Tonight’s game was snapshot of the entire Braves season- great performances by some and maddening by others. Tim Hudson showed us all who leads this team, but mistakes erased it all. Most importantly, Atlanta showed their inability to go for the kill. Jason Heyward stood 90 feet from St Louis, but that is as close as he would come because the Phillies came back to put the game away in the unlucky 13th. Atlanta had exactly who they wanted coming to the plate in Chipper Jones, Dan Uggla and Freddie Freeman, but even they could not keep it going. Uggla’s homerun was the reason the Braves were even in the position tho win in the first place, so he gets a small break. Michael Bourn just his fair share going 3 for 5 with two stolen bases. » Continue reading “Colossal Collapse”
Would somebody act like they want to be in the playoffs? Atlanta has let a 10 1/2 Wild Card lead diminish to one game with two to play. What is worse, they lead Philadelphia, but once again could not capitalize with runners in scoring position. St. Louis is no better. Those “damned old billy goats” (that is another George Tencleve special you may remember from previous posts.)had the tie in their hands, but just could not hold on. » Continue reading “After You. No, After You, I Insist…”
When I wrote in April that the season would come down to this series, I was referring to the division. As it is the Braves have fallen apart and have a mere 1 game lead over St Louis with three to play. Those three games happen to be against the Phillies, aka the Man.
Injuries and the Braves inability to hit with runners on base has caught up to them with a vengeance, and has left the city of Atlanta saying, “Here we go again.” Let’s face it, if a team drops two of three to the Nationals in a must win situation, they probably are not in the best shape for the playoffs. It was not until Sunday’s loss that not making the playoffs even seemed possible, but bases loaded no outs and coming away with a big fat 0, does not look good for the home team.
I have contended that the hitting would come, and it did, but it also went. That was fine when your pitching staff was in did the best in baseball from top to bottom, but now they are held together with bailing wire and bubble gum. (I wish I could remember Pop’s exact quote on that one. Although I know he is grinning that the Cardinals are surging, I can hear him say, “I’m done with them, they don’t deserve to win.”)
Based on St Louis playing Houston, Atlanta must win 2-3 to tie. They will have to find what’s left of some arms and bats to do that, but if they do, who knows! This is fall ball, and anything can happen! Besides, there is nothing better than meaningful baseball until the end…if you get in that is.
Yes, it is the play on words is a bit overdone since Michael Bourn has arrived in Atlanta, but considering he showed off his talent in a way way on Bruce Springsteen’s birthday, I will buy in. Atlanta scored seven runs with out a single home run, which means the Braves were actually manufacturing runs. Bourn, with the help of Chipper Jones, helped turn a run down into a spectacular scoring play.
The play by reads as this: Chipper Jones reaches on a fielder’s choice out, pitcher Henry Rodriguez to shortstop Ian Desmond to third baseman Ryan Zimmerman to first baseman Chris Marrero to second baseman Danny Espinosa. Michael Bourn scores on the throw. Chipper Jones out at 2nd. » Continue reading “Bourn to Run!”
Well, maybe just online, but there is panic nonetheless after the Braves dropped another game to the Marlins. Their lead in the Wild Card is merely 1 1/2 over St Louis, and the Giants are not far behind. Derek Lowe gave up three runs in his 6.1 innings of work, which is an improvement, but the offense gave him no help.
I still feel that Atlanta will slide into the playoffs, but honestly, I am not sure why. There is still a possibilty to get Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens back, but right now, the probably is scoring runs. They have been through this before, so maybe it is as simple as Larry Wayne Sr paying a visit! Whatever the plan is, they have six days to make it work!
A nap, a vacation, or just more starting pitching would do a world of good for a guy who was one strike away from yet another save, but instead gives up his second homerun in as many starts. No, Atlanta did not bring Scott Protor back, Craig Kimbrel has hit the skids along with Braves pitching. Two guys who seemed immune are showing the effects of carrying a team for an entire season. Who can blame them? Kimbrel, Jonny Venters, and Eric O’Flaherty are all in the top five in appearances for the season. » Continue reading “Somebody Really Needs a Nap!”
I’m guilty of it too- you are in a hurry, so you put off stopping to get gas or the place down the road is so much cheaper. I can make you tell yourself, I have to be on time- I will stop later. You hit every light, there is a wreck ahead of you, and traffic is at a stand still. You begin to panic. You are cutting it so close. You may not make it up the next hill, but if that gas station is still open, you can coast in on fumes. If it is not, you will be stuck until someone comes to help, or you wait until it opens for business, swearing all along this will never happen again. Until the next time when you absolutely have no other choice. » Continue reading “Gas IS Expensive These Days…”
That is what I am going to keep telling myself anyway. Full disclosure: I missed Friday night’s game because I was reporting from the Georgia Dome sidelines for the Great American Football Classic. The first game looked very much like the box of the Braves s Mets, except for the fact that the team that won 74-0 was supposed to the stomper, not the stompee.
It is obvious at this point that Derek Lowe is not going to have the September of last year, but with Teheran also giving up four runs in the fourth, Fredi Gonzalez may be forced to go with experience and PRAY! Tommy Hanson may make it back, but how will he play after being out all this time? One bright spot is that Fredi was able to string together a long list of relievers to get through the game, but the four runs in the first were never able to be surmounted. We may be looking at having to pull pitchers when they allow runners on base. I am still going with the second part of the equation- PRAY!
The Braves are once again looking to Tim Hudson to bring them back from a horrific outcome. Huddy is going to have to be in better form than some of his last outings if the Braves are going to keep a spot in the playoffs. St Louis closed within 3.5 after beating Philadelphia. I am not encouraging to start cheering against the Cardinals, but the Brewers. St Louis is close enough to catch them, and if the Braves take care of business, they can edge out the Brewers. Come on, what did you expect from the girl who is choosing to believe last night’s game never happened?
Last week I was privileged to be a guest on Braves Banter for the second time. This week’s hosts were Chris Mascaro and Angelo Crane. Listen to here our take on the Braves’ post season outlook.
Everybody needs a little religion in their lives no matter what form you choose, and after Fredi Gonzalez held a closed door “Come to Jesus” meeting, the Braves found theirs Tuesday night. While Fredi declined to comment, many others did. Team leaders including Chipper Jones stepped up and gave pep talks, and whatever was said worked. Brian McCann came back from one of the worst performances in his career and longest slumps with a two hit night including a go ahead three run homer. Dan Uggla also got in on the action with his career best 34th home tun of the season. Martin Prado also made strides in climbing out of his slump, and Alex Gonzalez has found a bat with three hits on the night.
Benefiting from the flurry of run support were pitchers Mike Minor, Peter Moylan, and the entire Braves bullpen. Minor got a no decision for his five innings of one run baseball, but most importantly, he did not get a loss. Peter Moylan threw pitches that looked unhittable by even the best of hitters, and Arodys Viciano’s change ups looked like those of a seasoned veteran- not a 20 year old AAA call up. Those performances paired with seen runs allowed Fredi to pitch Jonny Venters for one out, and use Scott Linebrink to close, while resting Craig Kimbrel.
If last night is any indication, they Braves may just be figuring out how to win ballgames without the luxury of shut down starting pitching going eight innings! Stay tuned for more Braves baseball, starting with a 12:05 finale with the Marlins. Youngster Randell Delgado looks for his first win against Ricky Nolasco. We will see how Atlanta responds to such an early start after a night gaem, but as Alex Gonzalez says, “It is what is, we just go play baseball.”