09/19/10 11:53 AM ET
Braves seek to close NL East gap vs. Phillies
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
Jurrjens tweaked his knee during a bullpen session Friday night, but didn't inform the Braves of the discomfort until Saturday.
So it'll be Brandon Beachy, a 24-year-old with seven Triple-A starts on his resume. He went a combined 5-1 with a 1.73 ERA -- the best ERA posted in the Minor Leagues -- while playing for Triple-A Gwinnett and Double-A Mississippi this year. He was 2-0 with a 1.73 ERA in seven starts after being promoted to Gwinnett.
Beachy, who began the season in Mississippi's bullpen, extended a surprising story line that dates back to the summer of 2008, when the Braves signed him out of the Virginia Valley Summer League and sent him to their Rookie-level affiliate in Danville, Va., to finish the season.
"We have a lot of confidence in him," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "He's done everything we could have asked from him."
Beachy could not have drawn a tougher or hotter adversary. Hamels has allowed only one run in his past 31 1/3 innings and, over a far longer stretch, has a 1.79 ERA in his last 13 starts.Hamels has managed to win only five of those 13 starts, frustrated by the Phillies' extended -- and long forgotten -- offensive slump. Since the calendar flipped to September, they have scored 108 runs in 18 games. Braves: Lee picks right moment to shine
Derrek Lee, virtually a non-factor in his first month as a Brave, couldn't have picked a better time to go off, his seventh-inning grand slam keyed Sunday's sweep-enabling win. Lee has had moderate success against the three pitchers the Braves will be facing; he has combined for a .287 average (25-for-87), but has driven in a run only against Oswalt. Phillies: Rollins return remains uncertain
The irony of the Phils' revival -- and also an indication of their season-long resilience -- is that Jimmy Rollins has missed the past nine games. The shortstop's return from a hamstring strain is up in the air, certainly more than is his value to the team. They are 38-31 without Rollins in the starting lineup -- decent -- but they are a .630 team (51-30) with him in there. Worth noting
The Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez still leads the NL in batting, but he better watch out -- and no, not for scalding teammate Troy Tulowitzki. Omar Infante went 2-for-4 with a walk Sunday to raise his average to .337, which would be second-best in the league if he had the qualifying plate appearances. But Infante is getting there -- he has 451 PAs, and will need 51 more in the Braves' remaining 12 games to reach the necessary 502.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.