Phillies-Braves: What you need to know

Phillies-Braves: What you need to know

August 2, 2013, 2:45 pm
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Ethan Martin had a 2.08 ERA and .189 opponents' batting average in his last seven starts at Triple A. (PHOTO: Jay Floyd/Phillies Nation)

Phillies (50-58) vs. Braves (64-45)
7:05 p.m. – CSN

The Phillies have scored 20 runs in their last 10 games. Their inefficiency moving runners reared its ugly head again on Thursday, when they managed just one run that gave Jonathan Papelbon no breathing room after eight masterful shutout innings from Cole Hamels.

Not good news with the surging Braves coming to town for a weekend series.

Atlanta is 10-4 since the All-Star break and has scored as many runs in its last two games as the Phils have in their last 10. The Braves have won seven in a row, outscoring their opponents 51-16.

Ethan Martin’s first major-league test will look like the LSAT.

The latest rookie

Earlier in the week it was Cody Asche, and now it’s Martin’s turn to debut in The Show. Acquired last July from the Dodgers in the Shane Victorino trade, Martin was 11-5 with a 4.12 ERA at Triple A Lehigh Valley this season. In 115 2/3 innings, he struck out 107.

Martin is the seventh Phillie to make his major-league debut this season, joining Asche, Jonathan Pettibone, Cesar Hernandez, Steve Susdorf, J.C. Ramirez and Luis Garcia.

The issue with Martin all along has been control. He’s walked 67 batters this season, 5.2 per nine innings. In 582 innings in the minors, he’s walked 354. No matter how good his stuff is, that’s way too many misses to stick in the bigs. Just ask former Phillies prospect Kyle Drabek.

A first-round pick in 2008, Martin is as hot as he’s been since joining the Phils’ organization. Over his last seven starts he’s 4-2 with a 2.08 ERA and .189 opponents’ batting average. Still though, the walks – he’s walked three or more batters in six of those seven outings.

The Braves aren’t an overly patient team but they will take their walks. Lefties Freddie Freeman and Brian McCann could give Martin a lot of trouble. Lefties had a .367 on-base percentage against Martin at Triple A, and both players are hot. Freeman is 9 for 17 with two homers, six RBIs and eight runs in his last four games, while McCann has two homers and seven RBIs in his last three.

More of Medlen

The Phillies face Braves right-hander Kris Medlen for the second time in their last 20 games. They pounded him on July 7 in a 7-3 win.

On that night the Phils tagged Medlen for seven runs in 5 1/3 innings, but the players who did the most damage won’t be in Friday’s lineup. Domonic Brown and Ben Revere were 3 for 6 off Medlen with two triples, a homer and four RBIs.

Medlen proceeded to struggle in his next two starts, allowing eight runs in 9 1/3 innings before rebounding against the Cardinals his last time out.

He’s 7-10 with a 3.74 ERA this season. His opponents have hit .281/.335/.435. They hit .208/.243/.286 last year, when he had a 1.57 ERA.

How will Martin stack up?

Here is a look at how every Phillies rookie since 2000 has fared in his first big-league start with the team:

Jonathan Pettibone (4-22-13 vs. Pirates): 5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 6 K -- No Decision

Tyler Cloyd (8-12-12 vs. Mets): 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K -- Loss

Antonio Bastardo (6-2-09 vs. Padres): 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K -- Win

J.A. Happ (6-30-07 vs. Mets): 4 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 5 K -- Loss

Kyle Kendrick (6-13-07 vs. White Sox): 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 K -- No Decision

Scott Mathieson (6-17-06 vs. Devil Rays): 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 5 K -- Loss

Cole Hamels (5-12-06 vs. Reds): 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 7 K -- No Decision

Gavin Floyd (9-3-04 vs. Mets): 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 5 K -- Win

Brett Myers (7-24-02 vs. Cubs): 8 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K -- Win

Brandon Duckworth (8-7-01 vs. Padres): 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 4 K -- Win

David Coggin (6-3-00 vs. Expos): 6 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 4 K -- Win

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