Ramblings about the Braves by True Braves Fans
I like the Braves chances after picking up this game. As the team with the best home record in the NL this year, we definitely have the advantage going back home with the ability to clinch the series while there. Winning this game the way we did will hopefully add some extra drive.
Glaus’ great defensive play in the 10th inning just shows how much it hurts not having an experienced 3B manning the hot corner right now. Our offense is just struggling too much to put in another guaranteed out, not to mention the fact that he’s range at 3B would be limited.
Before the series began, I had predicted Heyward would hit a splash down. If I had to pick someone else, I probably would have said McCann or Hinske. The name I probably wouldn’t have come up with is Rick Ankiel. He did hit one though, and it won the game last night. When asked about it after the game, he said “This is the pinnacle of everything I’ve ever done, to win a playoff game with a home run.” I really like the way Mark Bowman summed it up when he said “10 years after he couldn’t throw a strike against the Braves, he delivers the strike that they desperately needed.”
Yunel Escobar was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays as part of a 5-player deal that included Jo-Jo Reyes in exchange for two minor leaguers and short stop Alex Gonzalez. Details, reactions, and more, can be found via links in the twitter feed. I’ll be posting my thoughts on the trade soon (probably this weekend.)
The NL finally won! Not only that, but the won on a 3-RBI double by the Braves’ own Brian McCann who took home the All-Star MVP award for his heroics. I’ve re-tweeted a ton of articles, so you can get all the details from the twitter feed.
The rosters for this years All Star game were announced earlier today. Jason Heyward was the only Brave voted in by the fans, but a few more were selected as reserves.
Brian McCann will be making his 5th appearance in his 5 seasons as the lone back-up catcher, and Tim Hudson will be making his 3rd trip as the only pitcher from the Braves. Martin Prado and Omar Infante were both selected for the first time in their careers, and it has been announced the Prado will start in place of the injured Chase Utley.
One player some thought had a shot but not selected was Troy Glaus. Albert Pujols will be starting at 1st base, while Ryan Howard and Adrian Gonzalez were selected as his back-ups. Below is a comparison of the all stars and Troy Glaus:
I’ve re-tweeted the AJC article, so make sure you check that out. Per Dave O’Brien: “When Frank Wren called Omar Infante at 8:30 a.m. this morning to tell him he was an All-Star, Infante at first thought he’d been traded.”
Congratulation to Billy Wagner on achieving his 400th save, and to Brian McCann on hitting his 100th home run.
Good game last night. It was nice to see Chipper back in the lineup. Medlen hurt himself sliding into home, but thankfully it doesn’t look like anything serious.
In other news, the latest results in the all star voting are out, and Heyward, McCann, and Prado are all in 2nd place at their respective positions.
Granted, we still have a long season ahead of us, but I think things look good. My prediction is that if we are still in 1st place by the end of the long road trip we have coming up, we’ll stay there the rest of the season.
The Braves went 20-8 in the month of May, taking them from last place in the division to first in the span of just a few weeks. All of this was done with Chipper, McCann, and Escobar playing way below what’s expected of them for most of the month. Add to that the fact that McCann and Chipper have both started to show marked improvements, and even Escobar has shown signs he is coming out of his slump. We also can’t overlook Cabrera’s recent performance which has been much better than how he started the season.
Then there are the guys that have been performing on a high level the entire time. Heyward, Glaus, and Prado are the everyday players that top the list. Then there are guys like Hinske that seem to perform as a starter, pinch hitter, or late inning replacement. Even Ross is providing solid offense from a position that you don’t usually expect such things from (backup catcher).
Things are looking good Braves fans!
Sorry that the subject of this post is boring, but I’m running out of creative ways to say “Braves Win” or “Braves Lose.”
In case you were not aware, yesterday, as a birthday present to me, the Braves won 7-3. The game started off kind of rough. Hanson gave up a run in the 1st in addition to walking the bases loaded. The 2nd didn’t start out much better when he hit the first batter! After that he settled down though and looked much more like the Hanson we’re used too. After that the game wasn’t too exciting except for the 7th when the Braves scored 6 runs. I know that a pitchers duel can be fun to watch, but the excitement of that is spread out over an entire game. In terms of a rush of excitement, nothing beats a huge inning by your favorite team.
There were a other highlights from the game worth pointing out. First of all, Yunel Escobar finally had a good game. He was 2-3 with a walk, RBI, and a run scored. Lets hope this is a sign he is finally breaking out of is slump.
%Bn% continued to do well going 2-4 and scoring twice. It’s no secret that I haven’t been a fan of him so far this year, but if he keeps playing like he has over the past few days, I might have to change that opinion.
Brian McCann also had a good night, going 2-4 with an RBI. He seems to be back on track now that he is wearing his glasses again.
%Bn% has horrible luck. Granted, he has pitched a few bad games this year, but he hasn’t pitched anywhere near bad enough to be 0-7.
Tonight was yet another game that he pitched well enough to win, but didn’t get the run support. He only gave up 3 runs, but left with the team still trailing by 1. After the bullpen gave up a few more runs, any hope of a no decision was pretty much gone.
The Braves threatened in the top of the 9th, with driving in two runs. It wasn’t enough in the end though. Chipper tried to hit into a double play (that’s not really fair, his hustle down the line is the only reason it wasn’t one), and McCann followed up with a ground out to end the game.
I think the offense is finally on track. The Braves haven’t been shutout since the game on 5/7 against Jamie Moyer. Since then we’ve played 13 games and only lost 3 (3-5 on 5/9, 1-11 on 5/15, and 2-3 on 5/17) and the Arizona game is the only one of those that can be considered a blow out.
Last night’s game was another example of how things are looking much better. Our offense looked good. continued to perform well, Hinske had another solid game, McCann hit a homer, and Chipper even got on base (twice), once with a hit and an RBI.
Anyway, as I’ve mentioned previously, tonight’s game will not be on television. If you live in the metro Atlanta area, you should be able to get the game on Rock 100.5 or 680 the Fan. Of course you wont be able to listen online via those (or any other) radio stations because MLB forces online blackouts of all the games so they can sell more subscriptions to their own online audio package. I do know that you can get the audio for a single game for a lower price though if you want to get it just for today.
I’ll actually be listening on my iPhone. I bought the mlb app early in the season. It was $15.00, but I thought it was worth it to be able to listen to the afternoon games at work, listen while I am out walking, or otherwise in a situation where I don’t have access to a radio or tv.
One thing I have not looked into is whether or not the game will be available online via mlb.tv. Normally it would be blacked out in the Atlanta area, but I don’t know if that applies to games not being televised or played in the Atlanta area. I also don’t know if Fox’s exclusivity agreement applies to online broadcasts or not either. If it is available, I’m pretty sure they still offer the ability to purchase a single game as well.
For those of you outside the reach of the stations listed above, check out the list of stations in the Brave’s Radio Network. If you are in the South East, there is a good chance you’ll be able to pick up the game. I’ve added links for the two stations I mentioned, as well as the list of stations in the Brave’s Radio Network to the list on the right side for future reference.