This is the way it should be for Atlanta Manager Bobby Cox. A homestand against the dreaded rivals of the Braves, the division winning Philadelphia Phillies, that really means something. Granted, the NL East title belongs to Philadelphia but the Braves own a two game edge in the wildcard thanks to the Cubs, who won 3 of 4 from the punchless Padres.
The Phillies will be resting some of their talented crew while the Braves will be playing as if their lives were on the line. If they win two games, it does not matter what the Padres do against the Giants and that is the mindset Cox will urge his team to have.
The Braves will send young Kyle Beachy (0-1, 2.89) to the mound in the biggest start of his life. He record is 0-1, 2,08 against the Phils. He allowed the Phils just one run in his August outing against the leaders.
To add more pressure to the Braves, second baseman Martin Prado is lost for the remained of the season. The sparkplug has been a main part of the struggling offense.
The Phils who rested slugger Ryan Howard on Wednesday will have the big fella back in the lineup tonight. Kyle Kendrick (10-10, 4.76) will take the hill. The right -hander has been tough on the Braves in the past, building a 4-1, 2.53 career record against the divisional rival. In his last three starts, Kendrick is 1-3 with a 3.63 ERA.
The Brave have the best home record of any team in the league. Backed by loyal fans, they play hard and contest every pitch at Turner Field. We expect tonight, the veteran lineup will come through for their fans and manager and nip the Phils in a close one.