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A Look at the Atlanta Braves, Both Past and Present

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September 30, 2008

Braves Drop Final Series of 2008 Season

by @ 11:55 am. Filed under Uncategorized

The Braves lost the first game 5-4, won the second 11-5, and the lost the final game of the series and season 3-1.  Casey Kotchman hit a two-run single in the Fourth to cut the lead of the Astros to two with a score of 4-2.  The Braves tacked on a run in the Eighth and then tied the game in the top of the Ninth, but Atlanta’s bullpen could not take the game to extra innings as Julian Tavarez gave up a walk-off homer by Darin Erstad in the bottom of the Ninth as Houston clinched the win.  In the 11-5 victory,  former Astro Josh Anderson hit a solo homer in the First followed by a two-run homer in the Second as Atlanta would rally to score 9 runs in the first two innings.  Jeff Francoeur and Brandon Jones each had three RBIs on the day and Brent Lillibridge had two.  James Parr gave up five runs (4 earned) on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings while striking out none and walking one, and Vladamir Nunez of the bullpen receiving the win.  In the final game of the series and season, the Braves lost 3-1 with Mike Hampton going six innings giving up three runs on four hits while striking out five and walking none in Atlanta’s 90th loss of the season. It was Atlanta’s first 90-loss season since 1990.  Chipper Jones was the NL batting champ for the 2008 season with a .364 batting average as he fell just short of Mickey Mantle’s .365 record.  Jones had a walk in his only plate appearance and if he had hit a single he would have topped Mantle’s record.  The Braves finished the season 72-90 and 20 games behind the NL East champions, the Philadelphia Phillies.  After the season started with much anticipation, the Braves were plagued by injury and were unable to find the rhythm and health they needed to clinch a playoff birth. 

Phillies Lead Drops as Braves Take 2 of 3 in Series

by @ 11:34 am. Filed under Uncategorized

In the Braves second to last series of the season against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Atlanta Braves won 2 of 3 games.  After losing 6-2 in the first game, the Braves came back to take the next two 3-2 and 10-4.  Kelly Johnson extended his hitting streak to 20 games with a two-run homer as he tried to help Jair Jurrjens pull of the win in what started as a close game.  The game was tied at two going into the Eighth inning but then the Phillies scored four runs to win the game.  Jurrjens gave up two runs on five hits in seven innings while striking out one and walking one, and was not given the loss as Jeff Bennett gave up three runs and recorded the loss.  In the second loss, Kelly Johnson extended his hitting streak to 21 games as he went 2 for 4 with an RBI single helping Mike Hampton to secure the win.  Hampton pitched six solid innings giving up two runs on six hits while striking out four recording his third win.  Casey Kotchman hit a solo homer in the Sixth to help booster the Braves to the win.  Phillies starter Cole Hamels suffered his first lost to the Braves in two years.  In his previous eight starts, Hamels had gone 6-0 with a 2.96 ERA.  In the final game of the series, the Braves won 10-4 as Chipper Jones hit a three-run pinch-hit homer in the six-run Fifth inning.  Jo-Jo Reyes three runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings as he was unable to give Atlanta a solid start, but the offense came together to pull off the win.  The Braves last series of the 2008 season was against the Houston Astros.

September 22, 2008

2 of 3 Go to Braves in Series Against Mets

by @ 5:37 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

The Braves lost 9-5 on Friday against the Mets but were able to come back Saturday and Sunday to win 4-2 and 7-6 to take the series.  The game was tied going into the Eighth on Friday but the Braves slipped with an error by Kelly Johnson and a rundown play gone wrong to allow four runs to the Mets and the game.  Jo-Jo Reyes gave up the five runs to the Mets in 3 1/3 innings of work on the mound.  Reyes struck out 2, walked 2 and gave up 7 hits.  Manager Bobby Cox blamed Reyes for the lost that gave the Mets the lead in the standings.  Reyes has gone 0-7 in his last 12 appearances with a 7.79 ERA. At the end of the day, the team just didn’t get the job done.  In the 4-2 win on Saturday, the Braves had a three-run First inning led by a double from Kelly Johnson followed with a groundout from Brian McCann and a single from Casey Kotchman.  The 3-0 lead was topped off with an RBI single in the Sixth from rookie Josh Anderson.  Starter Jorge Campillo allowed two runs on five hits in six innings in his eighth win of the season.  Rookie starter James Parr allowed four runs on four hits and four walks while only striking out two in Atlanta’s 7-6 win yesterday that put the Braves in a hole they would rally out of in the Eighth scoring four runs.  Jeff Francoeur hit a one-out triple in the rally in the Eighth and went 3 for 4 on the day.  The Braves’ bullpen held the Mets to just a two-run homer by Carlos Delgado in the Ninth.  The home finale went out with a bang as the Braves pulled off the win.  The Mets are now 1.5 games behind the Phillies who the Braves will now travel to face off against in a three-game series.  It is the second to last series the Braves will have this season as they finish this disappointing season this weekend starting Friday with a three-game series against Houston.

September 19, 2008

Phillies Sweep Braves

by @ 2:14 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

The Braves were swept this week at Turner Field by the Phillies in a three-game series.  On Tuesday, the Phillies won 8-7 in a tough loss for the Braves. The Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard hit a game-winning two-run homer in the Eighth inning off Mike Gonzalez who suffered his second blown save in 43 opportunities.  Jame Parr who had six shutout innings on the mound left in the Fifth after surrendering four runs on ten hits and striking out four.  The win put the Phillies as the sole holders of first place in the National League East standings.  On Wednesday, the Phillies won 6-1 as the Braves were held scoreless until Greg Norton hit a pinch-hit RBI single in the Ninth.  Jair Jurrjens fail to 13-10 as allowed four runs in the First inning and five hits over five innings total work.  Chipper Jones went 1 for 3 and is now batting .365 on the season.  Last night, the Phillies clinched the series with a 4-3 win as the Braves went 0 for 9 at Turner Field this season against the Phillies.  Mike Hampton allowed four runs on six hits in his seven inning outing but the Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels held on to win the duel.  Hamels gave up two runs on six hits in six innings. Casey Kotchman hit his first homer as  a Brave, a solo shot in the Second. Kotchman had been acquired in the July trade with the Angels for Mark Teixeira.  Pat Burrell had a Sixth inning two-run homer to help the Phillies clinch the win and series.  The Phillies 9-0 performance at Turner Field was the first time in Braves franchise history since 1909 that a team was swept during a home season series of more than games (Elias Sports Bureau).  The Braves will now take on the Mets at Turner Field for a three-game series before travelling to Philadelphia to take on the Phillies followed by their final season series at Houston against the Astros. Atlanta has fallen to 19 games behind the leading Phillies in the NL East standings. 

September 14, 2008

Braves Win 2 of 3 Against Mets

by @ 4:49 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

The game Friday was postponed due to weather until Saturday for a doubleheader but the Braves won the first game of the three-game series 3-2 as Mike Hampton came out on top in the duel against Johan Santana.  Hampton went six innings giving up two runs on six hits and striking out four while walking five.  In the Eighth inning Jeff Francoeur hit a bases-loaded single to tie the game and then Omar Infante hit a sacrific fly to give the Braves the lead. In the second game of the doubleheader, Jo-Jo Reyes had a tough outing giving up four runs on five hits including two homers in two innings in the 5-0 loss. The bullpen held the Mets scoreless as did rookie Jonathan Niese did to the Braves.  It was Reyes’ 11th loss of the season.  The Braves redeemed themselves on Sunday to get the win and take the series as the Braves won 7-4.  Going into the Ninth inning the Braves were down 4-2 but they rallied in the Ninth as Greg Norton hit a pinch-hit three-run home run in a five-run rally by the Braves to win the game in the Ninth in their final game at Shea Stadium for the season.  Jorge Campillo had given up four runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings in his start. The Braves will now have a six-game stand at home taking on the Phillies for a three-game series and then the Mets for a three-game series. 

Braves Sweep Rockies

by @ 4:34 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

In a three-game series against Colorado, the Braves took all three games to win the series.  In the first win on Tuesday, the Braves won 5-4 as a balk in the Tenth inning from Rockies reliever Taylor Buchholz allowed Kelly Johnson to scored from third and give the Braves the win following the first blown save from Mike Gonzalez in forty opportunities.  Jorge Campillow allowed three runs on five hits over 6 1/3 innings while striking out three and walking three.  In the second win, the Braves won 9-5, as Chipper Jones had three hits and Kelly Johnson knocked two homers. James Parr pitched another shutout in his second Major League game as he went six innings giving up five hits while walking none and striking out five on the day.  Parr also recorded his first Major League hit as he knocked a double in the Third. To clinch the series, the Braves won 8-4 as Jair Jurrjens struck out ten in six innings to lead the Braves to the victory.  He allowed four runs on eight hits in his 13th win of the season.  Yunel Escobar hit a three-run homer in a five-run Sixth and Gregor Blanco went two for four with two RBIs while Chipper Jones went 1 for 4 and scored two runs. After winning their first three-game series since May the Braves are now set to take on the New York Mets in a three-game series this weekend away.

Braves Split Four-Game Series with Nationals

by @ 4:17 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

The Braves won the first two games 2-0 and 10-5 before dropping the second two games 8-5 and 7-4.  James Parr had his Major League debut on the mound in the 2-0 win going six innings giving up two hits while striking out three and walking three. The bullpen closed the game and allowed Parr to keep his shutout and record his first win.  Brian McCann and Gregor Blanco each drove in a run.  In the second win, Jair Jurrjens recorded his 12th win of the season as the Braves rallied for seven runs in the third inning to take the lead in a tied game.  In the 8-5 loss, Mike Hampton gave up five runs on eight hits in seven innings to put the Braves in position to win.  The Braves came back in the Ninth with a ground-rule double by Kelly Johnson with the bases loaded to tie the game but the Nationals would reclaim it in the Tenth while the Braves would be unable to comeback again in the 8-5 loss. In the 7-4 loss, Jo-Jo Reyes gave up one run in six innings while the offense was led by Chipper Jones who drove in two runs and Martin Prado had an RBI single in the Sixth. The Nationals tied it at 4 in the Eighth off Blain Boyer and the game stayed tied until the 14th inning when the Nationals rallied for three runs to win the game as the Braves were held scoreless for the last eight innings.

September 5, 2008

Braves Drop 2 of 3 to Marlins on Road

by @ 4:38 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

On Monday, the Braves lost the first of a three-game series on the road to the Florida Marlins 4-3.  The game was tied going into the bottom of the Ninth but the Braves were unable to hold out as they called upon Mike Gonzalez of the bullpen who walked the bases-loaded before giving up an RBI-sacrific fly that gave the Marlins the game.  The Braves have now dropped 29-straight one-run road games.  Mike Hampton gave a solid outing giving up three runs on six hits in six innings while striking out two and walking three.  Two of the runs came off a two-run shot by Jorge Cantu in the First.  On Tuesday, the Braves won 16-14 in a start by Charlie Morton that put the Braves off to a rocky start.  Morton gave up four runs in just 3 1/3 innings.  Josh Anderson hit it a solo shot in the First and Jeff Francoeur hit a three-run homer in the Third to help give Atlanta the needed runs to earn the victory.  Kelly Johnson had four RBIs on the day going 4 for 5 with a walk to help the cause as well.  On Thursday, the Braves had a chance to win the series but lost the game 5-3.  Kelly Johnson after going 4 for 5 the day before hit a two-run triple and Jeff Francoeur had an RBI as well to account for Atlanta’s 3 runs in the 5-3 loss.  Jorge Campillo went five innings giving up three runs on four hits as he struck out seven and walked three.  The Braves are now taking on the Washington Nationals in a four-game series that started yesterday and ends on Sunday. 

September 2, 2008

Nationals Sweep Braves

by @ 3:24 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

After taking on the Marlins at Turner Field last week the Braves then traveled to Washington to take on the Nationals.  The Braves were swept all three games losing 7-3, 9-8, and 8-4 as they wrapped up the series on Sunday.  In the 7-3 loss, Jorge Campillo got the Braves off to a rocky start they would never climb over as he gave up five runs on eight hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings.  Campillo is now 7-7 for the season.  Greg Norton gave the Braves two runs on his pinch-hit homer in the Fifth while the last run came from an RBI double off the bat of Martin Prado.  In the 9-8 loss, Atlanta took the lead in the Third 4-0, but the Nationals rallied back in the Fifth to take the lead 6-4.  Atlanta’s bats were going as Brian McCann, Chipper Jones, and Martin Prado all homered.  The Braves stayed alive though until the Ninth and with the game tied Vladamir Nunez walked home a run with the bases-loaded to give the Braves yet another one-run road loss this season extending the streak to 28.  Jo-Jo Reyes gave up four runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out two in his four-inning start.  In the last game of the series, the Nationals clinched the sweep with an 8-4 win.  Jair Jurrjens allowed three runs in six innings as he struck out seven and walked three, but Elmer Dessens who was recently acquired from the Mexico City Red Devils gave up five runs and only recorded one out in his outing for the bullpen in the Eighth. Yunel Escobar helped Jurrjen’s effort with a three-run homer in the Fourth, but Atlanta would only tack on one more run as the Nationals took the series.  The Braves must now travel to Florida to take on the Marlins who took only one game in the three-game series last week at Turner Field.

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