PHILADELPHIA — Rain gave a pair of depleted bullpens a little boost.
Tuesday night’s game between the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies was postponed by inclement weather, allowing both managers to rest their weary closers an extra day.
A makeup date wasn’t announced. It’s expected the game will be played when the Braves return to Philadelphia on June 27-29.
David Hale, the Braves’ scheduled starter, will be skipped. Julio Teheran (1-1) faces Phillies ace Cliff Lee (2-1) on Wednesday night. Alex Wood (2-1) goes against A.J. Burnett (0-1) in the series finale Thursday afternoon.
Hale will be available in the bullpen the next two games and is scheduled to start Sunday.
“This lets us recharge that bullpen a little bit,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez wouldn’t say whether closer Craig Kimbrel would have been available Tuesday. Kimbrel, who experienced shoulder discomfort after recording his fifth save on Saturday, is day to day and David Carpenter got the save in Atlanta’s 9-6 comeback win Monday night.
“Kimbrel played catch today. Nothing major,” Gonzalez said. “Hopefully tomorrow he wakes up a little better, progresses.”
The Phillies wasted a five-run rally in the eighth inning of the series opener when Jake Diekman allowed a grand slam to Dan Uggla in the ninth inning. Diekman was trying for his first career save filling in for Jonathan Papelbon, who pitched the three previous games.
Papelbon is ready to go and the overused bullpen could benefit from the night off.
Philadelphia’s relievers have the third-highest ERA in the majors at 5.53. It hasn’t helped that starters have pitched more than six innings just twice in 13 games.
“The game starts with pitching and defense,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. “I think overall our pitchers have to establish the strike zone and work ahead in the counts. I think that is a big part in why we’re playing the slowest games and longest games in baseball. Every time I look at the clock and leave, it’s almost midnight. I can’t believe it, but it is what it is.”
The Phillies are averaging 3 hours, 17 minutes for their games. Only two other teams are longer.
“Our pitchers are throwing a lot of pitches, so on the starting-pitching side of things they’ve been limited on the time that they can be out there,” Sandberg said. “And then we’ve had to use our bullpen and then with some of our bullpen guys it has been the same thing with the amount of pitches coming out of the ‘pen.”