video thumbnail

PHI@CHC: Lee throws seven shutout innings vs. Cubs

Tuesday's rained-out game will not deter the Phillies' plans to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day.

Philadelphia will celebrate Robinson's legacy on Wednesday with a faceoff of aces in Phillies southpaw Cliff Lee and Braves right-hander Julio Teheran.

Atlanta will skip Tuesday's scheduled starter David Hale, who will be available out of the bullpen Wednesday and Thursday and is primed to make his next scheduled start Sunday.

A statue of Robinson is scheduled to be unveiled in Ashburn Alley near the left-field gate at Citizens Bank Park, and Philadelphia will also honor former Negro Leagues player Mahlon Duckett, who played for the Philadephia Stars from 1940-49.

Duckett will take part in a meet-and-greet in the Hall of Fame club by the Jackie Robinson display from 5:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. ET. The Tuskegee Airmen will serve as the honor guard.

"As far as diversity is concerned, there's nobody who has had more of an impact on the game than Jackie Robinson," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "His perseverance, his guts -- not just for African-American players but Latin-American players and players of color. Unfortunately, those were the times we lived in then, but we'll never live them again."

In Robinson's first Major League game in Philadelphia on May 9, 1947, Phillies starter Oscar Judd pitched 7 2/3 innings. Lee will try to match that longevity on Tuesday to help an already overworked Philadelphia bullpen.

In 13 games this season, Phils starters have pitched beyond the sixth inning only twice. In the past eight games, they have reached the six-inning plateau only three times.

Meanwhile, their relievers are pitching roughly 3 1/3 innings per nine. The strain on the bullpen was realized on Monday night, when the relief corps surrendered four home runs -- and seven runs in all -- in a 9-6 loss to the Braves.

Although Lee, who has gone five, seven and six innings in his first three starts of 2014, was describing Philadelphia's 3-6 record to begin the season following his most recent start, on April 10, the Phillies can hope his comments also apply to the starting staff.

"I'm not concerned," Lee said at the time. "We've just got to turn it around like, now. So we'll see what happens tomorrow."

Meanwhile, longevity has been a strength for Teheran, who has pitched six innings or more in all three of his starts this season.

Despite struggling to command his slider, Teheran has rattled off three consecutive quality starts, surrendering two earned runs in each outing. However, he will need to sharpen his slider to improve on his past struggles against the Phillies.

In four career appearances that include three starts, Teheran is 1-2 with a 5.79 ERA against the Phillies. He gave up four earned runs in five innings during his most recent start against Philadelphia, a 12-5 win on Sept. 29, 2013, at Turner Field.

Teheran retired 10 of the first 11 Phillies he faced using only 34 pitches before running into trouble in a four-run fourth. He endured similar struggles in his last start on April 11, navigating through 3 1/3 scoreless innings with only 35 pitches.

He gave up five runs (two earned) in his final three innings, but a two-out Dan Uggla throwing error in the top of the fourth ultimately blew the game open when Teheran gave up a three-run home run to the next batter, Ryan Zimmerman.

"I tried to pick [Uggla] up," Teheran said following a 7-6 Braves win against the Nationals. "But it was a mistake that I made, and it cost me three runs."

Braves: Kimbrel still day to day with sore shoulder
Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel played catch on Tuesday but remains day to day with soreness in his shoulder. David Carpenter pitched the ninth and earned his first save since 2011 in Atlanta's 9-6 series-opening win over Philadelphia.

Neither Kimbrel nor manager Fredi Gonzalez consider the soreness serious.

"Being a pitcher, things get sore every now and then," Kimbrel said Monday night. "So I'm going to take a few days and then get right back out there."

• The Braves became the second team to hit back-to-back-to-back home runs this season when Evan Gattis, Uggla and Andrelton Simmons accomplished the feat on Monday. Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Raul Ibanez did it for the Angels against the Mets on Sunday.

With the exception of starter Ervin Santana, every player in the starting lineup on Monday has homered since April 9. Justin Upton, Freddie Freeman and Simmons have homered multiple times.

The Braves have homered in every game since being shut out by the Mets on April 8, hitting 15 homers during the six-game stretch.

Phillies: Sandberg playing hot hand in Gwynn Jr.
Tony Gwynn Jr. was in the lineup for the fourth consecutive game on Monday, batting leadoff and playing center field. He finished 1-for-4 with a walk, two strikeouts and a run scored. He is batting .316 with four runs scored during the stretch.

• Catcher Carlos Ruiz made two throwing errors on Monday night, the first time he has ever done that in regular-season play. B.J. Upton twice stole a base, and each time he advanced to third on throws from Ruiz that ended up in the outfield.

Worth noting
• Atlanta's Chris Johnson has two career home runs against Lee.

• After striking out only twice in his first 46 plate appearances, Phillies second baseman Chase Utley did so twice in his first two plate appearances on Monday night. Comments