Clevlen gets his first start as a Brave
Welcome back to PNC Park where Bobby Cox is utilizing one of those “Sunday afternoon” lineups that were commonplace back when his clubs were notching five-game winning streaks with some regularity.
With the Braves preparing to play on 20 consecutive days after Monday’s offday, Cox has chosen to rest Chipper Jones, Brian McCann and Eric Hinske for this series finale.
Jason Heyward was scratched about an hour before the first pitch was thrown. The Braves initially said he was also just getting a chance to rest. But they later revealed that he is dealing with a sore left thumb.
Heyward says that he jammed the thumb while sliding into third base during a May 14 game against the D-backs. He hadn’t previously complained of the ailment and while playing the entirety of each of the nine games that followed he hit .265, drilled a walk-off double and constructed a three-hit performance that was just a few feet shy of being his first career multi-homer game.
The Braves don’t seem too concerned with the ailment. They are hopeful that he could return to the lineup as early as Tuesday.
(Now back to the original blog entry:)
Going for their sixth straight win today, the Braves will be utilizing Brent Clevlen as their left fielder. Clevlen, who was called up last week when Matt Diaz was placed on the disabled list, will be making his first start since going 2-for-4 for the Tigers in a 5-4 win over the Dodgers on June 15, 2008.
With the Pirates sending left-hander Zach Duke to the mound, Cox has construcgted a right-handed-heavy lineup. Duke had some success limiting the Phillies to one run over six innings on Tuesday night. But in his four previous starts he had posted a 7.86 ERA.
Left-handed hitters are batting .341 (15-for-44) against Duke and right-handers are hitting .307 (51-for-166).
Here is the lineup that will be looking to support Kris Medlen this afternoon.
Braves @ Pirates 5/23/2010