Watching the leadoff spot, and other business

   Greetings from the ballpark where “76 Trombones” is playing right now for a parade of Little Leaguers around the stadium – gotta love a little Music Man to start your Sunday – and dogs are making their way into the upper deck for a little Bark in the Park.

 

   Lots of activity going on, including in the lineup. Get to that in a second. It’d be nice not to have to endure what DOB did the last two days with some inopportune showers. I don’t think the stuff is supposed to roll in until the late afternoon, so maybe we’ll squeeze this one in.

   OK, the lineup. Before anybody thought Jordan Schafer was going to stay in the leadoff spot, and Kelly Johnson would be back in there again today. No. With left-hander Wandy Rodriguez going for the Astros, Omar Infante is batting leadoff and Jordan Schafer is back in the eighth hole. And Kelly Johnson is out the lineup again.

   I can just feel some blood pressures rising out there, but let me throw this stat out at you that was pointed out to me. Omar Infante is hitting .440 (11-for-25) in six games in the leadoff hole with a .500 on-base percentage. He has five hits in his last two games in the leadoff spot. Schafer reached base twice yesterday on hits, but struck out the other three at-bats, and got picked off. But I still say it was a good sign for him that Bobby put him up there to get a taste of it. There will be more of that to come.

   The fact that Omar was back in there at second base could also raise some eyebrows. After sitting for a couple of games, the slumping Johnson was back in at second Saturday, only to sit Sunday. Maybe this is the start of another platoon at second base, something Kelly dealt with for stretches last season.

   The irony there, of course, is that Kelly is hitting left-handers (.308) much better than right-handers (.174).

 

  Here’s the lineup:

 

1.   Omar Infante 2B

2.    Yunel Escobar SS

3.   Chipper Jones 3B

4.   Jeff Francoeur RF

5.   Martin Prado 1B

6.   Matt Diaz LF

7.   David Ross C

8.   Jordan Schafer CF

9.   Jo-Jo Reyes

 

   Jo-Jo Reyes is still looking for his first win since June 13 vs. the Angels. He’s 0-8 with a 6.56 ERA in 16 games since then, 15 starts. But if he pitches like he did against the Cardinals, that win should come soon, perhaps in a couple of hours…..Of course the Braves have to score more than two runs to give him a shot, and they haven’t managed to do that if four of their last six games.

   They do have some bats scheduled to come back this week, or that’s the idea. Garret Anderson is eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday against the Mets and that’s his plan. He’s run the bases each of the last two days and had no problems with his quadriceps.

   He elected not to go out on a minor league rehabilitation assignment – which Bobby left up to him – because he doesn’t think he’s been out long enough to warrant it.

   Brian McCann is eligible to come off on Friday. He’s still waiting for his prescription Oakley’s to come in and when they do, he’ll head up to Gwinnett for a game or two to see how they feel.

 

 BIG SERIES UPCOMING

   Jair Jurrjens only went two innings yesterday which means the Braves could have brought him back to pitch on Tuesday vs. the Mets and Johan Santana. Kenshin Kawakami has had some shoulder fatigue and had his start pushed back to that day, so it would have made some sense. But Cox said he would keep his rotation in order and Kawakami was OK to go.

   Jurrjens did make a point about the upcoming road trip that was pretty strong. After the Mets come in here for two games Monday and Tuesday, the Braves travel to play Florida, Philadelphia and to play the Mets at the new Citi Field.

   “This road trip is going to be the whole season for us,” Jurrjens said. “(Starting in Florida) this is the team we’re going to be fighting the division for. I think when a team beats you the first series they have more confidence coming into the other series. We just need to win at least two of the series coming up against our division rivals.”

   JJ was referring to the series sweep the Marlins dealt the Braves on April 14-16. The Marlins swept the Nationals after that, only to lose their next seven in a row. The Marlins have gone 6-9 since that series with the Braves.

   More from Jurrjens: “Try to win series. We just need to come together as a team and do small things. We started doing things yesterday and got away from it. Try to move the runner. Pitching too. Get the big outs. Pick people up.”

 

 CAMPILLO UPDATE

   Jorge Campillo is eligible today to come off the disabled list today. His shoulder is feeling better, and he’s been playing long toss. He plans to throw a bullpen session Tuesday and throw another side session or two before heading out on a minor league rehabilitation assignment.

   I asked him if he regretted playing for Mexico in the WBC which might have caused him these issues, and he pointed out that his mistake might have been not playing winter ball. This was the first time in his career he didn’t play winter ball. So he went from light throwing to fairly serious competition on one fell swoop. I asked him if he would choose not to play in the WBC if Mexico asked again. He said not necessarily. Just next time he would play winter ball.

   OK, that’s it. More as we go!

  

 

  

 

 

 

 

1,163 comments Add your comment

Scotty

May 3rd, 2009
1:18 pm

I for one think the kj and infante platoon is great. It keeps both guys fresh and eager to get in the lineup. I just wish bobby would leave schafer in the leadoff spot. Good work CR. Go braves

vabravesfan

May 3rd, 2009
1:25 pm

The only problem with a platoon is just what Carroll said and what DOB has brought up about how KJ hits lefties better

Trey06

May 3rd, 2009
1:26 pm

It will be nice to get Mac back. Even though he’s off to a slow start, his bat helps Chipper get better pitches to hit. And it’s pretty evident that we don’t have much power so every bit helps.

abwright

May 3rd, 2009
1:27 pm

I think Schafer yesterday was “dipping his toe” into the lead-off spot. He hit lead-off quite alot in Spring Training. Now, let him process yesterday’s experience and get prepared for the next time, when he’ll probably go there to stay.

On KJ/Infante…KJ was the coldest Brave in this offensively challenged stretch. Omar is about the hottest Brave. Gotta get some offense from somewhere, right now.

When the injured reserve comes back and shows that they’re ready, then, go back to the original plan. For now, anyone who can hit the ball, play’em.

jonatuga

May 3rd, 2009
1:29 pm

abwright

May 3rd, 2009
1:30 pm

I wonder if there’s a stat for post-rain-delay performance. It seems that the Braves have only scored one or two runs after a rain delay this season.

I think they’ve only come back to win one game after a rain delay, and that was the bases loaded walk, 1-0, victory in Washington.

If they’re tied or trailing going into a rain delay, it seems that it is game over.

bravos2249

May 3rd, 2009
1:31 pm

God I’d hate to be at the ballpark on Bark in the Park with the possibility of rain. The smell of wet dogs….EWW.

22oz

May 3rd, 2009
1:33 pm

Hey Carroll,

Wasn’t Furman Bisher’s article good?

Dan

May 3rd, 2009
1:35 pm

Another platoon not backed up by stats. Cox has a habit of doing this.

KELLY JOHNSON, 2009

vs. Left: .308/.419/.654, 1.073 OPS, 2 homeruns (26 at-bats)

vs. Right: .174/.255/.283, .538 OPS, 1 homerun (46 at-bats)

Johnson also hit .333 (in 150 at-bats) against left-handers in 2008 and had a higher OPS against them than right-handers that year too.

Sure, platoon him and make his starts against right-handers. That really makes just a whole lot of sense. Plus Infante’s OPS is nearly 200 points higher against right handers this year.

McFann Ô

May 3rd, 2009
1:35 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Ms. Rogers!

Ah…can’t wait for Friday. For the first time in my life, I want it to be time to play the Fillies! Hey, they prayed for BMac at Mass today!

Carroll Rogers

May 3rd, 2009
1:35 pm

Mets got rained out and Braves catch a huge break. It’ll be Maine and Livan Hernandez now. NOT Johan Santana on Tuesday

TnBrian

May 3rd, 2009
1:35 pm

People, stop waiting for the offense to explode…it’ll show up when the hitters damn well want it to!

DAM

May 3rd, 2009
1:36 pm

braves came back to beat the nationals on opening night at turner field this year on KJ’s game-winning single.

TnBrian

May 3rd, 2009
1:36 pm

Carroll, Braves own the Mets no matter who’s pitching

bravos2249

May 3rd, 2009
1:36 pm

Carroll

HECK YES!….TY very much.

abwright

May 3rd, 2009
1:37 pm

So here is a weird, annoying thing here in Arkansas. I’ve got the directv mlb extra innings package. However, both St. Louis and Houston games are blacked out in my area. Curses!!!

There is a MLB Mix channel, however, and I can actually get the game on the Mix channel. It’s one eighth of the screen, but there it is.

Jeff321

May 3rd, 2009
1:39 pm

Frenchy’s throw is WAY OFF LINE. Imagine my shock.

abwright

May 3rd, 2009
1:40 pm

Good ABC baseball by the Astros to take a quick 1-0 lead against Jo Jo and the Braves.

Chopper2Chipper

May 3rd, 2009
1:40 pm

I wish more people went to the games. It’s really pretty sad to see so many empty seats. I live in MA and try to get to a few a year.

DidTheyCall

May 3rd, 2009
1:40 pm

Any chance we can get a platoon situation going with the manager’s spot?

Frank from KS

May 3rd, 2009
1:41 pm

Hey….the Cubs are retiring #31….worn by both Fergie Jenkins and *Mad Dog* Greg Maddux.

WGN is having a special right now.

bravos2249

May 3rd, 2009
1:42 pm

Just by giving up 1 run it shows how Jojo has improved

Coach (2010 or bust)

May 3rd, 2009
1:42 pm

Lead off double, bunt the runner to third and a sac fly scoring the runner from third. Sound fundamental baseball. From the Astros that is… 1-0 Houston.

Tony Almeida

May 3rd, 2009
1:43 pm

That’s the ball game. That’s all the runs the Astros needed to win this one. Let’s try it again tomorrow boys.

Steve from OH

May 3rd, 2009
1:44 pm

Thanks for the heads-up Frank.

bravos2249

May 3rd, 2009
1:44 pm

Just to add in. Is anyone going to the July 17th game when the Braves retire Mad Dog’s number?

Jack Bauer

May 3rd, 2009
1:45 pm

Tony Almeida…I’m coming for you….

bravos2249

May 3rd, 2009
1:46 pm

The sad thing is whatever channel they show maddux’s retired number on for the braves it probably won’t be televised…sigh

McFann Ô

May 3rd, 2009
1:46 pm

They just said that the Fillies have made four errors this year.

That’s way too many; they should only have three…

Mixxo

May 3rd, 2009
1:47 pm

That’s Esco’s best stroke right there…..going the other way.

McFann Ô

May 3rd, 2009
1:47 pm

Bravos2249

July 17th? Thanks! I was gonna be asking what day that was…there’s a possibility we’ll be going.

Frank from KS

May 3rd, 2009
1:47 pm

Anytime Steve.

:>)

bravos2249

May 3rd, 2009
1:49 pm

McFann

Yeah it was on the braves official site…it’s vs the Mets too.

bravefaninok

May 3rd, 2009
1:50 pm

So here is a weird, annoying thing here in Arkansas. I’ve got the directv mlb extra innings package. However, both St. Louis and Houston games are blacked out in my area. Curses!!!

There is a MLB Mix channel, however, and I can actually get the game on the Mix channel. It’s one eighth of the screen, but there it is.

* Link
* Report this comment

i’m in oklahoma,same blackout rules,cardinals(10hrs away)houston(7hrs away)&rangers(3hrs away)
I understand the rangers&maybee houston,but why am i blacked out of cardinals?

DidTheyCall

May 3rd, 2009
1:50 pm

Our season in a nutshell….the opposition gets a runner in scoring position and manufactures a run…..we get a runner in scoring position and strand him!

bravos2249

May 3rd, 2009
1:50 pm

Ayn Rand

May 3rd, 2009
1:52 pm

Does anyone realize for all the talk here about KJ’s struggles and Francoeur’s “big turn-around”; that Kelly Johnson has a higher OBP this year?

Bill in VA

May 3rd, 2009
1:53 pm

I like the lineup.

Carroll Rogers

May 3rd, 2009
1:56 pm

Ok got the wireless card going which should be better…they just announced a scoring change from last night. They changed the second error charged to Chipper Jones last night in the seventh inning a base hit for Berkman. It wasn’t the critical play by Chipper that led to a big inning. it was later in the game, and not a factor in the score. just FYI

TnBrian

May 3rd, 2009
1:56 pm

I’m moving way ahead of myself here, but if Reyes keeps pitching like he is through the summer, I’ll bet Vazquez is packaged in a trade for a bat and Hanson will take his place. I don’t know, because Vaz. has been a key to the rotation so far this year, but it’s something to think about…or not.

Rodney Derrick

May 3rd, 2009
1:57 pm

Book review of Carroll’s heartthrob Ron Darling’s new book, plus a review of Darryl Strawberry’s (otherwise know as the premature physical, not mental, embodiment of future Brave great Heyward) book– http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/03/books/review/Handy-t.html?ref=books

Chop Chop

May 3rd, 2009
1:58 pm

For all the one comment that talked about Kelly Johnson having a higher OBP this year, does Ayn-e-one realize that he doesn’t?

Kelly’s current OBP is .317. His OBP last season was .349.

abwright

May 3rd, 2009
1:58 pm


i’m in oklahoma,same blackout rules,cardinals(10hrs away)houston(7hrs away)&rangers(3hrs away)…I understand the rangers&maybee houston,but why am i blacked out of cardinals?

I don’t think all of mankind’s science and mathematics can figure out directv’s black out rules.

MariettaDerek

May 3rd, 2009
2:01 pm

This line-up is definitely NOT double pits to chesty.

TnBrian

May 3rd, 2009
2:01 pm

Man, that Rodriguez is dropping us like flies!

vabravesfan

May 3rd, 2009
2:01 pm

chop chop I believe he was talking about KJ’s OBP is higher than Frenchy’s

TnBrian

May 3rd, 2009
2:02 pm

MariettaDerek, please, KNOCK IT OFF! That “double pits” crap got old the first time you posted that sh**!

abwright

May 3rd, 2009
2:03 pm

So Houston has given up 100 runs, which is one of the best numbers in the NL. Wandy Rodriquez looks good. The Braves hitters look like they agreed that “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” and are conserving their energy for September. I hope JoJo brings his A game and the defense plays sharply, because this looks like it might be a very low scoring game.

bravefaninok

May 3rd, 2009
2:04 pm

i use mlb.tv but the blackout rules are the same.just stupid

1063.99

May 3rd, 2009
2:05 pm

Suck it TnBrian! Who made you anything? What a punk.

Chop Chop

May 3rd, 2009
2:07 pm

You’re right, vabravesfan. I allowed my own unholy crusade against Kelly Johnson to color my interpretation of that comment. It is true that KJ has a better OBP than Frenchy. I apologize to Ayn Rand.

Rodney Derrick

May 3rd, 2009
2:07 pm

Did any of you see that Nick Green was the star of ESPN’ Sports Center this morning with three hits for the Red Sox? Of course, with his baserunning skill, falling on his face between first and second, he showed he still had the heart of soul of an Atlanta Brave.

abwright

May 3rd, 2009
2:08 pm

Good lord! What a bizarre bunt play.

Rodriquez bunts the ball off the plate. He stood there admiring the high hop as Ross catches it and throws to second. Ross just got Kepplinger at second. Infante, despite having to step over Kep, who slid in hard, throws out Rodriquez at first for the double play.

Note to self, always run them out!

bravos2249

May 3rd, 2009
2:09 pm

abwright

We’ve only given up 97, we just can’t score. Same problem with them They have only given up 100, BUT they have only scored 85.

Rob from SC

May 3rd, 2009
2:09 pm

great play by David Ross

Rollins Tree

May 3rd, 2009
2:09 pm

Why are you guys watching the crap Braves today? Hawks are killing it!!!!

McFann Ô

May 3rd, 2009
2:09 pm

Thanks, Bravos2249!

vabravesfan

May 3rd, 2009
2:09 pm

It’s cool Chop Chop, it wasn’t the best worded argument.

abwright

May 3rd, 2009
2:10 pm

Don Sutton just called Schafer the “back side of the line-up.” I hope that guy who was obsessing over Mike Hampton’s possible torn pants does not pick up on this comment.

abwright

May 3rd, 2009
2:11 pm

Schafer walks to lead off the inning.

If Jo Jo bunts, I hope he runs it out!

Carroll Rogers

May 3rd, 2009
2:11 pm

hm, walk by schafer to lead off an inning….ooh aahh.

almost bought the darling book the other day. shoulda

bravos2249

May 3rd, 2009
2:11 pm

McFann

Your welcome

Run Heap Run

May 3rd, 2009
2:12 pm

Regardless of what happens today, this is my favorite lineup this week.

That clearly hit Jo Jo. Boo is right.

abwright

May 3rd, 2009
2:13 pm

Reyes gets hit on the right hand trying to pull the bunt back. Umpire calls it a strike. Booo! Hisss! Should be first and second with no one out.

TnBrian

May 3rd, 2009
2:13 pm

106.., nobody made me sh**! I’m just saying that the catch phrase just ain’t cool or funny. Do what you want, but I can’t remember anybody bashing you for posting it 20 times a day.

bravos2249

May 3rd, 2009
2:14 pm

I really wish other umpires could consult on plays at the plate…cause there’s no way the 2nd base ump didn’t see that hit Jojo.

abwright

May 3rd, 2009
2:14 pm

Reyes runs to first on the 3-1 count. He thought the ball that hit him in the hand was a ball.

This has been a really bizarre inning for the pitchers at the plate.

abwright

May 3rd, 2009
2:14 pm

Reyes strikes out.

bravos2249

May 3rd, 2009
2:14 pm

not consult but over rule others

Frank from KS

May 3rd, 2009
2:15 pm

TnBrian

I agree. It’s gotten old REAL QUICK!!

Interested Observer

May 3rd, 2009
2:15 pm

If I was Jo Jo, I would have turned to umpire and said “Give me a minute..My f’ing BAT hurts!”

abwright

May 3rd, 2009
2:16 pm

Escobar singles between 3rd and ss. First and second with one out.

Chipper at the plate.

abwright

May 3rd, 2009
2:16 pm

Oops!

Infante singled, Escobar at the plate.

vabravesfan

May 3rd, 2009
2:16 pm

that hurts now after infante single but hopefully Yunel and Chip will make it happen here

bravefaninok

May 3rd, 2009
2:16 pm

I was Jo Jo, I would have turned to umpire and said “Give me a minute..My f’ing BAT hurts!”

hahahahahaa…nice!

Steve from OH

May 3rd, 2009
2:17 pm

Soo…the missed call costs us a run. Ugh.

Rob from SC

May 3rd, 2009
2:17 pm

hope Jo Jo is ok

abwright

May 3rd, 2009
2:17 pm

The GIDP machine, Yunel Escobar, grounds into a 6-4-3 DP to end the inning.

If Reyes had been given first on the HBP, Infante’s single would almost certainly scored Schafer. Instead, another threat snuffed out.

Ayn Rand

May 3rd, 2009
2:18 pm

Escobar is a double plays machine.

vabravesfan

May 3rd, 2009
2:18 pm

anybody know which one of JoJo’s hands got hit?

kirkinga

May 3rd, 2009
2:19 pm

Again, the failure to execute a bunt hurts the Braves.

Mike

May 3rd, 2009
2:19 pm

This team should be playing in single -A ball because they don’t know how to hit with guys on base!!! Seriously this team is so pathetic! I am getting so sick of watching this GARBAGE team!!!!!!!

abwright

May 3rd, 2009
2:19 pm

Schafer makes a nice play on a fly ball by Bourn.

Interested Observer

May 3rd, 2009
2:20 pm

It was Jo Jo’s bottom hand on the bunt attempt, which would be the right.

abwright

May 3rd, 2009
2:20 pm

Berkman grounds out to Escobar.

mbatl

May 3rd, 2009
2:20 pm

Right hand, vabravesfan. Not to worry…

jonatuga

May 3rd, 2009
2:20 pm

jojos right got hit

bravos2249

May 3rd, 2009
2:21 pm

vabravesfan

his right hand

mbatl

May 3rd, 2009
2:21 pm

Jo-Jo just looks outstanding. Throwing strikes, not trying to overpower guys.

abwright

May 3rd, 2009
2:21 pm

Lee grounds to Escobar. 3 outs. Reyes looks sharp. Let’s get him some runs!

Chipper could hit a rally-killing lead-off homer and I wouldn’t complain.

Mike

May 3rd, 2009
2:22 pm

I would rather watch my own crap than this crap of a team!!

bravos2249

May 3rd, 2009
2:23 pm

mike

no one is making you sit here for 3 hours and watch this

Tom Glavine and Tommy Hanson

May 3rd, 2009
2:23 pm

Please get lit up, please get lit up, please get lit up Jo-Jo….

vabravesfan

May 3rd, 2009
2:23 pm

Thanks…JoJo seems like a different pitcher when pitching to contact

Mike

May 3rd, 2009
2:24 pm

Its just called a love for this team and frustration!

Carroll Rogers

May 3rd, 2009
2:26 pm

nice, Mike. thanks for that imagery there.

choozer

May 3rd, 2009
2:26 pm

Does Jo-Jo have a right to sue for lack of support?

Boo

May 3rd, 2009
2:27 pm

abwright

May 3rd, 2009
2:27 pm

Chipper grounds out to third.

Frenchy “fists” a hit over the SS.

Prado lines to left field. Frenchy waved. OUT at the plate!

Prado to second.

Jeff321

May 3rd, 2009
2:27 pm

Frenchy is just too damn slow.

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