National League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, July 8th
(All times Eastern)
Atlanta Braves (45-39) at Philadelphia Phillies (37-49), 1:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Atlanta - Jair Jurrjens (2-2, 5.19)
Philadelphia - Vance Worley (4-5, 3.46)
(Sports Network) - Jair Jurrjens has looked like a different pitcher since
returning from the minors. The Atlanta Braves hurler looks for his third win
of the season this afternoon in the finale of a three-game set against the
Jurrjens found himself 0-2 with a 9.37 earned run average through his first
four starts of the season before a demotion. He returned to the Braves on June
22 and has gone 2-0 with a 1.47 ERA in three starts since.
The right-hander picked up a win over the Cubs on Tuesday, charged with three
unearned runs on nine hits in five innings without a walk. He also struck out
two in the 10-3 triumph, which lowered his season ERA to 5.19.
Jurrjens, 26, is 5-3 with a 2.45 ERA in 11 career starts versus the Phillies,
who counter in this finale with Vance Worley.
Worley has dropped three of his last four starts and lasted a season-low four
innings for the second time in 13 starts this season on Tuesday versus the
Mets. The 24-year-old righty was charged with a season-high six runs on 10
hits with a walk in an 11-1 defeat.
"Usually he keeps us in the game and most of the time he gives us a chance to
win. Tonight, they got on him," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said about
Worley. "They were hitting the ball and they were hitting the ball hard. He
Worley is 4-5 with a 3.46 ERA on the season and faces the Braves for the first
time in 2012. He is 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in four career meetings with Atlanta,
including two starts.
The Braves came into this series having lost nine of their last 10 to the
Phillies, but can sweep a three-game set against the club for the first time
since May 31-June 2 of last season in Atlanta. They last swept a series in
Philadelphia from April 2-5, 2007.
The Braves got a solo homer and two RBI from Brian McCann in Saturday's 6-3
victory. Michael Bourn, added to the All-Star Game on Saturday, added three
hits and scored twice, while Martin Prado drove in two runs in Atlanta's third
"(Citizens Bank Park) is a hitters' haven," said McCann of Philadelphia's home
ballpark. "You can do so many things here. It's a great yard to hit in. I
enjoy coming up here."
Tommy Hanson got back in the win column after dropping his last start as he
pitched seven-plus innings and gave up three runs on six hits to win his 10th
game of the season.
"It's nice going into the (All-Star) break with 10 wins," said Hanson.
"Hopefully, I can finish stronger than last year and keep moving forward."
Joe Blanton was touched for six runs -- five earned -- on nine hits with a
walk and six strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings for the Phillies, who have dropped
three straight and nine of their last 10.
"They had a good approach tonight," said Blanton. "They didn't chase anything.
They were super aggressive on balls in the zone. They made me battle really
hard tonight and I felt I had pretty good stuff."
Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard made his season debut on Friday after
suffering a torn Achilles tendon in his club's Game 5 loss to the St. Louis
Cardinals on Oct. 7, but was held out of the lineup yesterday after having
also played with Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Thursday. He is expected to start
07/08 10:30:47 ET