We’re in Philadelphia again tonight for the final game of the series. Tonight I’d like to see something different – something like finishing as strong as we start. The biggest obstacle we’ll have is not having Chipper Jones on the field. He’s out for the night with a sore groin which started bothering him during his last at-bat last night. At this point in the season, only two other batters in history have had an average of over .400. Chipper will be sorely missed in this clutch series finale.
Games one and two of the series have proven to be somewhat of a disappointment. After another one-run loss on Monday after a strong 3-0 start, the Braves barely held on last night after a huge lead as the Phillies rallied at the end of the game. This is not something that needs to continue. If we can play .500 ball on the road and play at home like we have been, the Braves will start to look a lot like a 1995 team. Certainly after a strong start like last night, morale couldn’t have been low. Maybe we settled in and got a bit too comfortable.
Tonight, Chuck James (2-2, 7.58) faces Cole Hamels (4-3, 3.36). James pitched six innings on Saturday in Pittsburgh, but allowed five earned runs on five hits to gain his second loss. His second win was against the Marlins in late April where he allowed two runs in five innings until a two run home run. Whereas this is not a very impressive statistic, James has a lot to prove as he was called up originally to replace Glavine while he was on the disabled list.
Watch for strikeouts from Hamel tonight. He struck out 11 batters in Milwaukee in late April, and it was his 8th double-digit strikeout night. He also has walked three or fewer batters in his last eight starts. The Braves will need to be sure to keep their bats alive.
The Braves will be back in Atlanta tomorrow night facing the A’s.
Tags: Chipper Jones, Chuck James, Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies
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