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Atlanta Braves Look To Sweep the Phillies To Start the 2009 Season

PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 05:  Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves is congratulated by manager Bobby Cox after the Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies on April 5, 2009 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Today's game is the opening of the 2009 major league baseball season.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Kevin MarkumCorrespondent IApril 8, 2009

Chipper and company are looking to start the season off on a high note as they enter Wednesday night's game against the Philadelphia Phillies.  The game will be the final game of the season's opening series between the two division rivals.

Coming of a championship season, the Phillies are starting out their season 0-2, just like they did in 2008.  Whether this is good news or not for you Phillie fans, it is what it is.

The fact is that in just two short games, the Braves look awesome.

No one hitter stands out from the rest; everyone is getting their hits in there.

Sunday night, Francoeur, McCann, and Schafer all hit homers.  Tuesday night, it was Chipper's and Kelly's turn.

Garret Anderson, Yunel Escobar, and Kotchman are all getting some big hits as well.  Yunel even just missed a homer in Sunday's season opener.

However, aside from the good performance from the Braves' lineup, the pitching is incredible.

Derek Lowe had a great eight-inning performance, giving up no runs and only two hits Sunday evening.  Jair Jurrjens also had a great start, going 5.2 innings and not allowing any runs.

The fact is that the Phillies don't have the answer for the Braves' starting rotation.  Very few major league organizations have the depth the Braves have this season when it comes to starting pitching.  Injuries will not hurt them as much as they did in 2008.  This is the biggest improvement from last season.

The big factor in the first two games of the season has been how the Brave pitchers have handled Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, and Chase Utley.

These guys are obviously incredible ball players.  I think the Phillies' success is directly linked to how these guys perform.  The Braves are doing a great job of silencing these three superstars.

The Braves will look to end the series this afternoon, as Javier Vazquez makes his Braves debut against Phillies' starter Joe Blanton.  As I write this, Brian McCann has already hit his second homer of the season, putting the Braves ahead 2-0.

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