Top of the morning…Game’s On!!

   OK, first thing’s first. Turn On Your TV! Your radio! Your webcast! The game is on!!! It’s a 12:10 p.m. start today – the one and only of the year at Turner Field, and no I’m not sure why, but I think it’s something they’re just experimenting with.

 

   Actually, given the chill in the air the last two nights, an early start today is probably a good thing. The sun is shining. Looks to be a lovely day.

   And speaking of the sun – hey, nice segue – apparently Derek Lowe had a bit of an issue with the setting sun shining in through the gap in the third base concourse last night. I hear Bobby Cox mentioned something in the post-game about it last night.

   If you’ve ever sat along the right field line, you know about this. For the first few innings of the game it’s tough to see. You better have not only sunglasses, but a visor and maybe a newspaper to hold up over your eyes (hey, there are still uses for the printed word!)

   Here’s what Bobby had to say about it this morning: “It’s always been a problem. Smoltz used to say he would pay for an awning of some kind. It causes problems from 7 o’clock to 7:45. I will talk to (head groundskeeper) Ed (Mangan) and see what he can do. It does it to right-handers. If you’re left-handed, you’re fine.”

   Cox said it’s only an issue pitching from the stretch, when right-handers are staring into the sun. With a runner at second, it can be difficult, checking the runner and then going into your motion.

   Eddie Perez pointed out the guy it might be hardest on is the first baseman, who has a tough time seeing on throws over from the mound.

 

   ROSS ACTIVATED: And onto the business at hand, catcher David Ross was activated for today’s game and Clint Sammons packed his bags for Gwinnett. (At least for Sammons he’ll get to do some catching – he didn’t play in the first eight games here. And he’ll be in Gwinnett for the big stadium debut tomorrow night.)

   Brian McCann will get his first day off from behind the plate. It’s not exactly well-timed with Chipper Jones out for the second consecutive game with his bruised thumb, but it’s well-timed if you ask McCann.

   He’s ready for it, and he’s going to be smart about how he takes care of himself this year.

   “I understand now that I’ve gotten a little older,” said McCann, a ripe ol’ 25. “I need days off early for September. I’m fine with taking the days and resting. I’m going to cherish the days off.”

   McCann is hitting cleanup now, so it’s that much more of a deal that he’s out of the lineup when he’s off. But he’s not going to let that affect his decision-making in taking care of his body.

   He tries not to make hitting cleanup a big deal anyway.

   “I take the same approach as if I was hitting seventh, work the count and get a good pitch to hit,” he said.

   Dropping the weight has helped him behind the plate, McCann said. And it’ll help him as the season goes on.

 

   CHIPPER UPDATE: I checked in with Chipper this morning and he said he’s still looking at missing tomorrow’s first game in Pittsburgh, but after that he should be be day-to-day. He said the swelling has down some in his sore left thumb but it still looks kinda puffy to me.

   “I’ve got no top hand,” he said. “I can’t swing left-handed. Maybe right-handed, but why mess with it? I keep aggravating it. I (need to) let it heal and get rid of it.”

   There are two left-handers going in the Pittsburgh series – left-hander Paul Maholm on Friday and left-hander Zach Duke on Sunday. I’d think that might come into play for Chipper more on Sunday. From what he’s saying, tomorrow is out either way.

 

   And some musings, I know we all saw Mike Hampton and his six shutout innings last night for the Astros in a 4-1 win over Pittsburgh. We knew that was coming, didn’t we? And Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 400th homer as a Mariner last night. He joins Chipper Jones as the only active players with at least 400 homers with one team.

   The Braves need to win today to avoid their first ever three-game sweep at the hands of the Marlins at Turner Field. In May of 1997, the Braves lost a two-game series at home to the Marlins.

 

   P.S. DOB and the rest of the sports staff are in a big meeting this afternoon downtown to learn about how things will work in our re-organized newsroom. Me? I’ll just be blogging with you guys. We’ll figure out the rest later!

 

   BRAVES LINEUP:

 

1.   Kelly Johnson 2B

2.   Omar Infante 3B

3.   Yunel Escobar SS

4.   Garret Anderson LF

5.   Casey Kotchman 1B

6.   Jeff Francoeur RF

7.   Jordan Schafer CF

8.   David Ross C

9.   Kenshin Kawakami P

 

1,269 comments Add your comment

kdbanks

April 16th, 2009
11:59 am

Why on earth is Anderson starting in left field? Might as well start Boyer if you’re going to do that.

Smyrna Jim

April 16th, 2009
11:59 am

Wow, Bobby actually said that “If there’s such a thing as a big game, today is a big game” on his radio interview (in terms of a 4-2 homestand instead of 3-3).

MariettaDerek

April 16th, 2009
11:59 am

Almost game time! Let’s hope the Bravos get a little double pits to chesty with it today!

TnBrian

April 16th, 2009
12:00 pm

Hope Garret has a great ggame! He deserves it

spectator

April 16th, 2009
12:01 pm

Looks like the team “leader”(?), Chipper has started his annual career extending program a little earlier in the year this year. He usually saves his “tweaks” for a little later in the year. But, hey, can’t let a good tweak go to waste. If you think about the way he has milked every injury large or small over the past several years, he has probably added at least 2 or three years on the backside of his career. What a leader!

Buffalo NY Braves Fan

April 16th, 2009
12:02 pm

Mark,

From last blog, you said that the Braves are missing a “slugger” a Texiera, Pujols, Fielder, Howard, A-Rod, Manny, Vlad, Berkman.

You do realize that Tex, Fielder, A-Rod, and Berkman have NEVER won a title, right?

MFin04

April 16th, 2009
12:03 pm

MLBTV never hasnt the Braves broadcast

kdbanks

April 16th, 2009
12:04 pm

Me too, TnBrian. I hope he does too. He needs to get on the P90X, though. Apparently it helps with catching fly balls.

hoho

April 16th, 2009
12:05 pm

thanks for getting that out of the way Derek. … And now watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat.

GO BRAVOS! (and GO HAWKS!)

MFin04

April 16th, 2009
12:05 pm

whoops….*has

Roman Gal

April 16th, 2009
12:07 pm

Schafer hitting 7th?

Sounds good to me. This is where I think his speed will be best utilized while keeping him protected at the bottom of the lineup. It’ll be interesting to see if he gets on base, whether he’ll try to steal a base. It’s certainly something to look forward to!!

Slugger

April 16th, 2009
12:07 pm

TnBrian -

Where are you in TN? I’m in Nashville, and the game didn’t show up in HD last night on #247 (like normal). Sometimes the PTV feeds that should show up on #247 don’t end up showing up, and I can’t figure out why.

Do you have any problems with this?

kdbanks

April 16th, 2009
12:07 pm

Sciambi, baby! Love games with Boog.

Slugger

April 16th, 2009
12:07 pm

Carroll -

Sorry about the re-org.

Nobody likes a re-org.

Run Heap Run

April 16th, 2009
12:08 pm

Thanks for the updates, Carroll and good luck with the reorganization. Sounds…scary.

kdbanks

April 16th, 2009
12:08 pm

Roman Gal, good point. I wonder if Bobby thinks Schafer will bet better pitches hitting 7th, since you can’t pitch around him to get to the pitcher (and have him chase lots of bad pitches). Maybe we’ll see a multi-hit game out of him today.

mixxo

April 16th, 2009
12:09 pm

Boog’s gonna bring us a win today!

Run Heap Run

April 16th, 2009
12:10 pm

I’m confused, spectator…are you mad because Chipper’s not playing or are you just mad because he’s on the team? Because…?

spotts

April 16th, 2009
12:10 pm

I’m not sure what’s worse; Chip Caray on PTV or the cheesy SportSouth commercials with the orchestral music in the background.

beekay

April 16th, 2009
12:11 pm

I still take KJ over Kinsler as 2nd best 2nd baseman…Kinsler is solid and did blow up last night but I’d rather have KJ for the long haul…our lineup 4-8 looks terrible today. Kawakami better have good stuff or the Fish will sweep us to the curb

MFin04

April 16th, 2009
12:11 pm

Love the smell of baseball early in the morning!!!

Jackie Moon

April 16th, 2009
12:11 pm

Do ya’ll remember a couple of years ago when Smoltz called out Chipper about missing games. I think it was on the radio or the paper during an interview. It seemed liked after that happened Chipper was in the lineup a lot more frequently that season. Too bad we don’t have another veteran leader on the team in ‘09 to do the same.

Carroll Rogers

April 16th, 2009
12:13 pm

It is scary, Run Heap.

Good start for Kawakami, strikeout.

Did I say nice day? We’ve still got some pretty good wind whipping around. But at least the sun is out.

Run Heap Run

April 16th, 2009
12:13 pm

mlb at bat wasn’t picking up wgst but the fla station is coming thru strong so far, better than nothing..

MFin04

April 16th, 2009
12:14 pm

Garret caught a ball…that a boy. Over or Under…50% of the crowd is Asian today?

Run Heap Run

April 16th, 2009
12:14 pm

Good crowd, Carroll? I’m guessing…not.

kdbanks

April 16th, 2009
12:16 pm

Good start. 1-2-3. And low pitch count for KK.

Carroll Rogers

April 16th, 2009
12:16 pm

no, not a good crowd. not yet anyway.

Run Heap Run

April 16th, 2009
12:16 pm

And just as I said that the fla feed goes down, switched over to the wgst feed and got about 5 seconds before it crashed. Do not buy the mlb at bat app if you plan to use it to listen to games…it’s horrible!

Buffalo NY Braves Fan

April 16th, 2009
12:16 pm

Anyone feel like giving play by play to us poor saps stuck at work with no access?

MFin04

April 16th, 2009
12:16 pm

I think I’m going to move to Atlanta…I bet you I could get into every game for under $5

Roman Gal

April 16th, 2009
12:17 pm

kdbanks, Hopefully he’ll do well. He’s been swinging at some really bad pitches in the dirt lately. But today’s the day he breaks the slump and gets his first stolen base! But, I do think 7 is a better slot for him. And Ross is certainly a good enough hitter for the pitcher to give Schafer some good pitches to hit (assuming he can lay off the slider in the dirt).

chip off the ol block

April 16th, 2009
12:17 pm

I think KK will have a good outing, so far in the 1st he’s been good

too bad wont be able to watch the whole game, oh well GO BRAVES!

i just thought.. with most of our vets out.. well Chip and Big Mac are out, but wouldnt this be the perfect time to move Kelly down the order and have Jordan at leadoff? atleast for this one game

MFin04

April 16th, 2009
12:17 pm

Sure why not. Great inning by KK. K, Fly out GA caught a ball…Hanley ground out to infante at 3rd.

kdbanks

April 16th, 2009
12:18 pm

MFin04 – it’s usually $6, so you better not move. :)

HuffBraves

April 16th, 2009
12:18 pm

You know why the newspaper industry is struggling?

They scheduled the big meeting about the future of the sports department during THE ONLY GAME played by an Atlanta team today, so their beat writer couldn’t even cover it.

Just proves how out of touch management types are. If they just let DOB and Carroll run the place, I’ll bet you the AJC would be just fine.

spotts

April 16th, 2009
12:18 pm

Garrett Anderson. Now there’s a cleanup hitter that can rake.

I know it’s a day game, but I wish we would’ve started McCann. He had an off day on Monday, and the lineup without Chipper AND McCann is downright puny.

Clipper

April 16th, 2009
12:18 pm

Why would Chipper not consider batting right handed against RHP just until his hand has fully healed? I know statistically a batter gets a better look from the left side against RHP, but why not at least try?

fat people sink faster

April 16th, 2009
12:19 pm

wow

that is one weak lineup

Jackie Moon

April 16th, 2009
12:19 pm

For anyone who uses Sprint, for $4.99 a month you can listen to any MLB game. You can pick home announcers or away too. I just hope you have better luck than me. I’m in a concrete bunker with windows that has shotty reception :(

kdbanks

April 16th, 2009
12:20 pm

Yunel singles to left with 2 out.

vabravesfan

April 16th, 2009
12:20 pm

Because there is no since in hurting it again and again..just let him sit out and when it is healed he will play

vabravesfan

April 16th, 2009
12:21 pm

here comes everybody’s favorite cleanup hitter

FlaBravesFan

April 16th, 2009
12:21 pm

Chipper out of the line up bummer i was hopeing to see him play today against the fish man i hate the marlins

Roman Gal

April 16th, 2009
12:21 pm

that is one weak lineup

Maybe we’ll bloop them to death.

arobs3

April 16th, 2009
12:21 pm

KJ fly out to center
Infante robbed of single by Amezega for 2nd out
Esco basehit to left

mbatl

April 16th, 2009
12:22 pm

Roman Gal, Kdbanks, one thing to look forward to is the day when Schafer does move to leadoff (I think he will, but think Cox is doing the right thing by waiting a while).

Schafer leading off, KJ moved down to 2nd or 5th – really will add a new dynamic to the lineup – speed at the top and a little more power in the middle – and allow us to bury the LF (if Diaz/Anderson aren’t hitting better) lower in the order.

MFin04

April 16th, 2009
12:22 pm

Honestly…how much does it cost to get into a game during the week at Turner Field? Can you move around to wherever you want to sit?

LT- A Blogger

April 16th, 2009
12:22 pm

Thanks for the update Carrol- good luck in the re-org which are stressful. I appreciate the work of both yourself and DOB. You guys make this a lot of fun.

Go Braves!

A Fan

April 16th, 2009
12:22 pm

Anyone got a good site I can stream the game with? Don’t have the MLB radio package and wouldn’t order it anyway

TnBrian

April 16th, 2009
12:22 pm

Slugger, I’m in Chattanooga. I really don’t have any problems with PCTV except for maybe a few minutes of it being blurry, but nothing major.

kdbanks

April 16th, 2009
12:22 pm

and steals second…

Roman Gal

April 16th, 2009
12:22 pm

Gotta love Yunel. SB

fat people sink faster

April 16th, 2009
12:23 pm

look at esco taking off….we need to run as much as possible today.

WK

April 16th, 2009
12:23 pm

Carroll: What is your take on J. Schafer’s first week of the season. He has been productive, but with several strikeouts. What are the coaches/players saying?

FlaBravesFan

April 16th, 2009
12:23 pm

okay braves got sumtin going 2 out rally

Run Heap Run

April 16th, 2009
12:23 pm

I give up. I guess I’ll just stick with gameday, being an inning behind is better than nothing. I should’ve known it would be a nightmare trying to listen to baseball games on a phone. :lol:

arobs3

April 16th, 2009
12:23 pm

esco steals 2nd…no throw

eatPhillie

April 16th, 2009
12:23 pm

I’m laughing at the lineup,No I’m laughing with you. We’ll overtake this triple A team in a hurry

kdbanks

April 16th, 2009
12:23 pm

MFin – it really is $6, though Tuesdays and Wednesdays the $8 seats are 2 for 1. Cheapest entertainment in town (if you don’t count parking, beer, etc.)

McFann Ô

April 16th, 2009
12:24 pm

MFin04

Ha, yeah, that’s for sure.

Thanks for the Blog, Ms. Rogers! And thanks for the hunk on McCann.

fat people sink faster

April 16th, 2009
12:24 pm

basehit would go a long way right here

3trees

April 16th, 2009
12:24 pm

Carroll – Thanks for all that you and DOB do (reporting & blogging). Hope all turns well with the “meeting”. Interesting times.

Oh, and can either one of you throw strikes?

Go Braves!

MFin04

April 16th, 2009
12:24 pm

freebaseballradio.com….might be able to find a station.

arobs3

April 16th, 2009
12:24 pm

Anderson walks. man on 1st and 2nd with 2 outs

TnBrian

April 16th, 2009
12:24 pm

Sanchez is a guy we’ve always done well against, or he just sees a Braves uniform and his confidence goes down.

Roman Gal

April 16th, 2009
12:24 pm

mbatl, I really like having Schafer at the bottom of the lineup for a while. And honestly, I like KJ in the 3 hole. The problem is that Chipper likes to hit there. But yes, I am looking forward to the day that Schafer is ready to take over the leadoff spot.

FlaBravesFan

April 16th, 2009
12:25 pm

great hit strand two on base

David from NY

April 16th, 2009
12:25 pm

Anyone have a link a radio broadcast. I’m not in Atlanta and someone had linked to the link a few games ago. Thanks.

Slugger

April 16th, 2009
12:25 pm

I actually had my ticket checked a ton at the game on Saturday in the outfield seats to make sure we were in the exact seats (we were in the all you can eat though, so that could be more strict).

Wish I lived in ATL, I’d go to every game.

MariettaDerek

April 16th, 2009
12:25 pm

Inning over, left two men on base. But at least they worked some counts. That’s getting slightly double pits to chesty.

Marc

April 16th, 2009
12:25 pm

I’m all for getting Anderson more at-bats to get his groove going, but why is he hitting clean-up? Just seems like Frenchy would more ideal against a lefty assuming McCann and Chipper are out of the game (and they are).

fat people sink faster

April 16th, 2009
12:25 pm

damn…i got used to seeing those 2out hits in the wash series

MFin04

April 16th, 2009
12:26 pm

Thats rough, would have been nice to get KK some runs…hopefully we can score soon.

arobs3

April 16th, 2009
12:26 pm

Kotch flies out to left. 3rd out

jtb

April 16th, 2009
12:26 pm

MFin 04
The cheapest seats are 6$ and that is for the upper deck past 1st base. You could get standing room seats for 1$ but usually ticket scalpers snatch up all of those. Yesterday my buddy and I got the 6$ seats and watched the game in the 5th row in the section right beside the Braves dugout. You have to sneak but it isn’t too difficult. Especially this year with the recession going on it seems like the Braves have a lot less ushers working for the games without a large turnout expected.

Charlsj

April 16th, 2009
12:27 pm

We need someone that can hit cleanup! McCann does so much better in the 5 hole. Maybe G Anderson can get his stroke going and hit there…

vabravesfan

April 16th, 2009
12:27 pm

marc sanchez is a righty

MFin04

April 16th, 2009
12:28 pm

That’s a bad sign.

o-me

April 16th, 2009
12:28 pm

High level meeting going on at ajc. Who’s going home?

mixxo

April 16th, 2009
12:28 pm

LT- A Blogger

April 16th, 2009
12:28 pm

Ouch- should’ve been DP.

Jeff321

April 16th, 2009
12:28 pm

KJ and his butter fingers buckle under pressure yet again. Look, I like KJ a lot but he’s no second baseman.

FlaBravesFan

April 16th, 2009
12:28 pm

Ouch Kelly johnson jus blooped a double play toss

A Fan

April 16th, 2009
12:28 pm

Thanks MFin04

o-me

April 16th, 2009
12:28 pm

Enter your comments here

Ian Curtis

April 16th, 2009
12:28 pm

Awesome play, KJ. Just awesome!

MFin04

April 16th, 2009
12:29 pm

KJ does makes a lot of errors at 2nd doesnt he?

Jeff Blauser

April 16th, 2009
12:29 pm

did they really score that a hit?

arobs3

April 16th, 2009
12:29 pm

kelly drops double play ball. man on 1st and 2nd, no out. throw from esco was perfect

Carroll Rogers

April 16th, 2009
12:29 pm

Clipper that’s not how it works….You don’t get thousands of at-bats over your lifetime left-handed against righties and just turn around on a whim. You are what you are and he’s a switch-hitter.

that could be big – Kelly’s drop on what would have been a double play ball. instead of two outs get no outs.

fat people sink faster

April 16th, 2009
12:30 pm

MFin04

April 16th, 2009
12:30 pm

That just sets up the triple play…no worries.

Carroll Rogers

April 16th, 2009
12:31 pm

I’m sure Braves are happy with Schafer. Haven’t heard any discussion. He’s a rookie, and will have his hots and colds.

arobs3

April 16th, 2009
12:31 pm

fly to center. no tag – 1 out

Pete

April 16th, 2009
12:32 pm

Same old Kelly. One word can best describe his defensive prowess: BRUTAL.

Gil In Mechanicsville

April 16th, 2009
12:32 pm

Kelly Johnson is Jeff Kent’s clone…

Jeff321

April 16th, 2009
12:32 pm

Wow, I’d say that error came home to roost.

The Patron Saint of the Lost Art

April 16th, 2009
12:32 pm

Escobar makes errors sometimes, too.

MariettaDerek

April 16th, 2009
12:32 pm

3 Run SHOT, Cody Ross. Marlins lead 3-0. Definitely NOT double pits to chesty.

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