By Matt Leon

By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Phillies will look to avoid their first 0-3 start since the 2007 season and a sweep in Atlanta as they wrap-up their series with the Braves on Thursday night.

The biggest reason the Phillies are 0-2 is poor starting pitching.  Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay combined to allow 10 runs in 8 1/3 innings in the first two games, in both cases putting the Phillies in early holes they could never recover from.  In fact, the Phillies have yet to hold a lead this season.

Cliff Lee gets the call for Charlie Manuel.  The veteran left-hander is coming off one of the all-time head-scratching season in 2012 when he went just 6-9 in 30 starts, despite a 3.16 ERA, 207 strikeouts and just 28 walks in 211 innings of work.  He made two starts against the Braves last season, going 1-1 with a 0.60 ERA (one earned run in 15 innings).

The Braves will counter on the hill with young right-hander Kris Medlen.  He went 10-1 in 2012, with a 1.57 ERA.

One bright spot in the early going for the Phillies has been the play of 2B Chase Utley.  He has knocked in five of the Phils’ seven runs this season, hitting .444 (4 for 9).

KYW’s Matt Leon spoke with Kevin Cooney of the Bucks County Courier Times about this final game in Atlanta.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.

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