April 30, 1957 at the Polo Grounds
Giants 4, Braves 0 (9-2)
The Braves went out on a losing note to end the month of April but it was still a very impressive start for the team. They stood at 9-2 and they were a game ahead of the National League champs, the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The Braves managed only seven hits the entire game and only Bobby Thomson had a two hit game. Bob Buhl picked up the loss despite having a solid start. He gave up two runs on seven hits and a walk with one strikeout in six innings of work.
April 29, 1957 at Crosley Field
Braves 3, Reds 2 (9-1)
The Braves won for the ninth time in their first ten games despite a rough start by Taylor Phillips. He walked six and gave up three hits in 3 2/3 innings but he only gave up a single run. Red Murff then picked him and gave up only one run the rest of the way to pick up his first win of the season. Despite the two pitchers walking ten guys between them, the Braves benefitted from four double plays turned by the infield.
Hank Aaron had a big game. He had three hits and he drove in a run.
April 27, 1957 at Crosley Field
Braves 5, Reds 4 (8-1)
The Braves continued their great start with a solid mix of hitting and pitching. Lew Burdette benefitted from five runs and he picked up his second win of the season. He went the distance and gave up four runs on ten hits and four walks with four strikeouts.
April 26, 1957 at Crosley Field
Braves 9, Reds 2 (7-1)
Joe Adcock was a man on a mission today as the Braves won yet another game in their fantastic start. He homered twice and drove in five runs to lead the team at the plate. Del Crandall also had a nice game and he had two hits including a homerun with two runs and an RBI. Shortstop Johnny Logan also went yard and he drove in two runs.
Warren Spahn went the distance and he improved to a still perfect 3-0. He gave up two runs on nine hits and four walks with three strikeouts.
The Braves rolled into Miami hoping for an easy time against the Marlins and they ended up losing two of three games there. The win was fun but the two losses were tight games that easily could have been picked up.
On Monday, the Braves fell just short of coming back from an 8-2 deficit and lost it 8-7. Kyle Davies was shelled for five runs in four innings and Oscar Villarreal gave up three in just two frames as both got hit hard. Chipper Jones continued to hit the ball well and he hit homerun number six while Jeff Francoeur also went yard. Francoeur finished the game with four hits and four RBIs in a big game, it’s just unfortunate that it was in a loss.
The Braves picked up their win yesterday. Francoeur had another big game with three hits and two RBIs while Kelly Johnson scored three runs. Mark Redman was hit hard and he was gone after three innings and it was Peter Moylan who picked up the win. He had a nice relief appearance with three shutout frames.
Today’s loss was the biggest disappointment. The Braves took a 3-0 lead and took it into the ninth when Tim Hudson and then Bob Wickman fell apart. Hudson ended up with twelve strikeouts in eight innings but it was those three runs in the ninth that he gave up with nobody out that cost them. All three Braves runs came on solo homeruns. Kelly Johnson, Chipper Jones and Matt Diaz all went yard in the 4-3 loss.
So the Mets drop to a half game behind the Mets because they won this afternoon. Next up is three in Colorado against the Rockies. Anything can happen in Coors Field so this is a crapshoot even with the Rockies being mediocre. It’ll be Chuck James throwing against Jeff Francis in the opener on Friday.
April 24, 1957 at County Stadium
Braves 8, Cardinals 7 (6-1)
The Braves scored eight runs today and they needed every one of them in their 8-7 win over the Cardinals. Eddie Mathews and Hank Aaron both hit three run shots and the other runs were on solo shots by Joe Adcock and Del Crandall.
Ray Crone was roughed up in his start. He gave up four runs on five hits and two walks in only three innings of work. Taylor Phillips picked him up though with six innings of solid relief. He gave up three runs on five hits and a walk with three strikeouts to pick up the win.
April 23, 1957 at County Stadium
Cubs 3, Braves 2 (5-1)
Lew Burdette was on the short of a great start as the Braves lost their first game of the season. He pitched all ten innings and he gave up three runs (two earned) on eight hits and three walks with four strikouts. Unfortunately he dropped to 1-1 on the season. In his win, he needed to pitch a shutout to walk away with a 1-0 win the week before so Burdette has really had to work.
Bill Bruton had three hits and an RBI while Hank Aaron had two hits and a run. The Braves stranded 12 runners so they had plenty of chances, they just couldn’t capitalize.
These series are always fun and even though it’s early, being in first place is better then the alternative. The Braves entered this series with the Mets down by half a game and with two wins, they’ll start the new week up by half a game.
Tim Hudson got it done for the Braves on Friday. He threw eight shutout innings and he gave up just five hits and two walks with three strikeouts and he’s now an impressive 3-0 with a 0.62 ERA. Chipper Jones hit a two run homer and he scored three runs in the 7-3 win. Andruw Jones doubled, drew a walk and scored twice.
The second game was the downer and Chuch James was hit hard. He gave up six runs on ten hits and two walks with three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. Andruw Jones went two for four with an RBI while Edgar Renteria went two for five with a run in the 7-2 loss.
The Braves won the rubber game in a big way in a 9-6 win. Kelly Johnson had a career day and he went three for four with two homeruns, four RBIs and three runs. Edgard Renteria went yard and he drove in three runs and Jeff Francoeur drove in two runs. John Smoltz was touched up for six runs but Tyler Yates picked up the win with a shutout inning and Bob Wickman did his job in the ninth and picked up his sixth save of the season.
The Braves head to Miami next to take on the Marlins. Kyle Davies gets the start in the opener tomorrow and the Braves will have to face an always dangerous Dontrelle Willis.
April 22, 1957 at County Stadium
Braves 9, Cubs 4 (5-0)
The Braves turned on the offense in their fifth straight win to open up the season. Hank Aaron led the way for the Braves with his second homerun of the season. He finished with two hits, two RBIs and three runs. Bill Bruton was a perfect three for three with two RBIs and a run.
Bob Buhl coasted to his first win of the season and he improved to 1-0. He gave up three runs on five hits and four walks with five strikeouts in seven innings of work. Gene Conley gave up a run in two innings of work and he picked up his first save of the season.
April 21, 1957 at County Stadium
Braves 3, Reds 1 (4-0)
Warren Spahn won his second straight to open up the season in a complete game. He gave up his share of hits with nine and he walked two but only one run crossed the plate in the low scoring contest.
April 20, 1957 at County Stadium
Braves 5, Reds 4 (3-0)
The Braves held off a late inning surge by the Reds and squeaked out their third straight win of the season. Ray Crone picked up the win but he got into trouble in the eighth inning when he gave up two runs. Red Murff slammed the door shut though and he threw 1 1/3 innings of shutout relief. Crone gave up four runs on ten hits and two walks with two strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings of work.
Bobby Thomson tripled home two runs and catcher Del Crandall had three hits, an RBI and two runs to lead the way for the Braves at the plate. Danny O’Connell also had three hits in the game and he drove in one.
The Braves won the first game in their series against the Cubs but they couldn’t figure out Rich Hill in the second so the end result is a split. Unfortunately, the Mets have kept winning and they now hold a half game lead over the Braves in NL East. I didn’t think it’d be easy but I think the Mets pitching is bound to get bumped up later in the year so keeping pace like the Braves are doing is pretty huge.
Jeff Francoeur had a big three run homerun in Wednesday’s 8-6 win. Scott Thorman also went yard and he went two for three with two runs. Kyle Davies was hit hard but the bats picked up him up. And Bob Wickman continues to shut down the opposition and he pitched a perfect ninth to pick up his fifth save of the season.
Last night’s game was a complete shut down at the hand of Rich Hill. In all, the Braves managed just four hits with Kelly Johnson picking up two of them. You have to give some credit to Mark Redman because he threw a solid game. He gave up three runs on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. While it kept the Braves in the game, it wasn’t nearly enough and he would have had to be perfect to pick up the win that night.
Next up is a big series against the Mets in New York. Who ever wins the series will walk away with the lead in the NL East so there’s a lot at stake even with it being so early. Tim Hudson gets the start tonight and he’ll take on Mike Pelfrey.
April 18, 1957 at County Stadium
Braves 1, Reds 0 (2-0)
The Braves won their home opener and it was their second straight win to open up the season. Lew Burdette held the Reds scoreless and he gave up six hits and a walk with two strikeouts in the complete game shutout.
The Braves and Nationals split their two game series this week. In Monday’s game, the Braves ran into Matt Chico, who after some tough starts seemed to finally find his groove. In all, the Braves were held to just a single run on five hits and the lone run came in the sixth when Jeff Francoeur scored on Scott Thorman’s ground out. Chuck James lost his first game of the season. He gave up three runs on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts in five innings of work.
Yesterday, things went a bit better and John Smoltz picked up win number two. Kelly Johnson went four for five with two runs while Chipper Jones hit homerun number four in the 6-4 win. Smoltz gave up four runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk with two strikeouts in two innings of work.
The lead over the Mets is a razor thin half game but the Braves head home to play two against the struggling Cubs. Kyles Davies will have his hands full as he has to match Carlos Zambrano to pick up the win. I like our chances though with Alfonso Soriano on the shelf.
It looks like another bout of nasty weather came through this weekend and even Atlanta wasn’t immune as Satursdays game was postponed. It might have been just as well because after Friday’s blowout loss, the Braves needed something to get on track. I mean it was their first back to back losses of the season and all.
It was Mark Redman who took the brunt of the Marlins eleven run attack. He gave up seven runs on six hits and two walks with two strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings and he dropped to 0-2 on the season. Brayan Pena and Chipper Jones both homered in the loss 11-6 loss.
The Braves got back on track yesterday by doubling up the Marlins. Despite getting out hit 12-9, the Braves scored eight times with the Joneses leading the way. Chipper and Andruw both went yard and they drove in five of the Braves eight runs in the 8-4 win. Tim Hudson improved to 2-0 with a nice start. He gave up just one run on six hits and four walks with four strikeouts in seven innings of work.
So the Braves sit at 8-3 and they’re a game ahead of the Mets. Next up is a two game series against the Nationals with Chuck James trying to improve to 3-0 with a start in the series opener.
April 14, 1957 at Wrigley Field
Braves 4, Cubs 1 (1-0)
Warren Spahn was virtually unhittable as he held the Cubs to a single run on four hits. He gave up only one walk and he struck out five.
Johnny Logan had the big hit for the Braves. He hit a two run homerun in the sixth inning. Hank Aaron had two hits and a run while Eddie Mathews tripled, scored and drove in a run. All four Braves’ runs were scored in the sixth inning.
You have to like this start. While the Braves did lose the series finale, they’re sitting atop the NL East with a rock solid 7-2 record. If asked as the beginning whether that would have been acceptable, I would have been all for it.
On Tuesday, the team did it all. Tim Hudson threw seven shutout innings and gave up three hits Jeff Francoeur went two for five with a homerun and five RBIs. Andruw Jones also went yard for his first of the season in the 8-0 blowout win.
Wednesday was almost as good as the offense put up eight runs and Chuck James had a nice start. He improved to 2-0 on the season with six shutout innings. The pen gave up a few runs but by then, the game was pretty much in hand. Chipper Jones hit his first homerun of the season and Andruw Jones hit his second of the series and he drove in three runs in the 8-3 win.
Then yesterday, the bats went silent. Held to just two hits, the Braves didn’t score a run. Even worse, a very nice start by John Smoltz went to waste. He gave up just two runs on four hits and four walks with six strikeouts in eight innings of work in the 2-0 loss.
The 5-4 Marlins come to town next so the Braves can’t let up with all of this competition inside the division. Mark Redman will take on Dontrelle Willis in the series opener.
After the series opener, I wasn’t feeling too good about this series. That game ended in an 11-1 beatdown that saw Mike Redman fall apart in the late innings to take the loss. Just as bad, the pen was tagged hard and the Braves scored just a single run on Jeff Francoeur’s solo homerun.
Then the Braves got it going on Saturday and John Smoltz outdueled former teammate Tom Glavine in a 5-3 win. Smotlz gave up two runs on seven hits and four walks with four strikeouts in six innings of work. Mike Gonzalez was touched up for a run but Rafael Soriano and Bob Wickman closed it out and the Braves walked away with the win. I like that relief triumvirate and it’ll do us well this year. At the plate, Mike Diaz homered and drove in two runs.
In the rubber game, the Braves couldn’t figure out Orlando Hernandez. It wasn’t until Aaron Heilman came in that the Braves scored two runs to win it. Brian McCann doubled home a run in the bottom of the ninth to tie it and then Jeff Francoeur doubled home McCann for the winning run. Kyle Davies almost had a solid start go to waste but it once again, the Gonzalez/Soriano/Wickman trio did the job out of the pen.
So the Braves rule the east, at least for now. They get tomorrow off before the Nationals roll into town for a three game series. I like our chances of staying on top and anything less then two of three would be disappointing.
I have to be honest, this three game sweep was a pleasant surprise. A lot of people had the Phillies winning the NL East and to put up three straight wins against them is definitely a positive. This time it was pretty much a blow out. Kelly Johnson hit a two run homerun while Edgar Renteria had three hits and a run. Brian McCann and Scott Thorman each drove in two runs in the 8-4 win.
Chuck James had an easy time in his five innings of work. He gave up just one run on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
It doesn’t get any easier because the Braves travel home to take on the Mets for three games. Mark Redman makes his Braves debut and he’ll face the erratic Oliver Perez.
Heading into the ninth, the Braves had been shutout and Cole Hamels made the lineup look just silly. Tom Gordon came in to close things out but Brian McCann has something else to say. His two run homer, his second homerun in as many games, pushed the game into extra frames. Then in the eleventh, Scott Thorman hit a solo homerun to push the Braves out in front for the 3-2 win.
A great start by Tim Hudson almost went to waste. He gave up a single run on only two hits and four walks with five strikeouts in seven innings of work. Mike Gonzalez gave up a run in the eighth but then four relievers combined for three shutout innings to close out the game.
The Braves can finish up a sweep with a win tomorrow afternoon. Chuck James gets the start and it’d be nice to just get the win without all of the drama.
Edgar Renteria hit a solo homerun in the eighth inning to tie the game at 3-3 and then he hit a two run shot in the top of the tenth to push the Braves ahead in their first win of the season. Also give some props to Brian McCann because his homerun fourth accounted for the other two Braves runs.
John Smoltz was good but not great but he kept the Braves in it. He gave up three runs on eight hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in six innings of work. Bob Wickman picked up the win with a shutout ninth and Chad Paronto picked up a save with a scoreless tenth inning.
The Braves have the day off tomorrow and then they Tim Hudson takes the mound. The Braves will be facing a tough Phillie starter in Cole Hamels. If we can win that one, I like our chances on Thursday for a sweep.
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