Today in the NL East: Braves look to avoid sweep
The Phillies have the day off today after a crushing 5-3 loss on Wednesday (see instant replay)
Matt Kemp hit a two-run walk-off home run in the 12th inning, after Jonathan Papelbon proved unable to hold a two-run in the tenth (see story)
As the Phils travel back home, here's a look at the today in the NL East...
Giants at Braves, 12:10 p.m.
Before the Giants head to Philadelphia for a three-game series this weekend, they will try and do the Phils a favor by completing a sweep of the Braves. San Francisco exploded offensively with nine runs in each of the series' first two games.
The Giants will hope that catcher Buster Posey's hot bat doesn't cool down. In the first two games of the series, Posey hit 6-for-9 with five RBIs. All-Star Game MVP Melky Cabrera went 2-for-5 in each game and hit a home run on Wednesday in a 9-4 11-inning win for the Giants. With the game tied 3-3 in the 11th inning, San Francisco got two three-run home runs from Brandon Crawford and Gregor Blanco.
Madison Bumgarner will get the start for the Giants today. He has an ERA of 3.15 on the season and a WHIP of 1.07. He will be opposed by Tim Hudson, who brings an ERA of 3.80 into the matchup. After shutting out the Phillies over seven innings in his last start before the All-Star break, Hudson lasted just four innings, giving up four runs on eight hits against the Mets in his last start.
Mets at Nationals, 12:35 p.m.
In the only game between two NL East teams on the day, the first-place Nationals will look to complete a three-game sweep of the Mets and extend New York's losing streak to seven games. Washington won the first game of the series on Tuesday in 10 innings, 5-4, when Ryan Zimmerman scored on a wild pitch. The Mets were unable to complete a comeback on Wednesday despite getting home runs from David Wright and Jason Bay in the ninth inning.
Gio Gonzalez will start for Washington. Gonzalez, who has a 2.93 ERA and a WHIP of 1.10 this season, has struck out 15 batters and allowed just three runs in 12 innings in his last two starts.
The Mets have the right guy on the mound if they want to snap their losing streak, as R.A. Dickey gets the start. Dickey has been the Mets ace this season and is second in the NL with a miniscule .98 WHIP. He he has struck out 127 batters in 125 innings pitched, but had struggled his last two starts though, giving up 10 runs in 12 innings on 19 hits.
Marlins at Cubs, 2:20 p.m.
In Chicago, the Marlins are hoping to take their rubber match with the Cubs. Miami took the opener on Tuesday, 9-5, but Chicago won yesterday, 5-1, behind a nine-strikout performance from Jeff Samardzija.
The Marlins are enjoying solid production from their newest memeber: Carlos Lee. Since joining Miami via trade on July 5, Lee has hit .286 with a .349 on-base percentage. He hit a grand slam in the first game of the Chicago series.
Mark Buehrle will get the start for Miami. Since giving up six runs in five innings against the Red Sox on June 19, Buehrle has thrown at least seven innings in each of his last four starts and given up just three runs and struck out 29 over that same stretch.
The Cubs will counter with the equally hot Paul Maholm, who has given up just two runs in his last 22 and 1/3 innings of work.