Randy Wolf tries to win his first game since returning from Tommy John surgery when the Phillies and Braves finish their series this afternoon.
Wolf (0-0, 6.48 ERA) has pitched as expected. The idea of leaning on him the rest of the season, to help in their pursuit of the post-season, is, and always has been, an unlikely stretch.
The veteran left-hander missed more than a year recovering from surgery to repair his pitching elbow. He hasn't exactly been eased back into it, facing the Cardinals and Mets in his first two starts. The 30-year-old left-hander was knocked out early in both games due to high pitch counts. His velocity has been a little better than it was before surgery, but he’s shaking off rust and trying to find the target. He’s walked 8 in 8 1-3 innings.
The Braves didn’t expect rookie Chuck James (4-3, 5.07 ERA) to play a big part in this season, either, but the junkball left-hander was one of their better surprises of the first half. Since June 25, however, he has an 8.78 ERA and has lost three-straight decisions.
The Phillies are still 3.5 games out in the Wild Card race; Atlanta is 5.5 back. Lineups are set. Shane Victorino starts in right field and bats second. Play ball!