Open Thread, Aug. 2, Braves vs. the Pete Incaviglias
It’s rare to face pitchers making MLB debuts in back-to-back games, but it will happen tonight. The Braves’ suddenly fearsome attack will pounce on the Phillies and Athens, Ga. native Ethan Martin this evening in cheesesteak city. The way the offense is marauding, and with an 11.5-game lead I’d kinda like to see what they’d do against Cliff Lee tonight. It’s his slot, but he has a stiff neck, so Martin is subbing.
The Phils got the 24-year-old Martin from the Dodgers for Victorino last year. MLB.com rates Martin the team’s 10th best prospect. My guess is the Bravos bully him. Of course, one never knows about these things.
One does know that it would be comforting to see this evening’s Bravos’ hurler, Medlen, author consecutive strong starts. His last outing against the Redbirds was solid. Another good effort could signal he’s on the path to postseason readiness. Kris won’t face Ryan Howard or, more importantly Dominic Brown, the Phillies’ best hitter.
Also of note, the Phils have totally blown lately, going 2-10 since the all star break. The douchy Papelbon blew a lead last night, in honor of former Phils’ closer Brad Lidge, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch as part of retiring as a Philly. Michael Young probably won’t retire a Phil, but he’s one for now even though he was widely expected to be dealt. Guess Ruben Amaro couldn’t get any bats to go along with a bag of balls for the 36-year-old Young, who is actually having an OK year.
Speaking of 30-somethings, Ole Charlie Manuel (whom we like) will trot out four in his starting nine tonight. If Howard and Lee were healthy, it would be six. Meanwhile, the Braves start one guy 30 or older, Uggla, who’s 33.