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THE PAYOFF PITCH ...
TED KEITH
April 04, 2011
BEST CASE
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April 04, 2011

The Payoff Pitch ...

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BEST CASE

The offense rolls early; Domonic Brown, John Mayberry Jr. or Ben Francisco flourishes in right; Phab Phour is as good as advertised; and there's another Philly parade next fall.

WORST CASE

Cole Hamels regresses to his 2009 form, Ryan Howard still can't hit breaking balls, and Chase Utley misses much of the season. Even that may not keep them from the postseason.

BEST CASE

Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters are the new Nasty Boys, Chipper Jones and Martin Prado stay healthy, and the Braves challenge Philly for the NL East title.

WORST CASE

Freddie Freeman is sent back to the minors, Derek Lowe repeats his first-half performance of a year ago rather than his second half, and the Braves fall into a wild-card dogfight.

BEST CASE

Chris Volstad, Anibal Sanchez and Ricky Nolasco harness their potential while young regulars, Logan Morrison, Gaby Sanchez and Mike Stanton, shine. Look out in 2012.

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