2011 Atlanta Braves continue to play solid ball heading into the final month of September with 82-57 mark heading into action August 5th. As it has all season, the pitching leads the way and the stats do not lie. The team ranks among 30 major league teams: ERA(3rd), Quality starts(7th), WHIP(4th) and Batting average against(3rd). When you consider the health issues starters like RHs Tommy Hanson(Shoulder) and Jair Jurrjens(Knee) have belted in the 2nd half, those numbers become more impressive. Offensively, the team is middle of the road but the amazing 2nd half numbers put up by 2B Dan Uggla(.337, 17 homers, 36 rbi after .185,15,34 in the 1st half) has really made a noticeable difference. Adding CF Michael Bourn gives them a speed option atop the order and INF-OF Martin Prado’s(staph infection) return also stabilizes the lineup.
RECORD SETTING ROOKIE,DAY: Braves rookie closer Craig Kimbrel set the ML saves record for first year players with #41 August 31st. In the same game, future hall of fame INF Chipper Jones hit his 450th homer while 14 year major leaguer RHSP Derek Lowe hit his 1st.
CALL UPS: The team recently called up Double A OF Antoan Richardson and highly regarded prospects RHSPs Randall Delgado(0-1,3.60 in two starts) and Julio Teheran for the final month. Delgado started September 4th vs the Los Angeles Dodgers,allowing 4 hits and 3 runs in 45 innings while walking 3 and K-ing 4. He gave up a homer to Dodgers superstar CF Matt Kemp as well. Richardson is more of pinch runner, bench type player who will receive sporadic playing time. Teheran will take the mound September 8th in one of the games of a double header vs the Mets at Citi Field.
BRAVES NOTES: Jurrjens(Right knee) visited knee specialist Dr. Richard Steadman in Colorado this weekend and was replaced in the rotation by Delgado. The team is hoping skipping the start will help. Jurrjens was 12-3 with a 1.87 ERA in 16 pre all star break starts while post injury and all star break he is 1-3 with a 5.88 in 7 starts…. The Braves strong pen received reinforcements when RHRP Pete Moylan(May back surgery) was activated September 4th. He joins the devastating trio of LHs Jonny Venters, Eric O’Flaherty and Kimbrel to form a group built to succeed in the postseason.
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