The Phillies are back for (hopefully) more punishment!
Just a week after taking two of three from the Phillies in Philadelphia, the Braves welcome them to Atlanta for a three-game series. Not much has changed in the last four days: the Phillies come in having taken two of three against Florida, while the Braves enter the series fresh off a walk-off victory on Thursday to salvage a win against Washington.
The Phillies enter the series at 24-12, 4.5 games ahead of the 21-18 Braves. The Braves have gained 1.5 games on the Phillies since May began, winning eight of 11 while the Phillies have won six of 10.
This is Civil Rights Weekend; Morgan Freeman, Ernie Banks and Carlos Santana (the musician) will be honored. Don Newcombe will be in attendance and of course, Hank Aaron.
Pitching matchups and more after the jump.
Friday, May 13, 7:35 p.m. EST
Hamels pitched Sunday against the Braves in Philadelphia, surrendering a pair of home runs while striking out nine in a 5-2 loss. The loss was his sixth against the Braves alongside 10 wins.
Beachy's last start came May 5 against Milwaukee; he allowed one unearned run in six innings of work in a 2-1 win. All three of his career losses thus far have been against the Phillies, so he'll look to change his luck against them on a most unlucky day: Friday the 13th.
Saturday, May 14, 1:10 p.m. EST
Blanton has been dealing with some recent elbow issues. He earned the win May 9 against Florida after returning from the DL, but said his right elbow still wasn't 100% and that it was "cranky". He sports a 5.67 ERA in 46 innings against the Braves with a 1-3 record.
Jurrjens earned the win Sunday against the Phillies, outpitching Cole Hamels in allowing only one run in 6.1 innings. The win was his fourth in 10 starts against them and is now 4-0 overall this season.
Sunday, May 15, 1:35 p.m. EST
Halladay was on the short end of a 2-1 pitcher's duel Tuesday against Florida, but he's had much success against the Braves. He's 4-0 against them with a miniscule 1.26 ERA. He already has three complete games in 2011, which leads all of MLB and ranks third in the NL in ERA at 2.05. This will be Halladay's first start against the Braves this year.
Hudson last start was a forgetful one. The defense behind him let him down and he only lasted five innings, giving up seven runs in the process May 10 against Washington. He cruised to a win in his last start against the Phillies April 8 in Atlanta, pitching 7.2 innings of a 6-3 victory.
- Shane Victorino currently has a 14-game hitting streak. His personal best is 16.
- Brian Schneider left Wednesday's game in the fifth inning with a strained left hamstring and was placed on the DL Thursday. Carlos Ruiz was activated from the DL Friday, replacing Schneider; he had been sidelined since late April with lower back inflammation.
- Jimmy Rollins has reached base in 19 straight games and is hitting .324 (12 for 37) in his last nine games.
- Jason Heyward's MRI revealed nothing more than inflammation in his right shoulder. He took a cortisone shot, but may be out for most of this series and limited only to pinch-running. However, Frank Wren said Heyward's availability would be based on how well he feels.
- Roger McDowell returns to the Braves bench after his two-week suspension for making inappropriate comments and gestures towards fans in San Francisco.
The Braves are carrying momentum from a walk-off win, but Hamels can be tough and Halladay is near unhittable. A series win would be huge.