Halladay (3-2, 1.95 ERA, 0.95 WHIP) allowed three runs on six hits over seven innings while striking out five Cubs last Friday night. The Phillies offense was dormant as the Cubs went on to win 5-1 and Halladay got his second consecutive loss after winning his first three starts of the season. He has factored into the decision in all of his starts so far this year.
Hanson (3-2, 3.00 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) allowed just one run on six hits over six innings while striking out five Pirates in last Friday’s 6-1 win over the Pirates. After starting the season 1-2, Hanson has settled in to win his last two starts against the Diamondbacks and Pirates. Like Halladay, Hanson has also factored into the decision in all of his starts this season.
Through the Phillies’ first 24 games of the year, everyone is talking about the same thing: the offense. The Phillies have struggled to put together a lineup that can consistently score runs in the absence of former MVP first baseman Ryan Howard and perennial All-Star second baseman Chase Utley. This week has been seen a number of players hit the disabled list. Relief pitcher David Herndon was placed on the DL with a flexor pronator strain in his right elbow. He is expected to miss three weeks so the Phillies have recalled RHP Brian Sanches. In addition to Herndon, Cliff Lee was placed on the DL last week and is expected to be able to make a start sometime next week. He threw this afternoon and felt good. First baseman Jim Thome was placed on the DL today with a back injury. Catcher Erik Kratz was recalled from Triple-A.
The Braves, after going 13-7 through the first 20 games of the season, have dropped three of four and have scored ten runs combined in their last four games. Tonight they are going to rely on young first baseman Freddie Freeman to carry some of the load for the Braves as Freeman is 3-for-7 lifetime against Halladay, including his first Major League homerun. In order for the Braves to take down Halladay, they are going to have to focus on their at-bats with runners in scoring position. They have just four hits in their last 36 at bats (.111 batting average) with runners in scoring position which is a somewhat surprising number considering the braves have scored 23 more runs than the next highest scoring team in the NL East (the Mets).
2. Placido Polanco, 3B
3. Shane Victorino, CF
4. Hunter Pence, RF
5. Ty Wigginiton, 1B
6. Laynce Nix, LF
7. Carlos Ruiz, C
8. Freddy Galvis, 2B
9. Roy Halladay, P
First pitch is slated for 7:10 pm at Turner Field. The game can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet and heard on 94.1 WIP.
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