Following a thrilling 14th inning home run from Chase Utley that saved a tie in a 4-game series against the Miami Marlins, the Philadelphia Phillies will launch in to another four game series with the Atlanta Braves. They’ll be doing it without Carlos Ruiz, who will be on the 7-day concussion DL following a hit the helmet in Thursday night’s game. Catcher Wil Nieves is on the 15-day DL, leaving the Phillies with Cameron Rupp as their only option behind the plate. Koyie Hill is also on the active roster.
Rupp has only played in one game this season, racking up a whopping three at-bats and two strikeouts. Hill hasn’t faired much better in 15 at-bats, with five hits and two strikeouts. Rupp will be batting in the 8-hole tonight, but if he struggles, don’t be surprised to see Hill get a look later in the weekend, especially in the second Saturday game.
The first game of the series will see Julio Teheran (6-5, 2.41 ERA) take on Kyle Kendrick (3-7, 4.20). The early game on Saturday will see Ervin Santana (5-5, 4.15) taking on Roberto Hernandez (3-6, 4.41). The late game on Saturday will see relief pitchers David Hale (2-2, 3.14) and journeyman Sean O’ Sullivan make his first start of the season for the Phillies. The Sunday game will feature Aaron Harang (6-6, 3.78) and David Buchanan (4-3, 4.79)
The Phillies should go in to this series with some confidence following a sweep of the Braves earlier in the month and the extra-inning win on Thursday night. That confidence may quickly disappear without Carlos Ruiz to anchor a shaky pitching staff against four of Atlanta’s best.
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