Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Never too early Atlanta Braves Preview: Pitching

Pitching wins Championships

The first four starters listed (and maybe even the 5th) aren't really going to be in any particular order because anyone of them could be the #1 starter depending on who the Braves sign in the off season. If Hudson gets signed (and it looks like he will) then the Braves will either let go of Lowe or Kawakami. I would like to see them unload Kawakami as Lowe's dip this year goes against the rest of his career and I think he will be a front line starter again next year.

1. Jair Jurrjens: Jurrjens followed up an excellent rookie season with an even better Sophomore season. Jurrjens was great down the stretch as he won the NL pitcher of the month award in September. I've got to believe Jurrjens would have been a front runner for the Cy Young award if he would have gotten any run support at all. Nonetheless he posted 14 wins and had an ERA of 2.60.

2. Tommy Hanson: Can't say enough good stuff about this kid. He's got a really bright future and will front line this staff with Jair Jurrjens for a long time. These to kids will take the Braves to the playoffs like Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz did in the 90's. Hanson's season was definitely worthy of ROY honors with an 11-4 record and a 2.89 ERA. He would have benefited a lot from a little run support also.

3. Javier Vasquez: 15-10, 2.87 ERA. Great veteran leadership in the clubhouse to go along with his more than stellar season. One of three Braves starters with ERA's under 3.00. A little more support from the offense and he could have easily been in contention for the Cy Young Award also.

4. Tim Hudson: Right now there is no reason to believe Hudson won't be in a Braves uniform in April. Hudson looked really promising in his final starts of the season after coming off a year of being out from Tommy John surgery. Anyone would love to have this guy as there #4 starter.

5. Kenshin Kawakami/Derek Lowe: Although I would love to see KK shipped off and Lowe in a Braves uniform, I've got to believe that we'll ship Lowe to someone like the Yankees or Red Sox and keep KK as our 5th starter. Either way that is a heck of a 5th starter to have. If Lowe does end up staying all 5 of our starter could be aces on any other staff. WOW.
Outlook: The Braves have the best pitching staff in baseball, hands down. With or without Lowe. This team will win the division even if they don't change their lineup at all. They were one of the best team in Baseball post all star break and they will continue that trend next year. Predicted Finish: 1st

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Diaz still undecisive about going home.

Matt Diaz recently answered questions from reporters following the Braves devastating loss where Diaz was thrown out at 3rd base ending the game and the Braves bleak hopes of going to the playoffs. When asked about the vital decision the Braves outfielder said that he was still unsure as to whether or not he should run towards home plate or 3rd base. Diaz, who was just recently a hero in Atlanta's 5-4 loss on Tuesday night, was also having a hard time adjusting to his new role of "the goat". After speaking with reporters Diaz was injured in a collision with Martin Prado because he could not decide whether to exit through the front or back doors of the locker room.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Braves find themselves just 3.5 games back

With 10 games to play in the 2009 season, the Braves find themselves just 3.5 games back of the Rockies for a wild card spot in the playoffs. So what would have to happen for the Braves to make it? Well the Elimination # is at 7 right now so that means any combination of Braves losses and Rockies wins will eliminate us from contention. So if the Braves go 9-1 from here on out then that would mean we just have to hope the Rockies go 5-4 in their remaining 9 games. That's not all that unlikely. Now if the Braves go 8-2 (we are 8-2 in our last 10 right now) then we just need to hope the Rockies go 4-5 (they are just 4-6 in their last 10). The Braves finish off the season with 7 games against the Nationals and 3 against the Marlins. The Rockies on the other hand have 3 games against the Cardinals, Brewers and Dodgers. The Cardinals and the Dodgers have locked up Division titles but are both fighting for Home field advantage in the Playoffs so they will be a tough match up for the Rockies. I will have my permanent rally cap on until we make the playoffs. GO BRAVES!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

COX: First Place a lock if Met's were in first.

In a recent interview with a local newspaper, Atlanta Manager Bobby Cox was asked about the Braves chances at winning the division. After mumbling something incoherant he replied that "This thing would be a lock if the Mets had managed to be in first place." Cox, apparently referring the the Met's uncanny ability to choke down the stretch of a pennent race was somewhat cocky when talking about the odds that they would finish ahead of the Mets.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

News Flash:

Last Thursday before the series with the Dodgers, I said that how we did against them would be a measuring stick of sorts for how good they really are. Well this just in: THE BRAVES ARE GOOD. We've always known that we have the horses in the starting rotation to get to the playoffs and win. Now we have to offense to match it. Now with Infante back and Johnson hitting well we have possibly the deepest bench in the majors. All we have to do now to get better is get rid of Greg Norton. I have seriously yet to see the guy get a hit. I know he got a couple last week cause I read it in the box scores, but I have watched a lot of games and I have only seen him strike out. Jurjjens, Vasquez and Lowe all have better batting averages. I would love to see Conrad back up in the Majors. We don't have to send Norton to AAA we could just make him a bench coach or something.
So here's my prediction for the Phillies series: SWEEP BABY! That's right we're going to roll this weekend taking three from the struggling Phils. We'll be just a half game out of first and from there I don't think we'll look back. It will mark the end of the Phillie's season and the beginning of the Braves Playoff run. GO BRAVOS!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Garret Anderson signs shoe deal with Nike

Sources close to Anderson have confirmed that the 37 year old outfielder has finalized a deal with Nike for a new shoe. The shoe is rumored to be called "Air Moses" and is fitted with Dr. Scholls Tri-comfort orthotics. The shoe is epsecially designed for older players who don't run very fast. Nike spokeswoman, Ann Kositchotitana said in a statement that "Garret Anderson is the perfect guy for this shoe. He's old and he's slow and people know it so when other senior citizens see him wearing our shoe and playing profesional baseball they might think 'I can do that too' and that is the goal we have here at Nike." Other players who are rumored to have signed a deal with Nike for the same shoe are Bobby Abreu, John Smoltz and Vladamir Guerrero. Nike also said that they would have signed pinch hitter Greg Norton but they were under the impression that he was a coach and not a player.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A few jokes to ease the pain

Just thought I would try and ease the pain of last nights game. I had an erie feeling that the announcer had just jinxed us when he said with runners on 1st and 3rd that "The only way the fans won't get to see Manny (Ramirez) is if Ethier hits into a triple play or he hits a home run." Unfortunately for us it was the latter. I think quick enough to knock on wood or maybe I could have prevented the disaster, who knows. Any way I don't think it is to far off to say that the Dodgers were extremely lucky last night. Their first 2 runs came off botched plays and hit and runs where balls when through holes vacated by fielders who were moving to cover a base. Pierre's hit was a swinging bunt down the 3rd base line the Furcal reached on a high bouncers that went through the hole left by LaRoche holding Pierre on first. The Braves deserved to win that game, but it doesn't always work out that way so here are a few jokes to brighten up the morning.

What is the lowest point in the U.S.A.?
-Greg Norton's batting average

A few weeks ago Bobby Cox pulled Soriano after having the walked the first 3 batters he faced. When he got to the dugout he threw his glove down and started cussing. Moylen asked him why he was so upset and he replied, "Cause the idiot pulled me when I had a no-hitter going".

If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant's life,she will choose to save the infant's life without even considering if there are men on base.

It was so foggy today that the Nationals couldn't even see who was beating them.

One morning in elementary school, the students were going to a geography class. The teacher wanted to show the students where cities and states are.
The teacher asks the class, "Does anyone know where Pittsburgh is?" Billy raises up his hand and says, "Yeah, Pennsylvania!". The teacher replies, "Very good, Billy!, now can anyone tell me were Detroit is?"
Suzy raises her hand and says, "That's in Michigan!" The teacher again says, "Very good."
Trying to confuse the children, she now asks, "Where's Kansas City?" Tommy raises his hand and says, "Oh Oh Pick me!!!, I know?" The teacher says, "OK, Tommy where is Kansas City?"
"Last place."

What is the difference between Rafael Soriano and UPS?
UPS knows how to throw a strike.

Here's to hoping today's game goes a lot better than yesterday's.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

This Day in Braves history, Tommy Hansen, The Dodgers, and a picture for my sister.

This day in Braves history: Hammerin Hank Aaron hits 2 home runs and breaks Babe Ruths record for most home runs with one team. His second home run comes in the 10th inning to give the Braves a 4-3 win over the Reds. Lets hope that is an omen for today and the Braves can get a needed victory against the Dodgers.
Speaking of a victory, Tommy Hansen looked impressive for most of his start yesterday until he gave up a 2 run shot in the 6th and started to get hit pretty hard. At one point Hansen struck out 4 batters in a row and 5 out of 6 batters overall. Hansen improved his record to 6-2.
Just a fleeting though with a playoff like series with the Dodgers coming up, if I were to pick my starters for a playoff series here is how I would go. Game 1: Javier Vasquez, Game 2: Jair Jurrjens, Game 3: Derek Lowe, Game 4: Tommy Hansen, Game 5: Vasquez, Game 6: Jurrjens, Game 7: Lowe.
I realize that I am not starting Lowe in game one, but this rotation allows him to start a possible game 7, which is where I think Lowe would really shine.
When I was thinking about the upcoming series with the Dodgers, I first thought that it was a must win series and that we had to go 3-1 in LA or we would slowly fall out of the playoff race. But I think that a split would be just fine. The Dodgers are the best team in baseball right now, and we just need to prove we can hang with them. We aren't as banged up as we were last week when we faced off in Atlanta so I think we will be just fine. Our schedule is actually very favourable over the last few weeks of the season and will work to our advantage. That makes this weekend series not much more than a barometer of how good this Braves team is. That having been said, a getting swept would obviously be a huge blow, and barring some sort of miracle I do think that would throw us out of playoff contention. If we can catch fire and pull of a sweep of the vaunting Dodgers, then I think that would be enough to propel us into a nice playoff run.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Padres Manager Bud Black accuses Diaz of 'hustling' his pitchers.

In a press conference following Tuesday's game, Padres manager Bud Black accused Braves' outfielder Matt Diaz of 'hustling' his pitchers. "I'm not sure what's going on," Black said, "The first couple of pitches on every at bat it looks like he's not even trying. He takes such a wild cut that I think he is just going to take a token 3rd strike swing and head to the dugout. I think He's just baiting the pitchers into throwing a fast ball right down the middle of the plate, then wham he hits a home run or something." Diaz denied the accusations later saying, "I just like to take a ridiculously huge cut on the first couple of swings to kind of get my arms loose. I'm not baiting them into throwing a fastball or anything like that." Diaz also said that it would not be possible for him to warm up while in the on deck circle so he would be ready when he got to the plate because he spends that time chatting with fans and trying to convince them to vote for him in next years All Star game. Padres pitcher Tim Stauffer said by telephone that "Diaz is definitely hustling us out there. How else would you explain those three pitch at bats where he is swinging at a pitch in the dirt while simultaneously heading for the dugout?"

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Umpire makes surprisingly good call, sources say.

3B umpire Gary Darling made what sources said was "a surprisingly good call" on a close play at 3rd base on Tuesday night during the Braves vs. Marlins game. Darling deflected the praise as usual. "My job really isn't that hard", the humble Darling said following the game , "all I really have to do is pay attention to 3B, and every once in a while I get to watch that long white line that goes clear out into the outfield to see which side the ball lands on." Fellow umpires were quick to give Gary credit for the highlight. "You don't see good calls by umpires that often so when a guy like Gary is able to come in make a descent call that everyone expects, well that just shows us that maybe all that hard work spent at the MLB umpires camp last winter really was worth it." said fellow crewman Bill Hohn. Hohn, who is known for his beautiful mustache, also made a halfway descent call in the game. When home plate umpire Jerry Meals was asked about the incident he complained saying, "I would have made some good calls at home like say on balls and strikes, but I have this stupid mask on my face and I can't really see all that well." Other umpires were quick to accuse Darling of taking performance enhancing drugs. One umpire who asked to remain anonymous said, "I think it's pretty obvious that Gary is taking something, it's just not possible to make that kind of a call in a game." Sources close to the umpires union say that if Darling is indeed using performance enhancing drugs then, "his chances of making the umpire hall of fame may be in question". This after his good call on Tuesday was sure to have guaranteed him a spot on next years ballot.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Local Girl calls recend trade "rude"

After being informed of a recent trade between the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets, local resident Ashleigh Kaiser responded by saying that the trade was "rude and not very nice". Kaiser continued, "So what he just has to leave and go to New York right away? That's just rude." A source very close to Kaiser also confirmed that she did indeed compare the players to "slaves because they are owned by the team" until she learned that the players involved in the trade make a lot more money than her. "I still don't think it's very fair," Ashleigh continued, "They don't even have a choice." After being questioned about the incident, MLB commisioner Bud Selieg told reporters that "If we let players choose where they played no one would play for the Nationals or the Mets, and we would probably have a hard time fielding teams in places like Toronto or Denver, people just don't want to live there." An MLB spokesman has stated that dispite the discontent of trades not being fair, MLB will continue with it's current trading setup.

Friday, July 24, 2009

25 Dead in Mass Suicide police say

At least 25 people were found dead in there homes Thursday evening following the Braves loss to the Giants. Police chief James Conderson said that "We believe these suicides have something to do with last weeks suicides following the loss to the Rockies." Conderson continued saying that "It had been a while since Moylen had pitched and so there hadn't been any recent suicides in the area." Jenny Palacio, wife of suicide victim Johnny Palacio, said that her husband shot himself before Moylen even threw a pitch, "I just heard him yell 'What Moylen? What is Cox thinking? Then I heard the gunshot", Palacio stated.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Despondent Lincecum found in Atlanta area restroom

A visibly shaken Tim Lincecum was found by police in an area bathroom stall late Wednesday night following the Giants 4-2 loss to the Braves. Police say that they recieved a call from Gina's Diner at about 11:30 pm local time from an upset owner because "someone was making weird noises in the stall next to him." When Police arrived the Giants' pitcher was curled up in a ball repeating between sobs, "But I haven't given up a home run to a right hander in over 175 innings!" Lincecum had also unexplicably shaved the entire left side of his head. When asked about his missing mullet he started crying as he explained that he had missed the team bus. "I was just trying to find my way back to the hotel when everyone started making fun of my hair", Lincecum told reporters. Tim was taken to an area hospital where he will try and recover from his 3rd loss of the season.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hanson the next "Ace".

After striking out a career high 11 batters in 7 innings of work, Tommy Hanson's fastball is officially un-hittable. OK so I'm drooling a little bit. Seriously though, it was fun just to watch him challenge the Giants' hitters with his fast ball all night long. Then after settling down and throwing strikes, his slider got down right nasty. This got me thinking, Is Tommy the next Atlanta Braves Ace?
First of all, it's an understatement to say that Hanson came out of no where. The Braves drafted him in the 22nd round of the 2005 amateur players draft as a draft and follow player. This allowed them to hang on to his rights up until a week before the following draft at which time he could enter the draft again or sign a contract with the Braves, but no other team could try and sign him or "tamper" with him. The rest is history as Hanson dominated the minor leagues in the 3.5 seasons that followed, compiling 463 K's in 389 innings. For those of you that are "mathematically impaired" that's more than a strike-out per inning. Those are definitely numbers more fitting of a 1st round Draft choice and not a 22nd round choice. Somebody deserves a big pat on the back for finding this diamond in the rough, but somebody else deserves a swift kick in the butt for not finding him sooner.
So I think that yes Hanson is going to be an ace, but he's not the next one as Jurrjens may have already beaten him to that post. Tommy came up to the major's this year touted as the organization's #1 pitching prospect and he has not disappointed. He actually reminds me a lot of a young John Smoltz who took the Braves from worst to first in the 1991 season. Expect Hanson to co-anchor a young pitching staff that includes Jair Jurrjens and Kris Medlen, sometime in the near future. Braves fans have a lot to look forward to with this young core of excellent pitchers. Hanson will defiantly be an ace in the coming years, if he isn't already, but don't expect him to be the only one as it is more likely that this staff will be reminiscent of the Glavine-Maddux-Smoltz days. OK now I am really drooling.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Atlanta local commits suicide during Braves game

Local Atlanta man, James de la Brusa, was found dead in his apartment Sunday night after apparently having hanged himself. James' neighbor Jacob Johnson said he heard shouting coming from his long time friend and next door neighbor. "I thought I heard some yelling", Jacob said, "The last thing I heard was 'WHAT? MOYLEN? IF HE LOSES ONE MORE GAME FOR US I'M GONNA HANG MYSELF". During police questioning Jacob was asked why didn't respond to the yelling and go over and try and calm his friend down. Jacob said, "I didn't think he was serious, I mean Moylen has already lost like what 5 games this year? I just thought it was another hallow threat. If I would have known he was serious this time, I probably would have tried to go over there." James de la Brusa was survived by his wife Jamie and his brother Juan.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Obama Announces new bailout plan for MLB

During the 2nd inning of the MLB Allstar game President Obama unfurrled a new plan that he said would "save Major League Baseball". Obama cited falling attendence and the high price of beer at game for reasons of instituting his new plan. "I went to a Nationals game last week and it was terrible. I don't know what I was offended more by, the fact that the Nationals didn't get a runner past 1st base or that I had to pay 8 Dollars for a glass of beer. Americans deserve better than this." The new bailout plan centers around D.C. area team that is locally known as the 'Nats' or the Nationals. Obama says that "it has been way too long since the Nationals won a game and that just doesn't fit into my vision of the American dream". Obama said he was working a a bill that would grant the Nationals upwards of 15 Billion dollars to sign a new player. "It would be great for baseball to see the Nationals compete on a day to day basis. If Alex Rodriguez can avoid any suspensions for steriod use in the future, maybe they can use the 15 Billion to sign him to a 1 or 2 year deal and they can get back on their feet." Obama also noted that it would be terrible to see the Nationals end up like the Montreal Expos. "We need to show those Canadians how to support a failing baseball team", a visually flustered Obama stated.
Obama also said that The Nationals would use part of the bailout money to build a bigger stadium for the struggling franchise. "Not many people go to the games right now and although adding more seats may not be very logical, it will definitly look like I am concerned for their success."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Comparing 1995 to 2009

I know wishful thinking. Or is it? The Braves of 2009 compare very favorably to the Braves of 1995. I just got done watching "Braves Win...It all" and besides giving me chills it also got me thinking. Whats the difference between the two teams? Why did the '95 team comeback 1.5 more in late innings than they gave up the lead and the 2009 team gives up the lead just as much as they take it? So I did some research and decided to do a side by side, position by position comparison and this is what I came up with: (all 2009 Batting stats are projected to a full season)
Starting Pitching
Greg Maddux 1.63 ERA vs. Derek Lowe 4.39 ERA
Tom Glavine 3.08 ERA vs. Javier Vasquez 2.95 ERA
John Smoltz 3.18 ERA vs. Jair Jurrjens 2.91 ERA
Steve Avery 4.67 ERA vs. Tommy Hanson 2.85 ERA
Kent Mercker 4.15 ERA vs. Kenshin Kawakami 4.26 ERA

Edge: Wash. Before you throw me to the wolves for this call let me explain. No one can top the three-some of Maddux Glavine and Smoltz. All Cy Young winners. Maddux was incredible, 1.63 seriously? But I think the 2009 Braves are deeper 1-5. Tommy Hanson is heads and shoulders above Avery and although Kenshin has a similar ERA to Mercker, he is a big game pitcher. He has only given up more than 3 runs once in the last 2 months so he is better than that ERA would lead you to believe. Derek Lowe is underperfoming obviously and if he comes around this year he is a legitimate ace. That leaves two more aces in Vasquez and Jurrjens at the 2 and 3 spots. The only spot where the 1995 Braves have a clear advantage is with Maddux vs. Lowe. Everywhere else looks to be ad. 2009 Braves. Smoltz and Glavin would both later win Cy Young awards but who knows, Jurrjens and Vasquez would be sure contenders for a Cy Young this year if they only had a little run support.

Bullpen: Taking the top 5 relievers from each club, both teams have ERA's around 3.20. The big difference is in a set up man. Unless Moylen steps up and so does Gonzalez, then the 2009 Braves are in a world of hurt. Soriano is better than Wholers but it just drops off like a cliff from there. If the 2 aforementioned players step it up in the second half then we will make a run at the playoffs. If they don't then we will be sellers by mid august. Advantage right now goes to the 1995 Braves.


Javy Lopez, .315 BA 14 hr 51 RBI vs. Brian McCann .298 16 hr 72 RBI

Edge: Pretty much a wash especially considering McCann is batting well over .300 since getting glasses.

1B: Fred McGriff .280 27 hr 93 RBI vs anyone the 2009 Braves throw out there

Edge: 1995 Braves. This is a clear winner for the 1995 Braves. 1B has been a position this year that we just can't seam to get any production out of this season.

2B: Mark Lemke .253 5 hr 38 RBI vs Prado/Infante .335 10 hr 58 RBI

Edge: 2009 Braves. As long as Prado and Infante play solid defense at second, the 2009 Braves have a clear offensive advantage here. (I left out Kelly Johnson on purpose cause I don't think he'll see the field much the rest of the year)

SS: Jeff Blauser .211 12 hr 31 RBI vs Yunel Escobar .293 14 hr 88 RBI

Edge 2009 Braves. Seriously anyone would be better than Blauser. I have no fond memories of him at all. As long as Escobar doesn't make too many mental errors at short, this is a huge upgrade.

3B: Chipper Jones .265 23 hr 86 RBI vs Chipper Jones .290 18 hr 82 RBI

Edge: 2009 Braves. Chipper hasn't had a great first half of the season and will probably improve on those numbers. Even so the seasoned Chipper beats out his own stellar rookie season.

LF: Ryan Klesko .310 23 hr 70 RBI vs Garret Anderson .272 10 hr 64 RBI

Edge: 1995 Braves. Klesko was really big for this team. Garret Anderson is an ok batter for us this season but his defense is demoralizing. He loafs around and has cost us runs on more than one occasion. This is a big advantage for the 1995 team IMO.

CF: Marquis Grisom .258 12 hr 42 RBI vs Nate McLouth .288 20 hr 60 RBI
Edge: 2009 Braves. Mclouth was a huge get for the Braves this year. If they go on and somehow win the east, this could turn out to be the trade of the decade.
RF: David Justice .253 24 hr 78 RBI vs Jeff Franceour .250 10 hr 70 RBI
Edge: It's a wash, both players underperformed. Justice has twice as many homers and a few more RBI but not enough contribution to give him the clear edge here. Throw Diaz into the mix in right field and get Church who has a .280 BA and the 2009 Braves all of the sudden have an advantage here.
Bench: I give the edge here to the 2009 Braves cause since they are platooning guys like Prado Diaz and Infante, that always leaves 1 of these guys on the bench and then another once Kotchman comes back. The only reason I would give the 95 guys any edge is because my memory is telling me that they were clutch in late innings but I've got nothing other than that to back it up. I do wish we could get Mike Mordacai to come play again.
Coaching: 1995 Braves. Same Cox same odd decisions but the 1995 Braves had Rockin Leo Mazzone and they were less Terry Pendelton as hitting coach. Those factors alone give the 1995 Braves a point here.

Overall most of the advantages went to the 2009 Braves so there is hope that they can turn out just like the 1995 Braves. First the Braves need to fix some of the majors chinks in the armour.
I think they are: Middle relievers to set up men, no power at 1B, consistency in the corner outfields. They have already began to fix the chink in right field and I think the platoon of Diaz/Church will work out well. I don't think you can fix Anderson but we could be ok there. Kotchman is serviceable at 1b and I don't see us with enough money to get anything there. As far as the middle relievers go I really think we have the talent to see something special. Moylen has some nasty stuff and so does Gonzalez. If they stop giving up runs in critical situations our bullpen will be lights out. And just in case you are down cause we are 6 games out at the all-star break, just remember the 1995 Braves were 5 back of the Phillies at mid-season. They went on a winning streak and ended up winning the division by more than 15 games.

Here's to a World Series Championship in 2009!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Impatient Hitters

So I am watching the Braves losing to the Cubs 4-1 right now. It's kind of frustrating cause I just watched Diaz swing at 4 pitches out of the strike zone with the bases loaded and only one out. With that I think the Braves hitters' problem is that they are not playing baseball... they are playing wak-a-mole. They are swinging at everything they see. I think it's time that Pendleton move to bench coach and the braves should pick up a new hitting coach. Someone who will teach these guys a bit of patience. Pendleton is teaching these guys the same style of hitting that he employed in his hitting days. The problem with this style is the extremely low OBP. When you're hot you're hot but when you go on a slump there is nothing. This would explain why it's either feast or famine with the Braves this year. The only two guys on the team with half an eye at he plate (Chipper and McCann) both get their hitting advice from their dads. Everyone else employs a free swinging mentality. If the Braves want to win a pennant this year they are going to have to be more patient at the plate and I think that starts with moving Pendleton elsewhere.

Friday, June 26, 2009


I don't know how much more of this I can take. Some times your starting pitcher is going to get knocked out early. When that happens you expect your bullpen to at least hold the other team at bay. Our middle relievers have not been able to come into a game and stop the bleeding. Yesterday just proved this point over again. Lowe left the game with runners on 1st and 3rd down 6-1. The final score of the game? 11-7. The point is, that had the bullpen been able to hold down the fort for a few innings, we would have had a chance to win this one. Even with these two dissapointing losses to the Yankees, we are still only 4 games back. Just to make sure the bullpen was the problem, I did a little research. A simple check on shows that the Braves are right near the middle of the pack with a 4.09 bullpen ERA. My first thought was "That's not that bad, maybe the bullpen isn't losing us that many games". A little more research, however, shows that the ERA of everyone not named Gonzalez or Soriano, is a staggering 5.10. The only team that has a worse bullpen ERA in the NL is the Nationals. Soriano and Gonzalez have combined to pitch 67 2/3 innings and have given up 13 eared runs. Everyone else? 157 innings and 89 earned runs. That's 11 pitchers combining for 69 percent of the work load and 87 percent of the earned runs allowed. Another stat that appears to be terrible for our bullpen is inherited runners vs. inherited runners scored. Soriano and Gonzalez have yet to allow an inherited runner to score, the rest of the bullpen is allowing 40 percent of inherited runners to score. These stats are only available per player and there are no team stats that I could find so I don't know how this 40 percent compares to the rest of the league, but it does not seam very good at all. Our other problem is pretty obvious and it's that we aren't getting any sort of consistent production from our 5-8 hitters. So what do we need? A good middle reliever and a power bat in the middle of the lineup. So I was just thinking, what are the options? Jeff Francoeur has been talked about as a trade option, but I am not quite ready to give up on him because I'm too big of a homer. Anyway we don't have a lot of option because of the financial restrictions we have. But there is help on the way. Omar Infante should be back after the allstar break and that will bolster our lineup quite a bit. With Infante back our lineup could look something like this:
That lineup looks very good. Even a struggling Francoeur is a great number 8 hitter. With our deep pitching staff and improving relievers we should be able to make a solid run at the NL East division.

Friday, June 19, 2009


I'm working 12 hours today blah! But no one is really calling in so far so i've got a lot of time on my hands. This got me thinking about some of my most memorable Braves moments. The year was 1992 and it was October. All you Braves fans probably no exactly what I'm talking about by now. I was just an 8 year old kid and as usually was watching the game with my Dad. Looking back I think this may have been when I started biting my fingernails. Now any of you who saw the game will probably not blame me for doing so. It's kind of like that summer you got addicted to slurpees. Only imagine how addicted you would be if it had been the hottest summer ever. Now back to the game. It was game 7 and everything was on the line. The Braves wanted to beat the Pirates for the 2nd straight year, but Doug Drabek (yeah I know Doug is a very cool name) was not about to let that happen. The Pirates were up 3-0 going into the 9th and the Braves had already come up empty earlier in the 6th when they had the bases loaded with nobody out. After Ron Gants fly ball came about 2 feet from winning the game, the score was 3-1. Another walk, and a pop-up left the bases loaded again but with 2 outs this time. No sacrifice flies would do. My finger nails were barely visible now. Then Fransisco Cabrera stepped to the plate with the score 3-2. No one had even heard of him before, but they would definitely know him after. I have the "Braves win it all" video practically memorized. "It was 3-0 when the inning began but it was 3-2 when the fireworks began." Cabrera took a 2-1 pitch into left field and that is probably what got me hooked. Everything was in slow motion after that. Maybe it was because Bream was so slow or maybe it was just the greatness of the moment. Bream rounded 3rd just as pre-Barroid Bonds let go of the throw. When Bream Slid into home there was only dirt, chalk and silence. It seamed like the whole world just stopped to wait for the call. SAFE!! BRAVES WIN!! BRAVES WIN!!! BRAVES WIN!!! BRAVES WIN!!! My dad lifted me up and started jumping up and down as Braves fans everywhere lost control. Bream laid on the ground as his teamates suffocated him in a dog-pile. "I don't know how long I was under the pile," said Bream. "How long can you hold your breath?"

The answer: As long as it takes Bream and his bum knees to get from second to home.

From Braves to Politics

I've always wanted to go to a blog and read about the failing economy and the Braves failing bullpen. Unfortunatly I've never found one. That's too bad because I'm sure there are a lot of Braves fans down in Georgia who would be willing to make a trade with the White House. Peter Moylan for Barack Obama. Straight up. It works out for the Braves because you can't get much worse than Moylan (We already traded Boyer so he doesn't count) and I'm sure they could use the possitive media coverage. The White House may be down with it cause you can't get much worse than Obama and... errr actually Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton are still out there waiting to be called up from the minors, so maybe they could get worse. The good news for the White House is that Moylan is only signed for a one year deal so they could release him at the end of 2009 and go after a more promising prospect. I figure they'll jump on the offer. If they are willing to pay billions of dollars for a failing car company, they should love the chance to buy a failing middle reliever for just around 400K. And that is the deal of the day.