The Braves hold a 2.5 game lead over the Phillies, who have been dealing with injuries to star players all year, now have their own injuries to worry about. While their first half MVP Martin Prado is close to returning from the DL with a broken pinky finger, their Franchise player is now done for the year with an ACL tear— It could also mean the end of a career. Nothing has been decided yet, but the news is not good Braves fans…Not good at all.
It’s probably one of the best, if not the best, play I have ever seen Chipper make, and it could be the last play we ever see him make. As soon as the camera focused to Chipper clutching his knee on the ground, I turned to my fiancé and said, “This could be it.” It has been reported over the last couple months that Chipper is leaning toward retirement at the end of the season. It will be interesting to see how this injury affects that situation. I’d hate to see him go out this way.
It’s tough news to grasp, especially after Chipper has finally been swinging the bat well. He had been hitting .307 7HR in his last 44 games (better than he has done in 2 years), but now we we’re left to find out who is going to take over at third base. Since the non-waiver trade-deadline has come and gone, it’s not likely the Braves can add anyone substantial via trade; unless Evan Longoria wants to dress up in an Adam Everett uniform.
So, when Prado comes back to the team, which should be in a few days, I imagine Omar Infante will get the majority of playing time at second and Prado will move to third, while Brooks Conrad will fill in (and hit grand slams) when needed. Or, maybe T.P. can come out of retirement. He can’t be that bad, can he?
The Infante and Conrad have been playing have to make you feel a little better, but the fact is that, though they are hitting well, they aren’t Chipper. I can’t imagine Charlie Manuel walking to the mound in the last series of the year, with a Playoff berth on the line and asking Doc Holliday, “Do you want to pitch around this Conrad guy?”
I hope Frank Wren has a trick up his sleeve because this may be the trickiest situation he has to deal with of yet…
The Braves have gone 7-3 over the past week, which is just about where they should be, but I can’t remember another 10-game stretch (before October) that had me reaching for the Mylanta this many times. I don’t want to say, “I told you so” about Kyle Farnsworth, but— I told you so about Kyle Farnsworth! Along with a rough stretch from Billy Wagner and Peter Moylan, the Braves bull pen has looked shaky to say the least; except for Mr. Venters.
Venters is now 4-0 1.07 ERA 1.01 WHIP 62 K 58.2 IP. WOW! At the beginning of the year I thought the Braves would have their first Rookie of the Year since Rafael Furcal in 2000, and I still have a chance to be right. I don’t think he will actually win the award, but no rookie has been more dominating at their position in 2010 than Venters. Sure the big names like Buster Posey, Jaime Garcia and Jason Heyward top many lists, but no one has earned the true title “Rookie of the Year” and has been more valuable to their team than Venters.
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Until next time…Go Braves!