After the roller-coaster ride Game 1 of the Braves-Phillies series in Philadelphia was on Monday, Mother Nature intervened and forced a day off on Tuesday.
Rain postponed Tuesday’s action, and instead of a double-header during this road trip, the makeup game will be played during Atlanta’s trip to Citizens Bank Park sometime during their June 27-29 series.
This week’s series in Philadelphia, originally schedule as a four-game set, will be completed in three games, with Game 2 Wednesday and Game 3 Thursday, before the team gets out of town and travels to New York to take on the Mets for a weekend series.
Here’s the lineup for Wednesday:
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Atlanta Braves (9-4)
1. Jason Heyward, RF
2. B.J. Upton, CF
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
4. Justin Upton, LF
5. Evan Gattis, C
6. Dan Uggla, 2B
7. Chris Johnson, 3B
8. Andrelton Simmons, SS
9. Julio Teheran (RHP)(1-1, 2.84 ERA)
Philadelphia Phillies (6-7)
1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Jimmy Rollins, SS
3. Chase Utley, 2B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Marlon Byrd, RF
6. Domonic Brown, LF
7. Carlos Ruiz, C
8. Freddy Galvis, 3B
9. Cliff Lee (LHP)(2-1, 5.50 ERA)
Rain might have been a blessing in disguise
The season is only a little over two weeks old. While it’s still very early on, the Braves were slated to play 16 games in a row between their home opener on April 8 and the final game of their current road trip on April 20. That many games in a row is rough.
Tuesday’s rain out came on what was supposed to be the eighth-straight game of that 16-game stretch without a break. The rest was probably welcomed.
Bouncing back after an 0-fer
First baseman Freddie Freeman hasn’t been held without a hit often this season. In fact, in 13 games, Freeman has gone hitless only three time; twice in Atlanta’s opening series against the Milwaukee Brewers and Monday night against the Phillies.
The promising news is that in each game following his hitless performance, Freeman bounced back in the next game an pounded out at least two hits. On April 1 he bounced back from his opening day 0-for-4 outing with a 3-for-3 day with two home runs. On April 4, Freeman was 2 of 4 after going 0 for 2 the game prior.
Wednesday will be the third time Freeman attempts to bounce back from a hitless performance. History tells us to expect a big game.
Freeman is batting .404 this season with four home runs and 10 RBI. Entering Wednesday, he’s ranked fourth in the league in batting average, second in on-base percentage (.491), second in slugging percentage (.745) and second in weighted runs created plus (226), a metric used to quantify a hitter’s total offensive value measured by runs. A league average wRC+ is 100, meaning Freeman’s 226 is 125 percent better that the average major league hitter.
Skipped in the rotation
David Hale was supposed to start on Tuesday. Instead of pushing the rotation back and letting him go on Wednesday, Hale will be skipped this time through.
Julio Teheran will start Wednesday and Alex Wood will throw on Thursday to complete the series in Philadelphia. When the Braves travel to take on the Mets, the probable rotation will be Aaron Harang on Friday, Ervin Santana on Saturday and Hale on Sunday.
Every major-leaguer wore No. 42 on Tuesday to pay tribute to Jackie Robinson.
Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier on April 15, 1947 when he played first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson’s No. 42 was retired across Major League Baseball in 1997, and now on April 15 every year, every player wears No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day.
The Braves and Phillies were not able to wear their No. 42 jersey’s because of the postponement Tuesday. Both teams will honor Robinson Wednesday and wear his jersey number.