The Atlanta Braves continue(66-49 as of August 8th) to play well but their problem is they play in the same division as the Philadelphia Phillies! (74-40, lead the Braves by 8.5) The Phils incredible depth in both the rotation and bullpen(they are on closer #4) make it almost impossible for the team to sustain any extended losing streak, so I do not think winning the NL East is a realistic goal. Atlanta does hold the lead in the NL Wild Card standings by 3.5 games over the Arizona Diamondbacks and the St. Louis Cardinals by 4. Anything can happen over a 7 game series and this Braves team with solid rotation plus deep and talented relief corps is built for post season success. A key is getting the team full healthy as we approach September. This team needs Chipper Jones’ bat in the lineup every day and he makes a huge difference.(ask any New York Mets fan!) The next 6-7 weeks should be very interesting.
STREAKING BRAVES: Red hot 2B Dan Uggla extended his hitting streak to 29 games August 29th. The previous day, Braves rookie 1B Freddie Freeman saw a 20 game streak ended.
JAIR DL-ED: Atlanta RHSP Jair Jurrjens was placed on the 15 day disabled list with a right knee strain on August 6th. He entered the all star break with a National League best 1.81 ERA but has been hit hard post break with players hitting .281 and posting a 6.26 ERA in 4 starts. Jurrjens missed the final two weeks of the 2010 season after he tore a meniscus in the same knee. He then underwent arthroscopic surgery in October and has not reported any issues previously in 2011.
MCLOUTH MENDING: LF Nate McLouth underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia in Philadelphia August 4th. That type of procedure usually carries a 6 week rehabilitation period, which would put a return around September 28th. The Braves luckily have an abundance of outfielders with the recent acquisition of CF Michael Bourn and return of LF Martin Prado to health.
BRAVES NOTES: OF Jose Constanza was recalled from the minors July 29th and has blended right in with the team. He hit safely in 8 of his first 9 games thru August 7th(13 for 26, .500 average) and collected his first career home run and stolen base in a win at the Mets Sunday…. Braves recalled LHSP Mike Minor to fill Jurrjens spot in the rotation. In his first start since June 21st, he allowed 4 earned runs and 7 hits over 5 and 2 third innings, K-ing 5 and walking 2 August 7th
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