Tagged: Starting Pitchers

2008 Outlook: Tom Glavine

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GlavinemedIt’s nearly here.

The return of the prodigal son, or Judas as he was once
known after signing with the Mets. Tom Glavine and his glorious,
corner-painting Hall of Fame arm.

But this isn’t the same Glavine we remember from the
2002 playoffs where he only managed 2.2 innings in Game 4 against the
NL Champion Giants before he got the hook in his last appearance with
the Braves. That Glavine went 18-11, had a 2.96 ERA and was an
All-Star. In case you weren’t paying attention, here’s what he did
while he was playing for those other guys.

He was terrible in 2003, with a 9-14 record and a 4.52 ERA for a
horrible, last place Mets club that finished 34.5 games behind the
Braves and was 11-14 in 2004 though his ERA went down to 3.60 for a
Mets team that finished 25 games behind the Braves. In 2005 he sniffed
.500 at 13-13, and the Mets finished only 7 games behind our last
division title winner. 2006 was the only season he really made it work
for the Mets, finishing 15-7 and making the All-Star team. It was the
only playoff appearance Tommy made with the Mets and he lost Game 6 in
the NL Championship Series.

2007 gives us some idea of what we can expect and what we can’t from
Tommy. He was pretty good until September, and then he was famously
bad. With the progression of the season, the numbers show that Tom got
tired. He threw more pitches for the Mets in 2007 than any other year
he was in New York.

His numbers look great until he gets to the 75-100
pitch count and the opponent BA goes up to .324. Tommy still has that
propensity to give up a lot of runs in the 1st, a trait that has
haunted him his entire career. He walked 2.88 batters per start so his
control wasn’t what it’s been and his WHIP was 1.41 which tells us to
expect lots of baserunners. A staggering 85% of the time, if a hitter
took a swing at a pitch, they made contact.

He’s not blowin’ anything by anybody. One thing Tom
learned with the Mets is to pitch inside a little more, and it’ll be
interesting if that trend continues in his return to the Braves.

Tom is going to need a lot of run support which, fortunately, our
offense is ready to supply . I hope Bobby uses the deep rotation to
give Tom a few days off to avoid getting overworked. and if he pitches
less than 200 innings this year, I think that’ll be a good thing.

It seems reasonable to expect 13 wins and a reliable
5-6 innings, much like Greg Maddux has done in his latter days for the
Dodgers and Padres. There is a good chance Tom could also struggle this
year so Braves fans should temper their expectations and hope to be
pleasantly surprised if Tom is consistently good. We’ll find out on
Monday. I wish I could be there to welcome him back.

~BH in LA

————

2008 Starting Rotation Outlook Series –

John Smoltz

Tim Hudson

Tom Glavine

Mike Hampton

Jair Jurrjens

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Starting Five

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Last year’s
starting rotation involved the hapless Mark Redman and the now Royal
Kyle Davies. Have we made any progress since then or will we be looking
for more stop gaps like Lerew to finish the season?

This year the Dispensable Ones are replaced with Tom Glavine and the
fifth spot is still up in the air (Jurrjens, Jo-Jo, James?).

So with Tom Glavine’s performance last night, (1ER after 4 innings)
this start looked a little more promising than his last. A lot better
than his last regular season start in 2007. If you’ll recall it was
disastrous and cost the Mets a consecutive division title and playoff
appearance. Maybe Glavine knew he was already Braves bound and wanted
to make some reparations by capping off the Mets’ implosion of ‘07.
Thanks, Tommy! Welcome back to Atlanta!

So with Glavine making the some strides and locating his pitches
better, and with Jair throwing a dandy earlier this week (not to
mention his Spring participation in a near no-no) how do you feel about
our starting five for ‘08?

Will the oft ailing Hampton actually play this year? If he does, how
good could Mike Hamsting possibly be after going so long without
pitching in a real game? Who would you like to see in the number five
spot? How many wins will Glavine pull out for us this year? Will Susan
tell Jerry she’s pregnant with his baby? (que dramatic music here) Sorry, it was starting to feel like a soap opera.

These questions and more… on BravesBlog.net
JB in ATL

We’re Talking Baseball

Anothy Lerew comes in for the “injured” Mark Redman and pitches quite well. 7 k’s, 6IP, 2 H’s and 2R’s. The best thing about Lerew’s first MLB start that we haven’t seen from Davies and Redman…very few walks.
Andruw Jones hit an RBI single…wait a minute…did I really just write that? I just pinched myself and checked the stats and yes indeed Andruw Jones came up with a game winning RBI base hit when we needed it. You don’t need to go for the fences every at bat, AJ.

BASEBALL TOPIC OF THE DAY: Clemens rejoins the Yanks. Considering his delayed entries over the last two years and his opt out’s from Astro road trips does any team need a “team player” like Clemens coming in to save the day for the “rebuilding” New York Yankees? Please leave your thoughts.

Smoltz Sparkles but Lack of Offense Keeps Braves from Sweep

    

Smoltz’s six K’s and 7 scoreless innings weren’t enough for the Braves as they couldn’t muster more than two hits against Nationals pitching. Chad Cordero made his first appearance to save the Nat’s only second lead in the first 2 weeks of the season. Although the Washington lead was jeopardized in the bottom half of the ninth when the Braves loaded the bases, Thorman’s check swing, full count strikeout stranded them and doubled the Nationals win total for ’07.
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Smoltz wasn’t in dominate form but went eight and had a lot of out pitches working for him. The two hit batsmen (who were both Chris Snelling) hurt Smoltz the most. The later coming in the eighth and proved to be the winning run. However, the real problem lies in something that has plagued John in the past and kept him from a number of wins in seasons past; lack of run support. Although the Brave bats came alive for 16 in the first two, a shutout against DC is a hideous blemish on an otherwise promising season. At least the Braves lack of offense has been saved for their only two loses of the season (only one run scored in both of those defeats).

So although I’m unhappy to see a loss and would love to head into the weekend set with Florida with two divisional sweeps, I’ll take a third straight series win and a mostly strong outing from Smoltz any day.

Like I always say, great pitching will give you a great season. Batting will be off some nights causing the best lineups to get no hit and the best sluggers to slump. We have a lineup made up of mostly proven hitters who will come around. Now if we’re in late September and our lineup has only managed 3 RBI’s in two weeks my optimism may be replaced by an adamant plea with the Boys to get the bat on the ball.

As for now, apart from Macay McBride’s second infuriating time loading the bases in late innings, I like how our pitching is looking and thus say: let’s go Fishing!

Braves Seek Second Sweep: Send Smoltzie to the Hill

Across town, tucked behind the CNN Center, another Atlanta franchise skates for the first time in the postseason. Good luck to our Thrashers, but an April baseball game always manages to capture my attention just a little bit more than April hockey. Nonetheless, Go Blue! How fitting that they play New York in their first ever postseason.

SmoltzSmoltz will take the hill tonight as the Braves seek a second series sweep in the young season. He’ll be squaring off against the 25 year old hurler Jason Bergmann who got knocked around and lasted only 3 innings in his last start. John, coming off an impressive win against former teammate Glavine, will be looking to keep the Braves going on their best start in 12
years.

You’ve got to feel optimistic going into tonight’s game against an anemic Nationals lineup that has squeaked out only 3 runs in two nights to the Bravo’s 16. Let’s hope to see Smoltz’s slider working well and some solid bullpen help if needed.

Game’s starting. First pitch to Lopez is a strike. Stay tuned after the game.

JB from ATL

Braves’ 6th Inning-Hopefully on to 7-1

Chuck’s only given up three hits and no runs. Chipper got a tater which gave him his long awaited first two RBI’s of the early season. I’m really hoping to see James stand out in the rotation. He’s got in a little trouble with two out but six solid is pretty nice. We really need a standout lefty especially with Hampton out again. (By the way we’re all waiting to see what happens with Mike’s insurance and whether or not a majority of his salary will be covered). Gonzalez just got through another scoreless inning. I’m really looking forward to seeing the difference he’ll make. He takes the mound with a lot of confidence and aggressiveness.
I’m looking over and seeing the Phillies are looking to double their season win total over the Mets tonight. I haven’t looked into that game yet to see what’s been going on but I’m thinking some of those Phillies sleeping bats have woken up a little. Ours really need to do that. Last night was mostly given to us but 11 strikeouts from Andruw and Chipper just now getting his first two RBI’s and a buck 30 for Johnson won’t cut it. Fortunately the pitching is looking great. Bats will be streaky but consistent pitching will win games.