Braves Baseball Blog

A Look at the Atlanta Braves, Both Past and Present

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April 30, 2008

Glavine’s Performance Not Enough

by @ 1:19 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

In six innings, the veteran Tom Glavine allowed two earned runs and six hits, but his solid performance once again was not enough.  When Blaine Boyer came into the game to relieve Glavine, Boyer gave up four runs in the Seventh to give the Nationals the edge and win in a 6-3 loss. Chipper Jones recorded his eighth homer of the year, hitting the shot in the Sixth off of the Nationals’ Tim Redding.  Glavine allowed back-to-back home runs in the Third, and Chipper’s homer helped keep the game within reach pulling the score even.  However, it was enough following the surge by the Nationals against Boyer.  Atlanta now drops to 12-14 and Glavine continues to look for his first win of the season.  The Braves will take on the Nationals again tonight, and will once again turn to their clutch rookie Jair Jurrjens to lead the way on the mound against Shawn Hill.  Also, in other Braves news right-hander Mike Hampton continues to be plagued by injury as he had to leave his Minor League rehab start in the fourth inning Wednesday due to his strained left pectoral muscle.

April 28, 2008

Mets Take Series

by @ 12:47 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

When the Braves turned to pitcher Tim Hudson on Saturday for consecutive wins against the Mets, they were disappointed when the veteran was only able to last three innings.  For the next game, the Braves looked to veteran John Smoltz to lead the way against the Mets, but were soon to be disappointed again as he only lasted four innings and the Braves lost 6-3.  In those four innings the veteran gave up four earned runs and seven hits. Following the game, Smoltz in a press conference stated he thought his injury could be more serious than originally anticipated.  It was the first time all season Smoltz did not dominate in his performance.  It was only five days ago that the veteran gained his 3,000th strikeout in his start against the Marlins in which he struck out ten and gave up one run lasting seven innings.  On the batting side of Braves play, the team had three earned runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings against the Mets’ starter Nelson Figueroa.  Once again though the bats fell short in the second loss to the Mets in this weekend’s series.  Matt Diaz did break reliever Billy Wagner’s hitless ten inning streak in the Ninth with a single.  Atlanta has today off before heading to Washington to face the Nationals.  The Braves are once again turning to a veteran with Tom Glavine scheduled to start.

April 26, 2008

Missing Jones, Hudson and Braves Fall Short of Mets

by @ 7:46 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

Mark Teixeira hit an RBI double in the first, but despire giving Atlanta an early lead, it would not be enough to help starter Tim Hudson lead the way against New York in the second game of the series.  In the Third, Hudson would give up four runs and leave the game early.  It was the second time in his past three starts that the veteran has left after only lasting three innings.  Hudson was not the only veteran Atlanta was forced to play without as Chipper Jones, whose .433 batting average is a Major League best, was pulled from the lineup following back spasms.  Jones was missed as he went 3 for 3 in his last showing against pitcher John Maine.  Maine only gave up two runs and three hits in five innings of work.  The effort by the Braves’ bullpen of holding the Mets scoreless went to waste in the 4-3 loss as the offense just was not able to come through with the bats.  Tomorrow the Braves will turn to veteran John Smoltz as he takes the mound against Nelson Figueroa in the last game of the series. 

Jurrjens Gets First Road Win on Mound

by @ 7:32 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

Jair Jurrjens was aided by Kelly Johnson’s bat at Shea Stadium as the pitcher got his first win on the road.  Johnson drove in four runs and two of those came off a home run following an RBI single by Mark Teixeira that gave the Braves an early lead they would not surrender. Atlanta won 6-3 over New York but Jurrjens kept things interesting.  In six innings, Jurrjens was solid in five, but in the other he gave up three runs and walked four batters in 24 pitches alongside non-verbally contesting the home plate umpire.  Upon a 3-2 pitch called a ball by the home plate umpire, Tim McClelland, Jurrjens threw his arms open toward the plate, which then led McClelland to begin walking towards the mound.  Manager Bobby Cox was not too thrilled about this move and met McClelland on the field, where Cox soon added another tally to his career record of ejections, 136.  However, instead of showing the inexperience of his youth, Jurrjens turned it around like a veteran after the disastrous Third, and retired all of the last ten batters he faced.  After a good showing from the rookie of the team, the Braves hope to continue their momentum with Tim Hudson on the mound against John Maine in the second game of the series.

April 25, 2008

Braves Spear Marlins 7-4

by @ 1:13 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

After losing to the Marlins 2-7, the Braves came back last night to win 7-4 and split the two-game series.  It was a special day for Chipper Jones, his 36th birthday.  He celebrated in style going deep for a solo home run in the 2nd and going three for three before being intentionally walked in the Seventh.  The Braves’ veteran third-baseman is having a great season so far batting .442. Catcher Brian McCann also had a little reason to celebrate, hitting his first Major League triple of his career in the Eighth, which led to another run when Jeff Francoeur picked up his third RBI of the day, hitting a sacrifice fly that drove in McCann. Pitcher Chuck James improved to 2-1 but allowed four earned runs, which were all driven in by Josh Willingham, and walked five in five innings.  James was optioned to Triple-A Richmond following the game.  Now the Braves are 11-11 (.500) going into the series this weekend against the New York Mets. Pitcher Jair Jurrjens (2-2) will get the start tonight against Mike Pelfrey (2-0) of the Mets.

April 24, 2008

Bennett and Braves Struggle in Second Straight Loss

by @ 6:58 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

In his first fourteen pitches thrown, Jeff Bennett gave up two home runs, but he finally found his rhythm and only allowed one more run in his six-inning outing.  If you combine Bennett’s performance with the offense going 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position, leaving 13 men on base, you get the Braves’ second-straight loss with a score of 7-2.  In the Second inning, Matt Diaz gave some hope to the dismal start when he hit a solo homer off the Marlins’ Andrew Miller.  Miller pitched five innings, giving up two runs, and earning his first win of the season.  The Braves had the hits, but were not able to capitalize.  Tonight, Atlanta looks to redeem themselves with Chuck James on the mound against Burke Badenhop.

April 23, 2008

Smoltz Gets 3,000th K, but Braves Drop Game to Nationals

by @ 1:43 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

Veteran pitcher John Smoltz became only the 16th pitcher in Major League history to strike out 3,000 batters, and as much as the Braves wanted to give him a win to go along with that feat, Atlanta lost 6-0 to the Nationals ending a five-game winning streak.  Smoltz went to 3-1, but in seven innings of play he struck out 10 allowing only one run.  It was a one-run game until the Ninth, when reliever Jorge Campillo’s throwing error allowed a five run charge by the Nationals. Jeff Francoeur singled once and reached base twice on walks, and Chipper Jones ended a thirteen game hitting streak as he went 0-4 last night.  Only four different Braves reached base and both Yunel Escobar and Matt Diaz each had two hits.  The Nationals John Lannan got the win with a turn-around outing compared to his last showing against the Braves.  Tonight Jeff Bennet gets the start against Andrew Miller and the Marlins at Turner Field. 

April 22, 2008

Hudson Leads the Way: Braves Top Nationals

by @ 1:04 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

In 6 and 2/3 innings, Tim Hudson allowed ten hits and two runs (one earned) with three strike outs on defense, while having an RBI sacrifice bunt and an RBI walk at the plate on offense. Hudson improved to 3-1 and Atlanta went to 10-9 for the season.  Every Braves starter had at least one hit for the day as Atlanta had thirteen hits overall matching the Nationals for the game.  In the First, Jeff Francoeur affirmed why he is a Gold Glove winner, throwing out Cristian Guzman at the plate to end the inning and record his first outfield assist of the season. Brian McCann got his fifth homer of the season, hitting a solo shot in the Second off of Matt Chico, who left the game after four innings pitched and six earned runs given up.  Chico fell to 0-4 for the season.  Tonight at Turner Field in the second game against the Nationals, John Smoltz (3-0) takes on John Lannan (0-2).  If Smoltz can strike out four batters, he will become just the 16th pitcher in Major League history to record 3,000 career strike outs. 

April 20, 2008

Braves Sweep Dodgers

by @ 5:48 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

The Braves wrapped up a three-game series today with a 6-1 win over the Dodgers.  After dropping two of three to the Marlins, the Braves began this series looking to gain momentum, and that they did.  With a 6-1 win Friday and a 4-1 win yesterday, the Braves finished out the series today with a win, and now will take on the Nationals for two games and the Marlins for two as well at Turner Field.  Jair Jurrjens continues to become an Atlanta favorite as the 22-year old rookie went seven innings giving up one hit before leaving with 3 hits surrendered and a record high eight strike outs.   As a former bat boy for the same team Andruw Jones once played for in Curacao, the rookie struck out the former Braves franchise player three times.  Kelly Johnson and Mark Teixeira both hit homers this afternoon and Atlanta finished the day with 14 hits.  Blaine Boyer came in after Jurrjens to pitch a scoreless Eighth inning while striking out one, and was followed by Will Ohman who also pitched a scoreless inning in the Ninth.  It was a good sign for the Braves that they could turn to a young gun like Jair Jurrjens to carry some weight and lead the team on the mound and not have to rely on the more proven veterans like John Smoltz or Tom Glavine.  Tomorrow night, Tim Hudson gets the start against the Nationals Matt Chico in Atlanta. 

April 15, 2008

Braves Drop Game and Lose Glavine in First Inning

by @ 1:17 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

With a chance to capture a third-straight win against the Nationals on Sunday afternoon, the Braves saw the game start slipping away in the first, when starter Tom Glavine left the game with a pulled hamstring after throwing only 16 pitches and exiting the game without obtaining an out for only the second time in his career. After three innings, the game was looking rather dismal for Atlanta, as they were down 5-0, but then they had a three-run sixth that was ignited by a two-run homer by Chipper Jones.  Closer Jon Rauch of the National came in to replace Chad Cordero who had come off the disabled list on the same day (shoulder tendinitis).  The chances of a hit from Brian McCann were slim for in the last eight at bats aginst Cordero, McCann has been retired every time.  With the bases loaded and two out in the 9th, McCann hit a long fly ball to right-center field that was caught with ease by Nationals right-fielder Austin Kearns.  Once again, McCann came up short against Cordero, but the out and save by Cordero ended a nine-game losing streak forthe Nationals.  The final score was 5-4 Nationals; the sixth one-run loss for the Braves this season.  With yesterday off, the Braves now travel to Florida to take on the Marlins for a three-game series with Jair Jurrjens taking the mound in the opener tonight. 

April 12, 2008

Braves Tops Nationals Back-to-Back

by @ 4:17 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

Last night, the Braves ended a 3-game losing streak as Tim Hudson led the team to a win on the mound with a little help from Yunel Escobar at the plate as he hit a solo home run in the 6th to give Hudson the edge in the pitching duel against Matt Chico.  Then in the 9th, Peter Moylan closed the game, solidifying the win for Hudson after he had pitched eight scoreless innings only allowing three hits.  The Braves then capitalized on the momentum from yesterday and soared to a 10-2 victory against the Nationals this afternoon. Jeff Francoeur drove in seven runs and had two home runs in this afternoon’s game that John Smoltz held the Nationals to one earned run and had five strike outs in six innings.  Smoltz moved within 14th of becoming the 16th Major League pitcher to reach the 3,000 strikeout mark.  The Braves will now take on the Nationals with Tom Glavine on the mound dueling Tim Redding for the win tomorrow at Nationals Park.

April 9, 2008

Fifth Straight One-Run Loss For Braves

by @ 12:43 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

Following the 2-1 loss to the Rockies on Monday night, the Braves fell to Colorado again yesterday 4-3. In his first career start at Coors Field, Jair Jurrjens allowed four earned runs and nine hits in seven innings and threw 60 of 97 pitches for strikes.  The game started off well for Atlanta as the first four of five batters reached base safely off of the Rockies’ starter Ubaldo Jimenez.  However, the team only succeeded in one run in the opportunity with an RBI single by Chipper Jones as Mark Teixeira hit a line drive to Jayson Nix that ended with a double play.  Yet, the Rockies would match this run with a run of their own in the First.  The Braves would get a break though in the 6th inning when Mark Kotsay hit a two-run home run, his first homer of the season.   Two RBI doubles in the 4th inning by Garrett Atkins and Brad Hawpe plus another double in the 5th would set up the RBI single by Matt Holliday to  of the Rockies helped boost them past the Braves for the second day in a row.   Tonight Atlanta looks to gain some momentum with a win against the Rockies as Chuck James takes the mound for the start.

April 8, 2008

Deja Vu for Glavine and Boyer

by @ 12:32 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

After a second solid performance by Tom Glavine last night, he was rewarded not with a win, but with a second no-decision. After pitching into the 7th inning and giving up only three hits and striking out three, Glavine would have a deja vu moment as Blaine Boyer for the second time and only a week later as he left a fastball over the plate just a little too much leaving Matt Holiday with a pitch he would make the most of, hitting a two-run homerun in the 8th inning.  Chipper Jones had helped Glavine pull ahead in his duel with Aaron Cook, when he hit an RBI double in the first inning.  The game was the shortest nine-inning game recorded in Coors Field history lasting only two hours and five minutes, primarily due to the quick retiring of batters by both Glavine and Cook.  The Braves dropped the first of four to the Rockies, and look to redeem themselves tonight with Jair Jurrjens getting the start and his first ever at Coors Field.

April 6, 2008

Mets Drop Two to Braves in First Series Matchup of Season

by @ 4:41 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

After a Friday night game postponed due to rain until a double-header  in a future series, the Braves came away from the weekend with wins in both Saturday night’s game and this afternoon’s game against the Mets.  On Saturday, the Braves won 11-5  as Tim Hudson got his first win of the season.  Both Chipper Jones and Jeff Francoeur had 3-hit days, but the big insurance hit came in the 7th when Kelly Johnson came off the bench to pinch hit and hit a 2-out grand slam.  It was Johnson’s second career grand slam.  After gaining momentum on Saturday, the Braves came into today’s game ready for action, and John Smoltz led the team to his first win this season against the Mets’ Johan Santana.  In five innings, Smoltz gave up 2 hits and 2 walks with 6 strike outs.  With one on and two out Mark Teixeira hit a 2-run homer in the 8th inning to give the Braves a 3-0 lead going into the 9th, where they gave up one run to the Mets.  The final score was 3-1, so with a second win in a two-game series against the Mets, the Braves now travel to Colorado to start a four-game series against the Rockies tomorrow night at Coors Field.

April 3, 2008

One Up, One Down

by @ 8:03 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

After trumping the Pirates on Wednesday night at Turner Field 10-2, the Braves fell to Pittsburg tonight 4-3.  Jair Jurrjens made his debut on the mound for Atlanta giving up two earned runs and 7 hits in 5 1/3 innings as well as receiving a standing ovation from the home crowd for a job well done on his first start since joining the Braves after being acquired from the Tigers.  Mark Teixeira hit his first home run of the season and Matt Diaz joined him with a homer of his own.  Then tonight the batting of the Braves just did not come through as the team had eleven hits but only three runs.  The Pirates scored one run in the 3rd, the 4th, 7th, and then won the game in extra innings in the 10th.  The Braves rally in the 6th to earn 3 runs just fell short in the end.  The Braves continue play tomorrow night against the New York Mets at Turner Field. 

April 1, 2008

12th Inning Rally Not Enough to Secure Home Opener Win

by @ 12:49 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

In the home season opener last night against the Pirates, the Braves lost in extra innings as the game ended in the 12th, 12-11.  The night held sentimental value for the Braves, as not only was it Tom Glavine’s returning start, but it also marked a celebration for Brayan Pena and Yunel Escobar, childhood friends, who were reunited after defecting from Cuba four years apart.  The game itself was full of up and down momentum that left Glavine with a no decision after giving up 2 runs in 7 hits after five innings of work. Catcher Brian McCann hit a homer in the fourth, but the hit that kept the Braves going was a high fly single in the 9th to tie the game. Then in the 12th, outfielder Jeff Francouer hit a two-out homer followed by an RBI single from Matt Diaz, but the Pirates Xavier Nady’s 3-run homer off of reliever Blaine Boyer allowed the Pirates to hang on for the win.  The Braves take on the Pirates again at Turner Field tomorrow night with Jair Jurrjens getting the start for Atlanta.

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