April 2012

Braves get blown out by Pirates in series finale.

The Braves got their butts beat tonight.  Very disappointed.  Minor pitched like crap. That’s all i’m gonna say about tonight’s game. Fell out of first- place tie with the Gnats.  Halladay pitching  tomorrow. Oh boy.

Tim Hudson wins season debut by a 4-3 score

Tim Hudson and the braves defeated the Pirates by a 4-3 tally on Sunday afternoon.  In his first start since undergoing back surgery, Hudson battled for 5 frames allowing just two runs and striking out six.  His sinker wasn’t as sharp as it normally is but that will come with time.

The atlanta offense surged back from an early 2-0 deficit.  Freeman got the braves on the board with a sacrifice fly in the third.  Tyler Pastornicky continued his recent good work at the plate with a two – out game- tying RBI double in the fourth.  I’m wondering why the Bucs chose to pitch to Pastor with the pitcher up next. He’s victimized the Pirates twice now in the series.

Uggla put the braves ahead for good one inning later by drawing a bases-loaded walk.  Prado padded the lead in the 7th with a solo blast (2) to center.  After Hudson departed, four relievers (Durbin, O’ Flaherty, Venters, Kimbrel) preserved the lead. Venters and Kimbrel failed to pitch clean innings but got the job done.  Kimbrel finished up, collecting his eigth save.

Mike Minor pitches tomorrow night’s series finale.  Hope he continues his good work.

Game notes: Michael Bourn remains locked in at the plate, collecting three more hits today.  McCann came back a game early, good to have his bat back in the lineup.

Atlanta, Delgado fall to Pirates 4-2 in frustrating loss

Atlanta starter Randall Delgado failed to go five innings and had trouble with his control again.  Oft – injured Pirates starter Eric Bedard had 9 k’s in 5 innings and the braves offense didn’t cash in on multiple scoring chances in the middle and late innings.

Looking forward to Tim Hudson’s season debut tommorrow. Six innings would be great.

Side notes: Brian McCann may be back in the lineup for Monday’s game. Great news.

Braves beat Bucs with a 4-run 7th, win 6-1

Atlanta got the homestand off to a good start with a 6-1 win over the Pirates and A.J. Burnett. Burnett pitched 6 solid innings before leaving and atl feasted on the bullpen, putting the game away.  Tommy Hanson didn’t have his best stuff but gutted his way through six innings to pick up his third victory.

Here’s  how the Braves got their runs: a two – out RBI single by Prado in the third, same by Pastornicky in the fourth,  and a 2- run double by Uggla followed by a 2 -run single by Chipper in the seventh.  Hope Delgado can avoid the one big inning tonight.

Game notes: The only blemish to an otherwise sparkling game (2 DPs turned by the D, Uggla’s diving catch) was the fact that  Brian McCann was forced to leave the game after the 5th due to a ribcage strain.  He should be out only a couiple games.  Should he require a DL stint (fingers crossed), the team wouldn’t miss a beat with the best backup catcher in baseball filling in -David Ross.

Braves win 4-2 over LA, claim series victory

The Braves concluded the road trip with a 5-2 mark following last night’s thrilling 4-2 comeback win.  Trailing by one run with one out in the ninth, atlanta strung togther five consecutive hits, handing LA closer Javy Guerra his second loss in as many days.  Chipper brought home the game winner with a single through the right side of the infield. Kimbrel pitched a scoreless bottom half to earn his seventh save.

Extremely prod of how we played on the road against two tough NL West foes.  Enjoy the day off guys and get ready to face the Pirates at the Ted on Friday night!

Braves prevail over Dodgers 4-3 late on Prado’s triple; Chipper homers on 40th birthday

Mike Minor and the Braves spotted LA a 2-0 advantage early, but battled back to win 4-3.  After the  Juan Rivera homer, Minor really settled down and completed 6 frames. The Braves scored their runs on  Chipper Jones HR (3), Prado RBI groundout, a scamper home by McCann on a wild pitch, and Prado’s two- out RBI triple in the ninth. Kimbrel nailed down save#6 in the bottom half to make a winner out of Eric O’Flaherty.

The D played good too by turning some nice double plays.  In the middle innings, Matt Kemp hit what appeared to be another one in the middle innings, only to be saved by yet another awful throw by Uggla.  But after a conference, the umpires called Kemp out for his feet being in the general direction of second base.  Though the tying run scored, this was a huge call and definitely changed the complexion of the ball game.

I’m proud how the team battled and pulled off a doubly bad night for LA sports fans. (The Atlanta Hawks had beaten the Clippers at their home just hours before).  Two out of three would be great.  Let’s go Beachy!

Jurrjens pitches horrible (again) in Atlanta’s 7-2 defeat, demoted

What has happened to Jair Jurrjens?  Where is the pitcher who was 12-3 with a 1.87 ERA at last year’s All-Star break??  He pitched like crap (aka Derek Lowe-ish) yesterday, allowing 9 hits and 5 runs in not even 4 innings.  Luckily, saner heads prevailed and he was optioned to the minors after the game. Hope he works some things out if only to enhance any trade value he might have left. Very disappointed in him right now.

You have to give LA starter Chris Capuano credit: he battled out there and earned the victory.  He’s got our number. The Braves just couldn’t get the big hit they needed. They had a golden chance to put up some early runs, but Heyward chased ball four to end the bases-loaded threat.  The only offense they mustered were solo HRs by David Ross in the third (1) and Dan Uggla in the eighth (3).

Losers of two in a row, it’s time to right the ship tonight.

Notes: Happy 40th birthday Chipper!

Delgado has one tough inning in Braves’ 6-4 loss; 5 game win streak snapped

Randall Delgado was rolling merrily along until two outs in the third inning.  When Jason Kubel singled sharply up the middle it led to the floodgates being opened. When the damage was done, Gerrado Parra hit a back-breaking grandslam- a result that took place after the pitcher had walked.  The Braves got a few runs back, including a late  Juan Francisco HR, but were never able to gain control of the game.

Delgado needs to get over his 1 bad inning  problem.  He had the same issue in spring training.  Nevertheless, it’s always good to take 3 of 4 from Arizona in their park.  Let’s get the Dodgers next.  We are fortunate to miss Chad Billingsley and ace Clayton Kershaw.  Hope to solve Chris Capuano, a crafty LHP who has notoriously given atlanta fits in the past.

Tommy Hanson outlasts Saunders, D’backs 3-2; bullpen dominant

With last night’s triumph, the braves are proving that they are capabable of wining all types of ballgames.  The latest one saw a pitching duel between Tommy Hanson and Joe Saunders.  Both starters went 7 innings, but Hanson proved to be just a little bit better.

After laboring early, it appeared Hanson would have a short night. But he rebounded nicely by allowing only two runs on five hits and retiring the last 13 batters he faced.

As for the offense, not much was needed on this night.  In the first, Chipper worked a two out bases-loaded walk for an RBI, Prado had an RBI single an inning later, and Uggla finished the atlanta scoring with a solo blast in the third.

But the real stars of the game belonged to the bullpen.  Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel made short work of the D’backs, striking out six straight to close the game.  Games such as these showcase just how nasty our bullpen can be. I can’t wait until Peter Moylan comes back in August. Can you say bye bye Durbin?

Most importantly, we’ve now taken the series from the Snakes. That’s now five in a row and 10 of their last 11.  Look forward for more good things to come.

Braves overwhelm D’ backs 9-1; Beachy impressive

Freddie Freeman added two more RBI to his total last night with two RBI doubles.  He now has 10 hits in his last 17 at – bats.  In the words of broadcaster Joe Simpson, Freeman’s “hotter than a dancing bobcat”.  He wasn’t alone.  McCann added a 2- run shot, Bourn had 2 hits and scored a couple runs, and Chipper had two hits.  He even scored on a bunt play by Beachy with a nifty slide at home.

Who knows how long this offensive streak will last?  Atlanta now leads the majors in runs scored (84) and runs per game (5.8).  Surely, this run won’t last throughout the year (Texas will grab the runs lead soon), but if we can average just half of what we’re doing now, we’ll be fine.  With our deep bullpen, 4 rpg should be good enough.

No matter what happens the next few games, we have definitly earned a split in the desert, which is huge.  Hopefully when Hudson comes back, JJ gets sent down. ( We know Wren won’t let that happen :(  He’s been pitching like Derek Lowe lately.  I would hate for this recent streak to end because he has a flat start again. He needs to pitch better, if only to enhance his trade value.

Beachy threw 7.1 strong innings of 4 – hit ball to go along with 5 k’s.  He’s becoming a smarter pitcher and it’s great to see him and Minor throw back to back great starts.  Really excited about the pitching, sans Jurrjens.  The only question now is: when will the bullpen get some work?  Nice problem for Freddie G. to have.