That’s right the Atlanta Braves that started the season 0-4, then 5-0, and then…Simply put, the Braves are streakers. Prior to Atlanta new three game win streak, they lost six of seven and went 20 scoreless innings. These streaks are enough to turn your hair gray (at least that is the excuse I am using). » Continue reading “WE’RE GOING STREAKIN’- “Old School” 2012 BRAVES”
A team coming off the aforementioned 20 scoreless innings cannot afford to relinquish a lead. The Braves struggles at the plate are far to similar to that of 2011, excluding Dan Uggla, whose patience is shown through the number of walks he has this season. What is not similar is the amount of pitching at Atlanta’s disposal. The bullpen is not as reliable, most notably Johhny Venters. Eric O’Flaherty has been injured, Livan Hernadez designated for assignment, and Kris Medlen sent down to stretch out for a starting role. Needless to say, Medlen will not be filling that spot just yet.
Although, a starter spot has opened with news that could be devastating if the Braves stay on the recent course. Brandon Beachy, who left Saturday’s game versus Baltimore with an elbow injury, showed a partial tear of the Ulnar Collateral Ligament on an MRI performed today. Beachy will see the team doctor Tuesday and Dr. James Andrews Wednesday. Injuries of this nature often require Tommy John surgery and one year of rehab.
The Braves broke their losing streak despite the frustrations of Tommy Hanson matchbox size strike zone. Hanson was frustrated with the home plate umpire’s definition of a strike, mainly because there was not one. My reason for even bringing it up is because Hanson was clearly agitated, and whether it affected his actual pitches or the umpire’s willingness to give him calls, the agitation may have had an effect. It did not affect the bullpen. Chad Durbin, Kris Medlen, and Craig Kimbrel came in and saved Tommy from a loss.
Atlanta turned four double plays in a game where they also had two uncharacteristic errors- errors that were quickly made up for by those committing them. Andrelton Simmons hit his second home run and Michael Bourn, well, being Michael Bourn. Atlanta also got another glimpse of just how good a player and teammate Martin Prado is. Prado played first base in order to allow Freddie Freeman more rest. While not perfect, he got the job done in better than could be expected fashion.
Saturday’s match up pits Brandon Beachy against Jason Hammel. Let’s see if the streak continues.
Admit it, you cringed when you saw Mike Minor was up against Stephen Strasburg, and it looks like mother nature did too. Friday night’s rain out allowed Freddie Gonzalez to skip the struggling Minor’s start, and give the ball to Brandon Beachy who has been (insert sarcastic tone here) slightly better than Minor this season. The rain also delayed the debut of Andrelton Simmons at shortstop, but by all accounts the youngster is not phased. One last thing, please open your minds and at least look at the reasoning behind batting Beachy eighth with Jose Constanza and Simmons in the line up. It is least disruptive, gives balance, and may possibly allow Simmons to see better pitches. Besides that, the guy that started the whole “pitchers hit eighth” controversy didn’t do so bad with it!
Braves Line Up
Michael Bourn CF
Martin Prado 3B
Brian McCann C
Dan Uggla 2B
Freddy Freeman 1B
Jason Heyward RF
Andrelton Simmons SS
Brandon Beachy P
Jose Constanza LF
Atlanta Braves @ St. Louis Cardinals
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Mo
Braves 19-12, 11-8 away. 2nd place in N.L. East, .5 games behind Washington Nationals.
- Braves are 3rd in N.L. in runs scored (164), 5th in B.A. (.265)
- LF Martin Prado to play in series.
- Chipper’s last trip to Busch Stadium.
Cardinals 20-11, 8-4 @ home. 1st place in N.L. Central.
- Took Wild Card lead during Braves epic collapse in 2011.
- Coming off series sweep of Arizona Diamondbacks.
- Longtime Braves nemisis Lance Berkman to come off disabled list with strained left calf.
- Leagues National League in wins (20) joining Tampa Bay Rays & Texas Rangers atop MLB.
- Beltran 2nd in league with 10 home runs. Jon Jay 3rd in N.L. with .379 ERA, Furcal 5th with .361 ERA.
- DEFENDING WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS.
- Retiring former manager Tony LaRussa’s number.
» Continue reading “SERIES PREVIEW: BRAVES @ CARDINALS”
The Braves were hot, the Phillies were not, but what happens against anyone else in the league is no factor in what goes on in this rivalry. Atlanta has not beaten Philadelphia since July of last year and have been outscored 51-14 in that time. With Jonny Venters giving up two runs in the eighth, leading the league in scoring and being held to two runs, and most of all, allowing 11 hits to the team that has been able to make contact, it was clear the Phils still had the Braves number.
Tommy Hansen hopes to change that tonight as he faces Roy Halladay…no big deal. It’s not like he faces a guy with a 1.95 ERA or anything. Oh that’s right, Halladay does have a 1.95 ERA and his shortest outing has been seven innings this season. Clearly, Halladay’s losses can be blamed on lack of scoring by the Phillies.
Hansen will be relying on his offense to get back to its hitting ways to get the team back on track, and for the Braves to end their streak, all but Freddie Freeman anyway. Freeman hit his first home run against Halladay and is 3-7 overall. Maybe he was too young to be scared, but hopefully he has hung on to whatever it was that gave him those numbers!
Today is a new day. The Atlanta Braves lost Monday night to the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-3, putting the Braves half a game behind the Washington Nationals in the National League East. Atlanta split a four-game series versus the Pirates.
Last night, Braves starter Mike Minor was hammered for seven runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings and Chad Durbin gave up two runs in relief.
“Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer and veteran Eric Hinske had a nice night at the plate, going 4-for-4 with an RBI for the Braves, who have still won 14 of 19 games following an 0-4 start.”
Tonight at 7:10 p.m. ET, the Braves will play the Phillies at Tuner Field to start the first of the three-game series.
Probable pitcher for the Braves is right handed pitcher, Brandon Beachy 2-1, 1.05 ERA. Beachy in three consecutive starts has pitched into the seventh inning.
It is hard enough to keep up with your own team these days, much less all of baseball. So we have sifted through and found some of the stories that were not headliners, but still info you can use, or at least get a laugh from! » Continue reading “Did You Hear? MLB (and of course Braves) Info You May Have Missed”
Before the Braves headed home, I voiced my concerns about the same offense problems as 2011, the starters not going deep enough, and the team looked lost without Chipper. I have no idea what happened on the plane ride home, but at least for opening weekend the Braves made progress in each of those areas. » Continue reading “Braves: I Love It When a Plan Comes Together”
Thursday night I was fortunate enough to be the guest of Dan Schlossberg and Chris Mascaro on Braves Banter. This episode is a bit longer than as I served as the opening act for Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. Listen to our thoughts on the upcoming Atlanta Braves season. You can catch Braves Banter every Thursday at 7:00 PM ET.