Chipper and Church rest, plus the Lowe-down

 (Staff writer Carroll Rogers is filling in for David O’Brien today while he hobnobs with Hall-of-Famers.)

 

   Milwaukee – Good afternoon from a breezy and beautiful day in brats land, where the roof is open at Miller Park and the guys are taking a little bp while the city still buzzes from German Fest.

   Omar Infante actually got a little applause from his teammates this morning as he headed out to take his first batting practice since he broke his finger. They can give you a chuckle from time to time, the ballplayers.

   OK, business at hand. Chipper Jones is out of the lineup today, but that’s just to give him a two-day breather, with the off day coming tomorrow before the Braves open a three-game series against the Marlins.

   “It’ll recharge me real good for the Florida series,” Jones said. “I’m relatively healthy, I’m just kinda beat up a little bit. Two days will do me a world of good.”

   Of course Bobby Cox will have him as a pinch hit weapon off the bench and will surely use him.

   Without Jones in there, Martin Prado moves to third, and Kelly Johnson gets his first start at second base since he lost his starting job to Prado and spent time in Class AAA Gwinnett resting his sore wrists.

   Today is a good chance for Johnson to test out the work he did in Gwinnett with hitting coach Jamie Dismuke. Kelly said they concentrated on keeping his hands quiet at the top of his swing, that he’d had a bit of a hitch going, and that’s helped him regain some confidence at the plate.

   Another absentee in the lineup is Ryan Church, who hyper-extended his right elbow swinging at a 3-2 changeup in his first at-bat Saturday night. He said he first injured the elbow three weeks ago with the Mets in a series in Philadelphia. Ryan Howard stepped on his foot as he crossed first base, Church said, and he fell.

   He thinks with the off day Monday, he should be fine to go against the Marlins on Tuesday.

   “It’s just one of those things I was trying to play through,” said Church, who went 0-for-2 with a walk last night. “Should be fine on Tuesday, ready to go.”

   As it turns out, reliever Mike Gonzalez wasn’t quite ready yesterday after his bullpen session. He couldn’t get a good enough grip on his curveball to be consistent with it. But I saw him today and he thinks now he’s ready to go. Bobby wasn’t sure when I asked him about it, but he hadn’t talked to Gonzalez yet. So I’ll guess we’ll just see how it plays out.

BRAVES LINEUP

 

1.   Nate McLouth CF

2.   Martin Prado 3B

3.   Yunel Escobar SS

4.   Brian McCann C

5.   Garret Anderson LF

6.   Matt Diaz RF

7.   Casey Kotchman 1B

8.   Kelly Johnson 2B

9.   Derek Lowe P 

 

PITCHING MATCH-UPS FOR MARLINS SERIES:

   Tuesday: RH Jair Jurrjens (9-7, 2.67 ERA) vs. RH Ricky Nolasco (7-7, 5.42)

   Wednesday: RH Kenshin Kawakami (5-7, 4.04) vs. RH Josh Johnson (8-2, 2.74)

   Thursday: RH Javier Vazquez (8-7, 2.98) vs. RH Rick VandenHurk (1-0, 3.00)

 

THAT TIME OF YEAR FOR D LOWE:

   Derek Lowe gets back on the mound today with that much more distance between him and his well-documented rough patch. (In case you missed it, Lowe went 0-4 in a five-start stretch with an 8.61 ERA and a .391 opponents batting average.)

 

   Entering his start today against the Brew Crew, Lowe has put up three consecutive quality starts.

   Want to know what adjustments he made? I did. But don’t get too excited because Lowe is not super big on analyzing.

   “The first thing people do with struggles is sometimes you overanalyze everything as far as mechanical stuff,” Lowe said. “Sometimes you don’t necessarily pitch. You go out there and try to analyze every pitch. You’re hoping to get outs, instead of pitching and allowing the game to happen. When you do that, you normally throw a lot of pitches. There are a lot of hits because you’re not really being aggressive. You’re hoping to get guys out.”

   So what’s going on now then? Lowe thinks it’s getting to that time of year when it’s crunch time, and that’s a fun time for him. He’s done his best work coming down the stretch, and his numbers back it up.

   Lowe’s career monthly ERAs are at their best at the end of the year, and they get progressively better. He’s got a 3.19 career ERA in August, a 3.14 career ERA for September and a 3.00 ERA for October.

   “This is the time of year, I’ve always enjoyed playing,” Lowe said. “Every game is magnified. Every game is important throughout the year, but when you get down to the last two months, six weeks, you can really make a difference if you pitch a good or bad game. I’ve always enjoyed that. Hopefully the next two months will be the same that it has been the last couple years.”

   OK, I’m going to leave it at that. Let’s get it going! And good luck to DOB who, if I’m not mistaken, is giving a speech today in Cooperstown to introduce the Spink Award winner: it’s Nick Peters who covered the Giants for 47 years, mostly with the Oakland Tribune and Sacramento Bee.

    

 

 

2,867 comments Add your comment

Paul Lentz

July 26th, 2009
1:46 pm

I liked Ron Gant as a player. But as a studio guy……….he SUCKSSSSSSSSSS!. Talk about a YES man. Dude actually said “the Braves are a stronger team now, with Greg Norton back”.

Simply Unbelievable.

Joebrave

July 26th, 2009
1:48 pm

Hmmph! that Chipper story don’t wash , sounds like another ploy by Booby to get one of his homeboys K.J. in the damn line-up without ticking Wren off!

McFann :Ô:

July 26th, 2009
1:48 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Ms. Rogers! And yeah, good luck to DOB! Do us proud, Chief!

“The first thing people do with struggles is sometimes you overanalyze everything as far as mechanical stuff,” Lowe said.

He is sooo right…

Uh…first?

VABraves4Life

July 26th, 2009
1:49 pm

It’s almost game time lets see if we can get the series win. Based on the pitching matchup vs FLA looks like we can take 2 of 3 from them as well.

Joebrave

July 26th, 2009
1:50 pm

Or maybe not!

Joebrave

July 26th, 2009
1:51 pm

It’s Konerko time!!!!

The_Superhoo

July 26th, 2009
1:51 pm

Thanks for the new blog! I wish Chipper weren’t out when we have a shot at winning this series, but its a pretty normal thing for Bobby to do. As long as he comes back healthy for the Florida series.

McFann :Ô:

July 26th, 2009
1:52 pm

VABraves4Life Based on the pitching matchup vs FLA looks like we can take 2 of 3 from them as well.

Yeah! I like that matchup for Tuesday’s game…

Braves326

July 26th, 2009
1:52 pm

With this pitching staff, we’ll always have a shot at 2 of 3 or 3 of 4.

VaBraveFan

July 26th, 2009
1:53 pm

Yunel looks pretty good in the 3rd spot.

The Lammer

July 26th, 2009
1:53 pm

Aww, that’s cute. Chipper’s not hurt, he just feels like he needs a day off.

Team leader my @ss!. Mac’s out there catching a day game after a night game and you can’t even play third base? Chipper Jones is a joke. You get an off day tomorrow…

SF Lad

July 26th, 2009
1:55 pm

I’m fine with him taking some time off, in fact I think he should take the next 3 seasons off.

RHR

July 26th, 2009
1:55 pm

Pretty sure we “have a shot” at winning today even though Chipper’s not in there.

I like giving him 2 days off together, would rather have him fresh vs the marlins and dodgers.

McFann :Ô:

July 26th, 2009
1:56 pm

Actually, yeah…the only one that makes me nervous in FLA is when they face Josh Johnson. Blech…don’t like him…

Lammer

I think it was Bobby’s idea to give him the day off.

BMac is the future team leader, though, according to many on the team…coaches and such.

bird

July 26th, 2009
1:56 pm

Ron Gant is doing a great job as a studio guy and he will get even better with more experience.. Keep up the good work Ron Gant.

The_Superhoo

July 26th, 2009
1:57 pm

God. All some of you do is rag on the players. If you don’t like them, go watch another team. Please.

Chipper is in his late 30s and playing more than he has in years. Give it a rest.

VaBraveFan

July 26th, 2009
1:59 pm

Chipper out of the lineup today isnt good considering McCann has been struggling, We need a big game from Yunel and no double plays please. We got DLowe on the mound and he is really good during this part of the season, we need to play small ball and stay outta double plays.

Gov. Clinton Tyree

July 26th, 2009
2:00 pm

Gant may not be Cris Collinsworth, but he’s better than Brian Jordan, who is awful.

Collinsworth was a few years after me at Florida. Fastest white guy ever. Even an Einstein like Doug Dickey figured out to move him to receiver from QB.

Heath

July 26th, 2009
2:00 pm

Back from my wedding hiatus…

Hopefully the Braves offense can come back from a one-game…

Just saw DOB on MLB Network!!!!

PWHjort

July 26th, 2009
2:00 pm

Great blog, Carrol. Any idea what Brian Snitker’s favorite music is?

Billy Bob

July 26th, 2009
2:01 pm

DOB just introduced and shown on camera at HOF induction. It’s on MLB network. Nice wave to the crowd, DOB.

Rodney Derrick

July 26th, 2009
2:02 pm

David O’Brien, our DOB, just looked pretty awed by his surroundings there being introduced with the Hall of Famers. Go DOB! And Hank Aaron got the biggest applause, excepting all those Red Sox cheers for Jim Rice.

PWHjort

July 26th, 2009
2:02 pm

bird,
I like Gant on Braves Live!. I don’t like him when he calls the game as a fill-in. He’s one of my favorite players of all time, too. TRIVIA TIME: Ron Gant had 2 30-30 seasons in an Atlanta Braves uniform: 1990 and 1991. These two seasons represent half of the 30-30 seasons in Braves history. Who are the other two players to have a 30-30 season for the Braves?

jeffrey d

July 26th, 2009
2:02 pm

What would Joebrave do if his exclamation point (1) key broke off?

AZBravoFan

July 26th, 2009
2:03 pm

Maybe Chipper needs to talk to Lance Armstrong about how to take care of a 37 year old body.

How does Kenshin keep drawing the other team’s best pitchers?

jeffrey d

July 26th, 2009
2:03 pm

Great blog, Carrol. Any idea what Brian Snitker’s favorite music is?

Trying to get a heads up on the Verizon know your music inning eh?

Gov. Clinton Tyree

July 26th, 2009
2:03 pm

Future Ford Frick Award winner David O’Brien? At the HOF ceremonies?

Gilligan loves Mary Ann

July 26th, 2009
2:06 pm

Chipper can have a week off if he needs it

Skip & Pete Fan

July 26th, 2009
2:07 pm

Let’s go Braves! We need two of three and let’s hope that the Cardinals can gain some respect after yesterday’s murder!

Joebrave

July 26th, 2009
2:08 pm

What Superhoo, we as lifelong Braves fans can’t want the supposed team leader’s ass on the field during crunch time, hmmm, not too much to ask is it concerning the price we pay for Tix!

Joebrave

July 26th, 2009
2:09 pm

I’d probably break it off and shove it up your wazzoo Jefferyd (PUNK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

kirkinga

July 26th, 2009
2:09 pm

I sure hope that Frank Wren is working on some help for the pen, it seems that Gonzo can’t grip the ball completely and probably should be on the DL if that continues. As it stands now, anything less than 8 innings from the starter +Soriano to finish, is an unknown. They can be lights out, or Give-It-Up, we just don’t know from game to game.

I understand that Chipper needs to get in some rest, and that Kelly needs some AB’s, but I don’t think today is the day to do it. This game is important, they are trying to win this series and there is an off day tomorrow. If they had won yesterday then I could see the leader of the team taking an extra day. But they didn’t, and he says he’s healthy, so I think he should be on the field today leading the team to a series victory.

Carroll Rogers

July 26th, 2009
2:09 pm

that walk means Nate McLouth has reached base in seven consecutive plate appearances

Joebrave

July 26th, 2009
2:09 pm

Now back to Baseball!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Heath

July 26th, 2009
2:09 pm

Nice start to the game for McLouth…

JasonInFL

July 26th, 2009
2:09 pm

big first inning, baby, come on!

RHR

July 26th, 2009
2:10 pm

Awesome. Good start!

VaBraveFan

July 26th, 2009
2:10 pm

McLouth has been doing a great job getting on base

JasonInFL

July 26th, 2009
2:10 pm

NO MORE BOBBY

July 26th, 2009
2:10 pm

Missed the game yesterday, What did Bobby do wrong this time?

Joebrave

July 26th, 2009
2:11 pm

kirkingga, I do as well, hopefully he is in on Sherrill, he might just need him next year as well.

RHR

July 26th, 2009
2:11 pm

Good for DOB, but I’m watching the Braves.

Mitchell

July 26th, 2009
2:11 pm

Thank you Nate for stealing.

I was hoping he would do that yesterday. I was also hoping Martin would bunt.

And a wild pitch really helps.

SOS

July 26th, 2009
2:11 pm

Good job Bobby. You just couldn’t wait to put your boy KJ back in there. Next thing BC will be starting Norton. And of course Bennett is getting back in BC form by giving up two runs last night in the minors. It won’t be long Bobby before you can get your all BC crap team in there in every position.

brian

July 26th, 2009
2:11 pm

here’s a surprise. While waiting for the Braves I played my son in the MLB the show. I was the Braves and we went into extra innings. I brought in Moylen in the bottom of the 10th who gave up a walk off homerun to the first batter he faced.

VaBraveFan

July 26th, 2009
2:12 pm

that made up for the non fundementals of prado right there yunel just drive a flyball out there an get an early lead

Nova Scotia Steve

July 26th, 2009
2:12 pm

Hey Everyone! Let’s get a win here today eh! :)

JasonInFL

July 26th, 2009
2:12 pm

PWHjort, I know Murhp is one…will have to think on the other…

Heath

July 26th, 2009
2:13 pm

OK Mac….ducks on the pond…

Mitchell

July 26th, 2009
2:13 pm

A double play would not be good.

VaBraveFan

July 26th, 2009
2:13 pm

Ok McCann be patient he isnt throwing strikes get a good one to drive no grounders!!!

SOS

July 26th, 2009
2:13 pm

UH OH. Putting a runner on first is not good news for the Braves with less than two out and a runner on 3rd.

KJ Fans

July 26th, 2009
2:13 pm

Tomahawkin

July 26th, 2009
2:14 pm

Esco Needs To steal second here and avoid the DP, Looper is having issues!

JasonInFL

July 26th, 2009
2:14 pm

the other has to be Hammerin Hank…

RHR

July 26th, 2009
2:14 pm

I didn’t get on here during the game yesterday until the 8th and they lost so I’m doing my part today. :P

Nova Scotia Steve

July 26th, 2009
2:14 pm

How bout one of those “warning trackers” Mac!

Carroll Rogers

July 26th, 2009
2:14 pm

PWHjort, re: Snitker. Seriously?

Gov. Clinton Tyree

July 26th, 2009
2:16 pm

I like the running game. RUN MORE

Tomahawkin

July 26th, 2009
2:16 pm

R U Serious!!!!

Nova Scotia Steve

July 26th, 2009
2:16 pm

No More Bobby 2.

July 26th, 2009
2:16 pm

Braves lead the world in not getting a runner home from 3rd with one out.

RHR

July 26th, 2009
2:16 pm

Aw man. But WTF looked like a balk to me too.

Jeff321

July 26th, 2009
2:16 pm

Looked like a balk to me.

Mixxo

July 26th, 2009
2:16 pm

Nova Scotia Steve @2:12-

Hear! Hear!

Great story on Brian after the game last night. Can’t believe that was the first time I saw it. Damn Yunel!

Tomahawkin

July 26th, 2009
2:16 pm

Mental Laspe by ESCO!

Nova Scotia Steve

July 26th, 2009
2:17 pm

Well that was a big hit…

The_Superhoo

July 26th, 2009
2:17 pm

Thank you Mac

McFann :Ô:

July 26th, 2009
2:18 pm

RBI DOUBLE!!!

:D

RHR

July 26th, 2009
2:18 pm

No More Bobby 2 leads the world at wrong predictions.

lexbrave

July 26th, 2009
2:18 pm

i can’t believe escobar fell for the one pickoff play that i swore i’d never see a runner fall for.

VaBraveFan

July 26th, 2009
2:19 pm

Atleast we got the run, Prado changed the whole inning with not advancing the runnner to 3rd

JasonInFL

July 26th, 2009
2:19 pm

did Esco try a straight steal? and PWHort, that’s my final answer…Murph and Hank…

No More Bobby 2.

July 26th, 2009
2:19 pm

RHR. What do you know.

Tomahawkin

July 26th, 2009
2:19 pm

LexBrave

We got picked off on that same play earlier in the season…! Only the braves…!

Tomahawkin

July 26th, 2009
2:20 pm

That Fckin Prince!

A lot of luck that inning for the Brew Crew…!

The_Superhoo

July 26th, 2009
2:20 pm

Fielder just eclipses that foul line with his shear girth

VaBraveFan

July 26th, 2009
2:20 pm

One thing about Yunel he is great hitter, great fielder, but he has below average speed for a shortstop, and his baserunning is below average as well.

RHR

July 26th, 2009
2:20 pm

Dudes, he was well into his delivery. Leg up, arm and glove motion toward home plate. How is that not a balk?

Necromancer

July 26th, 2009
2:21 pm

Loaf just isn’t going to try and beat that out, is he?

Mitchell

July 26th, 2009
2:21 pm

What matters is the run.

Yunel might not have scored on that anyway. Somewhat of a dumb play you could argue.

I know we only have a run but it’s not insignificant. Not having scored would have been terrible.

Derek needs to pitch well. A quick inning right here would be advantageous.

SOS

July 26th, 2009
2:21 pm

Wow. I guess we have to be satisfied with one. Thanks to McCann for saving another 3rd and less than two out screwup.

Jeff Francouer

July 26th, 2009
2:21 pm

Can I please come back to Atlanta the Mets suck!

Interested Observer

July 26th, 2009
2:21 pm

Exactly why wasn’t that a balk? I know you can fake a throw to third but Looper was on the rubber and moved his front leg past the rubber before stepping to third. That’s not a balk? When does a fake to third become a aborted movement toward the plate?

kirkinga

July 26th, 2009
2:21 pm

Good to see an early run. Hopefully the guys that want to play today can get it done.

Joebrave, I think that would be an excellent acquisition for the pen. I just don’t know what the cost is going to be since other teams are after him too, so they are going to have to overpay that’s for sure.

Tomahawkin

July 26th, 2009
2:21 pm

We Could Of had at least 3 runs and get one that inning…Innings like that really play with my emotions….!

VaBraveFan

July 26th, 2009
2:21 pm

Good inning still, Looper 25 pitches, and we got the early lead with Lowe on the mound

RHR

July 26th, 2009
2:21 pm

lol superhoo – thats true, a ball comes his way he just throws his body down and knows nothing is getting between him and the 2B.

Mitchell

July 26th, 2009
2:22 pm

I sounded like a robot just then.

I feel a win.

OMG DONK

July 26th, 2009
2:22 pm

OMG we only scored once? This game should of been over

McFann :Ô:

July 26th, 2009
2:22 pm

VaBraveFan Ok McCann be patient he isnt throwing strikes get a good one to drive no grounders!!!

That’s exactly what I was sayin’ to him…I know he doesn’t like walks all of the sudden, but I was like, “Be patient!”

And he was, and it worked! Not sure if Escobar woulda been able to score or not…hard to tell with 1 out.

The_Superhoo

July 26th, 2009
2:22 pm

Francoeur,

You have to learn to spell your own name first.

Tomahawkin

July 26th, 2009
2:23 pm

D-lo will come Correct Today, “Bank On It!”

D-lo is due against this lineup…

brent a.

July 26th, 2009
2:23 pm

Even without Chipper in there, our line-up actually looks respectable today.

Mitchell

July 26th, 2009
2:23 pm

VaBraveFan, very true.

That was a big run. The first of many.

Soph

July 26th, 2009
2:24 pm

Hey all. Woo hoo, a run! Needed it after the zippo yesterday.

JasonInFL

July 26th, 2009
2:24 pm

are you guys telling me that the ol bravos fell for the fake to 3rd throw to first again? really?

Salamander

July 26th, 2009
2:24 pm

Yunel might not have scored on that [McCann double] anyway. Somewhat of a dumb play you could argue.

If Escobar had stopped at third on McCann’s double, then he would have scored on the play Prince made, and McCann would have been on third with two outs. Bad base running cost the Braves at least one run.

Mitchell

July 26th, 2009
2:24 pm

Was anybody aware that this little douche is 38 years old?

He looks like a little forrest elf. I guess.

Nova Scotia Steve

July 26th, 2009
2:24 pm

ok really…what’s up with Craig Counsell….I said it yesterday…This guy is NOT THIS GOOD

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