Live Thread: Braves Phillies Preview (Game 1)

Braves Vs Phillies Preview and Live Game Thread

Please take a moment to read our brief preview of the Braves / Phillies series, and then hang around with us here for our Live Thread of tonight’s game.  Just scroll down after reading the preview, and join us to comment about all things Braves!  We’ll have a live thread for each game of the series.  Now, let’s get started…

The magic number for the Atlanta Braves is down to a mere 10 (lowest in baseball).  Put simply, that means that any combination of wins by the Braves, or losses by the 2nd place Washington Nationals that equal up to 10, and the Braves will clinch the NL East.  It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion at this point.

Coming off a series victory against the visiting New York Mets, and a nine game home stand, the Braves will be trying to further reduce that magical number as they’ll take to the road again tonight to begin a three game series against the division rival, Philadelphia Phillies.

For all the bravado spewed forth about how inadequate the Braves are to win a series this year, at least offensively, Atlanta pitching has taken a backseat to no team in baseball.   Besides the fact that Atlanta has won 8 out it’s last 10 games, and are 29-10 over their last 39 games, pundits and analysts often ignore the fact that what has gotten the Braves where they are has been pitching.  No, the bats have been lively when they’ve been needed, but Atlanta’s starting rotation has made quality starts in 19 of their last 28 games, and lead the National League  with 86 quality starts this year.  That kind of pitching, despite all the injuries to the Braves starters and relievers this year, is prowess that cannot be ignored.

You might be thinking something like… That’s all good, but you gotta have offense going down the stretch!  You’d be correct, and it would be a mistake to assume the Braves don’t have that either.  No, they may not have the star power you see in other teams, or players who get ESPN exclusives on a daily basis, but the Braves can rake.  Just ask Andrelton Simmons who’s been on an upswing offensively for awhile now.  Or you could ask Chris Johnson who’s competing for a batting title.  You could ask Freddie Freeman, who’s often overlooked even with amazing numbers this year.  Good pitching, good defense, good bench bats, and clutch hitting have propelled the Braves to where they are.  I agree the NL East is a weaker division, but the Braves huge lead there is no mere accident.

Whether the Braves have the chops to win a series might be another matter, but you cannot make any such conclusion quite yet.  There’s still much baseball to be played, and anything can happen in October.


Game 1

Atlanta: Mike Minor (13-5, 3.08 ERA)
Philadelphia: Cliff Lee (11-6, 3.09 ERA)


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Tags: Atlanta Braves FanSided

  • cheadrick

    Join us again this evening as the Braves hit the road and take on the Phillies. We’ll talk all things Braves, provide analysis, interact with other fans, and just have a good time. Go Braves!

  • carpengui

    Your lineup tonight… more or less the ‘A’ team, in its current form.
    BJ Upton 8
    J Upton 9
    Freeman 3
    Gattis 7
    McCann 2
    C Johnson 5
    Uggla 4
    Simmons 6
    Minor 1.

  • fireboss

    Well only a inning late and 15 minutes in must mean Lee is slicing and dicing and so is Minor.. Then CJ singles.. I must come earlier

  • fireboss

    Well, at least it isn’t raining there and no one’s been hurt yet ..(looking for silver linings)

  • fireboss

    That wasn’t good Mikey

  • Matthew Jones

    Am I too late? The replay of the game is on, right? :P

  • cheadrick

    Well, Matthew, et al, looks like everyone was too late! I couldn’t attend, and it doesn’t appear anyone could more than a moment or two. Oh well. I’m on vacation. Other excuses? ;) We’ll get em’ again tonight…. both the thread and the Phillies!

  • cheadrick

    Wasn’t able to watch last night’s game. I see from Alan’s lineup that Fredi listened to my article – that Gattis should be in the lineup. Or did he? Is Jordan still banged up?

    • fireboss

      Schafer’s fine. Cliff Lee started and he was always going to start BJ on Friday. It was a good game really, both pitchers made only one bad pitch. Unfortunately Mike walked a man before his bad pitch. Lee and Minor were masters of the oppositions lineups Lee reminded us what happens when a true number one starter takes on our lineup. It was over in under 3 hours.

      • cheadrick

        Yeah, Lee’s been on point this year, so Braves’ fans should not get too depressed. I want to see Braves’ bats generally wake up to a greater degree regardless of the pitcher (we’ll need that in some key games), but time will tell on that. How did Gattis do? I’ll check his numbers, but I wrote that article on him only on a “gut feeling” that he might tear it up this month.

        • fireboss

          Gattis did okay, he held his own against Lee as well as anyone and sent a ball to the track with 2 out and runners on; just missed a good pitch. He made catch between he and BJ on left center that was probably BJ’s ball but after they both stood and watch that one drop the other night he wasn’t going to let it happen again. Bj saw the bear coming full tilt and thought better of it and Gattis made a nice running knee high catch.