Derek Lowe takes the mound tonight for the Braves as they take on the Florida Marlins and Andrew Miller. They look to bounce back from last night’s 5-1 loss, but they’ll have to do it without Chipper Jones, who is sitting with a thumb injury. We’ll update this live from the game, so check back frequently for updates!
Even though Jonathan and I are going to be at the game tonight, feel free to use the chat room and comment thread to offer your opinions and insight on the game.
Tags: Andrew Miller, Derek Lowe, Florida Marlins
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9th Innning: Blaine “couldn’t throw a strike the other night” Boyer in for the Braves. Somehow didn’t give up a run. Last chance for the Bravos. Worried about Chipper’s hand – he seems to have tweaked it again. Nothing doing for the Braves. Fish win 5-1 – they improve to 6-1 on the year and take over first place in the NL East.
8th Inning: Jeff Bennett pitching. Garret Anderson error (dropped foul ball?) led to a baserunner. Went downhill from there. 4 hits and a walk in 1/3 of an inning led to a 5-1 Marlins lead. O’Flaherty in to pitch – instant double play to stop the pain. 5-1 Fish. Schafer led off with a single but of course nobody could put anything together to advance him.
7th Inning: Moylan on to pitch. 3 up, 3 down. Great defense by Kelly Johnson. Francoeur singled but was chopped down in a beautiful double play by the Fish.
6th Inning: Vazquez retires the side to end his outing. 12 strikeouts for Vazquez – solid stuff. Prado doubles in his pinch-hit appearance. Escobar got on base, Chipper sacrificed them to second and third to set it up for McCann. McCann ripped one to first – it was bobbled but McCann was forced out.
5th Inning: Marlins up and down. Braves strand a runner. Norton was in the on-deck circle so we’ll probably see Vazquez for another inning max.
4th Inning: Nothing doing for the Marlins. Kelly Johnson homerun makes it 3-1. Next three batters retired. 3-1 Marlins.
3rd Inning: Marlins knock in two on an Uggla single. A Vazquez wild pitch brought in another run. 3-0 Marlins. Volstad retired the side in order. He’s got a ridiculous breaking ball, by the way.
2nd Inning: Marlins had two on with two out, but unable to do anything. McCann laid down a bunt and just about beat it out (looked like he was safe on the replay) – Bobby came out to argue briefly but stays in the game. Garret Anderson and Jeff Francoeur flew out to end the 2nd. Volstad’s looking good.
1st Inning: Vazquez struck out two and got Hanley Ramirez to fly out to right. Wind is blowing left to right tonight – may be a factor on fly balls hit to right field. Bottom of the first Braves went 1, 2, 3.
When Javier Vazquez takes the mound for the Braves against the Florida Marlins’ Chris Volstad tonight, the Braves hope to walk away with another series win and an early season lead in the NL East. The Marlins are like the Braves – off to a 5-1 start. They have been cruising behind their young pitching staff – the oldest of the bunch of 26 – and Volstad is only 22.
The Braves have been riding behind solid starting pitching and a great offensive start – even if the bullpen has been shaky in an outing or two. The Braves lead the league with a .300 team batting average and a .540 slugging percentage. They’ve spread the offense out among their lineup and are very solid through and through. Javier is looking for his first win of the season as his start was spoiled by a bullpen meltdown that can only be descirbed in two ways (pick one: apocalyptic OR last season-ish). Hopefully the Braves can continue their hot start and roll their way to a 7-2 or 8-1 start – we’ll have to crack the pitching of the fish in order to do so.
What do you see happening tonight? What about the rest of the series? Anyone making it out to the park?
Tags: Florida Marlins
Posted in Game Threads, Series Previews | 2 Comments »
Before today’s game starts at 3PM eastern, the Phillies will recieve their world series rings. But the Phillies haven’t played like defending World Champions in the first two games of the series – which the Braves both won as they outscored the Phils 8-1. Interestingly enough – only one defending world series team has scored fewer runs in their first two games.
Javier Vazquez and the Braves hope that the Phillies’ slumbering lumber (it rhymed, I had to do it) doesn’t awake for today’s game. Vazquez will be facing Joe Blanton, who is considerably younger than the aging Jamie Moyer and Brett Myers the Braves faced in the first two games. Vazquez is typically a fly ball pitcher – so it’ll be interesting to see how Citizens Bank Ballpark handles the Phillies’ bats and Vazquez’s style today.
Join us in this thread for some in-line game commentary and general chattiness. Feel free to jump in and offer your opinion or comment on the goings-on! Jonathan will be game-threading it and Colin will join as he is able while in and out of class this afternoon. Bring out the brooms!
Tags: Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies
Posted in Game Threads | 37 Comments »
Today, Jair Jurrjens will step to the mound for the Braves to kick off the Grapefruit League season against his former team at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, FL. Jurrjens is looking forward to facing off against the Tigers, who traded him to Atlanta in October 2007. Detroit will be sending Justin Verlander to the mound to start the game.
Also slated to appear for the Braves are Jo-Jo Reyes, Manny Acosta, Stephen Marek and Eric O’Flaherty. Blaine Boyer was slated to throw an inning today but was scratched after cutting his hand on an apple slicer yesterday. He is expected to make his next appearance.
Aside from Chipper Jones and Garret Anderson, all of the projected Opening Day starters are making the short trip to the game today. Those two will likely make their first appearance in the televised game tomorrow afternoon versus the Astros.
The game starts at 1:05 EST and we’ll be doing our best to run a game thread here for the game. It’s the first one of the season so it’s time to start kicking the rust off and getting back into the swing of things. What’s everyone looking for in this first game today? I’ll be happy to see Jurrjens have a solid two innings and no other pitchers get injured in the process; a couple of nice plate appearances from Francoeur would be encouraging as well.
Tags: Detroit Tigers, Jair Jurrjens, Preseason, Spring Training
Posted in Game Threads | 12 Comments »
This upcoming series with the Phillies is the defining series of the Braves’ 2008 season. If we sweep this series, we’re in a position to consider buying and making a push for the postseason. Unfortunately, the more likely outcome is that the Braves lose the series and are solidified as sellers this year.
Chipper Jones is out. Mark Teixeira can’t carry the offense by himself. Blanco continues his inconsistency, and the rest of the outfield offers no help. Jeff Francoeur was even mentioned in trade rumors today – by the Braves’ official website.
It’s not a good time for the Braves. Kyle Kendrick (8-4, 4.87 ERA) starts for the Phillies tonight and will take on Jair Jurrjens (9-5, 3.22 ERA), who champions the mound for Atlanta. Tonight, think about Jurrjens, and pray he works with the precision of a surgeon. That’s as close as I come to “Spahn and Sain, then pray for rain”.
Remember, pray for Jurrjens, something about surgeons. This is the last stand, folks.
PS – Tomorrow, Mike Hampton is scheduled to start. We look forward to seeing Buddy Carlyle on the mound in the first.
Posted in Game Threads | 12 Comments »
Through 5 1/2 innings the Braves are holding onto the 5-0 lead. Hudson has been dealing and has allowed just the one hit through five. One bad note for Braves fans is that Chipper Jones was taken out with what appears to be an aggravation of his left hamstring.
Mixed news for this evenings game, a win will make it feel that much better at the end of the night with a chance to pick up one game on the Marlins and either the Phillies or Mets who are playing this evening in Flushing.
Posted in Game Threads | 16 Comments »
Coming off a strong win last night against the Marlins, the Braves send Charlie Morton (2-2, 5.93 ERA) to the mound against Rick VandenHurk (0-1, 11.81 ERA). Morton won’t have Bobby Cox in the dugout to turn to – Bobby is serving a one game suspension for his actions a couple nights ago that led to his 141st career ejection.
Game starts at 7:10 PM. This is a must-win series, and VandenHurk doesn’t seem like a very intimidating pitcher with his sky-high ERA.
Tags: Florida Marlins
Posted in Game Threads | 68 Comments »
So we haven’t had a game thread in a long while. Blame jobs, blame lack of time, blame apathy, but no matter what, they’re back. As promised, we’re bringing back the game threads after the All-Star break. The Braves are closing out a 3-game series against the Nationals this afternoon and looking for a series win.
Jo-Jo Reyes is taking the mound today and hopefully can get a win. Jo-Jo has been plagued by a lack of run support so far this season and as a result, only has 3 wins. Hopefully the bats can get active today and help him out for once.
Tags: Washington Nationals
Posted in Game Threads | 43 Comments »
Charlie Morton takes the mound tonight against the Phillies – hoping the Braves offense can back him this time out. And, unexpectedly, Chipper Jones may be in the lineup doing his part. That’ll help Morton feel happier – or even Chipper – if you will, about this game.
Chipper ran some sprints today and noticed significant improvement in his right quad. He told Bobby Cox about an hour ago he was ready to be in the lineup for the game tonight. The final decision will be made after batting practice, but Chipper, who was expected to go on the DL today, normally knows his body pretty well. I’d expect to see him doing his part. Hopefully he’s kept up his hot swing while he’s been unable to run, because I can’t wait to see him in front of Mark Teixeira, who has been absolutely on fire recently. Oh, and we get Mark Kotsay back from the DL tonight. And if that’s not good enough, we’ll get Yunel Escobar back in the lineup tomorrow. We’ll see an improvement in offense with those three.
Morton needs a win. He’s had three starts and is 1-1 with a 4.24 ERA, but he’s pitched very well in all of those starts – not giving up more than 3 earned runs. He’s due tonight and if the guys can deliver offensively, we should see another W for the Bravos.
Time to make a run to the top of the division, gentlemen. Go get ‘em!
Tags: Charlie Morton, Chipper Jones, Mark Kotsay, Philadelphia Phillies
Posted in Game Threads, Injuries | 7 Comments »
Campillo vs. Suppan today in a game already underway and tied 2-2 in the 4th. Infante already left today in the 2nd inning with a strained hammy and is day-to-day. We’re a little short on the infield with Chipper out with his quad injury. Escobar is a little pansy who apparently strained his left shoulder pitching a hissy fit last night and he’s not playing today either.
We need fewer infielder injuries and more wins – join us for some discussion of the recent Braves happenings and chime in!
Tags: Milwaukee Brewers
Posted in Game Threads | 47 Comments »
The Braves take on the Brewers of Milwaukee tonight with Jo-Jo Reyes on the mound. Jo-Jo is 1-2 with a 2.80 ERA over his past five starts. Join us for a little bit of discussion as we tune in to see if Jo-Jo can continue to show that patience with him is paying off. None of us could make it out to the ballpark tonight – laundry and business trips take priority – but we’ll be watching and commenting as we can.
Join in the discussion – Escobar is back in the lineup but Infante is still filling in for Chipper. Go Bravos!
Tags: Milwaukee Brewers
Posted in Game Threads | 25 Comments »
We all know Charlie Morton’s story and how it just did not click until last fall in the Arizona Fall League where he went 4-1 with a 2.57 ERA. The final start came in front of Bobby Cox, Roger McDowell and then-new GM Frank Wren.
Morton continued his success in triple A this season going 5-2 with a 2.05 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 12 starts. Oh yeah, he also had 72 strikeouts in 79 innings. His line on Saturday? Pretty darn good for someone making their MLB debut in an away stadium. Morton went six innings allowing just three runs on five hits. He also had four strikeouts and just one walk.
The call up, to be honest, reminds me slightly of Kyle Davies’ debut three seasons ago (Davies by the way is destroying the
Charlie Morton is not coming in with the same expectations and has spent more time in the minors getting his control together than Davies did. Who knows, he could be the energy our starters needed. Reyes has been dominant,
While we need to see more from Morton (and I think this start will be the true test), I think it is safe to say his stuff is good enough for him to be up here. As I said earlier, the true test comes today. Morton is making his second major league start, so he will not be dealing with the first big league start jitters that plague so many guys, and will be facing a lineup that features great hitters and guys that can take the ball out of their bandbox park in a second as opposed to the get-ahead-and-pitch-to-win Angels.
His opponent today is Scott Feldman of the Rangers. Feldman is 1-3 with a 4.84 ERA, but after two solid outings against Oakland and Tampa he allowed six earned to the Mets last weekend. Hopefully the hitters can get to him early and often and lucky for us, Chip and Tex get to bat lefty.
Posted in Game Threads | 49 Comments »