Pedro Martinez (2-0, 5.14) takes the hill tonight when the Phillies open an important three-game series against the Braves. First pitch is 7:05 with precipitation looming.
Right-handed Rookie of the Year candidate Tommy Hanson (9-2, 3.12) will be making his first start against the Phils, who are coming off a disappointing series loss to the Pirates, but a decent road trip overall. The Phils are hoping for more timely hitting from their offense, which hasn't been able to produce many runs lately without benefit of the long ball. The Braves trail the Phils by seven games in the National League East. Needless to say a worst-case scenario weekend sweep would significantly alter the playoff picture and give the Braves hope. As reported earlier, storm cells are scattered throughout the Delaware Valley tonight. It could be another situation where Mother Nature cuts Pedro's start short. Lineups are posted; Phillies go with their standard set. In other news, Brett Myers is scheduled for another rehab appearance tomorrow in Reading. Todd Zolecki provides additional details on Antonio Bastardo, Clay Condrey and J.C. Romero on the Phillies' Web site. [Link]