How fun is it to WANT to watch Sports Center and Baseball Tonight? Very fun! That’s how fun! I know we still suck, dude can’t pitch, Brewers stink at home… I can’t help it. I WANNA SWEEP! Can’t wait to see J-Hey bat. Speaking of…gotta watch ESPN at 7 tonight.
This month will tell us a lot about how bad the Braves really are. They are bad, as April showed us fans quite clearly. Our next opponents are Brewers (2), B’backs (3), Mets (2), Reds (2), @Pirates (3), @Fla (3), Pit(4). None of those teams are currently seated higher than 3rd in their respective divisions. Even a mediocre team should probably win all of those series, even the 2 game series with Cinci and the Mets. In june we get more Phillies, a lond road trip with LAD, D’backs, Twins. Then we’re home for Rays and Royals. Then road for White Sox. Then home for Tigers and Natinals. The Braves should probably try to get hot in May because June is going to be a tough month given the long road trip and interleague play, which the Braves usually do so well in, right? Hey, at least we get the Royals this year. We have a schedule this year, aside from most of May, that could put us well out of it by the All Start break. Time to stay hot Braves- if you can count one game as being hot.
I look for the Braves’ offense to come alive soon, and put up 4 runs per game. But I also look for Lowe, and especially Kawakami, to continue giving up 4+ runs in starts of about 6 innings. So, all in all, I would expect about a .500 record in those games. Chavez has returned to Spring Training form. Medlen is not available to bridge those short outings by pitchers to Wagner. Moylan’s scuffling a bit. I look to start losing more 6-4 games, instead of 3-2. Unfortunately.
Where’s Escobar? Does he play for the Braves anymore? Anyone know?
A line-up that could play .600 ball against those teams, but which they’ll never do:
Who could have conceived that Chipper, McCann, and Escobar would all three flop around like this for a month+?
The Glaus acquisition reminds me more and more of the Kotsay deal. (Minus Kotsay’s great attitude.) Injured star makes … sort of … a comeback. Numbers aren’t great, but decent production in spurts. Some nice moments. Nothing to stack the team around.
Paper bag, pretty funny post. I would definitely put my money on Braden’s G-Ma vs the Hamburglar, maybe good pitching runs in her family. If the Hamburglar continues to struggle, then the players should make him carry a purse everywhere he goes, even out to the mound. I bet Hamburglar and KK are in the clubhouse having a tea party and combing their dolls hair while they tell stories to each other about each individual doll. That’s what my nieces do, so I imagine those two girls doing the same thing. I imagine the whole thing gets pretty awkward for KK’s translator.
While Jurrjens is on the DL, they need to be MRI’ing the heck out of his right arm. His MPH were down again in the last game before the injury. Just saying. It won’t cost anything (well, okay, MRI’s are pricey, but not in Baseball LaLa Land where these people live), and if he comes back mid summer just to pitch three games and then KABLOOEY, we lose two years instead of one.
Bub, yeah I made the post trying not to think about JJ being out and KK and Hamburglar making regular starts. Esky’s back Saturday. I have a feeling Chipper Dorn will see more time off when Esky gets back:
1. Infante 2B/LF
2. Prado 3B/2B
3. Glaus 1B
4. Heyward RF
5. Hinske/Chipper LF/3B
6. Escobar SS
7. McCann/Ross C
8. McOut/Dud CF
If I had to do an everyday lineup. Mac doesn’t look good in middle of the order anymore. Chipper needs to ask to be moved. This lineup would never be used in a million years, but it’s fun to dream.
Bub, I’m with you on JJ’s arm. He has nit thrown well all year. This is not turning out to be JJ’s year. It would be awful to get him back and find out he needs makor shoulder/arm surgery. They really need to figure that out because without him this pitching staff is probably below average ,even with Hanson and Hudson being so solid.
By the way, that homerun swing by Prado last night was a beautiful thing. Perfect swings like that one are what I live for. I’ll never forget the way Kelly’s swing looked on that jack versus Maine in NY. Wasn’t it a GS also?
Anyway, just watched it again. A perfect swing, perfect crack off the bat. It’s been a long time since baseball made my heart flutter like that. I didn’t know Marteen had developed such a sweet, quiet stroke like that. I believe this kid is working his way into a permanent #2 spot. As in, for years to come.
It would be nice to see Prado stay in the 2 spot for years. It would be nice to see Heyward be a pure 4, and then see Freeman come up and be a good 3. Our future at 2-5 could be Prado, Freeman, J-Hey, Mac, which is not too shabby. A lot of people don’t like Escobar, but I think he can still become a great SS and good 6 hitter. I think this organization needs to establish a good core. That’s what the Phillies have when you look at Rollins, Victorino, Utley, Howard, and Werth. All 5 are around the same age, early to mid 30s, and have been instrumental in their recent success. If you have a lineup like that and a couple great starters and 3 other good pitchers you can compete every year. The Braves core 5 could be Heyward, Freeman, McCann, Prado, and Escobar with JJ, if he’s healthy, and Hanson being the two studs. I’m also excited to see Julio Teheran in Atlanta in a couple years. Teheran, Delgado, and Vizcaino appear to be the heirs to the pitching staff. I would count out Minor or Masters either. There’s a lot of good pitching on the farm. That’s the problem with being a Braves fan now, it seems like our best team is always a year or two away.
On the show you guys laughed about how much less pressure Melky is under now that he’s in ATL instead of NY. I couldn’t agree with that any less and the fact that it was kind of laughed at and then moved past I don’t know if you really gave it much thought.
Sure the media in NY is extremely intense. But Melky was playing in a line up of perennial all stars. He didn’t have to do anything for weeks at a time and the rest of them could put up their typical numbers and no one would notice. Now he is on a team that is struggling offensively from top to bottom. Everything has to be scrutinized (including him) and there is no one to protect anyone in the line up.
He was brought to this team with expectations. In NY he was way down on the team as far as guys that people expect production from. So I think he has a LOT more to feel pressure about now. And so far he hasn’t been able to produce despite that pressure.
Fischerking04, you make a good point. However, I’d say being a role player in Atlanta when the offense is struggling is almost equal to being a role player in NY with the offense doing well. Look at Javy Vazquez, he’s a role player of sorts, and they’re in first place, and he’s being booed off the field. I know he’s actually costing them games.
But between Bobby’s lax attitude toward poor performance, and Atlantas dead last place (read: nobody cares), I gotta think the pressure is slightly diminished from NY. It’s not as if he came from NY as a #9 hitter and we’ve had him in the top of the line up (well, Bobby’s had a couple of brain farts, but what’s new?).
Actually, when I watch Melky play, I see no “I feel pressure” about him at all. I see “Just happy to be here. Pass the cashews.”
The point I was making is that there simply isn’t the scrutiny on the Braves that there is on the Yankees. In any fashion. The coverage of the Braves is basically one major paper, a couple of small sports talk radio stations, some local TV, and that’s about it. The coverage in NY is 1000x that. There are professional bloggers following the Yankees. The coverage of the Braves, should this continue, will disappear once football practice starts in Athens and Flowery Branch. ESPN personally carries half of the Yankees games.
The expectations were pretty low for him. In fact, the main piece of the trade for Vazquez was Vizcaino, not Melky. He was brought in to be a 4th outfielder, not our savior. Even with him playing so poorly, the coverage of that has been pretty limited. He got hammered in NY when he played poorly. Everyone in NY knew who Melky Cabrera was, the only people in Atlanta who know him are Braves fans.
Fischerking04… I don’t know. I guess it depends on what kind of player he is and what kinds of pressure affect him. The one newspaper town that is Atlanta, filled with non-head hunting type columnists, dials down the pressure. And the player’s manager of all player’s manager certainly dials down the pressure. And the small, not so vocal crowds at the Ted dial down the pressure also. That said, you’re right about being very much relied upon on a team that’s not delivering – and continuing to be trotted out there when you’re really scuffling (although that could be said for much of the team). But isn’t that the pressure that all players (should) feel?
In other news – I’m really, really, really worried about JJ and what this means to the team’s fortunes (I know, but I couldn’t think of another word).
Good to see Medlen get more starts, b/c I think he’s the real deal as a starter, but having to replace JJ? Bad stuff.
Some guy on DOB’s blog last night, under the moniker In the Know, posted that JJ’s shoulder is injured and he’s going to miss the rest of the season. I realize this guy is more than likely NOT “in the know,” but – what if he is!?!?!?!? I got totally spooked by that post.
JJ missing this season doesn’t bug me too much. With Lowe and KK out there… what’s one more good starter? But my nightmare is that he could have already had whatever sugery could fix him for next April/May. And instead it’ll be next August before he returns. Hudson, Hanson, Jurrjens, Meds, Minor/Lowe looks so much better than Hudson, Hanson, Meds, Minor, Lowe.
(And no, I don’t think KK will begin 2011 as a starter. For whatever reason, he, like McLouth, gets less love from the organization somehow than the other flops.)
Didn’t JJ have shoulder issues before he came to Atlanta? He’s been great, but I think that was one of the negative knocks on him at the time of the Renteria trade. I hope he is alright. If he goes down for good this seasonand possibly next season could be over. Right now, with the upcoming schedule they’ve got, optimism is still hanging around for me. I think if he does return to form we could be a lot better as a result of his injury because it will force KK to the bullpen, but KK to the bullpen will hinge on Medlen having another good outing on the 18th and JJ coming back without any more issues. There would then need to be someone in management smart enough to say, “Hey our team is better with Medlen starting over KK.”
BUT, The shoulder thing freaked me out when it first happened, and that was a while ago. To me, that issue has never been resolved because he hasn’t really had back to back good outings since the shoulder thing due to the hamstring thing, which sounds just about as good as the shoulder thing right now. This JJ-thing is a mess. I’m with Bub. The absolute nightmare scenario would be him going on like the 30 or 60 day DL for the hammy, and then finding out the shoulder is hurt too once he’s back and can start, which would probably lead to surgery in August or September. surgery that late would probably mean missing significant time missed in 2011. This is a complete disaster scenario that a lot of Braves fans are now playing out in their heads because we all remember Mike Hampton. One thing leads to another thing and then the guy doesn’t play at all for a couple years. It seems to happen with pitchers a lot these days. Remember that Mike Hampton was a Cy Young-caliber pitcher before his limp down injury lane. Alright, enough thinking about that. Go Braves!
Holy Crap! Bobby must be standing on his head cause he totally flipped the lineup. I like it! Whose been crying for Prado to hit leadoff? Hmmmmmmmm? And Heyward finally at the top! Chip may be as old as Methuselah but teams aren’t going to walk Heyward to get to him. I don’t think.