The 2011 Atlanta Braves have rolled thru the season and their record(84-64 as of September 12th) reflects it but their play has dropped off as of late. Losers of 4 straight and nine of 12 they lead the St. Louis Cardinals by 4.5 games in the wild-card race with 14 games left in the season. The club limped thru a 2-6 road trip and has had to revamp their starting rotation over the last 5-6 weeks with injuries to star RHSPs Tommy Hanson(DL-ed August 7th with a sore right shoulder, 11-7,3.60 ERA) and Jair Jurrjens(Bone bruise in right knee, has not pitched since August 30th,13-6,2.96). Veterans Tim Hudson and Derek Lowe remain but youngsters Mike Minor, Randall Delgado and Brandon Beachy have been thrust into vital roles. Meanwhile, the organization’s top pitching prospect Julio Teheran has made three starts. Hanson appears closer than Jurrjens, who had offseason surgery on the knee last October, after experiencing “normal” soreness after throwing a bullpen Monday September 13th. The team has him set to throw another bullpen session Wednesday. Jurrjens does not sound confident he will be back in 2011, “I’m trying to stay positive, but sometimes you have to check on reality,too,” he said. “Until somebody tells me no, we are hoping,” said Manager Fredi Gonzalez.
BRAVES NOTES: SS Alex Gonzalez was back in the starting lineup after missing three games with a stiff lower back. Bad injury timing for both Gonzo and the Braves, as he was hitting .323 in September…. 2 Braves led the team in the 5 major offensive categories. Rookie 1B Freddie Freeman tops the club in batting average(.295), OBP(.355) and hits(154). Meanwhile, resurgent 2B Dan Uggla leads in home runs(33) and RBI(73).
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