Encouraged by the progress of their young pitchers

ATLANTA —  http://www.athleticsfanproshop.com/authentic-jed-lowrie-jersey , the Philadelphia Phillies decided not to add a proven starter to their rotation for the stretch drive.Former Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta and 2018 Cy Young Award candidate Aaron Nola will start for the Phillies against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday and Sunday, but first struggling Nick Pivetta (7-13, 4.67 ERA) must take the mound Friday night.It is almost a must win for Philadelphia, which fell behind the Braves by 6 1/2 games with an 8-3 loss in the series opener Thursday night at SunTrust Park. Atlanta’s magic number for winning the National League East was reduced to four.Article continues below ...Veteran right-hander Julio Teheran (9-8, 3.97) will start for Atlanta (85-68) opposite Pivetta as the Braves try to put the Phillies (78-74) on the verge of elimination.Philadelphia used seven relievers after slumping starter Vince Velasquez pitched just three innings to start the series, and the bullpen cracked late, giving up the tie-breaking run in the seventh and four more runs in the eighth as the Phillies fell to 6-12 in September.Pivetta hasn’t won since Aug. 7 and has lost his last four decisions, pitching just 13 1/3 innings in his three September outings.On a more positive note, though, the 25-year-old Pivetta beat the Braves three times as a rookie in 2017 while posting a 2.12 ERA and was solid against them early this season, going 1-1 with a 3.43 ERA in four starts.The Phillies also continue to point to Pivetta’s swing-and-miss stuff. He fanned eight in five innings against Miami last Sunday Tony Phillips Jersey , but was done in by a two-run homer from Pete O’Brien.“I think the only hard-hit ball that comes to mind for me was the home run to O’Brien,” manager Gabe Kapler said afterward. “Other than that, the curveball was working well, the fastball was working well, had a lot of life to it, obviously, getting tons of swings and misses on it. Looked like he was going to roll and just ran into a little bit of a buzz saw there.”Teheran had appeared back on track after an up-and-down season until he had a shaky outing in a loss to Washington last Saturday.The two-time All-Star allowed six walks and was pulled after four innings despite giving up just three hits and two runs while striking out seven.Walks have been Teheran’s downfall all season. Opponents are batting just .198 against him, but he has surrendered 79 walks in 163 1/3 innings.The 27-year-old from Colombia made his fourth consecutive start on Opening Day for the Braves this season, but his spot in a potential playoff rotation is far from a certainty.“I haven’t thought about that, but it is what it is,” Teheran said after the loss to the Nationals. “We still need to finish strong. I’ve got a couple outings to go. I’ve been feeling good my last couple outings. It’s getting there. You’re going to have difficult games. But I feel like I’ve been doing better now.”Teheran was 1-0 with a 4.91 ERA in three April starts against the Phillies and is 9-6 with a 3.55 ERA in 22 career games http://www.athleticsfanproshop.com/authentic-walt-weiss-jersey , including 21 starts, against them.Outfielder-first baseman Rhys Hoskins is 5-for-10 with three doubles against Teheran, while first baseman Justin Bour went 7-for-18 with a homer while with Miami before joining the Phillies.Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte has gone 8-for-17 against Pivetta, but first baseman Freddie Freeman is just 2-for-15. LAS VEGAS (AP) — An All-Star starter to the relief-reliant Rays, a Tanner-for-Tanner trade and a Scott Boras sighting. Intrigue at the winter meetings, but not much impact.Not yet, anyway.Charlie Morton was the top name to switch teams Wednesday, joining Tampa Bay for a $30 million, two-year deal after going 15-3 with Houston last season. Reliever Jeurys Familia returned to the New York Mets after they traded him away and first baseman Justin Bour headed to the Los Angeles Angels.And in the majors’ first swap of players with the first name of Tanner, the Washington Nationals sent Tanner Roark to Cincinnati for Tanner Rainey in a trade of right-handers.Roark led the National League with 15 losses, but expected he would be part of a prime rotation that recently added All-Star Patrick Corbin to stars Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.“I felt like we would have a pretty good staff over there in D.C. but they thought otherwise and I don’t know what their plans are Marcus Semien Jersey ,” Roark said on a conference call.Fans all over, meanwhile, waited to hear where the likes of free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado and trade targets Corey Kluber and J.T. Realmuto might go.The New York Yankees worked to re-sign lefty J.A. Happ but, as always, were on the lookout for bigger prizes.“We’re a fully operational Death Star,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.Boras, meanwhile, said there are teams ready to move right now on Harper.“Bryce is open to a lot of different venues, so it’s really about what a lot of owners have said to him about their commitments and what they want to do long term,” the prominent agent said.The 26-year-old Harper, who lives in Las Vegas http://www.athleticsfanproshop.com/authentic-joe-morgan-jersey , had a career-high 100 RBIs while hitting 34 home runs and batting .249 last season for Washington.“So, we’re really at a point where you could be meetings away from a deal,” Boras said. “And then again, you could be in the situation where it’s just further meetings and conversation.”Or, as Boras put it: “When the nurse walks in with the thermometer the issue isn’t what (it reads) that day, it’s the health of the patient when they’re ready to leave the hospital.”The session ends Thursday after the Rule 5 draft for players left off 40-man rosters. While some big trades got made at past gatherings — Giancarlo Stanton, Chris Sale — more and more the winter meetings are becoming a place where deals get set up for later.Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski would like to see that changed.As in, maybe a change to encourage clubs to roll the dice.“When I first started out … when the winter meetings ended, there was a trade deadline. You couldn’t make a trade for a couple months. So everything had to be done when you left,” the longtime executive said.“You got to the point where almost everybody wanted to be signed by the holiday, by Christmas holiday. Everybody wanted a job Reggie Jackson Jersey , so people would sign. I don’t really know what’s happened, where it’s changed. It’s just doesn’t seem to be very important for people,” he said, later adding, “they need to change the rules or something.”
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