Tonight at 7:05pm, the Phillies (5-11) look to bounce back from their disappointing series loss to the last-place Marlins. For the first time this season, the Phils will match up against the new-look Braves (8-7), who have performed pretty well considering the circumstances of their offseason moves. Without Evan Gattis, Justin Upton, Criag Kimbrel and Jason Heyward, the Braves stocked up on prospects in hopes of competing in the coming years. While the Braves were able to dump salary, the Phillies still have the contracts of Ryan Howard and Jonathan Papelbon to deal with and are treading water in the beginning phase of the rebuild. Perhaps the Phillies most successful starter this season, Aaron Harang, will square off against the team he played for last season. Alex Wood gets the nod for Atlanta.
Aaron Harang (2-1, 1.96) has surprisingly been the highlight of the Phillies inconsistent rotation this season so far. The 36-year-old right-hander gave up three runs in his last outing on April 18th against the Nationals, a 5-3 Phillies win. He kept the Phils in the game, striking out six Washington hitters in the process. Harang pitched for Atlanta last season, but hasn't had much luck against the Braves in his career, going 2-3 with an ERA of 4.21 in 11 starts, spanning 66.1 innings.
Meanwhile, the Braves will send third-year left-hander Alex Wood (1-0, 3.93) to the hill. The Braves just got swept by the first-place Mets, being outscored 16-6. Wood has put together some solid starts, allowing three runs or less in each outing this season. His last start came against the Blue Jays on April 18th. He didn't factor into the decision after tossing 6.2 innings of three-run ball. In his short pro career, Wood has pitched well against the Phillies, posting a 2-1 record to go along with a 2.57 ERA in nine games, four of which were starts.
- Ben Revere (L) LF
- Odubel Herrera (L) CF
- CHase Utley (L) 2B
- Jeff Francoeur (R) RF
- Ryan Howard (L) 1B
- Cody Asche (L) 3B
- Carlos Ruiz (R) C
- Freddy Galvis (S) SS
- Aaron Harang (R) P
- Eric Young Jr. (S) LF
- Alberto Callaspo (S) 2B
- Nick Markakis (L) RF
- Freddie Freeman (L) 1B
- A.J. Pierzynski (L) C
- Chris Johnson (R) 3B
- Andrelton Simmons (R) SS
- Cameron Maybin (R) CF
- Alex Wood (R) P
For the first time this year, Ryan Howard gets the start against a left-hander. The Phillies, as a whole, are going lefty heavy against Alex Wood. Ben Revere and Odubel Herrera swap spots at the top of the lineup as well.
- Phillies hitters vs. Alex Wood
- Carlos Ruiz: 3-f0r-5 (.600), 2 2B's, 3 RBI's
- Ben Revere: 4-for-6 (.667), RBI
- Chase Utley: 4-for-12 (.333), 2B, RBI
- Braves hitters vs. Aaron Harang
- Cameron Maybin: 6-for-22 (.273), HR, 2 RBI's, 6 K's
- Eric Young Jr.: 6-for-12 (.500), 2B, 4 BB's
- Chris Johnson: 3-for-9 (.333), 2B, 3B, HR, 5 RBI's
- Entering the series against the Braves, the Phillies have scored the fewest runs in baseball and have committed the most errors in addition to allowing the most walks of any pitching staff in the NL.
- The Braves opened up the season with two series victories. They've lost their previous two, both NL East opponents.
- The Phillies have lost the season series to the Braves three years in a row and are 9-19 against them at Citizens Bank Park since 2012.
Gametime: 7:05pm EST
Location: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
Weather: 52 degrees, clear skies
TV: Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia
Radio: 1210 WPHT, 94.1 WIP, SBP 1480 (Spanish Broadcast)
Brandon Apter, Publishing Editor for Philliedelphia.com. Follow him on Twitter @bapter23