On Deck: Fresh meat takes the field
Posted on: August 1, 2011 4:19 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2011 4:23 pm
By Matt Snyder
We only have 11 games Monday night, with eight teams having the day off. The big storyline of the day is obviously all the familiar names in new places, so let's take a look. And remember to follow all games on CBSSports.com's live scoreboard.
Bourn Identity: The Phillies landed Hunter Pence, so the Braves went back and took a different Houston outfielder. Michael Bourn will join the Braves, who look to both protect their 3 1/2 game lead in the NL Wild Card standings and cut into the Phillies' six-game lead in the NL East. Bourn finally gives the Braves a solid leadoff hitter and bolsters the inconsistent offense -- not to mention being an exceptional defensive center fielder. The Braves send Jair Jurrjens (12-3, 2.38) to the hill against the Nationals, who are starting Livan Hernandez (5-10, 4.19). Braves at Nationals, 7:05 p.m. ET.
Break out the eye patches: The Pirates were buyers, not sellers, for the first time in ages. It was refreshing and has to send a message to the Pittsburgh fans. Now the focus turns to the Pirates playing winning baseball. They've lost three straight and are 4 1/2 games behind the Brewers in the NL Central. Of course, those three losses were to the Phillies -- who have the best record in baseball. Monday, the Pirates begin a series against the second-worst team in the majors: The Cubs. Derrek Lee will be with the Pirates to face his former team and Ryan Ludwick joins in on the fun. Carlos Zambrano (7-6, 4.59) faces off against the new-look offense, while Paul Maholm (6-10, 3.16) takes the mound for the Pirates. Cubs at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. ET.
Furcal joins Cards: There's a pretty solid pitching matchup in Milwaukee, as we'll see Chris Carpenter (6-7, 3.68) of the Cardinals square off against Zack Greinke (8-4, 4.50) of the Brewers, but the big news is the new shortstop for the Cardinals. Rafael Furcal was shipped to the Cards Sunday and will start against the Brewers Monday night. He'll slide into the leadoff spot, which is pretty cushy, considering the likes of Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman soon follow. Jon Jay is no slouch in the two-hole either. The Cardinals trail the Brewers by 2 1/2 games in the NL Central. Cardinals at Brewers, 8:10 p.m. ET.
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