Series preview: vs Phillies
When (TV): 7:10 p.m. Monday (SPSO); 7:10 p.m. Tuesday (SPSO); 7:10 p.m. Wednesday (SPSO).
Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5
Probable starting pitchers:
Monday: Braves RH Randall Delgado (1-1, 2.70 ERA) vs. LH Cliff Lee (16-8, 2.38)
Tuesday: Braves RH Derek Lowe (9-16, 4.92) vs. RH Roy Oswalt (8-10, 3.86)
Wednesday: Braves RH Tim Hudson (16-10, 3.23 ERA) vs. TBA
About the Braves:
• Batting: After collecting 11 hits in Friday’s win over Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals, the Braves managed only 10 hits in two losses to the Nats to follow, while hitting .167. They’ve been shut out twice in four games, 4-0 to the Marlins on Wednesday and 3-0 to the Nats on Sunday. The Braves’ top four hitters in the order went 0-for-16 on Sunday. Brian McCann, who got the day off Sunday, is hitting .192 in September.
• Pitching: Delgado picked up his first major league win in his last outing against the Marlins, with five shutout innings in a 4-0 win on Tuesday. He has made six major league starts, and allowed one or fewer runs in four of the six. He has pitched only five innings in each of his past four starts, while throwing 90 or more pitches each time. This is his first start against the Phillies, and third against a playoff team from last year (Giants, Rangers). Rookies have accounted for 59.3 percent of the innings by Braves starters in September.
• Miscellaneous: The Braves will have to go through the Phillies in the final series of the season for the second straight year in order to make the playoffs. The Braves’ wild card lead is down to one game with three to play. The Braves are 6-9 against the Phillies this season: 3-6 at Citizens Bank Park and 3-3 at Turner Field.
About the Phillies:
• Batting: The Phillies’ offense broke out in a 9-4 win over the Mets on Sunday, which snapped an eight-game losing streak. Using their regular lineup for the first time since they clinched, each regular Phillies starter had at least one hit, and Hunter Pence hit a three-run homer. The Phillies had scored three or fewer runs 15 times in their previous 17 games. Ryan Howard went 3-for 7 in two games against the Mets, after returning from ankle injury.
• Pitching: This is Lee’s final tune-up for his Game 2 start in the Division Series. He lost his last start via 3-0 shutout against the Nats to snap a 7-0 winning streak dating back to July 30. The Phillies had won Lee’s previous nine starts, while he put up a 1.00 ERA. Lee is 1-2 in four starts against the Braves this season, despite a 3.29 ERA. He pitched a complete game shutout to beat them on Sept. 5, 9-0 at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies are expected to use their bullpen to cover Wednesday’s game, starting with either Kyle Kendrick or Vance Worley.
• Miscellaneous: The Phillies swept the Braves in three games the last time they faced each other Sept. 5-7 in Philadelphia. The Phillies are 1-9 since they clinched their fifth straight NL East championship. Their eight-game losing streak was the worst by any team that had clinched since the World Series began in 1903 according to STATS.