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The Miseducation of Brett Myers: Braves at Phillies, May 3-4

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May 3: Phillies 5, Braves 4 WP: Cormier (2-0) LP: Remlinger (1-2) S: Gordon (9)
May 4: Phillies 6, Braves 3 WP: Lidle (3-3) LP: Thomson (0-2) S: Rhodes (1)

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For at least as long as we're waiting for Cole Hamels and his cape to arrive in Philadelphia, Brett Myers is the ace of the Phillies. He's the guy you want going against the other team's best pitcher, the guy who gives you the best chance to win. Myers began his major-league career with a dream pitching matchup, besting the Cubs' Mark Prior on July 24, 2002. He's been the rotation rock through the tumultuous early going this year, twice winning after painful losses against the Rockies and Marlins. And Wednesday he gets to match up with a hard-throwing righty who's probably a good approximation of what Myers could grow up to be: John Smoltz of the Braves.

This is just a two-game series and neither team's 2006 fate is likely to be sealed whatever happens. But as intriguing May matchups go, Myers vs. Smoltz is pretty good. Add in that Brett scuffled in his first start against the Braves on April 10 (5 IP, 7 hits, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, ND) and he should have added incentive to show something strong tonight. For his career, Myers is 3-4, 4.50 in 12 starts against Atlanta; Smoltz is 13-12, 3.51 in 60 appearances (31 starts) facing the Phillies in his long career.