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Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera making a two-run home run-saving grab in the third inning, opposite Freddie Freeman and the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Citizens Bank Park (Watch Video).

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

Trailing the division by just a half-game, the Philadelphia Phillies (16-10) and RHP Vince Velasquez will look to capture its fifth series win of the season in a Sunday matinee opposite the Atlanta Braves (15-11) and RHP Brandon McCarthy at Citizens Bank Park.

Prior to the game, the Phillies placed shortstop J.P. Crawford on the 10-day disabled list with a right forearm strain. Crawford suffered the injury on Saturday. In a corresponding move, the club recalled infielder Jesmuel Valentín from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

The Phillies fell for the fifth time in eight meetings with the Braves this season on Saturday, 4-1, after taking the series opener, 7-3, on Friday. Third baseman Maikel Franco provided the only Phillies offense and extra-base hit with a solo shot in the fifth, his third home run of 2018. The club scattered just four other singles in the loss, while starter Nick Pivetta fell to 1-1 after allowing four runs through five frames and 82 pitches.

After concluding their 10-game homestand on Sunday, the Phillies will next head to Miami and the nation's capital for two three-game road sets against their division rivals, the Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals. The club will then return home for a seven-game homestand against the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets, May 7-13.

Starting Pitching Matchup:

Atlanta Braves (15-11) Philadelphia Phillies (16-10)
RHP Brandon McCarthy RHP Vince Velasquez
(3-0, 3.38 ERA) (1-3, 4.50 ERA)

RHP Brandon McCarthy, Age: 34

  • Career vs. PHI: 2-1, 2.64 ERA, 5 G, 5 GS, 30 2/3 IP, 33 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 1 HR, 7 BB, 31 SO, 1.304 WHIP
  • Career at Citizens Bank Park: N/A

McCarthy will make his 188th career start and his first at Citizens Bank Park. The right-hander is 2-0 against the Phillies this season, allowing only three runs through 10 2/3 innings.


RHP Vince Velasquez, Age: 25

  • Career vs. ATL: 0-3, 3.89 ERA, 6 G, 6 GS, 34 2/3 IP, 40 H, 19 R, 15 ER, 3 HR, 9 BB, 35 SO, 1.413 WHIP
  • Career at Citizens Bank Park: 6-9, 4.08 ERA, 22 G, 22 GS, 114 2/3 IP, 101 H, 56 R, 52 ER, 23 HR, 40 BB, 140 SO, 1.230 WHIP

Velasquez has yet to solve the Braves through six career starts, posting a 0-3 record, 3.89 ERA and 1.413 WHIP against them. The right-hander has allowed seven runs through two starts and 8 2/3 innings against the Braves this season.

Starting Lineups:

Atlanta Braves (15-11) Philadelphia Phillies (16-10)
  Position Player Bats   Position Player Bats
1 2B Ozzie Albies S 1 2B Cesar Hernandez S
2 LF Ronald Acuna Jr. R 2 1B Carlos Santana S
3 1B Freddie Freeman  L 3 CF Odubel Herrera L
4 RF Nick Markakis L 4 LF Rhys Hoskins R
5 C Kurt Suzuki R 5 RF Aaron Altherr R
6 3B Johan Camargo S 6 C Andrew Knapp S
7 SS Dansby Swanson R 7 3B Maikel Franco R
8 P Brandon McCarthy R 8 SS Scott Kingery R
9 CF Ender Inciarte L 9 P Vince Velasquez R

Broadcast Information:

  • First pitch: 1:35 p.m.
  • Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP

Game Notes:

  • The Phillies have won six of nine games thus far in their current homestand.
  • The Phillies will be facing the Braves for the already the ninth time through their first 27 games. The clubs will meet next May 21-23 at Citizens Bank Park, followed by a three-month gap until two late-September road and home series.
  • Active Hit Streaks: Odubel Herrera (11), Freddie Freeman (7), Nick Markakis (6)
  • Lifetime against McCarthy, active Phillies batters are slashing a combined .328/.403/.453 with five doubles, one home run, five RBI and eight walks spanning 64 at-bats.


What's Next:

  • Monday, April 30, 2018: at Miami Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
    • Marlins Park, Miami, Fla.
    • RHP Jake Arrieta (3-0, 1.82 ERA) vs. RHP Dan Straily (Season debut)
    • TV: NBCSP; Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP


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Herb Shainker

I've got my fingers crossed, that Crawford's "forearm strain" is behind the reason he is unable to make a simple throw to first base!!

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