Phillies at Braves
7:10 p.m. on NBC 10
The Phils have lost to the Braves five straight times, and at 42-54 they are 11 games behind Atlanta (53-43) in the NL East.
Here are five things you need to know about the middle game of the series:
1. First night back
Seven of eight Phillies starters reached base in their first game back from the All-Star break. The Phils had just six hits, but it wasn't a poor night offensively.
Jimmy Rollins walked twice out of the two-hole. Chase Utley hit his first double (not counting the All-Star Game) since June 7. Ryan Howard drove in two runs with a sixth-inning single. Marlon Byrd saw 20 pitches in four plate appearances. Grady Sizemore had two hits and is batting .313 in four games as a Phillie. Cody Asche had an RBI single and a bomb to right field with the bases loaded that may have been a grand slam in some parks but was just a sacrifice fly at Turner Field.
And the Phillies went 3 for 4 with runners in scoring position. They entered play ranked 27th in baseball with a .229 batting average with RISP.
2. Jimmy stays patient
Rollins walked for the 44th and 45th times Friday. He is on pace for 76 walks, which would best his previous career high by 14.
Where was this patience earlier in Rollins' career? He's been more selective in 2014 than ever before and hasn't sacrificed power doing it. Rollins is slugging .389 a year after slugging .348.
3. Milestone approaching
With his next steal, Rollins will reach 20 stolen bases for the 13th different year.
Only 13 players have ever had more seasons with 20-plus steals: Rickey Henderson (23), Ty Cobb (17), Ozzie Smith and Lou Brock (16), Willie Wilson, Max Carey, Eddie Collins and Honus Wagner (15), and Kenny Lofton, Otis Nixon, Brett Butler, Joe Morgan and Bert Campaneris (14).
4. Hamels on the hill
Cole Hamels, whose name has been bandied about lately in trade rumors, makes his first start of the second half looking for that elusive fourth win.
Hamels is 3-5 despite a 2.93 ERA, a .235 opponents' batting average and 106 strikeouts in 107 1/3 innings.
You know about the run support. The Phillies have barely scored for Hamels and he's been forced to make pitch after pitch in tie games. But he's still having a brilliant season.
Over his last 13 starts, Hamels has a 2.18 ERA and has allowed just 68 hits in 90 2/3 innings. The Phillies are 6-7.
This is his second start of the year at Turner Field against the Braves. He pitched seven shutout innings there on June 16 in a 6-1 Phillies win.
Hamels has faced the Braves more than he's faced any other team. In 32 games, he's gone 14-8 with a 3.41 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.
5. They've hit Harang
Hamels' mound opponent is 36-year-old Braves right-hander Aaron Harang, who is 9-6 with 3.53 ERA.
The Phillies have tuned him up in two meetings this season, scoring 11 runs on 24 hits over 12 innings.
Byrd is 9 for 20 (.450) lifetime against Harang with three homers. Utley is 13 for 30 (.433) with four doubles and a homer. Sizemore is 11 for 25 (.440) with four doubles. Howard is 9 for 27 (.333) with two doubles and three homers.
All told, current Phillies have hit .349/.404/.559 against Harang.