Tagged: Washington Nationals

Hoping to Split With the Nats

98ylvrbcWell we have to catch up little since last night.
Edgar’s two dingers helped big time and Hudson is pitching like he’s back on the west coast. Monday’s game could’ve been worse but not by much. Tonight’s game ticks me off because Kyle couldn’t keep any of the leads the Braves gave him throughout the night. Starting in the first inning, the offense kept runs on the board and Davies ended up allowing six before the bullpen came in to quiet things.

We can’t pull out miracle wins every night, especially with AJ striking out with RISP’s, so the pitching needs to step up and Davies needs to go down. I don’t know what happened but he doesn’t look anything like the promising prospect of ’05. More like an expendable Horacio Ramirez but still not as bad as Albie Lopez Part II (aka Mark Redman).

It was good to see Smoltz pitching today. A matchup with Daiske in Boston would be a treat on Saturday. If we don’t get tomorrow’s game from the Nationals, Boston is not gonna be a pretty place to play. It’ll be a tough series no matter what but I’m hoping the Braves will be up to the challenge by then.

The Good: Chipper returns; hits a double, scores. Yay, Chipper…now hit some more homers to get back in the lead!

Willie .404 and got another RBI tonight. He probably won’t be hitting .400 anything in September but it makes me happy to see Langerhans wearing a Nationals uniform these days.

Wickman’s back. Scoreless inning is a good show to work back in.

The Bad: Gonzalez on the DL because of “lack of velocity”. Just a breather for him really. It just stinks to sit a guy who had just come off 14 scoreless innings in a row. But I’d rather bench him if it means keeping him fueled later.

The Ugly: Davies IP 4.2 H 5 R 6 ER 2 BB 2 K’s 3 HR 1 5.17
Two ER’s isn’t that bad but what makes this ugly is that Kyle has had only one real memorable start this year. He’s failed to impress again.

Andruw. The two RBI’s were nice but the 2 K’s, 2 LOB’s, and .231 is not pretty. Not cleanup numbers at all.

Finally the Braves’ sale to Liberty Media became final today. I’m not sure how I feel about this. I know our front office won’t shake up but TBS will not broadcast any more games after ’07. I guess since I grew up with Ted “running” the Braves and TBS it’s just a little sad to see the last remnants of what Turner put together gone. I miss the days of having one eccentric, passionate, owner rather than a faceless corporation at the helm. I mean who didn’t love watching the guy tomahawk chop with Jane Fonda in the owner’s seats?

So here’s to a new era and hopes that our new ownership will invest in this team with some vigor and strive for excellence.

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In Game Blog

As I write this, Smoltz has just left the game in the bottom of the seventh after tagging Austin Kearns. If you were watching, you saw at least one of three things:1) John Smoltz’s pinky bent in a way that turns your stomach.
2) John Smoltz’s competitive anger erupt on the field when he realized he was done for the night…hopefully not longer…we’ll soon see.
3) The Braves’ rotation taking a potentially hard, I mean HARD hit.

Bergmann’s been unhittable so far into the top of the eighth. I love seeing no-hit baseball just not against us. So here’s hoping to break it up and rally in Braves fashion. We’ve got McCann leading it off. Still though, Bergmann has looked good with 10k’s… Until now!!!!

McCann just blasted one to deep right! Now down by one. Rally Time!

Stay tuned!

In Other News: A Forgettable Finish

Fhq9qyi2Well we head to RFK with a disappointing Mother’s Day loss in Pitt to snap the 5 game streak and go back to 1/2 game over the Mets. I guess those pink bats proved to be more fiesty than they look.

Every Pirate got a chance to do some damage to a disheveled Braves pitching staff. Even LaRoche raised his .167 BA today. A second series sweep will have to wait but a series win will suffice…anyways I like our chances against the Nationals.

I think we’ll still see some better things from Lerew…that is we’d better. The bottom half of the rotation has been so pathetic we need all the help we can get. Even all Anthony’s Pittsburgh family couldn’t get him a win today. We’ll see how he does in Boston.

Smoltzie goes on the hill for us tomorrow to start a long 4 game set in Washington before heading to Boston. Not much more to say about this one. Just blot it out and get ready for the Nats.

Miscues Aplenty, Braves Squeak Out a Win

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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!

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!