National League Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, April 4th (All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Phillies (0-2) at Atlanta Braves (2-0), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - Cliff Lee (0-0, 0.00) Atlanta - Kris Medlen (0-0, 0.00)
(Sports Network) - Former American League Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee makes his 2013 debut Thursday when the Philadelphia Phillies try to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.
Lee won the award as the AL's top pitcher after going 22-3 in 31 starts with the Cleveland Indians in 2008.
He's split four subsequent seasons with the Indians, Phillies, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers while finishing seventh in the AL Cy Young voting in 2010 and third in the National League race in 2011.
Lee plummeted from 17 wins to six wins in 2012, however, while watching his earned run average climb from 2.40 to 3.16 across 211 innings, in which he allowed 207 hits and struck out 207 batters.
Lee is 4-4 in 10 career meetings with Atlanta while posting a 3.08 ERA in 64 1/3 innings.
The Braves counter with righty Kris Medlen, who emerged as a force with 10 wins in 11 decisions last season after winning just nine times in his initial 70 big-league outings.
The California native, a 10th-round draft pick in 2006, allowed just 103 hits and struck out 120 batters in 138 innings while allowing an opposition batting average of .208.
Medlen picked up two no-decisions and a hold in three relief appearances against the Phillies last season, allowing five hits and three runs in 3 1/3 innings.
He's 1-0 against them in 13 career meetings - two starts - while recording a 5.32 ERA in 23 2/3 innings.
On Wednesday, Justin Upton and Jason Heyward each hit two-run homers, Evan Gattis added a solo shot and the Braves knocked out Roy Halladay in the fourth inning in a 9-2 drubbing of the Phillies.
Freddie Freeman went 2-for-3 with a three-run double to follow up his three- hit, three-RBI performance in Atlanta's season-opening win on Monday.
Paul Maholm (1-0) scattered six hits and a walk over 5 2/3 scoreless frames to pick up the victory, while Halladay (0-1) surrendered five runs on six hits with an uncharacteristic three walks over 3 1/3 innings.
Chase Utley drove in both of Philadelphia's runs with a double in the seventh, but by that time the Braves were working with a 7-0 cushion.
Atlanta went 12-6 against the Phillies in 2012.
04/04 10:17:06 ET