The Braves have worked out a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates to bring outfielder Matt Diaz back to Atlanta in exchange for a player to be named later. MattyD hit .305 with the Braves from 2006-2010. The Braves hope he can help out their dismal stats against left-handed pitching, where they currently rank last in average and OBP.
Diaz is signed through 2012 and is owed $2 million for next season. The Pirates are also sending some cash to Atlanta to help offset his remaining salary this season. The Braves made the trade before the deadline so that Diaz will be eligible to play for the Braves in the postseason.
Though in a little bit of a slump right now, I’m hoping Diaz can help fill some holes in the current offense. Welcome back to Atlanta, MattyD!
Tags: Matt Diaz, Pittsburgh Pirates, Trade
Posted in Roster Moves | 1 Comment »
The Braves were counting on Tom Glavine to take the start today, but due to his recent injury setbacks, they have had to look elsewhere. The answer comes in the form of Jo-Jo Reyes, who was called up from AAA Gwinnett this morning. Jo-Jo hasn’t gotten much love here at BravesBlast in the past, with a 3-11 record last season and over a 5 ERA. Reyes looked decent in spring with a 2-0 record and a 2.08 ERA. We won’t be easily convinced.
Ian Snell is taking the hill for the Pirates. We’ll be updating throughout the game as the Braves try to get back into the win column.
Braves: 0 Pirates: 10
|Top 9th:||That’s 18 innings that the Braves have been shut out by the Pirates. Something has to change and has to change quickly. There’s always tomorrow, right?|
|Bot 8th:||James Parr gives up a couple of hits and a run. 10-0 Pirates.|
|Top 8th:||Braves strand one. Is it over yet?|
|Bot 7th:||Another 3 run homer and an assortment of hits, all with two outs. 9-0 Pirates.|
|Top 7th:||Braves down 1-2-3. The offensive struggles are getting a little old.|
|Bot 6th:||Sanchez triples past Jordan Schafer (should have been a single) and McLouth knocks him in with a single. Steals second and an intentional walk to Doumit. 3-run homer to Monroe. 5-0 Pirates. Andy LaRoche doubles to left. Intentional walk to Vazquez. Buddy Carlyle comes on to pitch and gets Ian Snell to ground out on the first pitch.|
|Top 6th:||Another double play sinks any hope the Braves had of getting on the board in the inning.|
|Bot 5th:||Another 1-2-3 inning for Jo-Jo. Where’s the run support?|
|Top 5th:||Prado singles to lead off the inning, but is caught stealing after a Jordan Schafer strikeout. Jo-Jo strikes out to end the inning.|
|Bot 4th:||Doumit with a one-out double to the center field wall. Jo-Jo gets the double play to end the inning.|
|Top 4th:||McCann and Kotchman make it to 2nd and 3rd with two outs. Francoeur flies out to center to end the inning though. We need to start plating runners. I think we’re up to 2 runs in 25 innings now.|
|Bot 3rd:||Another 1-2-3 for Jo-Jo.|
|Top 3rd:||Jo-Jo draws a two-out walk. No help though.|
|Bot 2nd:||Leadoff double for Doumit. Andy LaRoche knocks him in with a two-out double. 1-0 Pirates.|
|Top 2nd:||Braves down 1-2-3. The offensive struggles continue.|
|Bot 1st:||1-2-3 inning for Jo-Jo to get started. A couple of nice defensive plays behind them, but definitely a good boost to the confidence.|
|Top 1st:||Nothing doing for the Braves in the top of the 1st. Infante singles but got doubled up on a sharp Anderson line drive.|
Tags: Jo-Jo Reyes, Pittsburgh Pirates
Posted in Game Threads | 7 Comments »
After a three-game sweep by the Marlins, the Braves are looking to turn things back around against the Pirates as they kick off a 9-game roadtrip. Coming into the roadtrip at 5-4 the Braves are looking to get back into form that got them off to a 5-1 start. Over the next 9 games in Pittsburgh, Washington and Cincinnati, the Braves will be fighting through a few injury issues with both pitching and starting offense, but we have fought through worse in the past.
Tonight, Jair Jurrjens looks to overcome some of the control issues that have haunted him up until this point in the season (while still retaining a solid 2.45 ERA) and bring down Paul Maholm for the Pirates. The left-handed Maholm comes into tonight’s game with a 1-0 record and a 1.32 ERA. The Braves have struggled at the plate against lefties throughout last season and into the first games of this one.
We’ll be updating throughout the game as the Braves try to get back into the win column.
Braves: 0 Pirates: 3
As a result of our server outage during the game, we were unable to finish covering the progress.
|Top 6th:||McCann reaches after being hit by a pitch for the second time tonight but the Braves can’t capitalize.|
|Bot 5th:||A couple more strikeouts for Jurrjens. That’s 5 on the night. The Pirates strand a runner on third.|
|Top 5th:||I was still ordering food. But we didn’t score either.|
|Bot 4th:||McLouth singles to right field to leadoff. I got distracted looking for food, but they didn’t score.|
|Top 4th:||Francoeur singles but gets doubled up by a sharp liner from Prado. Nothing on the board for the Braves still.|
|Bot 3rd:||1-2-3 inning for Jurrjens with 2 Ks. We need to see more of those.|
|Top 3rd:||Jurrjens walks to lead off the inning. Sac bunt by Kelly Johnson moves the runner. Two flyouts and the Braves are unable to capitalize on the leadoff runner.|
|Bot 2nd:||Moss triples off the wall. Once again, Schafer misplays the ball. Andy LaRoche plates Moss with a ball to short. 1-0 Pirates.|
|Top 2nd:||McCann gets hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Francoeur singles up the middle. Prado singles past short to load the bases with no outs. Kotchman pops out to the catcher and Schafer grounds into a double play. How can we expect to win if we blow chances like that?|
|Bot 1st:||Sanchez triples off the center field wall with one out, not handled well by Schafer. Jurrjens gets McLouth to strike out and Doumit to pop out to get out of the inning with no damage done.|
|Top 1st:||Braves down 1-2-3. We’re going to need to find that early offense that started the season off so strong again.|
Tags: Game Thread, Pittsburgh Pirates
Posted in Game Threads | No Comments »
So we have a real doubleheader against the Pirates today. Not a day/night one, but a true one game after another doubleheader. You don’t see that too often any more, but I’m glad. The real question is . . . will we get the games in today. I’m pretty busy today but the last time I looked in on the weather for Pittsburgh, it wasn’t looking too favorable. We’ll see if it holds out so we can get some of these games in. I’ll do my best to keep up with the games today but no guarantees.
Jurrjens will be pitching the first game for the Braves while Tim Hudson will make his regularly scheduled start in the second game. We have another doubleheader in a couple weeks against the Mets; let’s try and start a good streak on those today.
Tags: Doubleheader, Jair Jurrjens, Pittsburgh Pirates, Tim Hudson
Posted in Game Threads | 99 Comments »
Due to the continuing rain in Pittsburgh, the Braves/Pirates game today has been postponed and rescheduled as part of a doubleheader tomorrow. Hopefully the rain will be out of the area by then and the Braves can use the day off to regroup and get things going in the right direction tomorrow.
Tags: Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates, Postponed, Rain
Posted in General | No Comments »
The Braves are 1-4 against the Pirates so far this season after dropping the first two of the series this weekend. On top of that, the 4-13 road record isn’t helping our standings in the division either. Today, Mother’s Day, and in honor of the Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, teams throughout Major League Baseball will be swinging pink bats and maybe that’s just what the Braves need at this point in time to snap this road funk. There’s no real other apparent way to fix the current struggles.
Jair Jurrjens (3-2) takes the mound toda for the Braves trying to improve his 1-2 road record. On the other side of the mound for the Pirates will be Zach Duke, who has great stuff, but has struggled thus far this season. The key for the Braves today is to not continually lose base runners to double plays. We need to get on the board and continue to get the offense going throughout the game.
It looks like we may have a bit of a rain delay today to start off the game and possibly thoughout the rest of the day, so we’ll see if we get it in or not. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there, hopefully the Braves can get us a win.
Tags: Jair Jurrjens, Mother's Day, Pink Bats, Pittsburgh Pirates, Zach Duke
Posted in Game Threads | 6 Comments »
A night after having their 6-game win streak snapped by the Pirates, the Braves are looking to Chuck James to get them back in the win column in the second game of this road trip. James is all too familiar with the trips back and forth between Richmond and Atlanta, having started the season in Atlanta and amassing a 2-1 record before heading back to Richmond to continue to strengthen his injured shoulder. He makes the start in place of the incapable-to-ever-be-healthy, Mike Hampton, so he has a real opportunity to shine tonight and help maintain a job in the bigs for awhile. I personally would like to see Chuck find some consistency and stay in Atlanta for awhile.
The spot for James on the roster was made by placing Buddy Carlyle on the 15-day disabled list after the collision that knocked him out of the game in Atlanta on Thursday. Buddy has a strained neck and bruised temple and hopefully we’ll see him back in action after a little bit of rest. Road games have been the weak point of the Braves so far this season. With a road record of 4-12, the Braves have the fewest road wins in the majors so far this season. You can’t make it to the postseason if you can’t win on the road.
Taking the mound for the Pirates will be Tom Gorzelanny (2-3, 6.91). Gorzelanny has a tendency to give up runs, but the real key is whether or not the Braves can get the bats going early in the game. We’ve had problems with McLouth and Nady patrolling the Pirates outfield and stealing hits away from us. Hopefully we can get that changed tonight and put another win up on the board.
Tags: Buddy Carlyle, Chuck James, Pittsburgh Pirates, Tom Gorzelanny
Posted in Game Threads | 51 Comments »
The Braves closed a dominant homestand to start off the month of May, winning all 6 games to extend their best-in-league home record to 14-4. However, the road games are where the Braves have struggled thus far this season, only amassing 4 wins in 15 tries. The Braves put their 6-game winning streak on the line against the Pirates to open up a 4-game series in Pittsburgh.
Tom Glavine will be on the mound for the Braves tonight, looking for his first win of the season. Glavine was 1-out short of getting a win against the Reds last week, but just couldn’t make it out of the inning. Tonight, I look to see Glavine keep the Braves in the game while the offense tries to provide the needed run support. Let’s get above .500 for the road trip, guys!
Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates, Tom Glavine
Posted in Game Threads | 130 Comments »
Mike Hampton didn’t even pitch one pitch in the game, but somehow he managed to strain his left pectoral muscle and was replaced by Jeff Bennett. Wouldn’t you know that something had to happen to Hampton? It’s like the guy is cursed. I feel sorry for him – getting ready for his first major league start in a long while, and now he’s down with a day-to-day status. I think we’ll see him back for his next start, if the stars align properly.
Jeff Bennett is a trooper, stepping in for the spot start in the emergency start. He worked hard each of the last two nights and still jumped in there for the start, pitching four innings and 77 pitches. He struck out three, walked two, and gave up two earned runs.
But the Braves saw the night turn into one much like they experienced the first two nights. The bullpen (and a Martin Prado error) let the Pirates back into the game, and the Braves lost their third game this season by one run in extra innings. Bobby seems to like using everyone out there – these guys are going to be tired if we can’t get some solid starting pitching and get them some rest.
Offensively, Chipper continued his hot start, going 3-5. Reliever Chris Resop got sent to left field for Adam LaRoche’s at-bat, when Royce Ring came in to deal with him. Resop then came back to the mound and finished his outing. At least it was entertaining to watch.
The Braves tried to tie it in the bottom of the 10th. Mark Kotsay hit a monster drive to dead center that was within six inches of going over the wall. He ended with a stand-up triple. But that counts for nothing when you can’t score him, and we didn’t.
The final score was 4-3; mark it down as a 1-3 start with all three losses by one run, two of them in extra innings. Something’s gotta start going our way.
Next up, the Mets come to town, and Hudson will take on John Maine tomorrow. Should be a good game – tune in here for coverage. Look for Hudson, Glavine and Smoltz to make the starts against the Mets. Hopefully we can get the bats going early and we should have some great games to watch.
Tags: Chipper Jones, Chris Resop, Mark Kotsay, Mike Hampton, Pittsburgh Pirates
Posted in Game Analysis | 3 Comments »
UPDATE: Mike Hampton has been scratched from the start during his pregame warmup. Preliminary word is that Hampton suffered a strained left pectoral muscle and is currently listed as day-to-day.
Mike Hampton takes the mound for the Braves (1-2) tonight to close out the opening home series of 2008 versus the Pirates (1-1). As long as nothing happens to him in the next 3 hours, tonight will mark Hampton’s first regular season start since August 19th, 2005, when Tommy John surgery and some assorted other injuries knocked him from competition. The Braves are looking to ride a successful start from Hampton to get their season record back to .500 after starting the season 0-2.
The squad made a strong showing last night, beating the Pirates 10-2 on a powerpacked 7-run 8th inning highlighted by Mark Teixeira hitting his first home run of the season. Hopefully the Braves can keep the offense going tonight and that the bullpen can provide the needed backup for Hampton.
After we close out the series tonight, we have a 3-game series against the Mets to carry us through the weekend. Come by and chat with us during the game, 7:10pm EST start.
Tags: Mike Hampton, Pittsburgh Pirates
Posted in Game Threads | 154 Comments »
It’s not often you hear Bobby Cox call someone “sensational” – especially a young pitcher after their first start. But Bobby didn’t hesitate to pull it out when talking about the 22 year old starter Jair Jurrjens, who made his first big league start for the Braves tonight. Jurrjens went 5.1 innings, struck out five, and gave up two earned runs on seven scattered hits and one walk. He notched not only his, but the Braves’ first win this season.
I was really impressed by Jurrjens. In the post-game interview, he kept beating himself up for the one walk. He didn’t seem happy or self-absorbed with the win or the five strikeouts. He didn’t mention the nasty changeup he throws without hesitation. He was upset with himself for the one walk and kept saying how he needs to limit the walks this season. Jurrjens didn’t even get in trouble until the sixth inning. And his fastball was around 93-94 all night long.
The bats weren’t silent either. Martin Prado started the evening at second in place of the injured Kelly Johnson (knee, day-to-day), and kicked the game off with a triple. Chipper knocked him in. Prado would go on to reach base 3 out of 5 times to the plate, scoring each of those times. Matt Diaz added a homer in the fourth.
Going into the 8th, the Braves led 3-2, before the floodgates opened. Both Yunel Escobar and Mark Teixeira broke out the long ball – Tex launching a two-run homer and Yunel going yard to put a three spot on the board. Add a few singles here and there, and the Braves ended up putting seven runs on the board in the eighth. Will Ohman came in and closed out the game in the ninth.
Great to see the Braves get their first win on the board – especially with the offense really clicking in the eighth. Jurrjens is going to be something special. He’s soft-spoken and modest, and has nasty stuff to back it up. He is willing to learn from the older guys and will really benefit from that throughout the season. Hopefully we’ll continue to have Teixeira break out the bat, as he had a slow spring. Also good to see our bullpen pitch 3.2 innings of scoreless relief. We’ll take that.
Braves are 1-2 and showing signs of life. Hampton on the mound tomorrow for Atlanta. Here’s praying he can stay alive through it.
Tags: Jair Jurrjens, Mark Teixeira, Martin Prado, Matt Diaz, Pittsburgh Pirates, Will Ohman, Yunel Escobar
Posted in Game Analysis | 10 Comments »
Jair Jurrjens takes the mound tonight in his first start for the Atlanta Braves. He’ll take the mound opposite Tom Gorzelanny, who is coming off a 14 win season with the Pirates. This should be a good game, and I hope Jair gets past the jitters to pitch well in his Braves debut.
Kelly Johnson may play – let’s hope the strained knee he ran into Monday isn’t a factor tonight. Jurrjens has shown some nerves as of late – he’s publically admitted to being nervous about being in the same starting rotation as Smoltz, Hudson, and Glavine. His dad has been a Braves fan for years so it’ll be good to see the first big league start from a guy who’s been a Braves fan his entire life.
Will Jurrjens settle and pitch a solid game? Will Kelly Johnson have more issues with his knee? And will errors from the infielders or crazy outings by the bullpen throw the game away again?
I’ll be commenting while I watch, so drop on by and hang out, post a few comments.
Tags: Jair Jurrjens, Kelly Johnson, Pittsburgh Pirates
Posted in Game Threads | 156 Comments »