The Phillies (11-12) are three games back of the Braves (14-9) in the NL East. The Phillies will throw Cole Hamels against Brandon Beachy in the first game. Hamels is 3-1 with a 2.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26.1 innings on the season. He is also pitching for a new contract, as he is set to hit free agency after the year. Beachy is 2-1 with a 1.05 ERA and a phenomenal .191 opponents’ batting average. The Phillies are averaging just about 3.5 runs per game, and Beachy will be a tough matchup for them.
On Wednesday, the teams play again at 7:10 PM, this time with Roy Halladay opposing Tommy Hanson. The Phillies have backed Halladay with exactly one run in three of his five starts, and that’s why he’s just 3-2 despite a 1.95 ERA, a .188 opponents’ batting average, and no home runs allowed in 37 innings on the mound. Hanson has been the ace for the Braves with Tim Hudson on the DL, and he has responded well: a 3-2 record, 3.00 ERA, and 28 strikeouts in 30 innings pitched this season.
Thursday concludes the series, with the teams playing a day game at 12:10 PM. Joe Blanton (2-3, 3.81 ERA) will go against Randall Delgado (2-2. 6.30 ERA). Delgado is a promising enough prospect for the Braves, although he has struggled in his four starts thus far this season, failing to go more than 5.1 innings in any of them.
The Phillies’ offense is still without Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, although both are said to be beginning their rehab assignments. Taking two of three games in this series would be huge for the Phillies. While it’s still early, losing often in April makes it all the tougher to make it up in September.