2011 Gameday

Gameday: Phillies (5-1) at Braves (3-4)

Philadelphia Phillies (5-1) at Atlanta Braves (3-4)

Cliff Lee, LHP (1-0, 3.86 ERA) vs. Tim Hudson, RHP (1-0, 1.29 ERA)

Time: 7:35 p.m at Turner Field
Weather: Overcast, 76
TV: WPHL-17, MLB Network
Twitter: Phillies Nation

-Let’s see how they play against tougher teams.

-Just wait until they are hitting against a true ace.

For all the skeptics, that time is now.  The Phillies head into Atlanta for a three game series that will be their first real test of this young season.  Personally, I can not think of a better way start it off than having Cliff Lee (1-0, 3.86) toeing the rubber against Tim Hudson (1-0, 1.29)

Minus a day off against the Mets, the offense is really raking this season.  The Phillies had 16 hits yesterday and lead the National League in hitting (.353) and are second in runs scored with 43.  The big man Ryan Howard is hitting .480 with 12 hits already and Placido ‘What Elbow’ Polanco is close behind at .440.  And please let us not forget Mr. Everything Wilson Valdez who is also hitting over .400 with three doubles in five games.

They are visiting an Atlanta team that hasn’t exactly been putting fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers so far this year.  The Braves are ranked 11th in the NL for hitting (.226) but do lead the Eastern Division in home runs (6). The Phillies are right behind Atlanta with five.

The big story tonight will be pitching.  The Braves are hitting .193 against left-handed pitching and are striking out about once every five at bats.  The Phillies will be ‘throwing’ two lefties at Atlanta this weekend with Lee and Cole Hamels on Sunday.

Howard has had some success against Hudson in his career (14-41, 6 HR) and overall the Braves righty is 6-7 against the Phillies.

This is the first road series for the Phillies and they will look to start the scoring early.  The Phillies have scored eight first inning runs this season and 21 runs before the start of the fifth.

Phillies Lineup: Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Rollins SS, Howard 1B, Francisco RF, Ibanez LF, Ruiz C, Valdez 2B, Lee P

Gameday Beer: I have picked Yards ESA (Extra Special Ale) because it is the first beer I tasted when I got off the bus in Philly for Opening Day.  It was all good times after that.  It is a darker beer without the dark beer lingering taste; which is a plus for my palette.   -Kieran

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