August 31, 2012 at 1:34 pm by David Lee under Atlanta Braves
Update (4:40p): Jack Wilson has been released. It’s not a surprising move, one that was considered a strong possibility when Andrelton Simmons was activated from the disabled list. With this news, it could mean Simmons’ return is sooner rather than later, but there’s still no word on that. It also means a spot on the 40-man roster opened and the count is at 38.
Braves lineup: Michael Bourn (CF), Martin Prado (LF), Jason Heyward (RF), Chipper Jones (3B), Freddie Freeman (1B), Brian McCann (C), Dan Uggla (2B), Paul Janish (SS), Mike Minor (P).
Game 1 vs. Phillies
There was once a time when this was expected to be a big series down the stretch between the two division leaders of the NL East. How things change.
Although the Phillies are playing a little better lately, they’re 62-69. After sweeping the Nationals in surprising fashion, their most recent series was losing two of three to the Mets.
They will send Roy Halladay to the mound in the opener. Halladay has a 3.88 ERA and 3.45 xFIP over 125.1 innings, perhaps finally showing some signs of age in a season that has seen injury and rough outings. His strikeout percentage remains at 20% with a solid 4% walk rate, and he isn’t giving up home runs, but he’s giving up more fly balls and line drives.
Minor continues to pitch well, allowing three runs over 6.2 innings against the Giants last time out, including no walks and five strikeouts. His numbers are continuing their slow return to normalcy, currently sporting a 4.71 ERA and 4.48 xFIP.
Mark Bowman writes on the Braves hoping to avoid another September collapse.
David O’Brien does the same.
Anuj Panday of Tomahawk Take looks at different strike zone plots for hitters in the Braves lineup.
Andrew Sisson of Brave Decisions looks at possible September call-ups for the Braves.
Around the NL East
Stephen Strasburg was told he has two or three more starts left. The Nationals won last night to make it a 5.5-game lead over the Braves.
Jimmy Rollins was benched for not hustling again.