Hanson gets better SoCal reception than Lowe?

 

  San Diego — It can’t get much better than a day game in downtown San Diego, the sun shining and the ocean breezes blowing gently. Hello again, everybody, as our friend Skip Caray would say if he were here.
  Braves can — and need to — win a series today before they endure the brutal bus ride in rush-hour traffic up to L.A. later this afternoon for a four-game series against the Dodgers that starts tomorrow night at Chavez Ravine.
 Derek Lowe will be making his first start at Dodger Stadium since leaving after four seasons in Dodger Blue, but he ain’t expecting anything like the standing ovation he got when he returned to Boston earlier this season.
 After all, he never won a World Series with the Dodgers. And there’s the thing with the fan base, which is a bit different than Red Sox Nation.

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“They’ll boo me,” he said. “They boo everyone who’s gone when they come back through. Tomorrow is just another ballgame.”

 That’s probably good, right? I mean, he presumably doesn’t need the swirl of emotions from standing ovation like he got at Fenway, not when facing the NL’s best team in what figures to be a crowd approaching 50,000.

 Lowe can at least relax knowing he’s already got a tee time set up for Friday. I heard him making it on his phone in the dugout this morning here in S.D.

So. Californian Hanson pitching today in San Diego

So. Californian Hanson pitching today in San Diego

 Anyway, today’s game. This has to be about today’s game, right? And speaking of coming home, Lowe might not be tomorrow, but Tommy Hanson is today. Sort of.
 The Braves pitching phenom makes his first Southern California start, about two hours from his hometown of Redlands, which fellow Californian Kris Medlen tells me is about an hour east of L.A., on your way out to Vegas.
 I didn’t want to disrupt Hanson today, since he’s pitching and was deep into his music on the headphones, sunk into a chair in the clubhouse. We don’t generally talk to the pitcher the day he starts, unless it’s a guy like Lowe or another veteran like a Tom Glavine who prefers to keep it normal on days he pitches and thus doesn’t really mind having a casual conversation a few hours before his start.
  Hanson has at least 50 of his friends and family members here today, and his sister got a place here tonight for a bunch of them to stay the night and go out to dinner after the game, including Tommy.
  He’ll join the team tomorrow in L.A., as will Medlen, who’s going to stay tonight with his cousins who live outside San Diego. Medlen is from Norwalk, which is only about 30 minutes from Dodger Stadium, “without traffic,” he said.
 And being a native Southern Californian, he knows the key to not being stuck in horrendous L.A. traffic is to not be on the major freeways during rush hour. Perhaps that’s why neither Medlen nor Hanson will be on that team bus late this afternoon when it’s in stop-and-go traffic for much of the ride to L.A., which usually takes less than two hours but could seriously take twice that long if the Braves hit the road between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., which is likely if this game is of a normal length.
  Oh, and my head cold feels better today. Thanks for asking.
  I’m actually looking forward to the drive to L.A., because I’ll wait till about 6 p.m. or later to leave, and I’ll enjoy a cigar and some great tunes in my rental car as I drive up the freeway and look at the sun setting over the Pacific. Oh, yeah, baby. And I’ll pick up an order of fish tacos (or In-N-Out Burger) along the way.
  Gonna throw on the new CD by Jack White’s latest side project, The Dead Weather, which I picked up here this week. That and the great debut CD from the San Diego fuzz-rock band Crocodiles, called Summer of Hate.

 

 ♣ Good matchups in L.A.: The Dodgers have the majors’ best record (66-41), but believe it or not, the Braves have a better record (11-8) than the Dodgers (10-9) since the All-Star break.
Of the four games in L.A., the pitching matchups appear favorable, or at least neutral, for the Braves in three. The complete matchups for the series:
 Thursday: Lowe (11-7, 4.21) vs. LH Randy Wolf (5-6, 3.47).
 Friday: Jair Jurrjens (9-8, 2.85) vs. RH Chad Billingsley (11-6, 3.82).
 Saturday: Kenshin Kawakami (5-9, 4.38) vs. LH Clayton Kershaw (8-6, 2.89).
 Sunday: Javier Vazquez (9-7, 2.99) vs. RH Hiroki Kuroda (4-5, 4.44).
  The Braves not only have a slightly better record since the break (at least before today’s game), but also have a better ERA (3.31) than the Dodgers (3.66) since the break, and the same number of runs scored (95) in 19 games.
  The problem for the Braves has been the inconsistency, and a good example was the first two games here in San Diego. The Braves got six hits in a 4-2 loss against a rookie pitcher making his fifth start on Monday, then they matched a season high with 17 hits in a 9-2 win last night.
  In 19 game since the break, the Braves have scored three runs or fewer seven times, and seven runs or more seven times.

  ♣ Prado keeps going: What more can we say about Martin Prado, who continues to surpass all expectations since becoming a lineup regular?
  When I asked Bobby Cox this morning about Prado improving his career outlook this season, he said, “He has, big time.”
  He had another three-hit, three-RBI game last night, including a homer and a two-run double. Ho-hum.
  ”He’s playing great,” said Javier Vazquez, who pitched seven innings of four-hit ball last night. “He’s been great all year.”
 Since moving into the regular lineup on June 30, Prado has hit .357 with 11 doubles, four homrs, 22 RBI and a .408 OBP and .535 slugging percentage in 31 games, and the Braves are 18-13 in those games.
  Dude now has 590 career at-bats, which is basically one full season in the majors, and here are his totals: .312 average with 44 doubles, 5 triples, 10 homers, 75 RBI, 81 runs, .369 OBP, .454 slugging (.823 OPS).
  And rising steadily.
  He has a .298 career average and robust .383 OBP against lefties, and .323 average with a .357 OBP against righties.
 He has a .287 average with no one on base, and a stellar .342 average and .385 OBP with runners on.
  And get this one: For the month of August, Prado has a .427 career average (50-for-117) with 18 extra-base hits, 20 RBI and a 1.074 OPS. Wow.

 ♣ Diaz’s memorable evening: In case you missed it, Matt Diaz had a most unusual game last night. Three double plays grounded into, one strikeout, and a two-run homer that keyed the Braves’ four-run sixth inning to break open the game.
  He became the first Braves player to do that (three GIDPs, home run) in the same game since the team moved to Atlanta in 1966, and the first major leaguer to do it since Scott Rolen in 2002 with St. Louis.
  Diaz had never grounded into more than one double play in a game. When he did it for the third time in the ninth inning last night, Cox and a few other guys busted on him in the dugout (remember, the game was one-sided by then) and told him he was only one GIDP from Joe Torre’s single-game record set in 1975.
  What’s not a laughing matter is this: Diaz has hit .179 with one extra-base hit (last night’s homer) in his past 12 games, with one walk, 11 strikeouts and five GIDPs.

Hoss has struggled lately

Hoss has struggled lately

 Chipper Jones has also slumped, going 5-for-25 with one double and two RBI in his past seven games, including 1-for-12 with three strikeouts in his past three before today.

 

♣ Talk about immediate impact: Ol’ Rochy’s had one. Adam LaRoche’s four-hit game Tuesday made him 8-for-13 with a double, home run and three walks in four games since being traded back to the Braves from Boston in exchange for Casey Kotchman.
 Before today, Kotchman was 0-for-1 for the Red Sox, the at-bat coming as a pinch-hitter.
 LaRoche had begun to heat up near the end of his stay with the Pirates, who traded him to Boston to start a whirlwind tour of two trades in less than two weeks for the veteran first basemen.
 LaRoche has hit .400 with five doubles, two homers and six RBI in 12 games for three teams since July 20, with a .442 OBP and .675 slugging percentage.

 ♦ OK, game’s starting. We’ll close with a tune from a criminally underrated singer/songwriter.

“CAMERA ONE” by Josh Joplin

The sandy-haired son of Hollywood
Lost his faith in all that’s good
Closed the curtain, unplugged the clock
Hung his clothes on the shower rod
But he never go undressed and he never made a mess
It’s funny how life works out
The odds of faith in the face of doubt
Camera one closes in
The soundtrack starts, the scene begins.

You’re playing you now
You’re playing you now
You’re playing you now
You’re playing you now
You’re playing you now
Take a bow

The trophy wife of Palisades
Whose yearbook beauty never fades
Sits and watches the sea roll in
And wonders what might have been
If she ever had the chance
Would she do it all again?
It’s funny how life works out
The odds of faith in the face of doubt
Camera one closes in
The soundtrack starts, the scene begins.

You’re playing you now
You’re playing you now
You’re playing you now
You’re playing you now
You’re playing you now
Take a bow

On the corner by the street
He sits in his armchair in the heat
Sightseers see what they want
He’s selling star maps to the sun

The sandy-haired son of Hollywood
Lost his faith in all that’s good
Closed the curtain, unplugged the clock
Hung his clothes on the shower rod
But he never go undressed and he never seemed depressed.
It’s funny how life works out
The odds of faith in the face of doubt
Camera one closes in
The soundtrack starts, the scene begins

 

 

1,268 comments Add your comment

RHR

August 5th, 2009
3:39 pm

Ugh. There is no need to start off with ish like that. Desperate much?

RHR

August 5th, 2009
3:40 pm

Sweet. My 1st FIRST.

Vinings Jim

August 5th, 2009
3:41 pm

Good job, Chipper

Jeff321

August 5th, 2009
3:41 pm

Anybody else having problems picking up the game? technical difficulties it says.

Boog says SS is trying to fix the audio/video difficulties.. But, its coming in fine via MLB Video.

Mixxo

August 5th, 2009
3:41 pm

Yeah, SportsSouth is having difficulties.

Doin’ radio.

Vinings Jim

August 5th, 2009
3:41 pm

Congrats, RHR!

Larry

August 5th, 2009
3:42 pm

good day everyone. need a win today. head to LA on a high note. lets get em.

Mixxo

August 5th, 2009
3:43 pm

I had a “first” once.

I think I felt something twitch….I dunno.

McFann :Ô:

August 5th, 2009
3:43 pm

Walk! Boo-yah.

TnBrian

August 5th, 2009
3:44 pm

Larry

August 5th, 2009
3:44 pm

way to start. nice rip old man.

Mixxo

August 5th, 2009
3:45 pm

Vinings Jim

August 5th, 2009
3:45 pm

Good job GA, Chipper!

Mixxo

August 5th, 2009
3:45 pm

Professional RBI single!

Larry

August 5th, 2009
3:46 pm

damn. robbed. i needed those fantasy RBIs.

Mixxo

August 5th, 2009
3:46 pm

Dang!

Almost.

Mitchie-san

August 5th, 2009
3:46 pm

Why do I always hold my breath when Chipper slides???

N8

August 5th, 2009
3:46 pm

All THAT for just one run?

TnBrian

August 5th, 2009
3:46 pm

Look how short our posts are when the Braves do something good.

McFann :Ô:

August 5th, 2009
3:47 pm

TnBrian Look how short our posts are when the Braves do something good.

:lol: Pitiful, ain’t it?

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief!

Larry

August 5th, 2009
3:48 pm

ok tommy. time to go to work. keep it together.

RHR

August 5th, 2009
3:49 pm

Chop Chop

August 5th, 2009
3:49 pm

Looks like the Giants don’t want to lose any ground to the Braves. Eli Whiteside just hit a grand slam.

Seven unanswered runs for the Giants.

Giants 7, Astros 3 – Top 6th

Braves Fan in SC

August 5th, 2009
3:49 pm

Not a good start.

Luke H.

August 5th, 2009
3:49 pm

Gaudin’s stuff isn’t moving or breaking so far, we should be able to get some runs up on the board and knock him out early. UGLY at-bat by Prado.

TommyP

August 5th, 2009
3:49 pm

I don’t understand the shock surrounding Martin Prado’s performance. He’s ALWAYS shown he could flat out hit. The Braves just never gave him a chance.

The Pads of this year are another example of a team that’s going nowhere and might as well pull up the kids and see what they have. The Giants did it last year and found a gem in Sandoval and now Eugenio Velez is thriving. Pads have Venable, Blanks, Cabrera, Headley….WHY NOT?

Braves need(ed) one more bat to make a playoff run. Not gonna happen, folks.

Larry

August 5th, 2009
3:50 pm

spoke too soon i guess.

oh hells yeah. nice slide goof troop.

Braves Fan in SC

August 5th, 2009
3:50 pm

He pulled a Diaz!

Jeff321

August 5th, 2009
3:50 pm

Yunel saves McCann’s paltry throw for the out.

RHR

August 5th, 2009
3:50 pm

UGH I hate radio. Took 2 whole minutes to find out that he was out.

Mixxo

August 5th, 2009
3:50 pm

Way to stay with it Esco!

David O'Brien

August 5th, 2009
3:50 pm

Four-pitch walk to start game… I’m reminded that Jo-Jo Reyes had a bad day here a few years ago in his major league debut not far from his L.A.-area home, with all the friends and family on hand.

Then I remind myself that Jo-Jo Reyes ain’t Tommy Hanson. In any way.

TnBrian

August 5th, 2009
3:50 pm

Looks like another tight K zone from the ump.

BravoMan

August 5th, 2009
3:50 pm

Brian making up for lastnight I see…

McFann :Ô:

August 5th, 2009
3:50 pm

Hoo-hoo! You are OUT, boy! Nice…nice heads-up, Escobar!

Jalb3rt

August 5th, 2009
3:52 pm

Everth Cabrera walked on a 1-3 count, nice!… Great job by the ump!

David O'Brien

August 5th, 2009
3:52 pm

Poll added to original blog. Vote now

David O'Brien

August 5th, 2009
3:52 pm

Eight pitches, one strike so far….

Rodney Derrick

August 5th, 2009
3:52 pm

Way to go Yunel! shades of Kent Hrbek but also a good call unlike the 1991 fiasco

LOSTlover

August 5th, 2009
3:53 pm

Should I vote optimistically or realistically?

Mixxo

August 5th, 2009
3:53 pm

Settle down Tommy!

C’mon.

David O'Brien

August 5th, 2009
3:53 pm

Two four-pitch walks in first three batters…. Yikes.

Goldenglove002

August 5th, 2009
3:53 pm

this isn’t good. gotta throw strikes

UgaMatt

August 5th, 2009
3:53 pm

Anyone have a link other than mlb.com to watch online?

N8

August 5th, 2009
3:53 pm

“Look how short our posts are when the Braves do something good.”

Your standards have become too low if you consider what transpired in the top of the first to be “good”. Horrible inning, imo.

THAT is why this team hovers at .500, and a good team does not. Taking advantage of an inning like that.

Could have been worse though. I guess they could have scored zero runs. They’ve gotta start putting teams away when they have opportunities like that.

Oh no. Hanson is having control issues. Any moment Paul Lentz will be playing the “I told you so” about young pitchers getting “figured out” when the scouting report has gotten around (eyes rolling).

Braves Fan in SC

August 5th, 2009
3:54 pm

Hope Medlen is ready.

cabravesfan

August 5th, 2009
3:55 pm

RHR-

having the same issue here…listening over the internet is not ideal

NORRIS

August 5th, 2009
3:55 pm

Hanson is a little nervous. He has a lot of family at the game and he wants to do well. He will settle down. we just hope that the damage is held to a minimum.

Mixxo

August 5th, 2009
3:55 pm

Braves Fan in SC

August 5th, 2009
3:55 pm

Nice turn. Lets get some more runs.

Mitchie-san

August 5th, 2009
3:56 pm

Hey DOB, sorry but in the Diaz part of your blog you say he GIDP 4 times and then 3 times…

McFann :Ô:

August 5th, 2009
3:56 pm

Nice block by BMac, VERY nice double play!

Nova Scotia Steve

August 5th, 2009
3:56 pm

I was just blogging by myself on the old blog for the last 1/2 hour…

I missed the “new bloggage” post…thought things were a little quiet.

Mixxo

August 5th, 2009
3:56 pm

Esco was $$$ on that hard hit ball. That wasn’t easy.

GTMidtown

August 5th, 2009
3:56 pm

what a turn by Esco! He is more and more valuable to this team everyday….

monty

August 5th, 2009
3:57 pm

Where are the bloggers who kept saying that Prado was just a “servicable bench player” now? Speak up and admit your ignorance.

David O'Brien

August 5th, 2009
3:57 pm

What a special player Escobar is.

LuisG

August 5th, 2009
3:57 pm

Hey DOB:
Diaz ‘just’ hit into 3 double plays last night (as you pointed out the seccond and third time you wrote about it, but the first time you got it wrong).

BravoMan

August 5th, 2009
3:57 pm

N8

August 5th, 2009
3:57 pm

That is also an example of why the Padres are where they are in the standings. They too cannot take advantage of Hanson’s early control problems.

Then again, everybody knows that when our pitchers get out of a jam, it’s because of good pitching. But when our batters fail to score in those situations, it’s because they suck as hitters, right?

Vinings Jim

August 5th, 2009
3:58 pm

Adam on fire!

David O'Brien

August 5th, 2009
3:58 pm

Make that 9-for-14 for Rochy since the trade, with three walks.

Mixxo

August 5th, 2009
3:59 pm

Roachy…..locked in?

8)

BravoMan

August 5th, 2009
3:59 pm

LaRoche=smokin

Marie

August 5th, 2009
3:59 pm

Rochy – Sweet!!!

Steve from OH

August 5th, 2009
3:59 pm

I’ll never look upon one of Frank Wren’s moves with skepticism again…

NORRIS

August 5th, 2009
3:59 pm

is laroache hot or what?

Nova Scotia Steve

August 5th, 2009
3:59 pm

Why in the hell is LaRoche batting 7th…I really don’t get this S*it…Its actually is peavin me off…

Rodney Derrick

August 5th, 2009
4:00 pm

What is it about Adam and Tex that cause them to be monsters in the second half and not very good in the early part of the season

RHR

August 5th, 2009
4:01 pm

I wouldn’t vote 0, but that should be an option on the poll. I mean, its a possibility. Plus, if we get swept you know I would blame you and your poll for not having the option up there. :lol:

Mitchie-san

August 5th, 2009
4:01 pm

Did he just throw over to first with LaRoche there?

Braves326

August 5th, 2009
4:01 pm

another quality AB by church

Mixxo

August 5th, 2009
4:01 pm

I like Church’s patience.

THWG

August 5th, 2009
4:02 pm

At the very least Bobby should switch Roachy and GA in the order.

MiamiBrave

August 5th, 2009
4:02 pm

Say what you will about Church, but at least the dude puts up a quality at bat.

Doesn’t go up there just hacking like Frenchy

Luke H.

August 5th, 2009
4:02 pm

Where are the LaRoche haters?

Mixxo

August 5th, 2009
4:02 pm

Nice bunt Tommy!

Vinings Jim

August 5th, 2009
4:02 pm

Greta bunt, Tommy!

MiamiBrave

August 5th, 2009
4:03 pm

nice sacrfice, gotta get at least 1 here…

AndyC

August 5th, 2009
4:03 pm

I agree on Church. He is not the most exciting player in the world but he will work a walk and give you a good AB.

BravoMan

August 5th, 2009
4:04 pm

What an AB by Church. And a solid bunt by Hanson…little things make our offense tick.

RHR

August 5th, 2009
4:04 pm

Oh and…Frank Wren is a genius. And I misspelled genius when I first typed it and had to go back and fix it. Heh.

Larry

August 5th, 2009
4:04 pm

ncscoots

August 5th, 2009
4:05 pm

Where are the bloggers who kept saying that Prado was just a “servicable bench player” now?

ncscoots, right here. How was I to know he would so outperform his minor league credentials, LOL? When he came up, “bench player” was exactly what he looked like, and that’s what I called him. You can certainly qualify that as “ignorance”, if you wish; you’ll pardon me if I laugh while you do it, I hope.

Vinings Jim

August 5th, 2009
4:05 pm

Nate is obviously back – probably will not make another out on the trip

Mixxo

August 5th, 2009
4:05 pm

Nate…..heating up?

That would be real nice.

Nova Scotia Steve

August 5th, 2009
4:05 pm

Nate needed that big knock…its good to see….Would like to see this offense get nice and hot heading to LA

BravoMan

August 5th, 2009
4:05 pm

Goldenglove002

August 5th, 2009
4:06 pm

I think a good reason to keep laroche where he is in the lineup is because someone is getting on base infront of mcLouth, who is still an RBI guy despite his leadoff role

Brett Esterson

August 5th, 2009
4:06 pm

That’s why Nate is batting leadoff. As seen in the first, he can get on base to lead off the game and now we see he can knock in a run when there are runners on base. That’s a good spot for him especially if Roachy and Chuch continue to bat low in the order and get on base.

Larry

August 5th, 2009
4:06 pm

bahahaha. padres bullpen up in the 2nd. fail.

RHR

August 5th, 2009
4:06 pm

No no no no don’t take out the starter!

David O'Brien

August 5th, 2009
4:07 pm

Four outs, 45 pitches for Gaudin…

Chop Chop

August 5th, 2009
4:07 pm

If I’m not mistaken, it appears as if the Braves are great again.

eatPhillie

August 5th, 2009
4:08 pm

Braves fighting for 4th and .500. FAIL.

How did Lee look with new uni?

Mixxo

August 5th, 2009
4:08 pm

Make him work Marteen.

Brett Esterson

August 5th, 2009
4:08 pm

No complete game today for Gaudin. Maybe Tommy can settle down now with the lead.

Nova Scotia Steve

August 5th, 2009
4:08 pm

hahahahaha Chop Chop

It appears…Im still a little sour however from Monday

RHR

August 5th, 2009
4:08 pm

Four outs, 43 pitches for Gaudin…

Somewhere in the dugout, KK is smirking.

Mixxo

August 5th, 2009
4:09 pm

Productive out!

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