Lowe goes without Chipper, Yunel

 

  Yunel Escobar (strained hip flexor) and Chipper Jones (sprained toe) are out of the lineup for tonight’s game and latest forecast calls for a 50-percent chance of rain, which is normal because Derek Lowe is pitching. He pitches, it rains.
  But the Braves also frequently win when he pitches (6-3 in his starts).  So he and they, of course, hope to get this game in tonight. For that and other reasons.

Which Braves pitcher should start Tuesday at San Francisco?

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  Because not only is Lowe facing a Toronto pitcher, Casey Janssen, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2007 and hasn’t started a big-league game since 2006, but they also are facing the possibility of playing a getaway-day doubleheader tomorrow if they don’t get this one in tonight.

  And then flying to San Francisco after a long day at Turner Field, with a Memorial Day afternoon game awaiting Monday in San Francisco.

  As for me, I’m flying to San Francisco tomorrow and Chris Vivlamore is making his debut in the Braves reporter role for one day, since Carroll’s on vacation. So I thought I’d better get up a new blog, since we won’t have one tomorrow.

  Anyway, yes, the Braves want to get this one in. Even if they have to play without Jones, who’s missing his second straight start since spraining his right big toe, and without Escobar, who had a sore right hip flexor when he got up today and tried to get it loose during batting practice, to no avail.

  It’s the same injury Escobar had last June, when he missed two games because of it. Escobar said “not good” when I asked him about the injury after batting practice while ago, after it was announced that he was scratched and rookie Diory Hernandez would be getting his first major league start.
  He said he didn’t know how he hurt it and couldn’t guess how long he’d be out.
  Meanwhile, Jones said his toe felt a “little better” today and that he hoped to play Sunday and might pinch-hit tonight.

Kris Medlen

 ♣ Medlen update: Rookie pitcher Kris Medlen’s bullpen session is Sunday, not today. Manager Bobby Cox said yesterday that he thought the kid was throwing a side session in the ‘pen today, but it was actually scheduled for tomorrow.
  Anyway, Cox seemed surprised when I asked him about Tuesday and when he’make the decision who would start. Surprised because he didn’t know the Braves had listed it as TBA.
 He indicated that he was planning to start Medlen. Wouldn’t say it outright, but said that’s how he was leaning.
  Medlen did some long-tossing in the outfield today, said his arm feels good and reiterated that his problems in his debut start Thursday against Colorado weren’t health-related, but nerve-related. As in, nervousness.
  He told me today that, after looking back at it, he thinks he just “hit the panic button” after throwing that pitch in the dirt, the wild pitch that really got his control problems started in the fourth.
  He walked two batters on eight pitches, then hit the pitcher with the bases loaded. Medlen said he tried to make an adjustment to his mechanics after throwing several balls, then hit the pitcher when he made the adjustment.
  Why wasn’t he nervous earlier in the game? He figures he was so pumped up and it was such a surreal sort of feeling that he didn’t really even have time to get nervous. Which, when I thought about it, made sense to me.
  Then when something bad happened to jar him to reality, the wild pitch that let the runner advance to second, that’s when he began to, in his words, hit the panic button.
  Like I said earlier today on the blog, knowing how Cox likes to give young players multiple chances and likes to stick with them, I’d be a bit surprised if he didn’t run Medlen back out there Tuesday, even if it is against Giants ace Tim Lincecum.
  Because do they really want to sent Medlen back to the minors with that as the lingering taste in his mouth from his only major league start? I mean, talk about something that could fester.

Glavine's Saturday rehab start

Glavine at Saturday rehab start

  Plus, as we’ve said, the Braves prefer not to bring up Tommy Hanson for what might be only one start before Tom Glavine could come off the DL. (By the way, Glavine’s start at Gwinnett tonight is in peril by the weather; tarp’s on the field as we speak up there, and he hadn’t begun to warm up as of 6:30 p.m.)
  When I say I think Braves will start Medlen again Tuesday. That’s provided, of course, they are convinced the kid is healthy. And so far, they don’t have any real reason to believe he’s not.
  His drop in velocity in the fourth inning seems more likely attributable, as Brian McCann pointed out, to him slowing down his delivery trying to make perfect pitches after things went haywire.
  If you were Medlen and you had an outing like that — three innings, three hits, five runs, five walks — don’t you think you’d say it if you were hurt? I mean, who’d want people to think it was mental if it weren’t? If my arm hurt and I had an outing like that, I’d damn sure say it hurt, not try to go back out there with a hurt arm again.
  So yeah, I believe Medlen and also go with McCann’s theory about the reduced velocity. I think the kid just got nervous, panicked, and lost it. If it happens again, well, then you’ve got problems. But just once? No.
  ”That inning, something like that has never happened to be in my life,” Medlen said today. “I think it was a lot more to do with nerves than I thought [at the time.]”
  But when I asked about possibly pitching Tuesday, he said he didn’t know, hadn’t been told anything, but was preparing as though he’d be pitching Tuesday. And the personable rookie even made a joke about the challenge, something about it only being Lincecum.
  Oh, and when I asked him about the difference in the baseball used in the minors and majors, he said, yeah, they’re different, but that it had nothing to do with his outing Thursday. To his credit, he pointed out that he did perfectly fine throwing those major league balls during spring training.

 

 ♣ OK, we’ve got to get this blog posted and get to work on the Braves notebook for tomorrow’s paper. Game’s going to start on time, it looks like. No tarp on the field here at Turner Field, and it’s 6:45 p.m.
First, a ouple of quick stats:
  • Braves outfielders, after ranking last in the majors with 27 homers and a .356 slugging percentage in 2008, are dead last in the majors again so far this season with seven homers and a .352 slugging percentage.
  The NL average for outfield units so far this season was 16 homers and a .436 slugging percentage, and 11 NL teams had at least double the Braves’ total of seven outfield homers. Eight of 30 major league teams had at least 20 homers from outfielders before Saturday….
  • Braves starting pitchers are tied with the Cardinals for the second-best starters’ ERA (3.85) in the National League, behind only the Dodgers (3.52). In 2008, Braves starters finished 12th in the NL with a 4.60 ERA….
  Braves starters have allowed a league-low .307 on-base percentage, and their .236 opponents’ batting average ranks second to the Dodgers (.214). Last season, Braves starters allowed a .278 average and .338 OBP….
  • Kenshin Kawakami’s eight scoreless innings of three-hit ball in Friday’s win made him 2-2 with a 2.63 ERA and .233 opponents’ average in four May starts, after going 1-3 with a 7.06 ERA and .286 opponents’ average in four April starts.
  He has 24 strikeouts with eight walks and no homers allowed in 24 innings in May, after posting 18 strikeouts with 11 walks and five homers allowed in 21-2/3 innings in April.

“SNOWIN’ ON RATON” by Townes Van Zandt

When the wind don’t blow in Amarillo
When the moon along the Gunnison don’t rise
And I cast my dreams upon your love babe
And lie beneath the laughter of your eyes

Snowin’ on Raton
Come morning I’ll be through them hills and gone
Snowin’ on Raton
Come morning I’ll be through them hills and gone

Mother thinks the road is long and lonely
Little brother thinks the road is straight and fine
Little darlin’ thinks the road is soft and lovely
I’m thankful that ole road’s a friend of mine

Snowin’ on Raton
Come morning I’ll be through them hills and gone
Snowin’ on Raton
Come morning I’ll be through them hills and gone

I’ll bid the years goodbye, you cannot steal them
You cannot turn the circles of the sun
You cannot count the miles until you feel them
You cannot hold a lover that is gone

Snowin’ on Raton
Come morning I’ll be through them hills and gone
Snowin’ on Raton
Come morning I’ll be through them hills and gone

Tomorrow the mountains will be sleepin’
Silent ‘neath the blanket green and blue
And I shall hear the silence they are keepin’
And I’ll bring all their promises to you

Snowin’ on Raton
Come morning I’ll be through them hills and gone
Snowin’ on Raton
Come morning I’ll be through them hills and gone

 

 

1,911 comments Add your comment

Your Local City Georgia Government

May 23rd, 2009
7:07 pm

We’re still in a drought. The water regulations and outdoor ban still must remain in effect.

David O'Brien

May 23rd, 2009
7:09 pm

Supposed to rain here at about 9 p.m.

Work fast, D-Lowe.

Louisville brave

May 23rd, 2009
7:09 pm

SHEfer

May 23rd, 2009
7:09 pm

schafer 3-5 today

bravefaninok

May 23rd, 2009
7:11 pm

Hopefully Medlen will have a good game tuesday.

Brandon

May 23rd, 2009
7:11 pm

Hernandez with two quick putouts…

Steve from OH

May 23rd, 2009
7:12 pm

Couch Tater, that’s a good point, and Anderson’s average has been slowly rising. But he’s been in decline for a bit now and he’s getting up there in years, so his “true” mean might not necessarily be his career BA/OPS. I know I phrased that kinda funny but do you get what I mean?

kirkinga

May 23rd, 2009
7:13 pm

Fresh blog, new game, the possibilities boggle the mind. Hope springs eternal…well maybe not..

Brandon

May 23rd, 2009
7:16 pm

KJ grounds out to the pitcher…one out…

Boo

May 23rd, 2009
7:17 pm

Kelly Johnson leading off. Garret Anderson and his zero homeruns batting third. No Chipper. No Escobar.

The only thing this lineup needs is Ross instead of McCann and it’d be complete.

Steve from OH

May 23rd, 2009
7:17 pm

Is it raining in Gwinnett? Because it says the Gwinnett game is delayed due to rain right now…

nolie

May 23rd, 2009
7:19 pm

And you know we’re going to be in the market… (STEVERIN-OH)

I think you’re dreamin’ Steve. I don’t see how the Braves could afford his salary and I think he will bring more than you believe.
I have an excuse for the chops-busting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody with any sense agree with Coach, so it was stunned. it was actually a compliment my friend. :lol:

Brandon

May 23rd, 2009
7:20 pm

GA with a two out single…

Couch Tater

May 23rd, 2009
7:21 pm

SteveOH(Is it o.k. if I call you that again)

I was just looking at the past 3 or 4 years, but I knew the answer already. Just trying to catch you in a snare. Heh. Heh (as Anderson singles)

abwright

May 23rd, 2009
7:22 pm

BMac bunts against the shift again. Pitcher makes an outstanding play to nip BMac at first.

Boo

May 23rd, 2009
7:22 pm

What the heck? Have those successful stolen bases gone to McCann’s head, he seems to think he is a speed demon who can bunt for hits now.

Steve from OH

May 23rd, 2009
7:22 pm

Eh, if he’s on the block I think we’ll inquire. Won’t that make us in the market? 8)

TnBrian

May 23rd, 2009
7:23 pm

I’m with Joe Simpson on Mac bunting…try and go for a HR/extra base hit. Prado is a good hitter behind him there, but Mac’s the only legit HR hitter in there tonight. Don’t like that

Steve from OH

May 23rd, 2009
7:24 pm

Couch Tater, I think Anderson just ordered dinner for me tonight after that AB…crow 8)

nolie

May 23rd, 2009
7:25 pm

so his “true” mean might not necessarily be his career BA/OPS. I know I phrased that kinda funny but do you get what I mean? (STEVE OH)

I think that was a mean thing to say about Ganderson

Interested Observer

May 23rd, 2009
7:25 pm

Mac’s getting freaked out by the shift. He needs to swing the bat. Leave the bunting to Shafer.

David O'Brien

May 23rd, 2009
7:26 pm

Prado stepping in front of his buddy Diory to field that one and fire to first. Prado’s arm has really impressed me the last two nights. I’ve seen him throw hard sometimes while taking infield, but that was a missile he threw last night to end the game. He’s got a really good arm.

braves70

May 23rd, 2009
7:27 pm

Diory is a vaccuum cleaner!

Steve from OH

May 23rd, 2009
7:28 pm

Couch Tater, I don’t give two hoots what you call me!

nolie

May 23rd, 2009
7:28 pm

Marteen for Prezident!! Next Polanco no doubt

cabravesfan

May 23rd, 2009
7:29 pm

DOB-

just out of curiosity, does Martin Prado actually have a “natural” position? He seems, at least to me, more comfortable at 3rd base then at 2nd fielding-wise, and like you just pointed out, he’s got a strong enough arm…

semiballcoach

May 23rd, 2009
7:30 pm

mark actually makes me miss chip

AndyC

May 23rd, 2009
7:31 pm

DOB, I think you are on the money with the weather forecast. Looking at the radar I think this game will be in jeopardy after 9. It would be good to go out and get a couple of early runs.

Tomahawkin

May 23rd, 2009
7:31 pm

Is It Me or does Martin Prado come Off as our Version of Placido Polanco With More Power…?

Every winning team needs a player like Prado

Tomahawkin

May 23rd, 2009
7:32 pm

Yea For All the People That Hate On Chip Caray On here. I miss his A..s…

At least we don’t have to listen to Blow Buck…

Shamus Thacker

May 23rd, 2009
7:33 pm

BMac is sneaky fast.

Most of our Bravos are sneaky slow.

braves70

May 23rd, 2009
7:33 pm

Tony Phillips was about the first guy I remember like Prado. Started every day but always at a different position. Incredibly valuable.

Tomas

May 23rd, 2009
7:34 pm

DOB, whats the attendance today?

Turtsnap

May 23rd, 2009
7:34 pm

Tarp finally coming off the field here in Gwinnett and Glavine warming up in bullpen

Shamus Thacker

May 23rd, 2009
7:35 pm

Baseball will never be exactly the same to me without Skip’s voice as part of it. That’s the truth.

Doc Holiday

May 23rd, 2009
7:36 pm

Nice to know KJ is leading off

Shamus Thacker

May 23rd, 2009
7:37 pm

Miss Ernie on the Broadcasts just as much.

Couch Tater

May 23rd, 2009
7:37 pm

SteveOH,

I’m still waiting for Garret to hit the first of my expected 8 HR’s in the first half. (last year’s splits) I’m sure FW is too.

Tomahawkin

May 23rd, 2009
7:38 pm

One Thing I hate about Interleague Play is that The Cardinals usually play the Royals twice a year in the “Show Me Series”…The fact that the Cardinals play the Royals 6 times a year means the Cardinals usually get 5 wins added to their total by Default since the Royals have sucked so bad since 2003…

Unknown

May 23rd, 2009
7:40 pm

Thats the ballgame.

Tomahawkin

May 23rd, 2009
7:40 pm

Gonna Need the AWFense To step it up tonight

Hopefully this will be D-Lowe’s only 2 runs given up tonight

braves70

May 23rd, 2009
7:41 pm

I agree with you Shamus. Those announcers were like part of my family for over 30 years. Spent many a delightful summer day listening to them.

Tomahawkin

May 23rd, 2009
7:45 pm

Rally-Time People, No DP’s!!! Please…Come On Kotchmeister!

Man I hate that Gwen Stefani Intro they play…

Unknown

May 23rd, 2009
7:46 pm

Hard to believe we don’t have a guy in this lineup hitting above .290 or more than 3 homers.

Unknown

May 23rd, 2009
7:46 pm

Jeff321

May 23rd, 2009
7:46 pm

Yet another double for Kotchman. #16

Boo

May 23rd, 2009
7:46 pm

Tomahawkin

May 23rd, 2009
7:46 pm

There We Go KotchMeister!!!! Nice!

cricket

May 23rd, 2009
7:47 pm

WOW!! the offensive juggernaut is tolling today

David O'Brien

May 23rd, 2009
7:47 pm

The past two nights, Kotchman has hit one to the warning track in center field and not off the top of the wall in center. Maybe the power stroke we’ve seen so much in BP will finally emerge in games.

Doc Holiday

May 23rd, 2009
7:49 pm

Told you guys…………….get on & hit the double…………….no need for HR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Go Bravosssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

braves70

May 23rd, 2009
7:49 pm

Kotchman could develope into a Mark Grace or Keith Hernandez type of 1B. That is fine if we can just get some power in the OF.

a643dp

May 23rd, 2009
7:50 pm

DOB,

If GA is such a proven veteran why would he swing at the first pitch when he knows that Lowe has just ran the bases. Wouldnt you want to make sure he had time to catch his breath. High school stuff failed on the million dollar level.

Tomahawkin

May 23rd, 2009
7:52 pm

Nice AB B-Macc Way to Make His Carcas Work!

Rob from SC

May 23rd, 2009
7:52 pm

Schafer has really been hitting the ball harder this past week. Turning it around I hope.

RHR

May 23rd, 2009
7:53 pm

I hope Peachtree is doing the game when I take my granny to her first braves game on either 7/18 or 8/1 …. I’m going to hunt JJ down and beg for the seat upgrades so she’ll get a great view of probably the only Braves game she’ll ever get to attend. I can be very charming, I think I can convince him if I can just find him. :lol:

JD

May 23rd, 2009
7:54 pm

Seriously….we don’t need a Win-Something-If-The-Braves-Hit-A-Homerun inning.

Louisville brave

May 23rd, 2009
7:54 pm

way to bounce back w/ 2 runs of our own!

Loaf Garret on a blackberry from LF

May 23rd, 2009
7:54 pm

I got a question.

braves70

May 23rd, 2009
7:54 pm

Goog luck RHR and tell JJ we all said hey.

Loaf Garret on a blackberry from LF

May 23rd, 2009
7:54 pm

Why they hatin on me?

Choppinmama

May 23rd, 2009
7:55 pm

Esco probably strained that hip flexor without realizing it sitting in the chair having new frosted tips applied the other day. I swear, it’s hard to take him seriously knowing what’s under that hat/helmet!

Didn’t Furcal go through a “frosted” period? And John Burkett went platinum for a while? I guess guys get a wild hair too and want to look different from time to time. Maybe we can get Hoss to dip that chinny-chin-chin into some red dye. THAT would be intimidating……and kinda cool looking. Anything to overcome his rep for sore feet and trifled toes.

nolie

May 23rd, 2009
7:55 pm

Kotchman haters unite and arise. Don’t allow crap like his current 2 RBI double and the fact that he might break the Braves doubles record at this clip influence you. Stand by your guns and flay the hide of the weak-hitting stumblebum. Grrrr, go get him!!!

TnBrian

May 23rd, 2009
7:55 pm

Unknown, stay unknown since idiots like you keep reminding us all of crap we know. Ya’ll remind us 50 times a day…shutup and watch the freakin game!

Turtsnap

May 23rd, 2009
7:55 pm

Glavine on the hill in Gwinnett, game about to start

Rob from SC

May 23rd, 2009
7:55 pm

Prado looks great at 3B

Boo

May 23rd, 2009
7:56 pm

I have a question too: why are you in LF and not Diaz, Loaf Garret?

braves70

May 23rd, 2009
7:56 pm

Loaf, concentrate on the game. You can ask questions later.

JD

May 23rd, 2009
7:56 pm

I’m going to hunt JJ down and beg for the seat upgrades RHR

You know you’ll have to do a cheesy “act surprised like this just happened live” thing for the camera, right?

AndyC

May 23rd, 2009
7:56 pm

That would have been an unbelievable catch if Wells had made it. Glad he didn’t.

Tomahawkin

May 23rd, 2009
7:56 pm

A643DP That last statement was kind of harsh…

I take It from experience during an at-bat what you mentioned about Lowe getting rest is sometimes the last thing on someone’s mind when your in the box thinking about how to continue a rally….

I’m not using that as an excuse for Loaf but I stepped in the 85mph cages the other day for the first time in 4 years and that shyt is tough let alone hitting mlb pitching know that the team’s AWFense has been the focal point of criticism for this team…

Rob from SC

May 23rd, 2009
7:57 pm

Is it wrong that I don’t want Glavine back in the rotation?

RHR

May 23rd, 2009
7:58 pm

JD – I don’t care lol. My granny would probably steal the show anyway. She’s a doll. I’m going all out on the best tickets I can find on ebay or stubhub but it still won’t be seats like that. When I say going all out I mean like I’ll pay $60 or so per seat for a field level seat.

CB

May 23rd, 2009
7:59 pm

nolie it is unbelievable,eh?

Jeff321

May 23rd, 2009
8:00 pm

Ah, they finally got one past Prado.

AndyC

May 23rd, 2009
8:00 pm

Rob, it is wrong. The guy has gone through a lot to try to get back. He deserves a shot.

Rob from SC

May 23rd, 2009
8:01 pm

AndyC

I truly believe Hanson is the better option

David O'Brien

May 23rd, 2009
8:02 pm

Poll has been added to the blog. Who do you want to start Tuesday? Exercise your right to vote. Don’t cost nothing.

Turtsnap

May 23rd, 2009
8:03 pm

Glavine faced four in the first and all four hit the ball hard. Only gave up one single though, two long fly ball outs to the outfield

bravesphanatic004

May 23rd, 2009
8:04 pm

Dooley

May 23rd, 2009
8:04 pm

bravesphanatic004

May 23rd, 2009
8:05 pm

hey DOB or anyone else for that matter, if we were to bring up hanson for the tuesday start what would that do for his arbitration? would he lose a year? thanks in advance.

RHR

May 23rd, 2009
8:06 pm

About that poll…we have to give Medlen the ball unless there’s so physical reason he can’t go. Can’t let the kid go out on what happened Thursday night. No matter what.

Louisville brave

May 23rd, 2009
8:06 pm

nice pitching by lowe to get barajas

AndyC

May 23rd, 2009
8:06 pm

Rob, I don’t necessarily disagree with you, but if Glavine can’t cut it when and if he comes back then we will see Hanson. It will be decided on the field.

groundfog

May 23rd, 2009
8:06 pm

You have to give Medlen a chance for redemption imo.Glavine aint ready yet anyway

cabravesfan

May 23rd, 2009
8:07 pm

RHR-

totally agree regarding Medlen

JD

May 23rd, 2009
8:07 pm

Plus, what’s that say to Medlen when we sit him after one start?

JD

May 23rd, 2009
8:08 pm

I bet Yunel just got some more frosting done and is scared to wear a hat for the day.

Mark in PA

May 23rd, 2009
8:09 pm

Looking at the radar, they will not finish the home half of the fifth. Also looks like a 90-12- minute rain delay.

Braveheart

May 23rd, 2009
8:09 pm

Don’t cost nothing. (DOB)

Stop using quotes from a movie that I, and only I, deem vastly overrated.

groundfog

May 23rd, 2009
8:10 pm

Glad we have a weatherman on the blog-awesome!

Mark in PA

May 23rd, 2009
8:10 pm

I mean the fourth inning.

Brandon

May 23rd, 2009
8:10 pm

Frenchy with a double :)

David O'Brien

May 23rd, 2009
8:10 pm

Jeff Francoeur just hit a ball quite hard.

Tomahawkin

May 23rd, 2009
8:10 pm

WOW, I can’t believe We done that well In Interleague Play

About Time Frenchy!!! Nice

groundfog

May 23rd, 2009
8:10 pm

Wow JF that’s two hit hard maybe the bleeding has stopped

AndyC

May 23rd, 2009
8:11 pm

They have to let Medlen pitch again. Can you imagine going down to the minors after that outing? Talk about a head case.

RHR

May 23rd, 2009
8:11 pm

About the rain, it’s been cloudy here all day, I thought for sure it was going to pour down rain any minute about 9 am and all we ever got was about a 5 minute sprinkle. Hope that’s all there is to what’s going on in atlanta right now. It apparently didn’t last too long in Lawrenceville if the G-Braves are under way.

There you go, Frenchy. Up that trade value. :lol:

groundfog

May 23rd, 2009
8:12 pm

The obituary for Frenchy is a bit premature. I always said give him at least through July. Bowman and Law analysis is panic imo.

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