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Marlins vs. Braves 7:35 p.m. 5/17/06 @ The Ted


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Ricky Nolasco (2-1, 4.15) vs. John Smoltz (3-2, 3.44)




A big baseball fan growing up, Ricky Nolasco recalls spending many hours watching the Braves in postseason.

One of Nalasco's favorite players to watch was John Smoltz.

Nolasco and his family admired the Braves for the way they play the game.

On Wednesday night, Nolasco will get a closer look at Atlanta and Smoltz at Turner Field.

The Marlins turn to Nolasco in hopes of snapping a two-game slide in Atlanta. The Braves rallied to a 4-3 win in 11 innings on Tuesday, and they are now 4-1 against Florida this season.

In Tuesday's loss, rookie shortstop Hanley Ramirez suffered a left shoulder strain while swinging the bat. The shoulder popped out then in, and he is not expected to play Wednesday. Ramirez is listed as day-to-day.

The Marlins rookie right-hander is making his first Major League start. And he gets a difficult assignment as Atlanta counters with Smoltz.

After making 11 appearances and logging 17 1/3 innings as a reliever, Nolasco was moved into the rotation because Sergio Mitre is on the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis.

A starter throughout his Minor League career in the Cubs organization, Nolasco likely will be on a pitch count. He hasn't been stretched out, so he is looking at throwing a maximum of 65 to 70 pitches.

The veteran Smoltz has enjoyed his share of success against the Marlins over the years. For his career, the right-hander is 11-4 with a 2.55 ERA, plus 20 saves while facing Florida.

Pitching matchup


FLA: RHP Ricky Nolasco (2-1, 4.15 ERA)

Nolasco will make his first big-league start, in place of the injured Sergio Mitre. The 23-year-old right-hander has pitched just 17 1/3 innings coming out of Florida's bullpen and manager Joe Girardi said he will be kept on a strict pitch count. In his lone appearance against Atlanta earlier this season, Nolasco tossed two scoreless innings.

ATL: RHP John Smoltz (3-2, 3.44 ERA)

Smoltz won his second consecutive start with a complete-game gem against the Nationals on Friday night. The right-hander has registered 29 strikeouts in his past four starts. He totaled just 14 in his first four starts of the season. He credits his recent success on warmer weather, which has allowed him to get a better grip.

Player to watch

Jeff Francoeur is riding a 14-game hitting streak for Atlanta. The right fielder went 2-for-5 Tuesday night, and delivered a ninth-inning home run off Dontrelle Willis, sending the game into extra innings

On the Internet


Gameday Audio

? Gameday

? Official game notes

On television


On radio

? 560 WQAM, 1140 WQBA(Espa?ol)

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Wow, how about getting to duel John Smoltz in your first start? :o


I am so looking forward to watching Nolasco in his first start. I hope he has his good stuff going, because in limited relief duty when he's been "on" he's looked fantastic.


Tough first assignment, but I see good things in his future.



go get 'em kid! :dwarf

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FLORIDA								 ATLANTA							   

AVG  HR  RBI							AVG  HR  RBI   

Alfredo Amezaga LF	  .263   0	2   Marcus Giles 2B		 .229   1	7   

Reggie Abercrombie CF   .252   2   10   Edgar Renteria SS	   .336   2   15   

Dan Uggla 2B			.322   5   19   Chipper Jones 3B		.276   2   14   

Miguel Cabrera 3B	   .338   6   31   Andruw Jones CF		 .294   9   39   

Mike Jacobs 1B		  .209   5   22   Brian Mccann C		  .349   5   19   

Miguel Olivo C		  .253   4   12   Jeff Francoeur RF	   .259   8   33   

Chris Aguila RF		 .229   0	5   Adam Laroche 1B		 .226   5   19   

Robert Andino SS		.000   0	0   Ryan Langerhans LF	  .269   2   12   

Ricky Nolasco RHP	   .000   0	0   John Smoltz RHP		 .133   0	2   

(2-1, 4.15)							 (3-2, 3.44)


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