August 8, 2012 at 1:04 pm by David Lee under Atlanta Braves
Braves lineup: Michael Bourn (CF), Martin Prado (LF), Jason Heyward (RF), Chipper Jones (3B), Freddie Freeman (1B), Dan Uggla (2B), David Ross (C), Paul Janish (SS), Tim Hudson (P).
Phillies lineup: Jimmy Rollins (S, SS), Domonic Brown (L, LF), Chase Utley (L, 2B), Ryan Howard (L, 1B), John Mayberry (R, CF), Nate Schierholtz (L, RF), Erik Kratz (R, C), Kevin Frandsen (R, 3B), Kyle Kendrick (R, P).
Game 3 vs. Phillies
After Cole Hamels shut the Braves down in a 3-0 loss, the two teams will face off in the rubber game tonight.
Kyle Kendrick will start for the Phillies. Kendrick’s poor peripherals have caught up to him this season after a fluky 3.22 ERA in 114.2 innings last year. He owns a 4.45 ERA and 4.75 xFIP in 14 starts and 93 innings this season, with a 16.5% strikeout rate and 8.6% walk rate, both career highs.
Kendrick maintains a ground ball rate above 40%, but he has always relied on poor contact and BABIP to get by. He does have an 8.4% swinging strike rate this year, but many of those balls in play that found gloves last year have equaled out this year.
Expect a large amount of fastballs that cut and sink, as well as a fair amount of changeups and sliders.
Tim Hudson will start for the Braves. He’s coming off seven-plus innings of allowing one unearned run and four hits against the Astros, and he’s beaten the Phillies twice since the beginning of July.
Update (2:30p): Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation chimes in with his thoughts on Kimbrel and Chapman.
Update (2:25p): Gregg Doyel of CBS Sports writes that Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman should be considered for the Cy Young Award this season. This is all fine and well if you look at counting stats among the best relievers in the game, but the fact is Kimbrel and Chapman simply don’t pitch enough innings to provide the same value that a Johnny Cueto, R.A. Dickey or Clayton Kershaw will this season. It is very difficult for me to justify giving a pitcher who throws 75 innings an award over a pitcher who throws 230 innings (h/t @rj_brown77).
Braves.com recap for Tuesday’s loss.
AJC quotes following Tuesday’s loss. Mike Minor: “I didn’t start off too well. I didn’t have my stuff really early on. I pretty much just battled throughout the game, hung a slider to Howard and they got two runs easy right there. Other than that it was a couple base hits, a walk, I was just all over the place.”
Tommy Hanson is feeling better and expects to throw a bullpen session Friday. Hanson is eligible to come off the disabled list Aug. 15 and expects to do just that.
Bill Parker of Baseball Prospectus writes on the mystery that is Jason Heyward’s future (sub. required).
Buster Olney’s blog post today is headlined by the two big suitors expected for Michael Bourn this offseason: the Nationals and Phillies (Insider required). I’ve been predicting the Nationals will sign Bourn since the day the Braves traded for him, but the Phillies are a realistic option, as well. Either way, I would say it’s a strong possibility the Braves will have to face him often.
David Schoenfield ranks the center fielders in baseball, with Bourn coming in at No. 6. I have no problem with this, as Josh Hamilton is the only one you could halfway have an argument with. But Hamilton’s production and a much higher wOBA are good reasons for ranking him higher.
Mike Bauman of MLB.com writes on the signing of Ben Sheets as a difference-maker for the Braves.
Glenn DuPaul of The Hardball Times posts a study on the value of WAR and how to use it properly.
One Day FREE Fantasy Contest – $150 in cash prizes
If you missed it last time, there’s a new way to play fantasy baseball that turns the season long grind into quick one night leagues. And the best part is that you can win cash every single day. You draft a team for one night and get paid out as soon as the games end that night. DraftStreet.com is at the forefront of this new trend in the fantasy world and is giving us a great promotion: a FREE one-day fantasy league with $150 in prizes exclusively for Capitol Avenue Club fans.
CLICK HERE to sign up for free and register for the Capitol Avenue Club $150 Freeroll on DraftStreet.
For more information, see this post.