Spring Training Update:
The Braves continue to prepare for the season in Lake Buena Vista. Even with McCann still playing for Team USA and Chipper still recovering from a strained oblique, the Braves have compiled a great record in grapefruit league play. They’ve won 10 out of their last 11 games, including yesterday’s game where Jair Jurrjens pitched six innings with six strikeouts and only four hits allowed. It should be noted that the Braves’ starting pitching has compiled a great 2.09 ERA during the last 11 games – continuing their stellar performance this spring.
It should be noted that the Braves’ record in spring training doesn’t mean anything. After all, while the Braves are missing Chipper and McCann, other teams are missing their star players. One good thing is that with McCann gone, the Braves’ pitchers are getting used to the backup catcher, Dave Ross.
In injury news, Garret Anderson was cleared to run after sitting out 12 days with a strained right calf. Chipper is back with the team and aggressively treating the oblique issue he’s facing. Chipper is optimistic about the injury not lasting all season and hindering his playing time. I’m just a little concerned, though, because he’s had similar issues in the past. Are you concerned about Chipper?
World Baseball Classic thoughts:
Team USA advanced to the semifinals to play Venezuela after beating Puerto Rico yesterday on David Wright’s bottom of the ninth heroics, but the real story is the cronyism here. Note that Carlos Beltran robbed Brian McCann of a home run earlier in the game, and that that home run would have made David Wright’s heroics unnecessary. Now note that David Wright and Carlos Beltran play for the same team – the Braves’ division rival Mets, and I believe the cronyism I referenced previously has been established. We’ll get you back soon, Mets.
Tags: Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Chipper Jones, David Wright, Garret Anderson, Jair Jurrjens
Posted in General | 1 Comment »
Coming off of a forgetable 2008 season, the starting rotation for the Braves has been completely retooled and is ready for action in 2009. While injuries and lack of depth prevented the rotation from doing much of anything last year, the new signings of Derek Lowe, Javier Vazquez and Kenshin Kawakami give a new look and new hopes for 2009.
Derek Lowe: The sinker-ball specialist has averaged 15 wins over his last 7 seasons, and boasts a 3.58 ERA over the past 4 years since moving to the National League. He steps up in big games and has a track record of post-season success. He is also quite durable and can be counted on for 200 innings as the ace of this rotation.
Jair Jurrjens: The rookie right-hander was the lone ray of light in the Braves rotation last year, recording 13 wins and a 3.68 ERA in 188 innings. And it wasn’t fool’s gold. Jurrjens is armed with 4 quality pitches, including a fastball he can run up into the mid-90′s, and an outstanding changeup. Teammates rave about his maturity and “pitch to contact”, ground-ball approach to pitching. Jurrjens also has excellent command. Baseball America named him the best control pitcher in the Detroit Tigers’ organization a couple of years ago. Many in baseball believe that Jurrjens is a young ace in the making, and it appears he may have the tools to prove them right.
Javier Vazquez: In 2007, Vazquez went 15-8 for the White Sox, with a 3.74 ERA and 213 strikeouts over 216 innings. These numbers were reminiscent of the success he enjoyed in Montreal before his move to the AL in 2004. Last year, though he again logged 200 innings and struck out 200 batters, his ERA spiked to 4.68. Vazquez should benefit from escaping the hitter’s paradise of U.S. Cellular Field (and the DH) in favor of a more pitcher-friendly, Turner Field. It has also been suggested that Vazquez may find a greater level of comfort in the NL, under the leadership of Bobby Cox. For these reasons, multiple scouts have stated a belief that Vazquez is poised for a big year in Atlanta.
Kenshin Kawakami: Winner of the Cy Young equivalent, Sawamura Award, Kawakami is a well established star in Japan. He has a career record of 112-72 through 11 seasons, with a 3.32 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, and a ratio of 1328 Ks to 351 BBs in 1642.3 IP. His best pitches are a cut fast ball with low 90′s velocity and a knee-buckling slow curve. The Braves are confident that Kawakami will make a successful transition to Major League Baseball to help anchor the middle of their rotation.
Tom Glavine: Coming off of an injury-riddled season, at age (soon to be) 43, there are more questions surrounding Glavine than any other Braves starter. But if he is in fact healthy, there is plenty of reason to believe that he could still be effective. Before the arm trouble began very early last season, Glavine looked sharp. And despite an unimpressive ERA in 2007, he was actually quite good. Glavine finished the ‘07 season with 23 quality starts, which is territory usually reserved for aces in that category. It was no accident that he won 13 games that year. If his arm is sound, he could provide the Braves with another quality veteran starter. After all, Jamie Moyer (a soft-tossing lefty cut from the same mold as Glavine) is several years older, and still getting outs.
OUTLOOK: Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this Atlanta rotation is its depth. While it features noone of the stature of a Johan Santana or a Jake Peavy, the Braves rotation is 5-deep; loaded with quality arms. This rotation figures to be durable, and should eat a lot of innings, taking a great deal of pressure off of the bullpen. And if by chance a Braves starter should visit the disabled list this season, Tommy Hanson (perhaps the top pitching prospect in all of baseball) is waiting in the wings. The Braves also have other quality alternatives for the rotation, including Jorge Campillo, Charlie Morton and Jo-Jo Reyes.
With plenty of talent and depth, this rotation is a safe bet to be among the league’s best. What are you expecting out of the staff this season? Who will surprise and who won’t live up to expectations?
Tags: 2009 Rotation Preview, Derek Lowe, Jair Jurrjens, Javier Vazquez, Kenshin Kawakami, Pitching, Rotation, Starting Pitching, Starting Rotation, Tom Glavine
Posted in General | 4 Comments »
The Braves kicked off the Grapefruit League season this afternoon with a 5-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers. Jair Jurrjens made the start for the Braves and allowed 2 earned runs in 2 innings of work on 4 hits. He escaped potential further damage by getting Carlos Guillen to ground into a double-play to end the first inning. Not the greatest start for Jurrjens, but it’s still early in the preseason and not much to worry about at this point. Reyes, O’Flaherty and Perez each allowed an earned run while Acosta and Marek both tacked on an inning of scoreless work.
Trailing 3-0 in the top of the fifth, the Braves proceeded to put 3 unearned runs on the board to tie up the game. Future first baseman prospect, Freddie Freeman, brought two runs in with a two-out single and Brian McCann also added an RBI in the inning, plating Jordan Schafer. Jordan also cracked the board later in the game with a leadoff home run in the top of the seventh.
Everyone anxious to see Jeff Francoeur at the plate today will still have to wait to see some performance out of him. Jeff went 0-for-4, but it’s only the first game. Most will say you can’t count on much that happened today to be telling as to how the season will go. These early Spring Training games are where we really should be looking toward the young guys and seeing what they can do.
The Braves open up their home Grapefruit League season at Wide World of Sports tomorrow against the Astros at 1:05pm EST. Jorge Campillo will take the hill for the Braves, making his campaign for a long relief spot in the bullpen. Catch the game on ESPN. So one Spring Training game closer to the season, what’s the good news of the day?
Tags: Detroit Tigers, Freddie Freeman, Jair Jurrjens, Jordan Schafer, Preseason
Posted in Game Analysis | 1 Comment »
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 »
Pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training last Saturday with the rest of the squad close behind. The non-roster invitees are getting the chance to meet some of the big leaguers and the young guys have the annual chance to prove that they deserve a spot on the team, either at the start of the season, or down the road when injuries take their toll. We wanted to take a quick look at what’s going on down at Wide World of Sports since most of this week has been taken up with discussing the last few contract issues the Braves have been working out.
Jair Jurrjens has turned down the opportunity to pitch for his native Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic in the interest of preparing for the 2009 season with the Braves. With The Netherlands not expected to advance from the first round of competition and the Braves wishing for him to return after his first start, the decision was a little easier for Jurrjens. Coming off of a surprise season last year that left him as the Braves most productive starter, everyone has high hopes for him in 2009. This leaves Javier Vazquez as the only Braves pitcher in the Classic, pitching for Puerto Rico.
Chipper Jones and Brian McCann are the only two position players that will be participating in the World Baseball Classic. Chipper received permission to report to Spring Training early with the pitchers and catchers as he will miss a portion of the preseason. McCann has the toughest of all though. With at least three, and potentially four, new pitchers in the Braves’ starting rotation this season, he has a lot to learn to prepare for the season. With his participation in the Classic, he will miss up to three weeks of Spring Training, but he and the Braves are confident he’ll be ready to go by Opening Day.
Kenshin Kawakami will be the first Japanese player to play for the Braves at a Major League level and he has been soaking in everything that Spring Training brings. He’s been excited to see his fellow rotation members pitch and eager to show what he’s got as well. His first couple of sessions throughout the week were mostly to get used to the change in setting and get loosened up and he’s expecting to begin his harder sessions and workouts this week.
Peter Moylan is apparently looking great in camp. It’s still unknown if he will be ready to go on Opening Day, but he is throwing beyond everyone’s expectations right now, including throwing live batting practice to hitters in Spring Training. Moylan is recovering from Tommy John surgery on May 8th of last year, a surgery that usually requires a full 12 months for recovery. My biggest concern is that he takes the time to come back correctly and to not rush anything that might hurt his chance of a full return this season. Moylan will be a huge asset to the bullpen this year if healthy.
Tommy Hanson has been impressing everyone at camp with his slider. Hanson is consider one of the top minor league prospects in all of baseball and Bobby Cox continually likens the slider that he throws to that of John Smoltz. It’s doubtful that we’ll be seeing him in Atlanta at the start of the season, but I have the feeling he will make a few appearances in and out of Atlanta throughout the season. I expect big things out of this kid down the road.
Jason Heyward is excited to impress as many people as he can this Spring Training. While likely that he’ll start the season in Rome and probably have the chance to make it up to Mississippi, Heyward is not just another prospect. At 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, Heyward is the Braves’ power-hitting outfielder of the future and plays defense to back it up. At 19 years old, he still has some development to go through, but as MiLB.com’s 3rd-rated prospect in the game, look for him to be making a name for himself in the upcoming seasons.
Those are the main things that have happened as far as Spring Training has gone so far and we’re expecting a lot more news to come from this week when preseason games get started on Wednesday against the Tigers. Don’t miss your first chance to catch the Braves on TV this season on Thursday when the Braves take on the Astros at 1:05pm on ESPN. This week will likely start the competition between Josh Anderson, Gregor Blanco, Jordan Schafer and Brandon Jones to tie up the loose ends for outfield positions this season; I’m sure we’ll have lots of news on that this week.
So what’re the things to watch for this week in Spring Training? Who do you expect to impress? Who’s not going to meet expectations? There’s a lot to be excited about. It’s Spring Training and it’s time for another baseball season to get underway.
Tags: Brian McCann, Chipper Jones, Jair Jurrjens, Jason Heyward, Kenshin Kawakami, Peter Moylan, Preseason, Spring Training, Tommy Hanson, World Baseball Classic
Posted in General | 3 Comments »
Jair Jurrjens was relatively unknown when we acquired him from the Tigers last offseason for Edgar Renteria. I think initally I heard more about Gorkeys Hernandez than I heard about Jurrjens – who was 3-1 with a 4.70 ERA in a short stint with Detroit. That said, Jurrjens came to town and quickly showed he was ready to pitch in the rotation. He shows command and a knowledge for the game beyond his now 23 years (Happy Birthday today, Jair!). In his rookie season he went 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA with 139 K’s in 188 innings.
So – how was Jurrjens’ first season? Good. He’s a very talented young pitcher and may end up the Braves’ #2 starter behind Tommy Hanson for the years to come. He did get tired towards the end of the season – his ERA spiked from a 1.63 stretch in June to 5.73 in August and 4.30 in September. He’s young – and he maxed out at just over 142 innings in the minors – so 188 innings in his first year in the bigs isn’t bad – at all. Jair’s 13 wins represent four more wins than closest rookie pitcher last year – and that was WITH the Braves’ horrible 1 run game record. Jurrjens is one of my favorite Braves and tons of fun to watch – if I’m not at the game, I make sure to turn on the TV when Jurrjens is on the mound.
But what’s next? What should we expect in 2009? Well, I’m no genie. I’m don’t guarantee my predictions and don’t stand behind them – don’t even think about placing wagers on anything based on my numbers. Jurrjens will be even better this year – I think he’ll hit 200 innings pitched. I’ll predict a 16-8 year for the young Jurrjens, with a 3.30 ERA. Please note that I pulled those numbers out of thin air – but I think they’re reasonable with a more stable rotation, a more rested bullpen, and assuming the Braves even break even in the one-run game area. If the Braves can back Jurrjens up with some offense, we may see even better win totals. I’m not even going to pretend to guess strikeout/walk ratio. I’ll leave that up to you.
What do you think we’ll see from Jurrjens in 2009? Am I full of hot air? Are my expectations too high? Or too low? Feel free to chime in.
As always, submit some article suggestions on the left hand side of the screen under the “Suggestions” tab – we use them to help come up with content when it’s a slow news day.
Tags: Jair Jurrjens, Jurrjens 2009 expectations
Posted in General | 19 Comments »
The Braves went into the offseason with several needs:
Two Starting Pitchers
We’ve acquired three. Ace-to-be Derek Lowe, Kenshin Kawakami signed as free agents. The third, Javier Vazquez, was acquired via trade from the White Sox. The three pitchers will augment the Braves’ Jair Jurrjens as the four regular starters (all can eat innings), and we’ll likely see Jorge Campillo, Charlie Morton, and perhaps Tommy Hanson fight for the fifth rotation spot. Now that we’ve got a stable rotation, look for the Braves not to rush Hanson to the big leagues, though he’ll be ready in a year or two to start regularly. When Tim Hudson comes back from Tommy John surgery late in the season, he’ll provide the Braves with one of the best rotations late in the season, if he’s true to form. The Braves’ rotation won’t be something to sneeze at, even though it’s not going to be the best rotation in the history of baseball.
An Outfield Bat
I’d imagine the Braves are still looking to fill this need. Even though we’ve got Jeff Francoeur, Matt Diaz, Josh Anderson, Gregor Blanco, Brandon Jones, and Jordan Schafer as options, we need a bat to help replace the hole left by Teixeira’s departure and to protect Chipper in the lineup. If the Braves do sign someone, it will only be for a year or two, because in addition to the players I already listed, Gorkeys Hernandez and Jason Heyward are outfield prospects in the minor league system, just two-three years away. Maybe Heyward switches to first, but there’s still a glut of good prospects waiting to play outfield for the Braves. I don’t know if we fill this or go with young talent, but if we want to compete in the NL East, we probably need another bat somewhere in the lineup. Left field is a logical position for that bat to play. If I were Wren, I’d look at Bobby Abreu for this role.
Extending Chipper’s Contract
Please, Braves, do this now. Smoltz didn’t retire here, but Chipper needs to. We’re starting to get a reputation for getting the best years out of our players, making this their home, and sending them elsewhere to die. See Aaron, Murphy, Justice, Maddux, Glavine (though he left of his own free will), and now Smoltz. Don’t let it happen to Chipper.
A Backup Catcher
Done. It flew under the radar, but the Braves signed Dave Ross to a two-year deal to back up Brian McCann early in December. He’ll make ~$1.5M each year he’s here. The Braves have been resting McCann once a week or so to try and save his knees, so we’ll see some time out of Ross. Ross hit .225 with 3 HRs and 13 RBI last year for Cincinnati and Boston in 142 at-bats in 60 games.
The Braves will now turn to signing a bat for the outfield, extending Chipper’s contract, and re-signing Will Ohman. Once that’s done, I’d say we’re set for this offseason. I don’t think we’ll see the Braves sign any more starting pitchers. Setup arms in the ‘pen will come via Campillo and our farm system. Think I missed anything? Made bad assumptions? Make a comment and we’ll have some discussion about it.
Ignoring The Bad
By the way, I’m ignoring everything that didn’t go right. Rather not talk about it – no reason to dwell on it!
Tags: Bobby Abreu, Brandon Jones, Braves 2009 Additions, Braves Offseason Goals, Braves Trade Rumors, Charlie Morton, Chipper Jones, Dave Ross, Derek Lowe, Gorkeys Hernandez, Gregor Blanco, Jair Jurrjens, Jason Heyward, Javier Vazquez, Jeff Francoeur, Jordan Schafer, Josh Anderson, Kenshin Kawakami, Matt Diaz, Tommy Hanson, Will Ohman
Posted in General, Roster Moves, Speculation | 53 Comments »
The Braves couldn’t keep Tim Hudson healthy. They couldn’t trade for Jake Peavy because the Padres were being stupid about it. Now, they couldn’t sign A.J. Burnett because the Yankees play in a city closer to Maryland (Burnett’s wife doesn’t fly? Huh?), we can’t sign the best starter left on the market. Throw us a frickin’ bone here.
So what are we going to do? Let Vazquez be our ace? Thrust Jair Jurrjens into the spotlight as a sophomore in the bigs? Make Jorge Campillo draw a ridiculous amount out of his arm?
Who else is on the market? Derek Lowe. Oh, the Yankees already made a move on him? The way they’re spending this off-season, who wouldn’t sign with them? We could always revive talks for Peavy, but Frank Wren has made it clear that the Braves will no longer offer the same package they did last month when they were in talks with the Padres. Brent Lillibridge is gone (must find new minor leaguer to talk about incessantly to bug Jonathan) and the Braves no longer have interest in trading Yunel Escobar (which I think is good). The Padres have probably not gotten more reasonable about it, which means the best pitcher in the NL will spend next year pitching for a horrible team in San Diego.
Meanwhile, we’re still without an ace. We have a good #2 guy in Jurrjens and Vazquez will be a decent #3 starter to eat innings, but where do we stand? In a very uncertain place.
And I’m not all that certain it’s going to get much better. Which scares me.
What do you think will happen?
Tags: A.J. Burnett, I Hate The Yankees, Jair Jurrjens, Jake Peavy, New York Yankees Suck, The Yankees are the spawn of the devil, Tim Hudson
Posted in General | 63 Comments »
When Edgar Renteria was traded last year, nobody thought that the young pitcher we got in return would be the Ace of our staff in August. But here we sit on August 5 – John Smoltz done for the season, Tom Glavine hoping to be able to return this weekend, Mike Hampton having only made two starts, and Tim Hudson out for at least a year after falling victim to torn ligaments in his elbow. That leaves 22 year old Jair Jurrjens – who had only pitched in 7 big league games before the 2008 season – the ace of the Braves. The only original starting pitcher who has limited his injuries to falling down dugout stairs is Jurrjens. He’s the only one who’s stayed off the disabled list.
And he’s one heck of a young pitcher! At 22 years old, Jurrjens shows impressive command of his changeup and fastball, and the patience and confidence of a much older pitcher. Jurrjens’ changeup was dubbed “invisible” by Adam LaRoche earlier this year. So far in the 2008 campaign, Jurrjens is 10-7, pitched 138 innings, and has struck out 97 batters and only walked 49. Oh, and his ERA is 3.12. Anybody would take this as a third season in the majors, let alone their rookie year. He’s quickly become a fan favorite.
Jurrjens is humble too – he regularly gives the credit for winning to others and takes the credit for a loss when defensive or offensive issues could easily be blamed. Not only is he playing on his and his father’s favorite team, he’s quickly becoming the hero of his home island of Curacao – also home of Andruw Jones (who’s hitting .161 for the Dodgers, by the way). Jurrjens said of Jones earlier this year “It’s going to be fun to face him – it’s going to be even more fun to strike him out.” Note that Jurrjens struck Jones out all three times that day – though that can hardly be considered much of a feat.
We’ll see where Jurrjens goes as the years go on – but he is considered one of the bright young pitching stars in the Braves’ system. From a fan’s perspective, it’s refreshing to see some young pitching talent ready to take the spotlight for years to come. Welcome to Atlanta, Jair. We’re glad you like it here. Stick around – not all of us are going to dress up in scrubs and join Jurrjens’ Surgeons, but we’re all pulling for you.
Tags: Jair Jurrjens
Posted in General | 3 Comments »
Back to the regular sized blog post.
So, we haven’t posted in a while, but this would be a good time to discuss the break and such. Chipper, McCann and trainer Jeff Porter are in New York as I write this enjoying the sites, including Yankee stadium, as well as enjoying their four days off. Chipper and McCann have been THE most consistent presences in this line-up, everyone knows that. While they do deserve these four days off, I doubt either would trade in a trip to Yankee stadium to play the final All-Star game their for those days off.
The Braves played San Diego and the Dodgers last week, coming away with their first .500 road trip of any length since WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY back last season when they went 1-2 against the Mets and 2-1 against the Nats from September 10-16, seriously. But going into the break with a road trip like that, even if it is against the worst team in the league in San Diego, is still something to build on.
Looking more into those six games, the Braves pitched out of their mind amazing, they gave up eight runs to LA in three games and eight runs to the Padres in three games. Against San Diego, only seven of those runs were earned and against LA only seven of those runs were earned as well, bringing the team ERA for those six games down to a ridiculous 2.33, yet we only went 3-3, sad.
The two teams we played, from before the season even started, were supposed to be slightly offensively challenged, yet the Braves looked like the team that needed a bat or three or four. In the first five games in the series, the Braves went 1-54 (0.019) in the first four innings, THEY HAD ONE HIT IN FIVE GAMES IN THE FIRST FOUR INNINGS! Throwing in the final game doesn’t make it that much better either, the Braves had three hits in the first four innings Sunday, bringing the grand total up to 4-67 (0.059). That’s just pathetic offensively.
With the Mets heating up and Florida not going away any time soon (they just got Josh Johnson back for the homestretch), this won’t be easy. Philly’s ball park isn’t miraculously going to get bigger and allow them to hit less home runs, and the Mets and Marlins aren’t going to stop hitting either. This team needs some sort of a wake up call and they need it fast, whether it is waving the white flag to trade guys away and tell them, “we’re not invincible,” or get a new guy in the clubhouse and infuse new energy. Heck Mike Hampton pitching might put enough energy into this team to give them some new life. Who knows?
Looking ahead to past the break, the Braves have a sweepable series against the Nats. The pitching matchups have already been set. Aces duel in the first game when Tim Hudson (9-7) takes on Tim Redding (7-3), Jair Jurrjens (9-4) gets the ball in game two against John Lannan (5-9) and Jojo Reyes (3-8) will face off against Odalis Perez (2-7) in the final game of the series.
Btw, was it just me or was taking Reyes out of his Friday start against the Padres after four innings because we had guys in scoring position a serious desparation move by the Braves? Buddy Carlyle came in and did a good job finishing it up, but seriously. For whatever reason, Reyes always seems to have a shorter leash than any of the other guys out there.
Tags: All-Star Break, Brian McCann, Chipper Jones, Jair Jurrjens, Jeff Porter, Jo-Jo Reyes, Mike Hampton, Tim Hudson
Posted in General | 8 Comments »
Jair Jurrjens held the Blue Jays scoreless through eight innings and held them to three hits as he continued his dominant streak as of late. Jurrjens has pitched 23 and 2/3rds innings of baseball with no earned runs – dating back to June 5 (Seattle scored 3 runs but they were all unearned). Jurrjens continues to show maturity and composure beyond his years as the Braves got out to a great start to their road trip with a 4-0 victory over the Jays.
Mark Teixeira is absolutely on fire right now – he opened up the game with a two run home run before Jurrjens even went out to the mound the first time. He added another RBI in the third inning as he knocked Gregor Blanco in on a double. Blanco added an RBI of his own in the seventh.
Jeff Francoeur continues to struggle – striking out to end the top of the 8th and leaving two men on base. He was 0-4. We’ll hope Frenchy an pull through here soon. Good to see some solid defense on the Braves tonight – Jones laid out for a nice grab in left field, and Mark Teixeira made a couple nice plays at first.
Mike Gonzalez came on to close the game out in the ninth – and he looked good. Working quickly, Gonzalez retired the side and the Braves walked away from Toronto with a win. Jurrjens got the win and is now 8-3 on the season. 4-0 Braves.
Let’s hope we can build on it tomorrow!
Tags: Jair Jurrjens, Toronto Blue Jays
Posted in Game Analysis | 4 Comments »
The Braves came out strong behind Jair Jurrjens and 7 2/3rds innings of one-run ball to beat the Rockies last night 7-1. Chipper went 2-4 and started the scoring in the fifth with two RBIs. Jurrjens’ extra five days of rest due to his sprained ankle seem to be paying immediate dividends – “I got my changeup back,” Jurrjens said. The extra rest helped a blister heal.
Up in Queens, the Queens have fired longtime sucky manager Willie Randolph. I don’t mean that in he was their manager for long, but that he has sucked for most of his time as Mets manager.
Jerry Manuel will replace him as interim head coach. The Mets also cleaned out some of their other manager positions. For more info, check out our buddy Andrew’s site over at TheRopolitans.
The Braves are finally up to 10 road wins, taking three out of the last four on the road. Do you think they’ve turned a corner? With the starting pitching looking great its last time around, will they continue their improvement?
And as Mike Hampton heads down to the Gulf Coast League for a couple rehab starts, will he ever pitch in Atlanta this season?
Tags: Chipper Jones, Colorado Rockies, Jair Jurrjens, Jerry Manuel, Mike Hampton, New York Mets, Willie Randolph
Posted in Game Analysis, General | 8 Comments »