Series Preview: Atlanta Braves (48-34) at Philadelphia Phillies (42-38)


Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies After yet another disappointing series on the road, and dropping the season series to Pittsburgh 4-2, the Phillies will return home for a three game set against the first place Atlanta Braves. For a team plagued with injuries and still looking for a consistent level of play, this may be a series that will set the tone for the second half of the season. Play well, and the Phillies could make up some much-needed ground in the National League East.

 GAME ONE: Derek Lowe (9-6, 4.53) v Roy Halladay (9-7, 2.42)

 Lowe has been successful during his last four outings completing almost 27 innings with a 3.08 earned run average. The first game of the series will be Lowe’s fourth start against the Phillies this season. Lifetime, the Phillies are 7-2 with a 3.17 ERA against Lowe. Lowe lost the first two games against the Phillies this season, but in his last outing he completed the three game sweep of the Phils going eight innings. Lowe is also 4-1 lifetime at Citizens Bank Park. Halladay in his last three starts has gone 1-2 with a 2.74 ERA and 22 strikeouts. He has also given up two home runs in three of his last four starts; his only win during that stretch coming from the game in which he allowed no home runs. This season, Halladay is 2-0 against the Braves with a .46 ERA; including a 2-0 complete game shut out win in April. It will be Lowe and Halladay’s first meeting since their days in the American League East.

 GAME TWO: Jair Jurrjens (1-3, 5.59) v Cole Hamels (6-7, 4.07)

 This will be Jurrjens first start in nearly two months due to a hamstring injury. He pitched five innings Wednesday, allowing one run and striking out six, however he was said to be slowed by fatigue. Lifetime, Jurrjens is 3-3 with a 2.53 ERA against the Phillies. In his last outing, Hamels tossed another quality start only to be squandered useless by the Phillies ever-slumping offense. He has struck out at least four in each of his last five starts while allowing less than six hits. Lifetime, Hamels is 8-5 with a 4.28 ERA. Chipper Jones has the hot bat against Hamels with a .409 average in 22 at bats with two home runs and six runs batted in.

 GAME THREE: Kris Medlen (5-1, 3.01) v Jamie Moyer (9-7, 4.13)

 Medlen has proven he deserves a spot in Atlanta’s rotation, even with the return of Jurrjens. In his last two starts, Medlen has gone 13 innings allowing just two runs while striking out ten. He has faced the Phillies just once this season, earning a no decision and has a 5.31 ERA. If you remove Moyer’s start in Boston last month, the worst of his career, Moyer’s ERA drops to 3.38 and has been nothing short of solid behind Halladay this season for the Phillies. In his last three starts, Moyer has gone 2-1 with a 1.71 ERA and 20 strikeouts. During his career, he has a 5-5 record against Atlanta with a 4.26 earned run average. Troy Glaus has the hot bat against Moyer, in 10 at bats he is batting .500 with two home runs and four RBIs.

 FORMER PHILLIES RETURNING: Billy Wagner

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