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Game preview: hold onto your butts, Tyler Matzek is starting

The 2009 first rounder took a circuitous route to the major leagues, but he's here now.

Doug Pensinger

Franklin Morales wasn't cutting it in the rotation for the Rockies, so the club decided to go to his non-union American equivalent. Tyler Matzek is a big, left-handed hard thrower, who is prone to bouts of extreme wildness. As Bryan Kilpatrick's excellent recap of Matzek's road indicated, he is not known for Madduxian command. However, he has done a solid job of hiding those demons in Triple-A this year, and after injury #78 to the rotation, it's his turn.

The lineup behind him looks solid enough (in other words, no Charlie Culberson). Rutledge's solid play lately earns him another start at second and in the two-hole (DJ LeMahieu is at third). Mike McKenry is catching again, probably because he's familiar with Matzek from earlier in the year.

The Braves are using essentially the same lineup as last night; Justin Upton's hamstring is apparently just fine. Their starter, Julio Teheran, is one of the best pitchers in the game as his ERA resolutely refuses to creep above two. He held the Rockies scoreless in Atlanta a few weeks ago. The Rockies desperately want to avoid a sweep, but it's no stretch to say that the Braves have a pitching advantage here.

So what the heck. Despite the nightmare this year has turned into, this should be an interesting game.


<div class="pane sports_data_widget lineup clearfix">
<h3>Today's Lineups</h3>
<div class="lineup">
<table cellspacing="0" class="zebra">
<th align="left">ATLANTA BRAVES</th>
<th align="left">COLORADO ROCKIES</th>
<tr><td class="td-last td-name">Jason Heyward - RF</td><td class="td-first td-name">C. Blackmon - RF</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">B.J. Upton - CF</td><td class="td-first td-name">Josh Rutledge - 2B</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Freddie Freeman - 1B</td><td class="td-first td-name">Troy Tulowitzki - SS</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Evan Gattis - C</td><td class="td-first td-name">Justin Morneau - 1B</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Justin Upton - LF</td><td class="td-first td-name">Drew Stubbs - CF</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Chris Johnson - 3B</td><td class="td-first td-name">Corey Dickerson - LF</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Tommy La Stella - 2B</td><td class="td-first td-name">Mike McKenry - C</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">A. Simmons - SS</td><td class="td-first td-name">DJ LeMahieu - 3B</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Julio Teheran - RHP</td><td class="td-first td-name">Tyler Matzek - LHP</td></tr></tbody>
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