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Open Thread 8/16: Phillies at Braves

The Braves managed to grasp a win out of the clutches of a loss, as role players Matt Diaz and Omar Infante came up big over Phillies closer Brad Lidge. Atlanta will look to earn another victory today and both win the series and come out of the weekend fewer games back in the division than when it started.

The Braves will send their ace, which is no small compliment on this team, to the mound in tonight's rubber match. Javier Vazquez has won his last 5 decisions, spanning his last 6 starts, and is coming off of a dominating performance over the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he allowed just 1 earned run over 8 innings, while striking out 7.

The Phils will counter will relatively young lefty J.A. Happ, who prefers to have those initials pronounced 'Jay', which is, well, baffling. Happ has been very good for Philadelphia this season, particularly since moving into the rotation. His last start against the Cubs he allowed just 2 earned runs over 6 innings, which was a nice followup to a complete game shutout of the Rockies in his previous start.

After scoring only 6 runs in the first two games of the series, the Braves will need to get the offense going quickly and silmultanteously keep the young pitcher opposing them off of his game, and allow their own veteran starter to work his way into a healthy groove. This is easier said than done though, especially since it looks as if the Braves will be without both starting centerfielder Nate McLouth and second baseman Martin Prado.

Current Series

3 game series vs Phillies @ Turner Field

Fri 08/14 WP: Ryan Madson (4 - 4)
SV: Brad Lidge
LP: Rafael Soriano (1 - 4)
2 - 3 loss
Sat 08/15 WP: Peter Moylan (5 - 2)
LP: Brad Lidge (0 - 5)
4 - 3 win

Philadelphia Phillies
@ Atlanta Braves

Sunday, Aug 16, 2009, 8:05 PM EDT
Turner Field

J.A. Happ vs Javier Vazquez

Partly cloudy,rain. Winds blowing from right to left field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 80.

Atlanta Braves - Philadelphia Phillies: Series Preview

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