ATLANTA -- Two highly regarded second-year pitchers will try to turn around seasons that have started to go the wrong way when the Philadelphia Phillies play the Atlanta Braves on Thursday.
The Phillies will send Aaron Nola (5-9, 4.75 ERA) against Atlanta's Matt Wisler (4-10, 4.92) in the opener of a four-game series at Turner Field.
The Braves (35-66) won the final two games of a three-city, 10-day road trip that saw them go 3-6. The Phillies (46-57) are on the third leg of a 10-day road trip that saw them go 1-2 in both Pittsburgh and Miami.
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Nola was expected to be the ace of the Philadelphia staff, while the Braves anticipated Wisler becoming the No. 2 man in the rotation.
Nola went 6-2 with a 3.59 ERA in 13 starts at a rookie last year, then opened the season by going 5-4 with a 2.65 ERA in his first 12 starts. Since then, it has been a tough road for the right-hander, who is 0-5 with a 10.61 ERA over his past seven starts.
"When he's at his best, he has control of all of his pitches," Philadelphia manager Pete Mackanin said. "He's lost his control, and he needs to find a way to get it back."
Nola's last win came on June 5, when he threw six shutout innings against the Milwaukee Brewers. He recorded six scoreless innings against the Miami Marlins on July 18 but was roughed up by the Pirates for six runs in six innings on Saturday.
"I thought I did OK until the fifth inning," Nola said after his last start. "I left a couple balls up and over the plate, and they made me pay with some big hits."
Nola is 0-1 with a 2.57 in his only start against the Braves this season. He is 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA in four career starts against Atlanta.
Wisler has had a similar flight pattern.
He went 8-8 with a 4.71 ERA in 20 appearances in 2015 and was 2-3 with a 2.98 after his first eight starts this year. Wisler then began a stretch in which he appeared to lose his aggressiveness. Lately, he has been plagued by one bad inning per outing.
Over his past seven starts, Wisler is 2-3 with a 5.98 ERA. He has allowed a combined 18 runs (17 earned) in his past three starts, a stretch of 15 1/3 innings.
"As far as the adjustments he's having to make a battle his way through, I like what I've seen," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. "This guy doesn't have a lot of major leagues starts under his belt yet. He's still learning and working through things. I think he's doing a really good job at it."
Wisler is 1-1 with a 2.45 in two starts against the Phillies this season. He is 1-2 with a 5.12 in three career starts against Philadelphia.
Atlanta will make two roster additions prior to Thursday's game. The Braves traded right-hander Lucas Harrell and left-hander Dario Alvarez to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Travis Demeritte, a versatile prospect with power who can play multiple positions.