The start of this Braves/Phils series at Citizens Bank Park feels very ominous and important, as if this were the beginning of a new chapter of the season. It could be. With Jimmy Rollins now taking off the training wheels tonight and Ryan Howard supposedly ready to start swatting the ball, the offense may be set to take off now. Meanwhile, we got our taste of the pitching staff so far â€” starters are mediocre, relievers are above their heads.
Now we fly into phase two of the season, where divisional and interleague games kick into high gear. No more swings to San Francisco. Lay off the Reds and Astros. This is real baseball.
The Phils get the Braves for three â€” all Atlanta starters are lefties, including tonight’s pitcher, Jo-Jo Reyes. Let’s make Jo-Jo look like a yo-yo tonight.
Mark Teixeira, who has a home run against Kendrick, is not in tonight’s lineup. All-world third baseman Chipper Jones is â€” he’s 2-for-6 with a homer against the sinkerballer. Shane Victorino will start in right field tonight while Jayson Werth gets the call in center field.
Phillies: Kyle Kendrick (2-2) 4.93 ERA
Braves: Jo-Jo Reyes (1-0) 2.25 ERA
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EST
Weather: 67 degrees, sunny
Lineup: Rollins, Victorino, Utley, Howard, Burrell, Werth, Feliz, Ruiz, Kendrick
MLB Gameday Audio
Your gamenight beer: Tonight I want something dark, something strong, something French. Of course, the Braves have the league’s pre-eminent French-Canadian ballplayer in Jeff Francoeur. Yes, we don’t like him, so we’ll beat him the way we’re supposed to beat the French: Drink their liquor and steal their women. Yes, his woman is steal-able. Drink Trappistes Rochefort 10 â€” an awesome French quadrupel â€” with some ham.