Phillies Preview – April 8th 2011
April 8, 2011
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April 8th 2011 – 7:35 pm
Philadelphia Phillies (5-1) Cliff Lee (1-0, 3.86ERA) @ Atlanta Braves (3-4) Tim Hudson (1-0, 1.29ERA)
God I love beating the Mets. After a horrendous start to the series on Tuesday the Phillies bats came alive winning the final two games against the joke that is the New York Mets. After the first game I heard a little banter from the New York fans, but amazingly the Mets fans went quiet after the past two games. You can’t win games with a spring training split squad line up Mets fans. I won’t say anything more because this isn’t a rivalry it’s just becoming a joke watching the Metropolitans attempt to play baseball. But just one more time, Mike Pelfrey’s throwing error. It’s just too horrible of a play to not mention one more time.
After series against two of the National League’s worst teams, the Atlanta Braves give the Phillies their first test of 2011. The Braves send Tim Hudson to the mound while the Phillies counter with
Jesus Christ himself Cliff Lee. Cliff was silky smooth in his return to Philadelphia striking out 11 and walking none in a 9-4 win over the Astros. Hudson was also impressive defeating the Washington Nationals throwing seven strong innings. Both Hudson and Lee are two of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball. The Phillies have had some success in their career against Hudson, most notably the freshly engaged, red hot, Big Piece Ryan Howard who is hitting .341 with 6 homers in 41 at-bats against Hudson. With the way he’s swinging the bat I’d expect Ryno to be trotting down to first base on ball four a couple times tonight.
Keys To The Game
- It’s the Braves home opener tonight so expect the fans to be excited. It also will be the first Braves home opener since 1991 that Bobby Cox won’t be the manager for Atlanta. Fredi Gonzalez has the difficult task of replacing Cox after going 276-279 in three and half seasons with the fish. He was fired in 2010 with rumors swirling that the firing stemmed from an altercation with Hanley Ramirez. Any way expect the Braves to come out fired up in front of the home crowd so a solid start for the Phillies tonight would definitely help.
- Ryan Howard. He needs to stay hot against a pitcher whom he has had success in his career. Hudson will try and pitch around Howard so his pitch selection is important. The Phillies are hitting .353, but haven’t faced an “A” pitcher yet so tonight will be a good test.
- Clifford Phifer Lee. Doc was nasty last night lowering his ERA to 0.69 which is um. Amazing. Expect Lee to feed off of Halladay’s start and shut down what is an improved Braves offense.