Braves vs. Phillies matchup is as even as it gets

Chipper Jones told the AJC’s Mark Bradley that, in a seven-game playoff series against the Phillies, “I’ll take my guys over their guys. Meaning no disrespect.”

Granted, Chipper (who was just scratched from the lineup for right-knee sorness, scratched just as as I filed this) is not going to say anything otherwise about the matchup, at least not publicly. But he meant it. And if you look at it statistically, or on a position-by-position basis – at least as long as Chase Utley is out of the Phillies’ lineup – a good case can be made that the Braves are the Phillies’ equal.

And the Phillies’ superior record (25-13) over the Braves (22-19) can be attributed to – take your pick – a softer schedule for Philly and/or the Braves’ inability to consistently beat the teams they are supposed to beat.

braves.0716+CC19

Prado (LF) and Gonzalez (SS) are two that Fredi Gonzalez said he'd take over the Phillies' players at those positions.

In other words, the Phillies usually manhandle the likes of the Nationals; the Braves do not.

Before we break this down statistically – and you’ll be amazed how even the teams are, and how the Braves actually have the edge overall – I’ve got to share something that Fredi Gonzalez just said when I asked him an hour ago about the Braves-Phillies comparison.

Unsolicited, he offered a position-by-position comparison. I’m not making this up.

I’ll just give you his rundown verbatim:

“I think it’s pretty equal,” he began. “I think it comes down to the pitching, and [particularly] the bullpens. You go position by position … well, let’s do it.”

Indeed, let’s do it.

“First base, Howard and Freeman, you’d take Howard,” Gonzalez said. “[Second base] you’ve got Uggla and, who’ve they got now, Petey Orr [and others], so you take Uggla. Shortstop’s a tough one, I take Gonzo just because of the defense. Polanco-Chipper [at third base]. That’s a good one. That’s a toss-up there. I’m taking Chipper.

“Left field is Ibanez, and we have Prado; I’m taking Prado. Center field is McLouth and Victorino. Victorino. Right field is Heyward and Francisco or Mayberry. Heyward.”

Folks, I’m not making this up. He really gave us that impromptu rundown. Refreshingly candid? To say the least.

Gonzalez added, “The commander looked at the numbers the other day, and the only number that’s really skewed is stolen bases. We’re not built for stolen bases. I think we’ve got more home runs, runs scored are [similar]. So it’s fairly equal.”

The commander is bench coach Carlos Tosca, Fredi’s right-hand man and master organizer for years. And let me just say, I’d done a similar statistical breakdown before I came to the ballpark today, and would agree with Tosca that the stats are not just fairly equally. Actually, I’d say they are more than fairly equal; they’re startlingly equal.

Victorino over McLouth in center field in the head-to-head Braves-Phillies matchups.

It's Victorino (above) over McLouth in center in head-to-head Braves-Phillies matchups.

First, let’s look at recent weeks. Since April 22, the Braves are 14-7 and the Phillies are 13-7. The Braves have a 2.78 ERA to the Phillies’ 2.90 during that stretch. The Braves have .255 batting average, 23 homers and 105 runs in 21 games during that stretch, compared to the Phillies’ .245 average, 16 homers and 78 runs in 20 games.

Statistically, the Braves have clearly been the superior team since April 22.

For the season, it’s a lot closer. The Braves (3.01) and Phillies (3.12) rank first and second in overall ERA, and their starters also rank first and second, the Braves at 3.10 to the vaunted Philly starters’ 3.19.

For the season, the Braves have outscored the Phillies 174-164, outhomered them 44-31, outslugged them .394 to .385. The Phillies have the edge in OBP, .323-.313, and batting average, .256-.243.

Entering today’s series finale, the Braves and Phillies have split eight games this season, and check out the mirror-image stats from those head-to-head matchups: The Braves have a 3.30 ERA to the Phillies’ 3.34. The Braves have a .256 batting average to the Phillies’ .238.

In the eight games, the Braves have five homers and 27 RBIs, the Phillies five homers and 29 RBIs.

Doesn’t get much more even than that, folks.

BRAVES LINEUP

  1. Prado LF
  2. McLouth CF
  3. McCann C
  4. Uggla 2B
  5. Hinske RF
  6. Gonzalez SS
  7. Freeman 1B
  8. Conrad 3B
  9. Hudson RHP

♣ Today’s matchup: It’s a beauty for today’s finale, with Roy Halladay – the best pitcher in baseball, in my opinion – facing the Braves’ Tim Hudson.

Halladay is 4-0 with a 1.26 ERA in five starts against the Braves; and no, he didn’t lose that game to Kenshin Kawakami in 2009, which a lot of people have asked me about since I put that stat up on Twitter this morning. Halladay got no decision in that 1-0 loss.

Hudson is 3-0 with a 3.48 ERA in his past three starts against the Phillies, and 7-7 with a 3.90 ERA in 19 career starts against them.

Halladay is on a roll – isn’t he always? – with a 1.38 RA and .191 opponents’ average in his psat four starts. He has 41 strikeouts and only four walks in 32-2/3 innings during that stretch, and a 3-1 record (he got a loss in his last start at Florida, despite allowing only five hits and one earned run in eight innings).

Hudson ain’t doing too badly of late, either: He’s 2-1 with a 2.20 ERA in his past four starts, with a 1.97 opponents’ average. The Braves scored six, eight and six runs while he was in those games.

♣ Prado vs. Philly: No Brave speaks with more passion about beating Philly than does Martin Prado, and he’s doing more than his share to try to make it happen.

In his last 13 games against the Phillies, Prado has hit .364 with four homers, eight RBIs, a .417 OBP and .636 slugging percentage and six multi-hit games. He led off Saturday’s 5-3 win with a homer, then added a two-run, two-out single in the sixth inning.

“That guy’s a key,” catcher David Ross said. “That’s when we started playing good last year [when Prado got hot]. He’s starting to hit. Two or three days ago, he hit a ball off the wall and I was just like, look out boys, here it comes.

“When Martin Prado gets locked in, that’s a good thing for the Atlanta Braves.”

He’s locked in. Has been for a while. Prado has hit .393 with eight extra-base hits, 17 RBIs and a 1.087 OPS in his past 14 games, including .408 with four homers and 14 RBIs in his past 11, and .478 (11-for-23) with three homers and eight RBIs during a current streak of five consecutive multi-hit games.

“I think we know who the Player of the Week is going to be this week,” Chipper Jones said. “Typical Prado fashion, he started off a bit slow, but when he gets it going you just roll with it. The bottom of the lineup’s done a good job of really setting the table for the top. I dare say Prado is probably leading all leadoff men in RBIs.

“He’s probably leading the team [in RBIs] by now. He’s had a lot of opportunities, but he’s the one guy I’d want, other than myself, up at the plate right now with some meaningful runs out there.”

Prado and Chipper share the team lead with 27 RBIs.

♣ Surging Jurrjens: When Jair Jurrjens took a no-hitter to the sixth inning Saturday and pitched 7-1/3 strong innings (three hits, two earned runs) for the win, he improved to 5-0 with a 1.66 ERA in six starts.

jair1

Jurrjens' 1.66 ERA is the second-lowest in the majors.

That made him the first Braves pitcher to start a season 5-0 with a sub-2.00 ERA since Tom Glavine in 2000.

Jurrjens also reached the qualifying standard for the 2011 pitcher rankings (before yesterday he didn’t have enough innings after starting season on the DL).

His 1.66 ERA ranks second in the majors to Josh Johnson’s 1.63. Hudson and Jurrjens are fourth and fifth, respectively, in the NL in opponents’ on-base percentage (.259 and .263).

Jurrjens (.324) and Tommy Hanson (.325) are eighth and ninth in the NL in opponents’ slugging percentage, and Hanson (.213) is sixth in opponents’ batting average.

♣ OK, gonna get this posted so you can read it before the game starts. Enjoy the series rubber match. Let’s close with a fiery cut from Irish rockers Black 47, and you can hear it by clicking here.

images

“JAMES CONNOLLY” by Black 47

Marchin’ down O’Connell Street with the Starry Plough on high
There goes the Citizen Army with their fists raised in the sky
Leading them is a mighty man with a mad rage in his eye
“My name is James Connolly – I didn’t come here to die
But to fight for the rights of the working man
And the small farmer too
Protect the proletariat from the bosses and their screws
So hold on to your rifles, boys, and don’t give up your dream
Of a Republic for the workin’ class, economic liberty”

Then Jem yelled out “Oh Citizens, this system is a curse
An English boss is a monster, an Irish one even worse
They’ll never lock us out again and here’s the reason why
My name is James Connolly, I didn’t come here to die…..”

And now we’re in the GPO with the bullets whizzin’ by
With Pearse and Sean McDermott biddin’ each other goodbye
Up steps our citizen leader and roars out to the sky
“My name is James Connolly, I didn’t come here to die…

Oh Lily, I don’t want to die, we’ve got so much to live for
And I know we’re all goin’ out to get slaughtered, but I just can’t take any more
Just the sight of one more child screamin’ from hunger in a Dublin slum
Or his mother slavin’ 14 hours a day for the scum
Who exploit her and take her youth and throw it on a factory floor
Oh Lily, I just can’t take any more

They’ve locked us out, they’ve banned our unions, they even treat their animals better than us
No! It’s far better to die like a man on your feet than to live forever like some slave on your knees, Lilly

But don’t let them wrap any green flag around me
And for God’s sake, don’t let them bury me in some field full of harps and shamrocks
And whatever you do, don’t let them make a martyr out of me
No! Rather raise the Starry Plough on high, sing a song of freedom
Here’s to you, Lily, the rights of man and international revolution”

We fought them to a standstill while the flames lit up the sky
‘Til a bullet pierced our leader and we gave up the fight
They shot him in Kilmainham jail but they’ll never stop his cry
My name is James Connolly, I didn’t come here to die….”

1,328 comments Add your comment

reckingball

May 15th, 2011
1:44 pm

Brava

May 15th, 2011
1:44 pm

Conrad at 3B… Yikes!

Go Braves!!!

cabravesfan

May 15th, 2011
1:45 pm

njbraves-

If he can’t swing the bat, run, or play defense, he needs to not be in there

njbraves

May 15th, 2011
1:45 pm

Chipper needs to be in there today against Halladay….no excuses.

reckingball

May 15th, 2011
1:45 pm

I’m still need to get the info, on who to contact at the AJC, to collect my cash prize, for being first.

Jake W.

May 15th, 2011
1:45 pm

Well no need to post the blog statistics, we all know who should be leading the way in post. If only we could find a way to track the leader in pointless post.

JasonInFL

May 15th, 2011
1:46 pm

Doc is 18-2 against the NL East since joining the Phils. That’s just plain sick.

reckingball

May 15th, 2011
1:46 pm

Do you get any extra money, for being first on two threads, in a row?

Tomahawkin

May 15th, 2011
1:47 pm

I’m not First, But I’m “On Deck!”

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 15th, 2011
1:47 pm

OK! Game time! Thanks for the new, clean Blog, Chief!

Jake W.

May 15th, 2011
1:47 pm

I’m liking the throwbacks, much better than those sunday reds. The throwbacks I have liked the most though are the ones from Boston that they wore in LA. Similar uni to the current ones but just a much more classic look. Very nice looking uni’s, I wish they would wear them more.

Tomahawkin

May 15th, 2011
1:47 pm

Connie Playing 3rd, Not Good!

Whoever scores first wins, Nuff Said!

Ronnie Gardocki

May 15th, 2011
1:48 pm

No Utley, no Victorino……wait, we still have to face Ryan Howard and hit against Roy Halladay.

Crap, lol! I thought for a second that we could steal one today, lol!

Tomahawkin

May 15th, 2011
1:49 pm

No Pestorino today! We gotta take advantage of these guys not having both Pestorino and FUtley in the Lineup

BFChris26

May 15th, 2011
1:49 pm

JasonInFL

May 15th, 2011
1:49 pm

Man, if we win today…

noleee

May 15th, 2011
1:49 pm

sure play one game no matter what might happen to the knee for the rest of the season.
football mentality,

reckingball

May 15th, 2011
1:50 pm

Walk Howard, every AB.

Ronnie Gardocki

May 15th, 2011
1:50 pm

I think that this is Conrad’s first game playing in the field (other than the cameo at 1st base) since the playoffs last year against the Giants….where his Gold Glove caliber play helped us lose in 4 games against the Giants.

VaBravesFan

May 15th, 2011
1:51 pm

Figures Chipper has to sit when were facing the game’s best pitcher.

Jerry

May 15th, 2011
1:52 pm

While Fredi was making his choices at every position between the Phillies and Braves, you shoulda asked him who he would choose between himself and Charlie Manuel.

Josh

May 15th, 2011
1:52 pm

njbraves, so your saying you want Chipper to risk hurting his knee more? you do realize he’s 39 years old right?

Tomahawkin

May 15th, 2011
1:52 pm

I love the 1974 Throwback unis…They should wear those every Saturday!

Nice Inning Huddy!

Ronnie Gardocki

May 15th, 2011
1:53 pm

1-2-3 top of the 1st for Hudson. 8 pitches for Huddy.

Anyone want to bet that Halladay gets through the bottom of the 1st throwing less than 8 pitches?

CaptainMudderland

May 15th, 2011
1:53 pm

Why not? @Reckingball…they sure have walked Chipper enough.

Ronnie Gardocki

May 15th, 2011
1:53 pm

Did I hear that correctly? 58 straight ROAD STARTS where Halladay has thrown AT LEAST 6 innings?

That’s unreal, lol!

JasonInFL

May 15th, 2011
1:54 pm

Let’s get Doc early. Come on boys, let’s pull some magic out! Or at least some good ABs.

Tomahawkin

May 15th, 2011
1:54 pm

Come On Martini!

Charles Atlas

May 15th, 2011
1:54 pm

Facing a tough pitcher, Chip is sitting out…why am I not surprised?

njbraves

May 15th, 2011
1:54 pm

Good idea Fredi, let’s bat Uggla 4th. Brilliant choice.

Ease® in Kauai

May 15th, 2011
1:54 pm

,leaving… :sad:

10th anniversary, yes very beautiful, 3rd time here though…

jeffrey d

May 15th, 2011
1:55 pm

Thanks for the new blog, DOB

I’m loving these throwbacks. I wish we’d wear these more often. The last time I remember wearing these Andruw was on the team. And Andruw was good.

noleee

May 15th, 2011
1:55 pm

aha another hater heard from

Tomahawkin

May 15th, 2011
1:55 pm

Man, Martini has been Clowning! Nice!

BFChris26

May 15th, 2011
1:55 pm

Stay hot Marteeeeeeeeeeen!!!!!!!!!!!!

Blog Monitor

May 15th, 2011
1:55 pm

Lovin the Braves and Phillies throw backs, brings back good memories..

cabravesfan

May 15th, 2011
1:55 pm

Ease-

You ever been to the Kona coast? My favorite place

VaBravesFan

May 15th, 2011
1:56 pm

njbraves

Uggla has a 414. average and 1.250 OPS when batting cleanup this year. (8 games)

Tomahawkin

May 15th, 2011
1:56 pm

F’d Up execution of fundamentals already, UGGGHHH

BravesQueen

May 15th, 2011
1:56 pm

I thought whenever Chipper sat that Martin would be at 3rd. I don’t like having Conrad at the corner. :roll: I certainly don’t want Chipper to play at the risk of hurting his knee further, but there has to be other (ie better) options than having Conrad there.

Kat

May 15th, 2011
1:56 pm

David, thanks for the new blog.

Jake W.

May 15th, 2011
1:56 pm

Facing a tough pitcher, Chip is sitting out…why am I not surprised?

Kershaw, Johnson, Lee, Hamels, Carpenter, Lincecum, just some of the many pitchers Chipper has faced this year.

bravesgirlnc

May 15th, 2011
1:56 pm

I HATE that play. Seriously? So predictable.

njbraves

May 15th, 2011
1:56 pm

I always defend Chipper, but he seems to need a day when guys like Doc are pitching. Can’t always be a coincidence.

Ronnie Gardocki

May 15th, 2011
1:56 pm

Back to our bad bunting ways. Way to “bring it” MCLOUSY!

JasonInFL

May 15th, 2011
1:57 pm

Jerry

May 15th, 2011
1:57 pm

Uggla batting cleanup. Already starting bad.

bravesgirlnc

May 15th, 2011
1:57 pm

God, just let the man hit. I just do. not. get it.

BravesQueen

May 15th, 2011
1:57 pm

Thanks for the new blog, Chief!!

And I too love these throwbacks. :)

LTBF

May 15th, 2011
1:58 pm

Fredi did it again. A s**t lineup against Phills. Chipper has great numbers against Halladay. bring back Bobby please. How outta here I don’t post during games.

Tomahawkin

May 15th, 2011
1:58 pm

UGGLY Sucks!

We seriously need him to do something this game

cabravesfan

May 15th, 2011
1:58 pm

Chipper was noticeably hurting yesterday and I think DOB mentioned that his knee was sore before that game already…

Blog Monitor

May 15th, 2011
1:58 pm

when did njbraves turn into such a complainer?

Braveone

May 15th, 2011
1:58 pm

From the previous blog which had 3,279 comments, Ronnie Gardocki led the way with 205 posts. There were 289 different poster names. Here are the Top 25:

Rank Poster Frequency

1 Ronnie Gardocki 205
2 Tomahawkin 151
3 Tbraves 90
4 cabravesfan 89
5 Tomas 75
6 noleee 74
7 Venice Jim 68
8 David O’Brien 56
9 Lew 54
10 Bat Masterson 53
11 McFann :Ô: :Ô: 51
12 brian 51
13 Jake W. 49
14 tiger297 49
15 phil 47
16 jeffrey d 46
17 CaptainMudderland 45
18 Jerry 44
19 Mitchell 44
20 ray k. 44
21 Brave4life-1995 all over again? 43
22 Trey 41
23 MIBraveeesFan 39
24 Tomahawk Mafia 38
25 JasonInFL 37

CaptainMudderland

May 15th, 2011
1:58 pm

Looking for his first hit in the series….wow!

LuisG

May 15th, 2011
1:58 pm

Jack

May 15th, 2011
1:58 pm

Uggla is a lost cause.

cabravesfan

May 15th, 2011
1:59 pm

LTBF-

Chipper was a late scratch….was planning on playing

Larry

May 15th, 2011
1:59 pm

What in the hell was Carlos Santana talking about…”you should be ashamed of yourselves”

Ronnie Gardocki

May 15th, 2011
1:59 pm

Uggla sure loves striking out on that low pitch.

njbraves

May 15th, 2011
2:00 pm

Dan Uggla ladies and gentleman. What a player.

Big Jake

May 15th, 2011
2:00 pm

Obviously you do NOT always defend Chipper.
And he has only missed a few games and hit against plenty of good pitchers this season

JasonInFL

May 15th, 2011
2:00 pm

Man, Uggs is about as good as me right now…and that’s not very good.

gcs

May 15th, 2011
2:00 pm

Uggla = Troy Glaus

Big Jake

May 15th, 2011
2:01 pm

when did njbraves turn into such a complainer? Blog

When was he never one? I can’t remember such a time.

ray k.

May 15th, 2011
2:01 pm

uggla is an automatic out. plain and simple. utterly useless day in and day out.

Moe Berg

May 15th, 2011
2:01 pm

LuisG–I am not listening to it today, since the game is on TBS. But here is the radio feed I have used the last couple of games. I assume it is still good.

http://tunein.com/tuner/?StationId=22221&amp

Ronnie Gardocki

May 15th, 2011
2:01 pm

Looks like Tomahawkin and I DOMINATED the last blog.

bruce

May 15th, 2011
2:01 pm

why the sophisticated catcher signs with no runner on second by Phillies?

Blog Monitor

May 15th, 2011
2:02 pm

How is it that someone (paul Dense) who is banned from the blog can manage to annoy the heck out of everyone and have the highest post count?

cabravesfan

May 15th, 2011
2:02 pm

I can't take it anymore

May 15th, 2011
2:03 pm

Nice try, VABravesFan.

In 10 career at bats vs. Roy, Chipper Jones is 5 for 10 (.500). Yeah, I’m sure he just didn’t want to bring his numbers down…

Tomahawkin

May 15th, 2011
2:03 pm

Braveone

“From the previous blog which had 3,279 comments, Ronnie Gardocki led the way with 205 posts.”

Ronnie Gardocki is the Blog Champion from the last Blog, Everyone Bow your heads. I think that’s the First Time winning the Blog Championship belt?

Tom O'Hawke

May 15th, 2011
2:03 pm

How ’bout that, lol? According to Braveone, lol, a permanently-banned poster (Dentz) lol, made more, lol, comments than, lol, anyone else, lol. :roll:

David O'Brien

May 15th, 2011
2:03 pm

New and improved photos in blog. Check it again now

ray k.

May 15th, 2011
2:04 pm

gcs,
Uggla = Troy Glaus?
Uggs couldn’t carry Glaus’s jock.
last year at this time, Glaus was the best hitter in the NL.

LuisG

May 15th, 2011
2:04 pm

Moe Berg- Thank you very much! It’s working!

Merv

May 15th, 2011
2:04 pm

Bill

May 15th, 2011
2:04 pm

A joke bunting in the first inning and another joke batting Uggla fourth. Please no ground balls to third.

cabravesfan

May 15th, 2011
2:05 pm

Wow- that posted waaaay before it should have :roll:

noleee

May 15th, 2011
2:05 pm

355 posts by two of the most negative bloggers around.
Excuse me while I go puke….

Ronnie Gardocki

May 15th, 2011
2:05 pm

Tomahawkin………..no one else came close to us in the last blog. You almost doubled the 3rd place guy, lol

Dan Kolb's Mom

May 15th, 2011
2:05 pm

These are my favorite uniforms of all time. I would kill to have one of those.

Tomahawkin

May 15th, 2011
2:05 pm

This Phillies Team is going to Be Sick! When FUtley gets back…

Ronnie Gardocki

May 15th, 2011
2:05 pm

I’m not going to bash Chipper for taking the day off. With the way he is playing, I’d rather he sit out today, then see him risk aggravating something.

cabravesfan

May 15th, 2011
2:06 pm

These are my favorite uniforms of all time. I would kill to have one of those.

Dan Kolb’s Mom-

I have a list…

Dan Kolb's Mom

May 15th, 2011
2:06 pm

Can you buy those anywhere other than the auction?

CaptainMudderland

May 15th, 2011
2:06 pm

Does Fredi ever rock?

LuisG

May 15th, 2011
2:07 pm

Chipper also faced Aaron Harang who, at that time, was unbeaten and had a pretty good ERA.

VaBravesFan

May 15th, 2011
2:07 pm

Huddy gets 2 quick outs and then walks a 4th/5th outfielder….

noleee

May 15th, 2011
2:07 pm

Go kill Dentz, and i will buy you one

JasonInFL

May 15th, 2011
2:07 pm

Can’t be losing the likes of Mayberry when you have him down 0-2. We don’t have much of a margin for error today. Would have been nice to have Orr leadoff next inning.

njbraves

May 15th, 2011
2:07 pm

Big Jake… Thanks for sharing your opinion of me. We can rest better now. By the way, who the he’ll are you??

Jerry

May 15th, 2011
2:07 pm

Ronnie Gardocki
May 15th, 2011
2:01 pm

Looks like Tomahawkin and I DOMINATED the last blog.

And probably 90% of those posts were about blacks in baseball. That’s beating a dead horse.

Blog Monitor

May 15th, 2011
2:08 pm

Noleee is spot on with his posts today.

co-sign

bank on it..

Tom O'Hawke

May 15th, 2011
2:10 pm

Hi, LAdy. I had to scroll back to see it.

Hi, nolie. See y’all later, maybe.

cabravesfan

May 15th, 2011
2:10 pm

Tom-

Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! Don’t leave!!!!!

CaptainMudderland

May 15th, 2011
2:10 pm

@Gardocki….re: 2:01….are you on “staycation” again today?

cabravesfan

May 15th, 2011
2:11 pm

ray-

Uggla normally bats 5th. Everyone was moved up today when Chipper was scratched

Mixxo

May 15th, 2011
2:11 pm

Sucks that Victorino is out. I love watching him play. :(

That said…..go us.

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