Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Andruw Jones- on a 2 week skid, but still not too bad. He's hitting .257 (his career average is 259), he's got 7 home runs in 109 at bats. He was hitting over .300 the last day of May. That's more production than the Braves have gotten out of centerfield, and he's only played in 32 of the Rangers' 62 games.
Yo'han "don't call me Carlos" Santana is 4-2 in his last six starts even though he's given up 9 home runs, and opponents are hitting over .300 against him in that stretch. Jiar pitches his ass off every 5th night and has a 5-4 record to show for it.
Remember Mark DeRosa? Who, BTW still lives in Atlanta. He's hitting .279 with 12 HR for a terrible team in Cleveland. Since finally getting a chance to play everyday-ish in 2005 (more than 500 at bats a year- compared with 200 in Atl), DeRo is average about .290. He hit 21 HR last year and should shatter his career high this year. He's an awesome player and a good one to follow.
Albert Pujols has 22 home runs, and is slugging .689!!! I get sick of hearing about Pujols, but that's ridiculous.
There are 3 guys with 22 homeruns 62 games into a "post-steroid era" season. Those guys are on pace to hit 58 jacks. Seems a bit odd if 61 was untouchable prior to the steroid era. All 3 guys are in the National League (Adrian Gonzalez, Raul Ibanez, and Pujols). I thought the American League was where the hitters played?
Monday, June 15, 2009
It can't be. The economy may soon be claiming it's sweetest victim yet.
In other news:
Visited Gwinnett for a AAA game for the first time Friday night. It was a great game, with several homeruns and 5-4 Braves win! If you haven't been, go check it out. The smaller park (I think it seats about 7,500) provides an awesome atmosphere for a ballgame. Pretty affordable ($12 seats).
Luke Hochevar pitched an awesome game for Kansas City, and deserves mentioning. Friday night he threw a complete game on just 80 pitches!!! He allowed 1 run on 3 hits.
When we have to find a replacement for #6... I vote on taking a good look at Trey Hillman, manager for the Royals now. He's done a pretty decent job with the talentless Royals. He does a weekly interview on XM HomePlate's Baseball This Morning and is really an impressive guy.
Kudo's to #6 for benching Escobar yesterday after an abysmal 2 innings of defense.
Finally, if you have not seen The Hangover, which opened last weekend, don't bother. Unless you actually enjoy sitting in a crowded theater for 2 hours laughing so hard it makes your abs hurt. It's comparable to Superbad, but I think much funnier (and I thought Superbad was hilarious).
We salute you Mr. chewer of beverages; you aren't afraid to forego a hearty steak dinner for the chance to fill up on just 16oz of your favorite beverage. Nor do you bat an eye at that creamy ring of frothy goodness left on your lips from that last time you went down on that mug o' beer.
You don't simply play around with the occasional heavy glass at St. Patty's. No, you want it all and you want it now.
And because you aren't afraid to moisten your bowl of Cocoa Puffs with this Irish delicacy, we salute you: Real Men of Guinness.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
But his year, the Braves did not select a high school until the 298th pick (their 9th overall). This probably would not have been the case, if the Giants had not selected Zach Wheeler 6th, right before the Braves' first pick (7th) in the first round. Wheeler is a 6'3" RHP out of East Paulding High School (Dallas, GA).
Instead, the Braves selected Michael Minor, out of VANDY and team USA. Pretty good looking lefty, but what the hell do I know?
Check him out here: http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?topic_id=4961152&content_id=4737439
Monday, June 08, 2009
I won't waste time with the Hanson stuff, read it at Braves.com. I will say for the most part, he looked pretty good, but the long-ball got him when he got it up.
The big story, did you see Chipper's HRs? Both of them were on swings that should not have produced homeruns. The first was a fastball up an in. I wouldn't even call it a mistake pitch, it wasn't in his "wheelhouse" (to use a baseball term). If you watch the video, his arms are pulled in, not extended, as he tries to put the barrel on the ball. Somehow he muscled it out.
The second homerun, should have been a single to right-center. The pitch was low and away, again a pitcher's pitch, not hitter's. Over the last 15 years, we've seen Chipper one-hand that ball into right over and over and over again. This time, he took a similar swing, basically one-handed, with his front foot way up in the box, but he was a little early and the ball jumped off his bat and over the left-center wall.
I'm not trying to take anything away from Chipper, these weren't accidents. This was awesome hitting by one of the best hitters in the game, AT 36!!! I'd probably have a bit of a man-crush on him if it wasn't for the whole talking out of the side of his mouth thing.
Other news from the game. McClouth got his first RBI with a game-tying double. Escobar pushed him across for the winning run. And I just heard (from a friend in attendance) that Gonzo hit 100mph!!!
Friday, June 05, 2009
"I prefer to hit third," Jones said. "But [manager] Bobby [Cox] wants to do what's best for the club, and if he thinks Nate might get a couple of hits hitting in the third hole because I'm hitting behind him, then so be it."
Looks like McClouth will be hitting in the 3 hole at least for a while. And since he is the team's leading HR and RBI guy, why not?
My thought is Yunel who's hitting at the top of line-up has gotten more RISP chances than Chipper who's been hitting 3rd (in the same # of games). Also, you're moving your best hitter out of his most familiar spot.
I'm not sure how Yunel's #'s in the lead-off spot compare to when he's in the 2 hole, but I would have given some thought to this line-up:
Johnson (while he's still hot)
Only problem is that stacks 3 lefties in the middle (with the switch-hitting Chipper separating the lefty McClouth), but against RHPs, you've got 5 straight lefties! You could switch Johnson and Francouer to avoid 7th or 8th inning lefty reliever against your 4,5,6 guys.
I think I like him in the 2 hole, and decide between Escobar and Johnson for a lead-off man. The other can hit in the 6 or 7 hole. I sure do like having a Francouer, Prado or Kotchman in the 8 hole over Schafer. I think our lineup just got a LOT better!
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Yesterday the Braves released Tom Glavine. I was shocked, and I'm sure most of Atlanta was. But should we have been?
We all knew that there was going to be a log jam in the rotation; we all are dying to see Tommy Hanson pitch; and we all knew that Lowe, Vazquez, JJ, and Kawakami (perhaps only because he has a $23 pricetag) weren't going anywhere. Let's not forget that Tim Hudson should be back towards the last 1/3 of the season.
So it was Tommy versus Tommy fighting for one spot. One Tommy, who happens to be half the age of the other, has posted a 1.49 ERA in his 11 games at Triple A, with 90 strikeouts in 66 innings! Not to mention he's 6'6" and red headed! The other Tommy, has struggled to rehab, and though he went 6 scoreless at SINGLE A (Rome) in his last rehab start, Braves management has dismissed rumors that he got the gun as high as 86! We all know Glavine doesn't throw hard, but not getting it to 86 will get you rocked in the big leagues.
All indications were that Glavine was going to come to the bigs and get rocked. I hope I'm wrong, and he finds success (with anyone except the Mets) to finish his career. But before you get pissed at Braves management, remember that you're probably the same fan that is sick of seeing washed up players produce losses. Set you emotions aside and realize this move makes sense.
Like I said, I was shocked at first and thought management had botched it again. But look at it this way. The Braves gave Tommy $1 Million to rehab and try to make the club, with the promise of more $ if he was successful. Bottom line, Glavine couldn't make the club. I'm not sure that anyone can logically reach the conclusion that the Braves are better with Glavine.
I hate the result, but only because I hate to see Tommy go. Emotion aside, this is a good move.
Super excited about McClouth... more on that to come!
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
That they did. And I certainly wouldn't say they squandered opportunities in reaching that result.
But, yesterday afternoon a buddy called with tickets to the game. Of course, I couldn't go. I had the opportunity, and I missed one hell of a game thanks to some stupid banquet with a bunch of high school umpires that I barely know (albeit @ Texas Roadhouse).
I would have much rather seen Francouer snap out of 0 for 2 years slump in the clutch with a game tying blast in the bottom of the ninth, and Chipper follow it up with one of his patented punch-it-out-there singles to score Escobar (after a steal) in the 12th. PAUSE... I've got to say more about that:
Escobar stole a base in the bottom of the 12th to put himself in position to score the winning run! First off, the Braves don't steal as I've addressed before. More importantly, as I've also ranted, Escobar is a terrible base-runner! This is the type of action I want to see more of: stolen bases, sac bunts (Francouer got his first ever), moving the runner, and clutch singles.
So last night it wasn't the men in uniform squandering opportunities (for a change), it was me crammed in tiny booth with 3 other large men (surround by 100 others) choking on stale peanuts when I could have been watching an awesome game!
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
The Dawgs women's softball team posted a kick ass performance in the softball world series, forcing an if game against Washington before finally falling. Those girls were awesome to watch, and they can flat rake.
I spent the better part of last week riding motorcycles in the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. Aside from all the sherbert orange T-shirt, flags and hats, it was an awesome trip! It rained nearly every day at some point, but that didn't slow us down. What did slow us down was riding atop the Cherahola Skyway (over a mile above sea level) and literally driving into the clouds (see image above). But, Saturday's weather was amazing, so instead of heading home that morning, I rode until 6pm then packed up for the ride back. It really was a great trip!
Finally, Friday I learned that I passed the Georgia Bar Exam! I'm finally done.