A lot of things went right last night.
Kelly had a big 2-4 night w/ 4 RBI’s.
Tex had a pair and has only one hitless night in his last 10 games going 14/44 .318, 2 HRs, 9 RBI’s. Maybe the slumping start is coming to an end.
Chipper got a hit to increase his chances of finishing April above .400. I’d like to see 3 more HR’s before the month is over to bring his total to 10…. But I don’t mean to be greedy.
In fact everyone in the regular lineup with the exception of Diaz (and Yunel who left early with a really bad boo boo…but we’ll check on him later) got hits.
Was actually a lot better than the 3rd inning would indicate. After that Dutch Merry-Go-Round Jurrjens hosted Jair slammed the door, retiring 10 Mets in a row and recording 4 K’s for the night. If you watch Jurrjens pitch location and the calls he was getting it looks like the strike zone was shrunken to just about the size of Barry Bonds’ testicles.
After an exasperated non-verbal reaction from Jair, Tim McClelland came out barking and Bobby came a-runnin’. After Cox’s first ejection of the year, Jurrjens didn’t even seem phased.
This is actually the kind of start that makes you feel great about his potential and his place in a rotation that needs to stay strong and healthy. Rather than having a meltdown after an infuriating 3rd inning he pitched a fine game.
Ohman, Boyer, Ring, Acosta, worked to keep the door Jurrjens slammed from coming (ahem) “A-Jair”. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist). The bullpen that we’ve been biting our nails about since Moylan, Soriano, Gonzalez have been missing allowed no runs, no hits, no walks, and got 2 K’s…against the Mets…at Shea. I love it. Delgado even got booed after whiffing to strike out to Boyer in the ninth. Looks like trouble in paradise.
Maine 1-2, 3.57, 14/16 (BB/K), 3 HR, 22.2 IP’s, played “The Joker” in the Batman movie.
So I like the matchup for today’s game. Maine is a good pitcher but Hudson has better control, can last longer, and uh…. excuse me this is starting to sound like a Viagra commercial or something.
I’m going to quit now. Enjoy the game.
JB in ATL
Well we’ve got a lot of ground to cover since last week. I do apologize to all my many fellow bloggers. Recap: Here we go!
Braves get two series wins one with the Rox one with the Phils.
Langerhans is off to Oakland…Willie Harris, Georgia native comes in and gets last night’s winning hit. Sorry Ryan, we love you but Willie is fitting in so far.
Bob Wickman on the DL, 3 blown saves, he’ll back in strong form soon enough. Let’s stay optimistic.
Soriano fills in nicely last night with a save.
Andruw knocks a three run walk-off.
Hudson is dominant.
Chipper is leading the NL in HR’s (did anyone notice?)
Smoltz will be a Brave just a little bit longer with an extension.
Salatalamaccia made his debut last night and looked alright despite not getting a hit. I don’t know exactly how I feel about this seeing as how I love McCann but I was excited (as I always am to see MLB debuts).
And the Dodgers are coming
The Good: Hudson. Need I say more? I will though. The guy records 12 k’s goes 8 innings without a run. But he starts the ninth and the rest falls into the ugly category. Chipper, KJ, and Diaz homer. Tuesday’s ninth inning was magnificent because the Braves played small ball and made some runs happen. We need more of that kind of timely hitting. Homers will not carry us through the season.
The Bad: Losing two out three to the Fish and our first series of the season.
The Ugly: Andruw 0-4 with 3k’s and 4 lob’s last night. A measly .230 BA. I hate to admit it, Braves fans, but it surprised me little when Andruw struck out with the bases loaded. This guy will hit 40+ hrs when it’s all said and done but we need clutch from Andruw not always long balls. AJ’s start is a little embarassing. Leaving Hudson in as long in the ninth. There’s an argument both ways for keeping him in or pulling him but I’d rather have the ballgame and good momentum going into Colorado. Last night was just miserable especially considering how well Hudson pitched. An otherwise tremendous start got wasted and Hudson racked up 3 ER’s when it was all said and done.
Well, with the pounding the Rox put on the Mets yesterday we’ve settled on a tie for first. Now we go into Colorado with Smoltz and James and then the back end of the rotation. Lance, come on and pitch for us and get at least the number 4 spot looking good again!
I just gotta say. First pitch Kelly Johnson homer is a nice way to start the rubber game!
While Wednesday night’s victory was nothing less than inspirational (as well as the Bravo’s 6th come from behind win this year), Thursday night we were kept quiet by a talented young southpaw name Rich Hill. My hat’s off to him by the way. There’s a reason his ERA is leading the league. Now, how can WE pick him up? hmmmm.
Meanwhile, Mark Redman actually didn’t look too bad. He went 7 and 1/3, giving up three, but couldn’t get any run support. Redman’s limited walk total (2 BB’s) and a decent 5 k’s isn’t too shabby.
When the Vulture came in to the 8th I was thinking win. But Oscar would have to give up some runs first for that to happen.
We need to wake up the bats tonight against Pelfry especially with Hudson on the mound. I was encouraged by Redman’s outing it was good to see him last into the eighth.
Looking back at Wednesday.
Diaz’s hustle in the 7th was the turning point for this game. Timely hitting from Johnson and Renteria kept it going in the clutch. Nods to Edgar’s redemptive double play starting snag in the 8th. Thorman’s timely solo shot to keep us alive. Frenchy’s three run blast in the first. The Vulture; how does he do it? Wickman, nicely done to get Save number five.
Davies even looked decent. Not great numbers but not a terrible start. String some more great ones together to get his confidence and dominance back and we’ll feel a little better about the rotation.
Well, Mets. Here we come. You gotta love this. Two teams off to great starts meeting for a second time. This time at Shea. You gotta be excited when you have a 10-4 and 10-5 team going at it even if it’s "just" April. For Mets fans it’s a real treat after having to play sub par Nats, Phils, and Marlins teams (and eating them alive I might add) to get a team that’s full of talent, bringing some competition, and of course, arch/bitter/nasty/rivals. Dontcha love baseball?
So what would cause Smoltz to uncharacteristically slam his glove in the dugout after a fairly strong 6 innings? Well let’s see…was it the leadoff triple in the seventh? One if not all of the three errors defensively committed by the Braves that made it much closer game than it should’ve been? Maybe it was just so dang cold it got Smoltzie fired up? Then again, that’s what I love about Smoltz, 6 innings and four runs isn’t good enough for him or his team.
In any case, the Braves did get the win but it wasn’t pretty. Rare errors from Edgar and Chipper gave the Nats more chances than they deserved and it looked like another stellar Smoltz start (6+ innings, 2 earned runs) would be wasted. This time a poor defense, rather than ineffective bats, would threatened to foil John’s second "W". Let’s all take a moment here to blame it on the cold…ok, that’s better.
The Good: Kelly Johnson 4-5 night, 2 runs scored, 2 SB’s; Leadoff numbers. Thanks, Kelly!
2 RBI’s from Frenchy (now leading the Braves with 12), Edgar, McCann, Andruw contribute. Oh yeah, and Chipper’s ninth inning dinger. Smoltz’s 6 innings with 2ER’s isn’t bad he got the win. Soriano and Villareal solid out of the ‘pen and Wickman gets number 4. Nice!
The Bad: It was cold. Smoltzie hates the cold. Only 2 strikeouts. Not very Smoltzie.
The Ugly: Edgar’s erratic throw, costly error in the seventh, and another that easily could’ve been number 3 but went as a hit. Chipper’s bobble wasn’t pretty either.
Well I’m hoping for a warm and dry night as my Bravos come home to host the underachieving Cubs for two games…that’s it two games? You’re joking right? We play the Cubs once at home and it’s a two gamer?!?!
Anyways, I’m looking forward to a Braves win tonight and hope we can go into Shea with some better momentum than another two game split. Go Braves!