayberry each added two RBI hits and Atlanta was down 10-1 by the time the smoke had cleared. The big inning prompted the Phillies crowd to mockingly start a tomahawk chop chant at the Braves. 

The Phillies weren't done as Ibanez added a three run home run in the eighth and Mayberry brought home the 14th and final run of the night with a fielder's choice ground out. 

Gearrin pitched just a third of an inning while allowing four hits and six runs. His ERA jumps all the way to 6.61 in the process. Scott Proctor came on in the seventh and was tagged for six hits and four runs including Ibanez's homer in the eighth. 

Atlanta could muster only four hits on the afternoon including one from pitcher Derek Lowe. Ibanez finished 2 for 5 for Philadelphia with a homer and six RBI's. Mayberry Jr. was 3 for 5 with four RBI's. 


Braves Vs. Phillies Score: Biggest Lead Of Series For Philadelphia, 4-1

The Philadelphia Phillies are well on their way to taking a crucial series at home against the Atlanta Braves, posting a 4-1 advantage through the fifth inning. The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the second inning after a Ryan Howard error sent Dan Uggla home, but that edge was short-lived.

Derek Lowe has given up all four runs, all of them earned, though Chase Utley scored in the third thanks to a turnabout error by Uggla. Atlanta may elect to let Lowe work through the tough start, since Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel have been kept mighty busy as of late.

With Cole Hamels having given up only three hits through five, the Braves are going to need an outburst if they're going to get the franchise's 10,000th all-time win before the All-Star break. If they don't get it today, it might never happen. That's probably not true.

For more Braves, visit Talking Chop. For more Phillies, head to The Good Phight.


Braves Vs. Phillies Final Score: Atlanta Bounces Back With 4-1 Extra Innings Win

Atlanta once again draws to 2.5 games of the Philadelphia Phillies after a 4-1 extra inning victory on Saturday. Both games of this series have now gone into extra innings showing just how great a match up these two teams are. Friday night it was the Phillies who came up with the big hit in extra innings. Saturday afternoon it was Atlanta's turn. 

Alex Gonzalez broke a 1-1 tie in the 11th with an RBI single and Brian McCann added a two run homer as insurance. Atlanta caught a break earlier in Gonzalez's at bat as Ryan Howard couldn't make an over the shoulder catch of a foul ball. Two pitches later, Gonzalez delivered. 

Two of the best pitchers in the National League went head to head as Atlanta's Tommy Hanson and Philadelphia's Cliff Lee did battle. Lee was magnificent going eight innings while allowing only three hits including a home run to Dan Uggla in the fifth. Lee even homered off of Hanson in the third accounting for Philadelphia's only run of the game. Hanson pitched seven strong innings while allowing four hits and striking out six. 

George Sherrill worked out of a bases loaded jam in the tenth when he got John Mayberry to ground out harmlessly to first. He earns his second win of the season. Craig Kimbrel came on with a perfect inning in the 11th to earn his 28th save of the season. Michael Stutes takes the loss for the Phillies. 

The rubber match of the series is tomorrow. Atlanta will send Derek Lowe to the mound to face off against Philadelphia lefty Cole Hamels. 


Braves Vs. Phillies: Scott Proctor Blows It Again, Atlanta Loses 3-2 In Extra Innings

The recap for Friday night's game could probably be 1,000 words long if you wanted to properly chronicle each inning. Despite a two hour rain delay, the game lived up to it's billing and was one of the better games played this season. The pitching was solid, spectacular defensive plays were made and the clubs were able to come up with a few clutch hits. It's all a fan could ask for in a game.

It's just a shame Atlanta has a manager who continually brings his worst reliever into the game at it's most critical point.

Scott Proctor blew a game for the second time in five days, this time giving up a walk-off homer to the struggling Raul Ibanez. Anyone following the game (that was a Braves fan, anyway) knew the outcome the moment the reliever left the bullpen. No offense to Scott, but he's an awful pitcher who might throw the most hittable fastball in baseball. The organization's continued belief in the righty has confused everyone and it has directly cost them two games this week.

It isn't fair to put all of this on Proctor. The offense did record just six hits, but they were also facing baseball's best pitcher in Roy Halladay. Brandon Beachy wasn't as sharp as he can be, but he gutted through six innings and gave his team a chance to win. 

The fact is, the Braves should have won tonight. Halladay wasn't nearly himself after the long delay and they had multiple opportunities in the first four innings to put a few crooked numbers on the scoreboard. Instead, they continue to try and pull every pitch and wound up just scoring two runs before being completely dominated by Halladay and the Phillies bullpen.

Oh, well. Saturday's game is an earlier start (4:10) and it gives Atlanta a chance to seek revenge after tonight's tough loss.


Braves Vs. Phillies: Lineups For Tonight's Showdown In Philly

The lineups have been released for Friday night's game between the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies. The weather report looks grim for the game, but you know everything will be done to try and get this game in.


Jordan Schafer - CF
Alex Gonzalez - SS
Brian McCann - C
Chipper Jones - 3B
Freddie Freeman - 1B
Dan Uggla - 2B
Jason Heyward - RF
Nate McLouth - LF
Brandon Beachy - P


Jimmy Rollins - SS
John Mayberry - CF
Chase Utley - 2B
Ryan Howard - 1B
Raul Ibanez - LF
Carlos Ruiz - C
Domonic Brown - RF
Wilson Valdez - 3B
Roy Halladay - P

First pitch is scheduled for 7:10, though a rain delay (or two or three) is likely. 


Braves Vs. Phillies Preview: Atlanta Heads To Philadelphia With First Place On The Line

These are the series baseball fans live for. Despite nearly three months remaining in the season, this weekend's series between the Braves and Phillies is going to feel like a playoff matchup.

Citizen's Bank Park is going to be rocking, the Phillies are tossing three of the best pitchers in baseball out to the mound and the Braves arrive as the hottest team in baseball. Add this to the two clubs simply despising each other and fans should expect fireworks early in often in Philly. 

Get ready.

The Phillies are 55-33, which is good for the best record in baseball. They sit 2.5 games ahead of Atlanta in the NL East standings. Sweep and they have a comfortable lead to begin the second half with; get swept and they're suddenly no longer in first place after occupying that spot for more than two months. Needless to say, the implications from this series could (and probably will) play a huge role in how the division and wild card races play out.

Lets take a closer look at Charlie Manuel's club...


The Phillies are no longer the offensive juggernaut they once were a few seasons ago, but they're still capable of filling up the scoreboard on any given night in any given inning. The health and availability of Placido Polanco and Shane Victorino are up in the air, but Braves fans should fully expect to see those two in the lineup if history is any indication.

The afore mentioned Victorino (.303/.376/.524, 153 wRC+) is having a phenomenal year and has been leader both at the plate and in the field. Chase Utley (.287/.380/.462, 137 wRC+) continues to be the incredible second baseman that he is and Jimmy Rollins (.264/.338/.384, 107 wRC+) is a solid, consistent force at the top of their lineup. Ryan Howard (.258/.356/.486, 126 wRC+) isn't the MVP-candidate he once was, but he always saves his best for Atlanta and figures to punish them once again. Polanco (.274/.331/.346, 89 wRC+), should he be able to play, is an average hitter at this late stage of his career.

Carlos Ruiz (.248/.351/.338, 91 wRC+) came back down to Earth (as everyone thought he would) after his insanely fortunate 2010 season, but he still always seems to come up with the clutch hit whenever Philly needs it most. Top-prospect Domonic Brown (.231/.322/.410, 102 wRC+) has some work to do on his approach and swing, but he's having a solid rookie season. Raul Ibanez (.236/.285/.400, 85+) has been bad at the plate and even worse in the field, but John Mayberry (.239/.325/.422, 110 wRC+) has been an adequate replacement. 

All-in-all, they're a solid group that takes a lot of walks and makes the opposing pitcher work to get outs. If the Phillies are known for anything, it's that they won't just string poor at-bats together. The Braves pitchers will need to get ahead in the count and force the Philly hitters to swing at their pitches, not the pitches they want to swing at.

Pitching Matchups:

Friday, 7:10EDT - Brandon Beachy vs. Roy Halladay - SportSouth

2011 - Brandon Beachy 3-1 11 11 0 0 0 0 61.1 50 23 22 8 15 72 3.23 1.06
2011 - Roy Halladay 11-3 18 18 6 0 0 0 136.1 123 38 37 8 17 131 2.44 1.03

Saturday, 4:05EDT - Tommy Hanson vs. Cliff Lee - FOX

2011 - Tommy Hanson 10-4 16 16 0 0 0 0 96.1 66 30 27 8 34 103 2.52 1.04
2011 - Cliff Lee 9-6 20 18 4 4 0 0 129.1 113 44 42 11 27 128 2.92 1.08

Sunday, 1:10EDT - Derek Lowe vs. Cole Hamels - SportSouth

2011 - Derek Lowe 5-6 19 19 0 0 0 0 107.0 105 51 50 7 41 80 4.21 1.36
2011 - Cole Hamels 10-4 18 18 1 0 0 0 124.0 96 33 33 7 22 115 2.40 .95


The Phillies bullpen has been devastated by injury, though a few guys have really stepped up for the club in the late innings. Antonio Bastardo has filled in perfectly as the new closer with Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson in the disabled list. Mike Stutes has been a solid set-up man as well. Outside of those two, you would be hard pressed to find any relievers having a good year. David Herndon has been OK, but guys like Danys Baez and Drew Carpenter have struggled mightily. 

Basically, when healthy, the Phillies have an above-average bullpen. Unfortunately for them, they aren't healthy and have been hit around in recent weeks. Having Halladay, Lee and Hamels usually pitch 7+ innings have helped limit their bullpen use this year, but if for some reason one of those three had to leave a game early against Atlanta, we should be able to take advantage of most of their relievers.

In conclusion...

It's just July 8, but this series is huge. While there are still more than 70 games to be played, the players and managers would be fooling themselves if they called this, "just another series". The Phillies have their three best going, and even though Beachy, Hanson and Lowe are all solid, Philly certain has the advantage in terms of starting pitchers. Hopefully the Braves offense continues to hit well and they take two out of three, but it's best to remain level-headed and simply hope for one game on the road. 

Regardless of the outcome, it should be a heck of a series. Buckle up.

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