April 22, 2011

First Inning Woes

So, I think I have a solution that will solve all the Braves problems: Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters Alternate starting every game. The Braves have lost seemingly every game in the first inning this year. They get behind by a few runs and can’t catch up; I swear I am a genius…

OK, so obviously, this is ludicrous but the Braves need to do something to solve their first inning woes. It really is ridiculous how it seems to happen night after night; the pitchers aren’t getting hammered, but every ball seems to find a hole and every ball hit poorly is hit just well enough to get over the infield. It will eventually even out (it HAS to) but it doesn’t make it any easier to take, watching night after night. (It also doesn’t help that games are starting so late this week).

We have all weighed in our opinion on the lineup change (moving Heyward to no. 2 spot) and like most people, I love it. Right now Heyward is struggling, but this isn’t going to last long; it’s Jason Heyward! I like the move for a few reasons—Freddie Freeman is heating up, now hitting in the No. 6 spot— I love it. Batting in the No. 8 spot, Nate McLouth is also starting to hit, which can at least set up the pitcher to bunt; seeing that they are 0 for the year.

It’s funny how the Braves seem to begin each season so inconsistent, then pull it together when the weather heats up. I am expecting the same this year. It’s tough to watch, but I just keep telling myself that it’s going to get better and it’s only April.

What a tough series against the LA Dodgers… The entire Playstation Network was down, so I had to watch the game on my iPhone. It was such a brutal game to lose; it really may have been the game to get the Braves over the hump. On the bright side, I think I can finally distinguish Matt Kemp, James Loney and Andre Ethier as separate people. For years I thought they were the same person.

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I was thinking the other day (scary, I know) about where to get my oil changed and it dawned on me—since I listen to 680 the fan on the way to work, at work and on the way home, I know everywhere to get stuff done in Atlanta, but none where I actually live. If I were in Atlanta, I’d go to Express Oil Change and get a discount if the Braves scored five or more runs the night before. Then, I began to think about other services; I could only think of the places drilled in my head by the Atlanta commercials.

If I wanted lawn care I’d call Level Lawns. If I had bugs in my house, well I’d call Cook’s Pest Control. Then, other commercials popped in my head: Man’s Best Friend, Ackerman Security, The Punchline Comedy Club, U.S. Café (great burgers I hear), Georgia Southern online courses, weather, traffic…. The more I think about it the more ridiculous it is.

I guess what it all comes down to is that after my wife is finished with school, we should seriously consider moving to The Peach State. Of course, things like jobs and housing may come into play, but if anyone has a garage with some extra space, let me know (we don’t eat much).

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This week’s obscure Brave: John Hudek.

Hudek (unfortunately) pitched for the Braves in 15 games during the 1999 season. He posted an 0-1 record and a 6.48 ERA. He broke in to the majors in 1994 with the Houston Astros and actually was an All-Star that year (stupid rules). He played a total of six major league seasons for five different teams.

On a personal note, Hudek is probably my least favorite Brave of all-time. I absolutely loathed John Hudek; I know this is a bit much for a guy who played in so few games. The first time I heard his name was on WGN when Harry Caray was having fun with his name, continuously asking Steve Stone, “Hudek pitcher for the Astros?” I hated his mullet, I hated his goatee and I hated the fact that when I was at a Braves/Yankees game in NY he pitched, so badly I was almost physically ill (the 105F weather could have played a part in that).

Hudek is currently a baseball coach in the Houston area.

One more thing; and probably the most important… I just picked up some snipers in the ABT Fantasy Baseball League. I don’t want to put everyone off, but you are all going to be playing for second place—as my team now includes the likes of Wilson Betemit, Bruce Chen (yes, that Bruce Chen) and “The Natural” Jeff Francoeur. I’m sorry to everyone who thought they had a chance.

Follow me on Twitter @BRAVEinNY.

 

 

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