Let’s Make Him A Starter!!

Let’s compare

Player A
218 At bats,
.287 average,
5 home runs,
23 RBIs,
4 stolen bases
.429 caught stealing %
3.93 CERA
VS.

Player B
166 At Bats
.325 average
6 home runs
28 RBIs
2 stolen bases
.324 caught stealing %
4.26 CERA

Who should start in the All-Star Game? Player A or B

Player A is Yadier Molina. He currently has 1,496,285 votes and is in 1st

Player B is Brian McCann He currently has 1,180,312 and is in 2nd.

I
believe McCann deserves the call here. He was injured when the season
started, but has already put up better offensive numbers in almost 50
more at bats. Make the right choice. Give Brian your vote.
If you don’t, you will surely regret it!

-Darion

All-Star Help And Who You SHOULD Vote For In The AL

The Should’s, Could’s, and Should Not’s in the AL

Catcher

Should: Joe Mauer.
Reason:
People this is not even close. Mauer has more Home Runs than everybody
else playing catcher and has been on the DL for a good chunk of the
season. He leads the AL Catchers in Home Runs with 13, Batting Average
with .413, and is 2nd in RBIs with 39. To not vote for him is insane.
He has played better baseball than just about everyone this year.
Could: Victor Martinez
Why:
He would have been a starter every other year with the stats he has.
Unfortunately, Mauer’s stats are just clearly better. Martinez has a
.339 average with 10 homers and 42 RBIs. He should definitely be in the
All-Star Game, just not as a starter as long as Mauer is healthy.
Should Not: Everyone else.
Why:
If you vote for anyone besides those two and possibly Varitek and
Posada since they have decent stats as well, you are what we call
uneducated and biased.

http://www.hollywoodcollectibles.com/autographed/memorabilia/sports/collectibles/authentic/Baseball/8x10%20Photos/Joe_Mauer_Auto_Photo3_mid.jpg

1st Base

Should: Justin Morneau
Reason:
Probably the hardest position in the whole Major Leagues is 1st base in
the AL. There are 6 players who all deserve spots, but I feel Morneau
has the better stats and is having the better year. With a .338 BA, 16
Home Runs, and 54 RBIs, Justin is on pace to have a career year. I
think he just edges the rest of the players in consideration.
Could: Either one of those players on the list with the exception of Justin Morneau.
Why:
You can see all their stats are very identical. They are all having
great years and should all get a good amount of votes. Youkilis spent
time on the DL so that might hurt his campaign. Pena’s average might
hurt his as well. My pick would go to Mark Teixeira after Morneau.
Should Not: Anyone else
Why: Same reason as I said for catchers. Besides those 6, no one else should get a vote.

   
PLAYER TEAM
AB AVG HR RBI SB
C Pena TB 214 .229 19 47 0
M Teixeira NYY 218 .289 19 52 0
J Morneau MIN 240 .338 16 54 0
R Branyan SEA 189 .317 14 29 2
             
M Cabrera DET 213 .329 11 39 1
             
K Youkilis BOS 160 .350 10 37 3
             
             
             
             
             
             

2nd Base

Should: Aaron Hill
Reason:
He has had a great year hitting .311 with 14 home runs and 43 RBIs. It
really should be between him and Ian Kinsler. Kinsler has 1 more home
runs and 1 more RBI, but Aaron’s average is .311 and Kinsler’s is only
.265 so Hill should get the call.
Could: Ian Kinsler
Why: Like I
said, Hill had a much better average which gives him my vote. Kinsler
did have one more home run and one more RBI and 9 more stolen bases,
but that average killed him. The stats could change dramatically so
keep an eye on these two.
Should Not: Howie Kendrick
Why: He
has no power and has a .231 average and only 6 stolen bases. Not having
a good year this year and shouldn’t have really any votes unless you
are trying to vote for the worst players.

3rd Base

Should: Evan Longoria
Reason: Do I really need to give a reason? With a .307 BA with 14 Home Runs and 56 RBIs, Longo blows everyone out of the water.
Could: Mike Lowell
Why:
He is having a fairly good season hitting .292 with 10 home runs and 40
RBI’s. Obviously it’s not as good as Longoria’s stats, but they are
really good numbers.
Should Not: Alex Rodriguez
Why:
Only has a .234 average with only 8 home runs AND is coming off the
dreaded steroids ordeal. No way he should get in this year unless he
suddenly picks it up.

http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/2008/baseball/mlb/11/10/scoutingreport.longoria/evan-longoria-ap2.jpg

SS

Should: Jason Bartlett
Reason:
Before Bartlett went on the DL, he was putting up some really good
numbers. As of now, he has a .373 average with 7 homers, 30 RBIs, and
14 stolen bases. Unlucky for him that Jeter starts regardless of the
numbers he puts up, but he should be in the ASG.
Could: Derek Jeter
Why:
He is actually putting up decent numbers, but it really doesn’t matter
as he will get the most votes out of everybody. His numbers are close
to Bartlett’s but Bartlett has the advantage.
Should Not: Orlando Cabrera
Why: .234 average, 2 home runs, and 2 stolen bases while having 239 at-bats is sad. ‘Nuff said

OF

Should: Jason Bay, Carl Crawford, Nelson Cruz
Why: Bay is hitting .277 with 16 homers, 57 RBI’s, and 5 stolen bases.
Crawford has a .325 average with a huge 35 stolen bases, 5 homers, and 29 RBIs.
Cruz is hitting .288 with 17 homers, 42 RBIs, and 10 stolen bases
Could: Tori Hunter, Adam Jones, Johnny Damon, and Curtis Granderson
Why: They don’t have as good numbers as the 3 I named, but they do have good numbers.
Jones has a .329 average with 11 home runs, 4 stolen bases, and 37 RBIs.
Hunter is hitting .313 with 12 homers, 44 RBIs, and 11 stolen bases.
Damon is hitting .286 with 13 homers, 35 RBIs, and 5 stolen bases
Granderson is hitting .267 with 14 homers, 37 RBIs, and 10 stolen bases.
It
is very close between these guys, but I think Bay, Nelson, and Crawford
edge them out. It was a close call between Bay and Jones, but I think
Bay has the slight advantage.
Should Not: Vlad Guerrero
Why: He
has only gotten 96 at-bats this year, but he has a .260 BA with only
one homer. He shouldn’t get many votes this year because of that.

Good Luck in voting and please use your 25 votes wisely!

David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox strikes out swinging with the bases loaded to end the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on May 14, 2009 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.  The Angels won 5-4 in 12 innings.   (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** David Ortiz

All-Star Help And Who You SHOULD Vote For In The NL.

The Should’s, Could’s, and Should Not’s in the NL

Catcher

Should: Brian McCann.
Reason:
He is hitting above .300 and has 5 home runs. That may not be very
strong numbers, but he is better than any other catcher this year. The
home runs are low this year because he went on the DL to fix his
eyesight, but he is back and even better than he was last year. He
isn’t much of a base stealer, but he has 2 stolen bases so far this
year. He also has 20 RBIs so far.
Could: Bengie Molina.
Why: Leads Catchers in RBIs and Homers, but has a mediocre .257 Batting Average.
Should Not: Geovany Soto
Why: 137 At-Bats, 2 Home Runs, 13 RBIs, and a sad .204 Average.


1st Base

Should: Albert Pujols
Reason:
He is having another Pujols season and is hitting .333 with 18 Homers
and 51 RBIs. 1st base is the strongest in the NL this year with names
like Ryan Howard, Adrian Gonzalez, Joey Votto, and Prince Fielder, but
Pujols edges them out in a close race. He also has 7 stolen bases. Now
that he has just about won the Starter’s position, you probably should
vote for the back-up.
Could: Adrian Gonzlez/Prince Fielder/Joey Votto.
Why:
All 3 of them have had a great season so far. Gonzo is leading the
Majors in Home Runs, Votto has a .357 average, and Fielder is hitting
.297 with with 15 Homers and 54 RBI’s. It is a close race here, but
Adrian Gonzalez is probably the one you should since he is putting up
monster numbers with his home field a major Pitcher’s Park. You can’t
really go wrong with this pick if you pick any of the guys listed on
here.
Should Not: Travis Ishikawa.
Why: He is hitting .261 with no power and no speed. That alone says it all.

2nd Base

Should: Chase Utley
Reason:
He is hitting a strong .296 with 12 Home Runs, 5 Stolen Bases, and 38
RBIs. Those are great numbers for a position that focuses on defense.
Could: Orlando Hudson
Why:
He has been great so far this year. He is hitting .315 with 3 Homers,
33 RBIs, and 4 stolen bases. He has also helped the Dodgers have the
great record they have now.
Should Not: Kaz Matsui
Why:
He is hitting a poor .219 with 1 Home Run and only 12 RBIs in 146
At-Bats. The only good thing about him is that he has 6 stolen bases.

3rd Base

Should: Ryan Zimmerman
Reason:
Even without the hit streak he had going on, Zimmerman has put up great
numbers. He is hitting .320 with 11 Home Runs and 39 RBIs for a team
that should be in AAA. The Zero Stolen bases are the only thing that
could hurt him in voting.
Could: Mark Reynolds/Chipper Jones/David Wright
Why:
Like the 1st base candidates, they are all doing great this year.
Chipper is hitting .329 with 7 Homers, Wright is hitting .345 with 14
stolen bases, and Reynolds has 14 Homers with 12 stolen bases. Wright
is usually the no-duh at this position, but he only has 3 home runs
this year. He will still be the starter nevertheless, but Zimmerman
SHOULD be the starter this year.
Should Not: Too Many Names
Why: Other than the names I mentioned, no one else has done much to be considered to the All-Star Game.
http://mysportsrumors.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/ryan_zimmerman.jpg

SS

Should: Hanley Ramirez
Reason:
He is Hanley Ramirez! He SHOULD be leading in votes right now, but some
people don’t know how to vote. He is hitting .332 with 8 Homers, 8
stolen bases, and 26 RBIs.
Could: Cristian Guzmán
Why:
He is one of the most underrated players in the game. He is hitting
.326 so far this season. He only has 2 Home Runs and 1 stolen base, but
he was on the DL for a bit.
Should Not: Jimmy Rollins and Rafael Furcal
Why:
Rollins is hitting .222 with 3 Homers and 18 RBIs. Those are horrible
numbers, yet he is on pace to be the starter this year. I just don’t
understand it. Furcal is also having a bad season coming off of
surgery. He is hitting .242 with 2 Homers and 12 RBIs. He also only has
3 stolen bases so far.

Outfield
 
Should: Raul Ibanez, Carlos Beltran, and Justin Upton
Reason:
Ibanez has been a moster, Beltran is hitting over .340 with 33 RBIs, 7
stolen bases, and 7 Home Runs, and Upton has turn it on and has 11
Homers, 8 stolen bases, and is hitting .320
Could: Ryan Braun, Adam Dunn, Carlos Lee, and Hunter Pence.
Why: They are all having great seasons as well, but just not as good as the 3 that should be starting.
Should Not: Manny Ramirez
Why: Do you really need a reason?

http://mlblogsdarion.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/6a00d83451b84f69e201156f7f69a8970c-450wi.jpg?w=294

The Braves Definitely Need Some Sort of Change ASAP!

I feel like now is the time to get something done about the Braves. The past couple of weeks there has been times where I just have to turn the TV off while I am watching them play. It is sometimes just too hard to watch. The offense just CAN NOT get anything done. When I actually feel like we can win it while being down a run or two, the bullpen puts it way out of our reach or Jordan Schafer strikes out to end the inning (he has 46 strikeouts over 125 at bats!). It just seems like we need to make a trade happen ASAP (stands for “as soon as possible” for you people who don’t know) and I think I have a trade buddy for the Braves: the Cleveland Indians. The player we really need is a former Brave that plays there named Mark DeRosa.

He has power, which is what we desperately need, and he can play the outfield, which is where we need a player with power to play. He is currently the starting 3rd baseman for the Indians, but he played many games at 2nd base and in the outfield. He could even play 1st base if needed to. He is an Omar Infante with much more power essentially. Last year, he hit 21 home runs with a .285 average. Not great, but much better than any of our outfielders last year. The Indians have DeRosa available and they need pitching in return for him. Guess what we have plenty of? You got it! We have a great amount of pitching in the farm system, including many players with ML-experience. DeRosa is in the last year of his 3 year, 13 million contract and is currently 34. We could use him this year until Heyward is ready. It makes perfect sense to me. What else could make it better? He is still living in Atlanta.
I’m sure he would LOVE to play for the Braves again, and I sure as heck would love him back.
I don’t really see any other player that could be traded to the Braves right now, but it would most likely be an outfielder with power and have a decent average around .270-.300.
I’m sure Wren is killing himself for signing Garret Anderson and not Bobby Abreu or Adam Dunn. Just imagine what the Braves would have been like with one of them.
The Braves could POSSIBLY go after Ryan Ludwick if he becomes available. Nick Swisher could also be an option as well. If the Marlins start falling apart, then one of their outfielders could be traded (along with everyone that cost over 2 million).
Players that will probably have their name in trades starting now are Kelly Johnson, Martin Prado, Charlie Morton, JoJo Reyes, Jeff Francoeur (unlikely), Jeff Locke, Jeff Bennett, Matt Diaz, and many other pitchers in the minor league level.

In other news, the Mets recently lost Carlos Delgado for 10 weeks. This could be really, really good, or really, really bad. If they look for a 1st baseman in their club, it’s good. If they get Nick Johnson, Aubury Huff, or another player who is good, then it’s bad. Hopefully they stay in-club.
Javier Vazquez, Derek Lowe, and Jair Jurrjens have been absolutely brilliant so far this year. Javy is tied for 3rd with Johan Santana in the Major Leagues in Strikeouts, Jurrjens is in 4th place in the majors in ERA, and Derek Lowe is tied for 5th in the Majors in Wins. They have been incredible so far.
http://www.baseballmusings.com/archives/JairJurrjens357FEB29094_Dodgers_v_Braves.JPG
The Line-up NEEDS to be fixed. No more of this Garret Anderson hitting 4th. No more of this Kotchman not hitting 2nd where he was born to hit. No more of this Kelly Johnson hitting lead-off when he should be hitting 5th or 6th. And no more of Brian McCann not being in the 4th spot to protect Chipper. Come on Bobby! We are 2.5 games behind the Phillies and we need to get a roll on! Last night’s line-up was pretty good. Let’s try to keep it somewhat similar to that.

I have just moved out of Alabama recently. I now live in Naples, Florida where it’s hot or rainy all day and the Braves don’t play on local TV. I’ll just have to catch them on the internet from now on.

   

April Over With; Braves A Game Below .500

Time to grade how the Braves are doing after the first month.
They are currently 10-11 going into today’s game against the Astros. They are 3.5 games behind the 1st place Marlins and 1.5 behind the 2nd place Phillies

Offense
For the first couple of games, our offense was just simply amazing. Lots of runs were getting scored, we were putting the ball in play, and we were hitting it out of the park. Then in the middle of April, we could barely score a run. It was pretty awful to watch. We even got shutout two times in a row. Javier Vazquez and Jair Jurrjens were losing games when they only allowed 2 runs or less. That’s not acceptable. We need to start putting runs on the scoreboard again if we want to compete in this division this year.
There has also been a couple of injuries that may have screwed us over and that may have been why we couldn’t really score more than 2 or 3 runs a game, but we still need to have bench players that can come in and still help the team win. Omar Infante and David Ross have done an EXCELLENT job so far and I hope they can keep it up. If we didn’t have Ross in Atlanta and McCann went on the DL, we would have an even worse record than we do now. Thank God we signed him!
Infante has done a great job getting on base and he definitely makes me feel better when Chipper missed a good amount of games and when Escobar had a minor injury. He is definitely doing a good job.
Norton and Prado are doing somewhat of a good job so far and Diaz (if you count him as a bench player) has done great as well. With Anderson and McCann on the DL, we need to make sure we pick it up. Diaz and Brandon Jones will be platooning in left field until Garret Anderson is healthy again so they need to make sure they continue to play well.

Jeff Francoeur, Chipper Jones, Yunel Escobar, Casey Kotchman, David Ross, and Omar Infante are all doing a great job.
Jordan Schafer, Kelly Johnson, Martin Prado, and Greg Norton need to pick it up a little.
Garret Anderson and Brian McCann are on the DL heading into May.

http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/images/2009/04/16/KtLVGvka.jpg
 
Main objective for offense to have a good May: Score more than 3 runs a game. With the starting pitching playing like they are playing, 3-5 runs a game will win us many, many games. We don’t have hit the ball out of the park or score 10 runs a game everyday, but as long as we stay consistent, we can win this division.  
Grading the Offense: B-

Pitching
Well there is a good and bad side to this.
The good side is the rotation. Absolutely amazing so far. Besides Kawakami, the starters have been great. Lowe is great, Jurrjens is amazing so far, Vazquez is a strikeout machine, and JoJo Reyes has been living up to his potential lately. Kenshin Kawakami is not doing bad, but he is not what most Braves fans thought he was. I know he is still adjusting, so no harm done yet. He really needs to find that control I know he has and needs to keep the ball in the park. He won’t pitch 200 innings, but I expect a solid 160-180 innings from him.
Now the bad part.
The bullpen is not-so-great right now. They started off just horrible. After one of the starters came out, it was time to start praying because they just couldn’t hold the tie or lead. I won’t even discuss the 7 or 8 run lead we had the 3rd game of the season that they blew. Trading Blaine Boyer was a good start that has helped our bullpen, but unless they want more of them to be traded or sent down to the minors, they have to pitch a lot better, which they have the last couple of games. Peter Moylan looks a lot better, Rafael Soriano is back, and Mike Gonzalez is now in top form. Those 3 pitchers are the big part of the bullpen so if they are playing well, our whole bullpen will be great. When Campillo returns from the DL, our bullpen will be great.

http://espndeportes-akamai.espn.go.com/2003/photos2009/0222/mlb_a_kawakami_300.jpg
 
Starters objective: Keep playing like they are playing now. They are keeping the ball in the infield, striking out guys, and have control.
Kawakami’s objective: Keep the ball inside the park. Do that, and your ERA will be very low.
Bullpen’s objective: Throw Strikes. If they do that, everything will be a lot better as long as it stays in the park. 

Grading the Rotation: A
Grading the Bullpen: C

Teams’s Objective: Stay Healthy. Plain and Simple. If we do, we will win the East.

Braves Need to start Picking it Up!

As you can probably tell, I haven’t been able to write in a while. This is mostly because of school and the way the Braves have been playing lately. We lost a series 2-1 against the Pirates last week, and now we are on the verge of getting swept by the NATIONALS! If that is not embarrassing, I don’t know what is. We have been playing horrible and only won 1 game in the last 8 and were shutout twice. Just pathetic.
Part of this is because of injuries. That has really killed us. We lost Chipper Jones and Brian McCann for a couple of games (although David Ross and Martin Prado have done an excellent job filling in for them) and had some minor injuries to Yunel Escobar and Garret Anderson (Matt Diaz has done an excellent job when he has been playing, though). Our bullpen is also a question mark as of now because we aren’t real sure about Moylan, and Campillo is on the DL. Lucky, it looks like Soriano and Gonazlez are close to 100%, but we still need the rest of the pen to pick it up real soon or you will see more changes made, like when we DFA’d Blaine Boyer (finally) and then traded him for what looks to be a promising player in 26 year old Brian Barton.
The thing that has just really made me go crazy is how the starters are getting ZERO run support. Come on Guys! When Jair Jurrjens went over 6 innings and only allowed one run, he should have gotten the win. We kept on leaving men on base by popping out to the infield or striking out. That’s just plainly unacceptable and we have to do better. Last night, we were down by run run in the bottom of the 9th with runners on 2nd and 3rd with NO outs. Guess what we did. Nothing is the answer. As I recall, we grounded out to the pitcher, we popped out to the 10 feet from 2nd base, and grounded out again to end the game. I just don’t see how someone couldn’t hit it to the centerfield. I mean seriously, we do it all the time in the game, so why not now?
Anyways, I am mad because I know we do much better than we have been playing the last 8 games. We really need to step it up. I know it is only April, but when we get into September 1 game behind, you will be wishing you would have won that one or two games back in April May.

Brian Barton, new member of the Braves. Some facts about him
 

26 years old. Bats and throws right. Outfielder. Can hit for average, has some pop in his bat, and can steal 8-18 bases. Underwent knee surgery in September of 2007. Will be playing in AAA Gwinnett this year.
Was traded for a pitcher with an ERA over 40. 
Now I don’t have to get scared whenever this guy comes in. to pitch.
So long Boyer. You had your moments, but unfortunately, you were bad the majority of of 2008 and all of 2009 so far.

Tonight we play the Nationals in the last of this series I would like to forget. Jair Jurrjens will be on the mound for the Braves today.  

Braves Can’t Avoid Sweep, Injuries Starting To Take Place.

Braves 2, Marlins 6

Well, it is not looking so good for the Braves. Chipper was still nursing an injured hand, and McCann was taking a well deserved off-day. Our backup catcher, David Ross, was activated from the DL and got to start.
We had had Kawakami on the mound for the second time this year. He went 6 innings allowing 5 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), and walked 3 while striking out 7.
In the first inning, Kelly Johnson missed the double play ball that would have ended the inning. Next batter was Cody Ross and he hit a home run. It should have been a 0-0 tie at going into the bottom of the first, but a costly error put us in a bad position that we couldn’t overcome the rest of the game. Things like that are going to kill us this season.
Jeff Bennett finally had a good day as he went 2 innings allowing 2 hits, 0 runs, and he struck out 2.  
Jeff Francoeur had a great game going 2-4 with 2 RBIs, improving his batting average to .306.
Garret Anderson also had a decent day as he went 2-3 with a walk and scored both runs the Braves had. Kenshin Kawakami can apparently hit as well as he went a perfect 2-2, and yes he is our pitcher. Unfortunately, we could not score more than 2 runs today.

Injuries have already started to take effect on the team as Yunel Escobar will be out for 3-5 day with an abdominal strain. Chipper Jones has also missed two days so far with his hand injury and could miss another game if he doesn’t feel he is ready. Jorge Campillo is also going to the DL with a fatigued right shoulder. Look at the player who have been injured so far..

DL- Tom Glavine, Jorge Campillo
Missed a few days- Chipper Jones, Garret Anderson, (soon to be) Yunel Escobar
Just Removed from DL- David Ross

It looks like James Parr will be getting called up for today’s game and JoJo Reyes will be filling in for Tom Glavine and will be starting tomorrow against the Pirates.
Hopefully our bullpen holds up, but it looks like we will be making some changes… soon.
Here are the daily Box Stats provided by mlb.com

Florida AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Bonifacio, 3B 5 0 0 0 0 3 3 .386
Amezaga, CF 5 0 1 1 0 1 0 .222
Ramirez, H, SS 5 0 0 0 0 1 0 .289
Cantu, 1B 3 1 1 0 1 2 0 .370
Uggla, 2B 3 2 2 0 1 0 0 .323
Hermida, LF 4 1 1 1 0 2 5 .286
  Carroll, LF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .143
Ross, C., RF 3 1 3 4 0 0 0 .207
Paulino, C 3 0 0 0 1 1 3 .273
Sanchez, A, P 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
  Calero, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  Meyer, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  Nunez, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  a-Gload, PH 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 .222
  Lindstrom, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Totals 34 6 9 6 3 10 12  

a-Tripled for Nunez in the 9th.

BATTING
2B: Uggla (3, Kawakami).
3B: Hermida (1, Kawakami), Gload (1, Campillo).
HR: Ross, C. (1, 2nd inning off Kawakami, 2 on, 1 out).
TB: Amezaga; Cantu; Uggla 3; Hermida 3; Ross, C. 6; Gload 3.
RBI: Ross, C. 4 (5), Hermida (2), Amezaga (1).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Bonifacio; Hermida 2; Paulino.
S: Sanchez, A.
SF: Ross, C..
Team RISP: 2-for-7.
Team LOB: 6.

BASERUNNING
CS: Amezaga (1, 2nd base by Campillo/Ross, D.).

FIELDING
DP: (Uggla-Ramirez, H-Cantu).

 
Atlanta AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Johnson, 2B 5 0 0 0 0 0 4 .286
Infante, 3B-SS 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333
Escobar, SS 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 .343
  Prado, 3B 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .286
Anderson, G, LF 3 2 2 0 1 0 0 .222
Kotchman, 1B 3 0 1 0 1 0 2 .267
Francoeur, RF 4 0 2 2 0 1 0 .306
Schafer, CF 4 0 0 0 0 3 4 .265
Ross, D., C 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 .333
Kawakami, P 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 .500
  a-Norton, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  Bennett, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  Campillo, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  b-McCann, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .233
Totals 34 2 9 2 3 4 11  

a-Flied out for Kawakami in the 6th. b-Grounded into a forceout for Campillo in the 9th.

BATTING
2B: Anderson, G 2 (2, Sanchez, A, Sanchez, A), Francoeur (1, Sanchez, A).
TB: Escobar; Anderson, G 4; Kotchman; Francoeur 3; Ross, D.; Kawakami 2.
RBI: Francoeur 2 (7).
2-out RBI: Francoeur 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Kotchman; Johnson; Schafer 3.
GIDP: Johnson.
Team RISP: 3-for-7.
Team LOB: 8.

BASERUNNING
SB: Escobar (1, 2nd base off Sanchez, A/Paulino).
CS: Johnson (1, 2nd base by Sanchez, A/Paulino).

FIELDING
E: Johnson (2, missed catch).

 
Florida IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Sanchez, A (W, 1-0) 6.0 8 2 2 3 2 0 1.64
Calero (H, 4) 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.08
Meyer (H, 3) 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.91
Nunez (H, 1) 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 3.60
Lindstrom 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2.25
 
Atlanta IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Kawakami (L, 1-1) 6.0 5 5 4 3 7 1 5.25
Bennett 2.0 2 0 0 0 2 0 1.50
Campillo 1.0 2 1 1 0 1 0 5.40

 

 
We will start off a fresh, new series against the Pirates and it will be a perfect time to pull things together again. We did struggle against them last year, but I don’t think that will happen this year. Jair Jurrjens will start the first game, JoJo the 2nd, and Vazquez for the last. Then we start a series against the Nationals with Lowe starting off and Kawakami probably after that. 
What we need to do this series
Score Runs early.
Minimize number of errors
Get starters to go into the 7th inning or longer
Minimize walks given up, especially with runners on
Get our bullpen to throw strikes.
Minimize the number of runs we allow in the late innings.

Bullpen Can’t Hold Tie as Braves lose 2nd in a Row

Braves 4, Marlins 10
You know it will be a bad day if your bullpen is having an off-day in a close game. That was the problem yesterday as the Braves fell to the Marlins for the 2nd night in a row.
Right now I’m not sure what we should do. Our bullpen has been absolute crap in so far this year. Soriano has proven to be the the most reliable reliever so far this year and is the only one who hasn’t given up a run so far. We have 2 pitchers whose ERA is over 20. Ouch!
We are just giving up hits and walking people left-to-right and someone will get sent down or will see their way out of Atlanta if it continues. We will most likely see someone get called up from the minors in a couple of days.
We had Derek Lowe on the mound, but you could tell he didn’t have his best stuff. He gave up 4 runs on 7 hits over just 5 innings and walked 5. It’s decent, but it is not great. He ended up getting the no-decision as he left when it was a 4-4 tie before our bullpen gave up 6 runs.
Chipper was out today with a hand problem and won’t be back until we start the series with the Pirates this weekend. Francoeur had a good day as he had 2 hits. Infante also had a decent day as he got a hit with 2 RBIs.
Here are the Box Stats for today’s game.

Florida AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Bonifacio, 3B 6 1 1 0 0 4 6 .436
Baker, C 6 2 2 2 0 1 2 .348
Ramirez, H, SS 6 1 2 1 0 0 1 .333
Cantu, 1B 5 2 2 1 1 0 1 .375
Uggla, 2B 4 1 2 3 1 1 1 .286
Hermida, LF 2 1 1 0 2 1 1 .292
  Carroll, LF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .143
Ross, RF 3 1 1 1 1 0 4 .115
Maybin, CF 3 0 0 0 2 3 6 .214
Miller, A, P 2 0 0 0 0 1 4 .000
  Penn, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  a-Gload, PH 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 .125
  Meyer, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  Calero, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  b-Helms, PH 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 .286
  Pinto, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Totals 38 10 12 10 8 11 26  

a-Walked for Penn in the 7th. b-Singled for Calero in the 9th.

BATTING
2B: Ramirez, H (2, Lowe), Uggla (2, Lowe).
TB: Bonifacio; Baker 2; Ramirez, H 3; Cantu 2; Uggla 3; Hermida; Ross; Helms.
RBI: Uggla 3 (12), Cantu (8), Gload (2), Ross (1), Helms (2), Baker 2 (6), Ramirez, H (10).
2-out RBI: Uggla; Gload; Baker 2; Ramirez, H.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Ross 2; Baker; Miller, A 3; Bonifacio 2.
S: Miller, A.
Team RISP: 7-for-20.
Team LOB: 12.

BASERUNNING
SB: Cantu (1, 2nd base off Moylan/McCann).

 
Atlanta AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Johnson, 2B 3 1 1 0 1 0 0 .333
Infante, 3B 3 0 1 2 0 1 0 .455
Escobar, SS 4 0 1 0 0 0 2 .344
McCann, C 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 .241
Diaz, LF 3 1 0 0 1 2 2 .235
Francoeur, RF 4 1 2 0 0 0 0 .281
Kotchman, 1B 4 1 1 1 0 0 1 .259
Schafer, CF 4 0 0 0 0 2 3 .300
Lowe, P 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  a-Prado, PH 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 .333
  Carlyle, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  Moylan, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  O’Flaherty, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  b-Norton, PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000
  Soriano, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  Boyer, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  Campillo, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  c-Anderson, G, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .133
Totals 32 4 6 4 3 6 10  

a-Grounded out for Lowe in the 5th. b-Struck out for O’Flaherty in the 7th. c-Popped out for Campillo in the 9th.

BATTING
2B: Kotchman (2, Miller, A).
3B: Johnson (1, Miller, A).
TB: Johnson 3; Infante; Escobar; Francoeur 2; Kotchman 2.
RBI: Infante 2 (3), Kotchman (2), Prado (2).
2-out RBI: Infante.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Escobar; Diaz.
SF: Infante.
Team RISP: 2-for-6.
Team LOB: 5.

FIELDING
E: Diaz (1, fielding), McCann (1, missed catch).
PB: McCann (2).

 
Florida IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Miller, A 4.2 4 4 4 2 2 0 6.43
Penn (W, 1-0) 1.1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
Meyer (H, 2) 1.1 0 0 0 0 1 0 5.40
Calero (H, 3) 0.2 1 0 0 1 2 0 2.45
Pinto 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4.50
 
Atlanta IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Lowe 5.0 7 4 4 5 5 0 2.81
Carlyle 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 4.15
Moylan (L, 0-1) 0.2 1 1 1 2 2 0 20.25
O’Flaherty 0.1 0 0 0 0 1 0 8.10
Soriano 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
Boyer 0.1 2 4 4 1 1 0 40.50
Campillo 0.2 2 1 0 0 1 0 3.86

  

So far this year in the MLB….
Triple Play
Hitting for the Cycle (happened twice)

Just 2 weeks in and that has already happened…weird. There should have been a no-hitter yesterday, but it will eventually come.

Vazquez K’s 12, but Braves lose to Marlins

Braves 1, Marlins 5

Although Vazquez had a great start, the Braves couldn’t manage to get much to help out the starter. The only run the Braves could manage was a 4th inning solo shot from Kelly Johnson, who already has 3 for the year.

The Marlins managed to get 3 runs off of Vazquez, and that turned out to be all that they need as the Braves only had that lone run. Chris Volstad pitched a great game and only allowed one run over 7 innings and only gave up 3 hits.

Not much else could be said on the Brave’s side as it was just an great pitching performance from the Marlin’s starter. The Braves got 4 hits total the whole game. Vazquez has yet to get his first win as a Brave.

Notice this is the second time the Marlins have won with their opponent’s starter striking out 10 or more (Santana and the Mets lost even with Johan’s 13 K’s).

  

Here are the Box Stats provided by mlb.com

Florida AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Bonifacio, 3B 5 2 2 0 0 1 1 .485
Baker, C 4 2 2 1 0 2 0 .353
Ramirez, H, SS 4 0 1 0 0 2 2 .333
Gload, 1B 2 1 0 0 2 0 0 .125
Uggla, 2B 4 0 2 3 0 2 0 .250
Hermida, LF 4 0 1 0 0 2 3 .273
  Nunez, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  Lindstrom, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Maybin, CF 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 .240
Amezaga, RF-LF 4 0 1 0 0 1 2 .250
Volstad, P 3 0 0 0 0 3 0 .000
  Ross, RF 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .087
Totals 35 5 10 4 2 14 9  

BATTING
2B: Baker (2, Bennett).
TB: Bonifacio 2; Baker 3; Ramirez, H; Uggla 2; Hermida; Maybin; Amezaga.
RBI: Uggla 3 (9), Baker (4).
2-out RBI: Uggla 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Amezaga; Hermida.
GIDP: Hermida.
Team RISP: 3-for-7.
Team LOB: 5.

BASERUNNING
SB: Ramirez, H (1, 2nd base off Bennett/McCann).

FIELDING
DP: (Volstad-Uggla-Ramirez, H-Gload).

 
Atlanta AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Johnson, 2B 4 1 1 1 0 1 2 .333
Escobar, SS 3 0 0 0 1 1 1 .357
Jones, C, 3B 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 .333
McCann, C 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 .269
Anderson, G, LF 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .143
Francoeur, RF 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 .250
Kotchman, 1B 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 .261
Schafer, CF 3 0 1 0 0 2 1 .346
Vazquez, J, P 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  a-Prado, PH 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 .400
  Moylan, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  Bennett, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  O’Flaherty, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  b-Norton, PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .000
  Boyer, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Totals 30 1 4 1 2 6 10  

a-Doubled for Vazquez, J in the 6th. b-Struck out for O’Flaherty in the 8th.

BATTING
2B: Prado (1, Volstad).
HR: Johnson (3, 4th inning off Volstad, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Johnson 4; Francoeur; Schafer; Prado 2.
RBI: Johnson (7).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: McCann 2.
GIDP: Kotchman.
Team RISP: 0-for-3.
Team LOB: 4.

FIELDING
E: Anderson, G 2 (2, fielding, fielding).
Outfield assists: Francoeur (Ramirez, H at home).
DP: (Johnson-Escobar-Kotchman).

 
Florida IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Volstad (W, 2-0) 7.0 3 1 1 2 4 1 1.50
Nunez 1.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 4.50
Lindstrom 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.00
 
Atlanta IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Vazquez, J (L, 0-1) 6.0 5 3 3 1 12 0 4.50
Moylan 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 22.50
Bennett 0.1 4 2 1 1 0 0 2.25
O’Flaherty 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 9.00
Boyer 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 18.00

The Braves play the 2nd game of this series today at 7 ET with Derek Lowe on the mound. The Fish will send Andrew Miller to the mound.

Braves Complete Sweep of Winless Nationals

Braves 8, Nationals 5

The Braves completed their first (should have been second) sweep of the season. The Nationals tried to get that first win of the season, but the Braves were not going to let that happen.

Jurrjens was on the mound coming off of a shutout in his last outing against the Phillies. He looked good, but he did allow a good amount of batters reach base. Things didn’t really change too much this outing as he allowed 10 base runners, 5 from walks and 5 from hits. This isn’t really new as he did it a lot last year, but he just finds a way to get out of trouble when he does it. I won’t say this was a great outing, but it was good enough for the win. He ended up allowing 4 runs get scored (3 earned) and went 5.1 innings before allowing the bullpen to take over. Bennett, O’Flaherty, Carlyle, and Soriano all came from the Pen today and all had a decent day. O’Flaherty is making me a little nervous though as he has a 11.57 ERA this early, but hopefully it will come down to a 3-4.5 ERA over the next weeks. Rafael Soriano got the save after a perfect 9th.

The Braves offense was headlined by Chipper Jones, Omar Infante, and Jeff Francoeur as they all had two hits that night. Francoeur had an interesting night as he hit two triples. That doesn’t happen everyday, heck it never happens. Frenchy is looking to bounce back from last year and he is doing a good job so far. He had 1 RBI last night along with the 2-4 performance and is hitting .240 with 6 of his hits being extra bases. Those hits were the triples tonight and the home run in the opener.
Infante was hitting leadoff tonight since Kelly Johnson was resting and he went 2-3 with 2 runs scored and a walk. Chipper went 2-3 with 2 RBIs and a walk and is hitting .400 so far this year. The Braves also hit 8 for 9 with runners in scoring position. That is amazing.
So far, our power and starting pitching is carrying us. 5 of our 11 hits were extra bases and we are just out-slugging and out-pitching our opponents. Those are the keys to success in the majors. Not to mention, everyone is playing great so far.  We are looking great and I hope we can keep it up and if we can continue to play like this, I think we can possibly win the division.

Oh and Brian McCann stole a base. When that happens, you know things are going well.
 
Here are the box stats for the game provided by mlb.com (look at our batting average as no one is below .240 besides the pitchers).

Washington AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Guzman, C, SS 5 1 2 0 0 1 4 .429
Dukes, CF 5 1 2 3 0 0 4 .375
Zimmerman, R, 3B 5 0 1 1 0 1 2 .214
Dunn, 1B 3 0 2 0 2 1 2 .333
Kearns, RF 4 0 0 0 1 1 3 .167
Willingham, LF 5 0 0 0 0 1 4 .000
Bard, J, C 4 1 1 0 1 1 1 .200
Harris, 2B 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 .222
  1-Gonzalez, A, PR-2B 2 1 0 0 1 0 1 .333
Olsen, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  a-Milledge, PH 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 .158
  Shell, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  Rivera, S, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  b-Flores, PH 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 .333
  Ledezma, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Totals 35 5 10 4 6 6 21  

a-Singled for Olsen in the 6th. b-Walked for Rivera, S in the 8th.
1-Ran for Harris in the 3rd.

BATTING
2B: Dukes (1, Jurrjens).
TB: Guzman, C 2; Dukes 3; Zimmerman, R; Dunn 2; Bard, J; Harris; Milledge.
RBI: Dukes 3 (3), Zimmerman, R (5).
2-out RBI: Dukes 3; Zimmerman, R.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Dukes 2; Willingham 2; Zimmerman, R; Dunn.
S: Olsen 2.
GIDP: Kearns 2.
Team RISP: 4-for-12.
Team LOB: 11.

FIELDING
PB: Bard, J 2 (2).
DP: 2 (Zimmerman, R-Harris-Dunn, Dunn).

 
Atlanta AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Infante, 2B 3 2 2 0 1 0 0 .500
Escobar, SS 4 1 1 1 0 0 2 .400
Jones, C, 3B 3 1 2 2 1 1 0 .400
McCann, C 3 1 1 1 1 0 2 .318
Diaz, LF 4 1 1 1 0 2 1 .286
Francoeur, RF 4 2 2 1 0 0 0 .240
Prado, 1B 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 .250
  Kotchman, 1B 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 .286
Schafer, CF 4 0 0 0 0 3 2 .348
Jurrjens, P 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  Bennett, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  a-Norton, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  O’Flaherty, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  Carlyle, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  b-Johnson, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .348
  Soriano, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Totals 33 8 11 8 3 6 8  

a-Flied out for Bennett in the 7th. b-Flied out for Carlyle in the 8th.

BATTING
2B: Diaz (2, Olsen), Infante (2, Shell), Escobar (3, Shell).
3B: Francoeur 2 (2, Olsen, Ledezma).
TB: Infante 3; Escobar 2; Jones, C 2; McCann; Diaz 2; Francoeur 6; Prado; Kotchman.
RBI: Diaz (4), Francoeur (5), Prado (1), Jones, C 2 (4), McCann (7), Escobar (5), Kotchman (1).
2-out RBI: Diaz; Francoeur; Prado; Jones, C; McCann.
GIDP: Escobar.
Team RISP: 8-for-8.
Team LOB: 4.

BASERUNNING
SB: McCann (1, 2nd base off Olsen/Bard, J).

FIELDING
E: Prado (1, fielding), Jones, C (1, fielding).
DP: 2 (Prado-Escobar-Prado, Infante-Escobar-Prado).

 
Washington IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Olsen (L, 0-2) 5.0 6 5 5 3 3 0 14.63
Shell 1.1 2 2 2 0 1 0 6.75
Rivera, S 0.2 1 0 0 0 0 0 2.08
Ledezma 1.0 2 1 1 0 2 0 9.82
 
Atlanta IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Jurrjens (W, 2-0) 5.1 5 4 3 5 1 0 2.45
Bennett (H, 1) 1.2 3 0 0 0 2 0 0.00
O’Flaherty (H, 2) 0.1 1 1 1 1 0 0 11.57
Carlyle (H, 1) 0.2 1 0 0 0 1 0 5.40
Soriano (S, 1) 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00

We will play the Marlins this week in a 3 game series on Tuesday in Atlanta. They are tied with us for first place in the East as of now. We have Vazquez, Lowe, and Kawakami scheduled to pitch in that order in the series. The Marlins will have Volstad, Miller, and Sanchez opposing us.
After the Marlins, we will have a series against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. 
 

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