Do you think Braves can do it?

 

It’s seven in a row and 4-1/2 back, but with only 16 games to play. So are you in? Are you back aboard the Braves bandwagon, if you ever got off? Or were you ever on to begin with?

These are strange times to follow this team, aren’t they? Many of you Braves fans have had your hearts broken a few times these past few years, allowed yourselves to believe more than once, got caught up in the promise of rising young talent and/or a few key offseason additions.

Only to be left standing there in September wondering, what just happened and how did I let myself get caught up in it again?

Braves go for eighth in a row tonight behind Tim Hudson

Braves go for eighth in a row tonight behind Tim Hudson

Anyway, here we are, the Braves having followed their most disappointing week (that 1-6 stretch that we thought was the proverbial final nail in the coffin) with their best week in recent memory, a 7-0 stretch that’s included sweeps against the powerful Cardinals (in Baseball Town, no less) and the injury-depleted, flushing Mets.

But the most frustrating part for the Braves is the fact that they are playing their best ball in so long — they are 10 games over .500 for the first time since they were 25-15 in May 2007 — and yet are no longer in control of their own destiny. They gave up most of that desinty control with their 34-40 start, but certainly handed over most of the rest with their 1-6 week including being swept by the Reds at home.

After that, the Braves were put in position of having to win most of their remaining games, but also needing those teams ahead of them to play close to .500 ball the rest of the way.

So far, it’s working out about as well as they could possibly have imagined. They’ve overtaken the Marlins and moved into third in the division, only 4-1/2 behind the Rockies, who are suddenly looking a bit vulnerable again after their sustained tear thrust them into the wild-card lead, and one game behind the Giants, who are pitching-loaded like the Braves, but don’t have as good a lineup.

The Phillies are in town for a three-game series starting tonight, and hopefully we’ll be able to get in some ball between flood warnings and torrential downpours.

The Braves are still 7-1/2 games behind Philly in the East, so it would take nothing short of a sweep to make that conversation interesting. But imagine if, somehow, they swept the Phillies and were only 4-1/2 out with 13 games to play and … OK, let’s wait a day or two before even bringing up that possibility.

So here we go. Just a 16-game spring to the finish, only one-tenth of the season remaining, and the Braves need to keep playing like they have, probably needing 12-14 wins the rest of the way to overtake or at least tie the Rockies and force a one-game playoff to determine the wild-card winner.

Do you all think they are up for it? They’ve gotten to this point before, where they’ve forced us to step back and go, “well, maybe…”, only to then lay an egg and leave everyone cursing and wondering what happened to the team that had just reeled off all those wins with the clutch hitting and the great defense, etc.

The pitching, that’s been there all season. Unwavering, at least in the starting rotation. The bullpen had a couple of stretches, particularly early, where they blew a few wins. But for the most part, the relievers have done a solid job this season, particularly the workhorse quartet at the back of the ‘pen, led by Outlaw Pete Moylan.

But the hitting? Hit or miss. Without rhyme or reason. They’ll go on a two-week binge, then a collective skid the depths of which will make your head spin and leave Terry Pendleton – not to mention you all – with hands in the air looking for answers.

Right now, they’re hitting. Boy, are they ever. And this comes on the heels of one of those awful funks. Go figure this team. I dare you to try.

They hit .172 and totaled just 17 runs during that 1-6 stretch through a 2-1 loss at Houston on Sept. 9. In seven games since, the Braves have hit .333 and scored 45 runs, including six or more runs in six games.

They had scored two runs or fewer in five consecutive games before this seven-game blitz.

Can they keep it up? Or have you seen it enough times to expect a collective funk right about now, with the Braves scoring maybe five runs in the entire series against the Phillies? I’m asking you, because I’ve just about given up trying to predict what this team’s gonna do.

♣ Since June 28: I had in the paper today that the Braves have the third-best record in the NL since June 28. Which is correct. Only the Rockies aren’t one of the two teams with a better record in that stretch; it’s Philly and St. Louis.winningstreak

The best records in the league in that period belong to Philly (47-26), St. Louis (44-27), Atlanta (44-28), Colorado (44-29), and San Francisco (40-33).

And guess what? Among those five teams, the Braves have the best ERA (3.29), best team batting average (.274) and most runs (356) in that period.

If any Brave ever says again that a fast start is not important, because Braves teams of the past routinely overcame sluggish starts … well, I really don’t think any of these current Braves would say that again anytime soon. So nevermind.

♣ Matt Diaz and Ryan Howard: Not too often that those two are mentioned in the same breath, but this weekend they might just be the chief concern of pitchers on the opposing side.

Diaz has torched Philly pitching and Howard has been a Braves menace for his entire career. Chipper Jones has put up big numbers against the Phillies throughout his career, but Chipper’s been out of the lineup a few days with a groin pull and been in a slump for … well, a long time. You might have heard.

Anyway, Diaz has hit .529 (18-for-34) with five doubles, four homers, 10 RBI and a tidy 1.597 OPS in 10 games against the Phillies this season. Next-best for the Braves is Martin Prado, who’s 15-for-33 (.455) with two homers and eight RBI against them, and seems to be snapping out of his recent slump and coming around just in time to perhaps a big series.

For his career, Diaz has hit .368 with a 1.057 OPS, six homers and 24 RBI in 39 games against the Phillies, but those numbers are spiked more recently. He’s hit .424 with five homers and 17 RBI in 22 games against them since may 27, 2007, including, including those four homers in 10 games this season.

Oddly enough, May 27, 2007, was also the date when Howard took things to another level against Braves pitching. In 43 games beginning then, Howard has hit .327 with 30 extra-base hits (18 home runs), 50 RBI, a .400 OBP and .747 slugging percentage against the Bravos.

That’s ridiculous.

And it’s only gotten crazier lately. Howard hit .476 (10-for-21) with five homers and nine RBI in six games against the Braves during the last 2-1/2 weeks of August, including a pair of 3-for-3, two-homer games.

The biiig man has a .340 career average and 29 homers with 82 RBI in 81 games against the Braves, including a .333 average with 12 homers and 41 RBI (and a 1.078 OPS) in 39 games at Turner Field.

Walk the dude, we say. If at all possible, under most circumstances, walk the dude.

While Howard and Chase Utley have killed the Braves (between them they have 11 homer and 20 RBI in 15 games against Atlanta this season), old tormentor Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins have not.

In 15 games against the Braves, Victorino has hit .164 (10-for-61) with no homers and one RBI, and Rollins is just 8-for-63 (.127) with two doubles, three RBIs, two runs, two walks and a .154 OBP.

In the past 11 games against them, Rollins has hit .136 with no RBI, one run, one walk and one stolen base.

Jair Jurrjens told me before the first home series against the Phillies this season that the Braves’ focus was to keep Rollins and others off the bases in front of the big boppers.

So far, that strategy has paid dividends. Brave have won nine of 15 against them this season. But this weekend, they need a series win, at the very least. And a sweep is what it’ll take to even make the division race a relevant topic.

Tim Hudson vs. J.A. Happ tonight, Javier Vazquez vs. Pedro Martinez on Saturday, and Tommy Hanson vs. Cliff Lee on Sunday. With those pitching matchups and all that’s at stake for the Braves, even rain delays can’t spoil the excitement this weekend.

Or are you allowing yourselves to get excited? You are, aren’t you? Shh. We won’t say anything.

♣ OK, gotta get to the ballpark. Surprised I even got this done, considering I got home at 1:30 a.m., watched the terrific Office season premiere, went to bed at 3 a.m., had a periodontist appointment this morning (floss those teeth, boys and girls, for gum disease is a bad, bad thing) and then got caught up in cleaning and fixing my gutters for a while around lunchtime. You know how good it feels sometimes when you step outside your so-called field of expertise and accomplish something on your own, without paying someone who’d rip you off if they had a chance? That’s how I felt today on my roof, wet and dirty as I cleaned out my gutters — easier to do it when those leaves and all that silt or whatever is all wet — and ended up repairing a gutter that had begun to pull away from the house. Previous owner apparently bent one of those big nails that holds the gutter to the house, those 6- or 8-inch things, and hadn’t bothered to replace or bend it back. When the gutter loosened away from the house, he then tried to fix it by driving a couple of screws through the inner part of the gutter (I don’t know the terms for this stuff), but in doing so he’d allowed a few of the bottom shingles to get behind the gutter in a couple of spots. So in the torrential downpours of the past couple of days, I had a bunch of leaves and crap in those particular spots in the gutters, so I was getting big spillover both to the outside of the gutter and also a bunch of water seeping between the gutter and the side of the house, and noticed it was starting to cause some molding undernearth, etc.

Long story short (well, long story not as long): I had my butt on the roof, hanging over the side, straightening that big nail, then pulling the shingles from behind the gutter and tightening it back up. And while up there, I went ahead and cleaned all the gutters. Tons of leaves. A productive morning.

Now, let’s get to work.

 

Bonnie "Prince" Billy ... aka Will Oldham (New Yorker photo)

Bonnie "Prince" Billy ... aka Will Oldham (New Yorker photo)

 

 

“EASY DOES IT” by Bonnie “Prince” Billy (W. Oldham)

When there’s only one thing I can do

Well you know that I still don’t want to do

When there’s just one way to get through

Sometimes I still don’t want to go through with it

There are other ways I used to think

to find my way around

the wood and the caves and the bad woman’s ways

that are always to be found

and I have done enough right

dirt and wrong can now boaster my might

and love I can’t find it again

in someone sitting close in the flashes of sin

there are other ways, I used to think,

to find my way around

the woods and the smell and the word of farewell

that I always had to sound

now there is just one way

I stretch out my arms and cry to that

just one day

I number the friends and the family that love me

I welcome the ring of the moonlight above me

and I wander, and lay in whatever old bed

with good, earthly music singing into my head

there’s a path

there’s a beach

there’s a horseshoe crab

there’s my brothers, my girlfriends

my mom, and my dad

and there’s me

and that’s all there needs to be

now there is just one way

I stretch out my arms and cry to that

just one day

I number the friends and the family that love me

I welcome the ring of the moonlight above me

and I wander, and lay in whatever old bed

with good, earthly music singing into my head

 

2,475 comments Add your comment

Daybed Wagmoe

September 18th, 2009
3:32 pm

Firearm

September 18th, 2009
3:33 pm

They can, but the Braves making the playoffs is too dependent on the Rockies losing games.

Dale Murphy's Mole

September 18th, 2009
3:35 pm

CB

September 18th, 2009
3:36 pm

DOB,is it my imagination? Do you wait on me foe a posting and then press New Bloggage? huh :-)

DAP

September 18th, 2009
3:37 pm

if the braves had 80 wins right not instead of 78, i would still say they were going to win this thing. right now though, im not to sure. they are going to need a couple more sweeps, hopefully one against the phils this series. if the braves sweep the phillies to get to 10 wins in a row, they are right in the middle of both races again. c’mon bravos…

Dale Murphy's Mole

September 18th, 2009
3:38 pm

Of course they CAN. They CAN win every game left and win the East. But with the way this team has played, I more expect them to sweep the Phillies, then get swept agains thte Nats or the Mets to end any chance …

Josh Mac

September 18th, 2009
3:38 pm

Atlanta residents — don’t be afraid to actually show up at the ballpark this weekend. The team kind of needs it.

Herschel Talker

September 18th, 2009
3:40 pm

“Do you think Braves can do it?”

No. But it beats the alternative, them having already been eliminated. So let’s enjoy it anyway, but let’s manage expectations accordingly.

Nova Scotia Steve - Is Worried

September 18th, 2009
3:40 pm

I still don’t know how far I can get involved in this…I don’t know if I can mentally handle another heartbreak.

And please for the love of everything that is holy in this world let’s not let Ryan Howard do it to us again.

But do I believe?

….I can’t fully answer that…ask me on Sunday…

Thrillhouse44

September 18th, 2009
3:40 pm

It can be done. Hopefully it’s a fun couple weeks coming up.

MFin04

September 18th, 2009
3:41 pm

Not too worried about them making the playoffs this year, I really don’t think it’s going to happen. But I’m really enjoying watching this team play. Its not that they’ve won 7 in a row, its that they are playing good ABC baseball, they are playing relatively good defense, and the starting pitching is amazing. Ever since the team got rid of the “easy outs” this team has been very enjoyable to watch. There is the occasional Bobby Cox mismanagement and the occasional bullpen blow up (which both are going to happen with any team), but overall this team has really turned things around in a great way!

I really do wonder how many games this team could win next year, with the same pitching staff + Tim Hudson, and the addition of one more outfielder. With a rotation of JJ, Hudson, Hanson, Vazquez and Lowe/Kawakami, the Braves really wouldn’t need to score that many runs to win games.

Nova Scotia Steve - Is Worried

September 18th, 2009
3:42 pm

DAP – i totally agree…this streak need to get in the 9 or 10 zone…and I know its only two games…but time is not on our side.

Just keep winning…

abwright

September 18th, 2009
3:43 pm

I predicted months ago that the Phillies starting pitching would unravel late in the season. That was before the Pedro and Lee acquisitions. So far, that prediction has laid an egg. (A big, rotten, stinky egg.)

Tonight would be a good time for that prediction to start coming true!

Hope the Braves decide to back Hanson for ROY by lighting up JA Happ.

Brush and floss every night, y’all. (Seems to be a blog theme lately.)

White Blood Cells

September 18th, 2009
3:45 pm

DOB,

Like the article and lyrics. But who cares if they make it. They have not given up and what more could we ask. Sure, mistakes were made but they don’t count now. I still believe until the magic number is zero. Anything can happen!

RC

September 18th, 2009
3:45 pm

Posted this on the old blog right as the new one went up:

Why not keep all 6 pitchers? KK has shown that he can be effective out of the bullpen, and history has shown you can NEVER have enough starting pitching. I think it’s important for the Braves to protect themselves from giving up games if a starter goes down, and in my mind the best way to do that is have a good starting pitcher in reserve. Assuming the money can also be found to resign LaRoche and that Heyward is ready next season, I think your best shot at winning in 2010 is to add a bullpen arm or two, and push forward with what you’ve got.

Mc21

September 18th, 2009
3:46 pm

I think they could do more if you didn’t have a manager throwing their left handed option out of the pen for the third straight day in a mop up situation when a left handed dominant team is coming in next. With Gonzo’s back bothering him, we needed EOF at full strength for this series.

TNT

September 18th, 2009
3:46 pm

no, they cant do it and wont do it, ive seen enough of this team to make this statement

RC

September 18th, 2009
3:46 pm

“Tim Hudson vs. J.A. Happ tonight, Javier Vazquez vs. Pedro Martinez on Saturday, and Tommy Hanson vs. Cliff Lee on Sunday.”

WOW.

matty

September 18th, 2009
3:46 pm

Enter your comments hereDo we have chipper today Dave?

timthebrave

September 18th, 2009
3:46 pm

I have never been someone to give up on the Braves. I didn’t give up on them in the 80’s when they were god awful so I see no need to give up now. I have always been on the bandwagon so I’m in for the long haul. I always think they will do it but at this point we will also need some help from the teams ahead of us. Go Braves!

Jake W.

September 18th, 2009
3:47 pm

Rock On, From the past blog I know Anders wrote that, I just quoted what he wrote, in full. I didn’t even see the post so I don’t even remember what I wrote. Hopefully this blog is better functioning than the last few…

RC

September 18th, 2009
3:47 pm

“no, they cant do it and wont do it, ive seen enough of this team to make this statement” – TNT

And I think we’ve all seen enough of your comments to ignore and dismiss them.

RHR

September 18th, 2009
3:48 pm

Now that you wrote about it? Not a chance in hell. :lol:

RHR

September 18th, 2009
3:49 pm

In fact, I may just go ahead and issue the earliest ever….

Ballgame!

Ben

September 18th, 2009
3:49 pm

D.O.B.,———How many seasons do the Braves have before Jair Jurrjens is a free agent? I know Scott Boras is his agent. Perhaps the Braves would be better off trading Jurrjens and keeping Vasquez and Hudson. Maybe the Braves could get a Matt Kemp or similar young player in trade.

timthebrave

September 18th, 2009
3:49 pm

Please for the love of god….Don’t pitch to Howard unless you are forced to. That guy has killed us this year. We may be leading the division if it wasn’t for that #$?!

RHR

September 18th, 2009
3:49 pm

monty

September 18th, 2009
3:50 pm

Oh what might have been(maybe still could be) if just for a little more hitting this year! 17-(1 run losses), 13-(2 run losses)and only 10 blow out losses of 5 runs or more all year. One thing you can say for sure is the pitching gave us a chance all year.

indianabravesfan

September 18th, 2009
3:50 pm

lets hope we can get at least 30k at the game tonight on a Friday night. i would be there but live in Indiana so come on Atlanta, get out to the park tonight and support the Bravos!!!!

TnBrian

September 18th, 2009
3:51 pm

I know the Braves can do it, but can the Rockies and Giants do it? Can SF/Col lose enough so we can cath up is the question.

DAP

September 18th, 2009
3:52 pm

RCWhy not keep all 6 pitchers?

money is really the only reason. i dont think the braves can afford to keep all the pitching and improve other areas as much as they need to.

indianabravesfan

September 18th, 2009
3:52 pm

Ben

4 years until JJ is a free agent as he is arbitration eligible after next year.

indianabravesfan

September 18th, 2009
3:52 pm

Ben

4 years until JJ is a free agent as he is arbitration eligible after next year.

ncscoots

September 18th, 2009
3:53 pm

So are you in? Are you back aboard the Braves bandwagon, if you ever got off?

“Baseball, Ray.”

James Earl knew what he was talking about, I’d say. Nothing like a little winning streak, 10-over, and two weeks left, to make your fandom rise like the sun on a new day. 34-40? Piffle. 1-6? Who cares, LOL. That was then, this is now, and baseball is more about miracles than just about anything else.

One can trot out the logic of probable failure, if one likes, but who would want to do that? How does that compare to the joy of watching the home nine scramble after it like it was the last quarter for the vending machine, LOL? Screw the logic, bubba; when they’re done, they’re done, but until then, it’s still baseball, Ray, and nothing else matters more than the game played today.

Folks who can’t get that should move their fandom to curling; baseball ain’t for them.

Piedmont Blues

September 18th, 2009
3:54 pm

Nice work on the blog and the roof, DOB. And let me second your warning to the kids. Gum disease is no fun at all. My older sister’s been seeing a periodontist since she was a teenager (and she flossed daily). And I’ve had one round of surgery. No fun.

RHR (Playing the role of the annoying proof editor)

September 18th, 2009
3:57 pm

They’ve overtaken the Marlins and moved into third in the division, only 4-1/2 behind the Rockies

Wild card, not division.

So here we go. Just a 16-game spring to the finish,

Sprint, not spring.

A+ on the rest….your roof/gutter story sounds like something I would write. Take that however you’d like. :D

White Blood Cells

September 18th, 2009
3:58 pm

ncscoots,

Nailed it, Thank YOU!

RHR

September 18th, 2009
3:58 pm

And who doesn’t floss? Ew. That’s like hygiene 101, I thought?

njbraves

September 18th, 2009
3:59 pm

It would be nice to see some fans at the ballpark this weekend. I just don’t understand why no one shows up. Tickets are so cheap, i’d go a couple times a week if I lived down there. I don’t know if they will make it in the long run, but i have a feeling this is going to go down to the wire. Who knows, stranger things have happened.

abwright

September 18th, 2009
3:59 pm

ncscoots, 3:53 pm … “One can trot out the logic of probable failure, if one likes, but who would want to do that? “

Errrrm … two thirds of the posters on this blog during game-time?

ncscoots, 3:53 pm … “Folks who can’t get that should move their fandom to curling;”

Can’t you be a fan of both baseball and curling? I didn’t know there were rules.

Nova Scotia Steve - Is Worried

September 18th, 2009
4:01 pm

I think our biggest chances to win…are tonight and tomorrow…

I don’t think we knock around Cliff Lee again.

RHR

September 18th, 2009
4:01 pm

Yeah scoots, White Blood Cells thinks you’ve got fire. Congratulations, you scrappy devil you.

space monkey

September 18th, 2009
4:01 pm

We need to sweep the Phils and pray that the DBacks can win at least two games. Those Reds and Astros losses are going to be the difference.

ncscoots

September 18th, 2009
4:02 pm

Can’t you be a fan of both baseball and curling? I didn’t know there were rules.

You’re right, there was no reason that I should offend the fans of curling, LOL. Badly phrased, too late to edit. :-)

Tomahawkin

September 18th, 2009
4:02 pm

I gave up on the squad after they got Clowned by the Reds…

I can’t believe that they won 7 in a row after everyone knew the braves have no chance in hell of making it into October…

JayDubu

September 18th, 2009
4:02 pm

The Braves may have a favorable schedule for the rest of the season. They have 10 games with the Mets and Nats combined. So you’d like to think that would equal 8 or 9 wins.

If they can take 2 of 3 from Philly and 2 of 3 from the Fish, there may be hope left.

But baseball is such a strange game. Now that there’s a slim glimmer of hope, they may just crumble again. In both series when the Braves could have made the division run close with the Phils, they lost 2 of 3.

They can’t afford to do that this time. Some very good pitching matchups in this series.

White Blood Cells

September 18th, 2009
4:03 pm

Abwright,

Leave the scoots alone. It’s fun rooting for this illogical team.

newbravosfan

September 18th, 2009
4:03 pm

I agree it is a huge series and hopefully the park will be packed. The problem is that it has been raining cats and dogs down here the last few days and it is supposed to continue for the next few. I am a little worried that fans will be deterred by the prospect of another two hour rain delay. Hopefully, I am wrong.

RC

September 18th, 2009
4:04 pm

DAP,

My arguement is that they don’t need to improve other areas as much as they need to have depth in the rotation. If you remove the missteps taken at the beginning of this year by giving PT to Kelly Johnson, Jeff Francoeur, and Casey Kotchman, this is a servicable, if not good, offense. And it’s a GOOD ENOUGH offense with a great pitching staff….which the Braves have. While I know they don’t want to rush Heyward, I think he’s ready, and he should at least come close to replicating Anderson’s numbers, with a defensive upgrade. The only hole I see on this team for next year (again, assuming LaRoche is resigned) is the back of the bullpen. That will need to be addressed, but hopefully we can find some inexpensive “high upside” type arms out there and get enough out of them to make it work. OR try to turn some of our long-relief depth into short relievers, either through trade or conditioning.

Hairy Kneecaps

September 18th, 2009
4:05 pm

King521

September 18th, 2009
4:07 pm

NJBraves….

It is because the fans of Atlanta are sad…they are spoiled….and they are too busy cheering for the Red Sox and Yankees and Cubbies (yes still the Cubbies). There is always talk of “once the kids are back in school” the crowds fall apart here. WHY? Does that happen anywhere else in the country?

I also am calling out the fans of ATL….I will be there Sat night and possibly Sunday. Get out to the park and lets catch the freaking Rockies!

timthebrave

September 18th, 2009
4:07 pm

I go to the games as much as I can. My record is now 7-6 on the season with my last game on Tuesday against the Mets. Almost caught Laroche first hr(If I was only 15 feet tall) I have tickets to the last game of the season because I decided at the all star game that it was going to be the clinching game. I wish Braves fans were more like Bulldog fans in their support of the team. Go Braves

ncscoots

September 18th, 2009
4:07 pm

RHR, thanks. I’m pretty sure I’m scrappy and gutty; it just that actual talent outshines my Eckstein-ness.

You’ll be interested to know that I’m working on a new set of sabermetric equations to quantify and map those types of intangibles, though, and hope to be able to publish them in this forum soon. Something for the little people, LOL.

Tomahawkin

September 18th, 2009
4:08 pm

Since the braves are playing under no pressure they take 2 of 3 from philly this weekend, “Bank On It!”

D.O.B.

Do you know I.J. Rosenberg…? Did you replace him as the beat writer…?

The reason I ask is that Rosenberg came out with a book that was a diary of the 1992 season…He also explains what the difference between a beat writer and a columist is, so now I understand your reluctance to call out Bobby and some of the players because beat writers are supposed to keep their feelings to themselves…

Rosenberg also mentioned how moody David Justice was and gave a lot of insight on the players attitudes on the 1992 squad…obviously this was long before the internet, but keep up the good work D.O.B.

White Blood Cells

September 18th, 2009
4:10 pm

timthebrave,

I was there Wednsday. What a game!

timthebrave

September 18th, 2009
4:10 pm

King521, except most of the people on the Braves blog are die hard fans. You’re posting the call out at the wrong location

Tomahawkin

September 18th, 2009
4:10 pm

Wow that I odd about the weather…

The sun is out here in Henry County, so It’s Hot as Balls out here because of the humidity…Y’all know I got that Southside on Deck!

For some reason I bet at least 2 of the games gets delayed this weekend…

Brian the Brain

September 18th, 2009
4:11 pm

Not that it matters considering how the Braves have played down to the sub .500 teams But…..

Team – Games Left – Games Left vs <.500 teams:
Colorado – 15 – 9
San Fran – 16 – 6
Atlanta – 16 – 10
Florida – 15 – 6

RC

September 18th, 2009
4:11 pm

A quick look at the remaining schedules of teams in the playoff race:

COL – 3 @ Ari, 3 vs. SD, 3 vs. STL, 3 vs. MIL, 3 @ LA. Colorado has an easy next 6 games, but if they slip up could be in trouble going into those last 9.

SF – 3 @ LA, 3 @ Ari, 4 vs. ChC, 3 vs. Ari, 3 @ SD. LA seems to be the only real challenge, although they do have 9 of 16 on the road.

FLA – 3 @ CIN, 2 vs. Phi, 3 vs. NYM, 3 @ Atl, 3 @ Phi. Probably the toughest schedule of any team in the race. Also the team farthest out right now….not looking good for FLA.

Phi – 3 @ Atl, 2 @ FLA, 4 @ MIL, 4 vs. Hou, 3 vs. FLA. Not an easy road at all, but they have enough of a cushion that it’s unlikely they drop out of it.

and finally…..

Atl – 3 vs. Phi, 3 @ NYM, 3 @ WAS, 3 vs. FLA, 4 vs. WAS. Only tough games are against those teams they are directly competing with for the playoffs. Making it through the next 3 days will tell us a lot, but really need Col to falter against Ari and SD to have much of a chance.

RemoW

September 18th, 2009
4:13 pm

I am happy. September for the Braves is interesting. Not the same as going to the playoffs for sure. But I care about the games played, beats watching them play out the string.

I am afraid to get my hopes up so I will sit back and watch this 3 games series and keep my fingers crossed. A sweep would make the last 2 weeks exciting!!!

I will also be at the Saturday Dbacks v. Rockies game cheering against the Rockies.

What is the old baseball proverb? “My your games in September be interesting.”

As a side note, regardless of what this team does this season. We have a real solid foundation going in to next year. Haven’t been able to say that for awhile.

Go Bravos!!!

Thrillhouse44

September 18th, 2009
4:13 pm

What’s the book called, Tomahawkin?

RemoW

September 18th, 2009
4:14 pm

Now watch Bobby give Diaz the day off…

RHR

September 18th, 2009
4:14 pm

Tomahawkin! I thought you must’ve had a B.F. and threw your computer out the window.

"Chef" Tim Dix

September 18th, 2009
4:14 pm

DOB, try a light weight cordless or gas leaf blower when leaves are dry.

Works like a charm.

Panties in a wad

September 18th, 2009
4:14 pm

Dave—- Is Chipper ready to play?

fastdave

September 18th, 2009
4:14 pm

mclouth8, prado5, diaz9, mccann2, escobar6, anderson7, laroche3, infante4, hudson1

Jonas

September 18th, 2009
4:15 pm

PLEASE WALK RYAN HOWARD EVERY TIME HE COME UP…….

faninva

September 18th, 2009
4:15 pm

glad to see the time-stamp thing fixed.

RC – nice breakdown.

White Blood Cells

September 18th, 2009
4:15 pm

RC,

Isn’t San Diego like 10 -4 in their last 14 and talking about expanding payroll for 2010. Good young pitching with much to prove the next 3 weeks.

RC

September 18th, 2009
4:15 pm

Brian the Brain,

How does SF only have 6 games left vs. <.500 teams? By my count they have 9 left…..

monty

September 18th, 2009
4:16 pm

Definitely agree that with the current lineup(Chipper back to some semblence of his former self) no way this team starts off 32-40 next year, upgrades or not! The team left as it is should be a shoe-in for the WC or close to it, but it will take more offense to whip dem Phillies for the division.

faninva

September 18th, 2009
4:17 pm

Is chipper ready to play? Hate to say it but I kinda hope he sits even if ready…don’t mess with what’s workin’ right now.

RC

September 18th, 2009
4:17 pm

White Blood Cells,

I am not sure, haven’t been following SD that much lately. If they are really playing that well though, it can only mean good things for the Braves.

Nittany Lion

September 18th, 2009
4:17 pm

You need medication to keep up with the highs and lows of the Braves this year. No consistency. But this seven games in a row is nice.

White Blood Cells

September 18th, 2009
4:17 pm

DOB,

Invest in gutter guards. I know a guy that will charge to much for them.

Tomahawkin

September 18th, 2009
4:17 pm

RHR

LMAO, We got our internet cut off at the Spot, so therefore I’ve been MIA

I stopped watching the braves on the weekends in favor of College Football so therefore I haven’t had a BF in 2 weeks knowing that the braves are eliminated…

Tomahawkin

September 18th, 2009
4:20 pm

Thrillhouse44

The book is called “Encore” by I.J. Rosenberg, It came out in 1992 and its a diary of the 1992 braves squad from S. training to the World Series

The book is pretty dope, it brings back a lot of memories…

White Blood Cells

September 18th, 2009
4:20 pm

RC,

To be more accurate, they are 9-5 in September.

monty

September 18th, 2009
4:20 pm

Jonas

“Please walk Ryan Howard every time he comes up.”

I agree we can’t pitch to him with runners on base. Just plain foolhardy! And we mustn’t pitch to him at all in the 8th or 9th! Sliders down and in. Fastballs up and in, nothing where he can extend.

AndyC

September 18th, 2009
4:21 pm

DOB

I agree that last night’s episode of Office was great. I laughed out loud several times.

Nova Scotia Steve - Is Worried

September 18th, 2009
4:22 pm

I just going to throw this out there…

If we keep this streak goin like ‘07 Rockies style…I’m probably going to go retarded.

King521

September 18th, 2009
4:22 pm

Totally agree Tim…I love reading this blog because it is truly the ONLY place for die-hard Braves fans…Trust me, I would buy out a one minute spot on the local news if I could and scream at Atlanta to show up this weekend!

Brian the Brain

September 18th, 2009
4:22 pm

RC,

You are right. I forgot to count the second series that they have with Arizona. Corrected below

Team – Games Left – Games Left vs <.500 teams:
Colorado – 15 – 9
San Fran – 16 – 9
Atlanta – 16 – 10
Florida – 15 – 6

The fine cities of Oakland, Miami, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Kansas City, DC, Baltimore, Toronto, San Diego, and Tampa Bay

September 18th, 2009
4:22 pm

WHY? Does that happen anywhere else in the country?

Are you joking?

David O'Brien

September 18th, 2009
4:23 pm

LINEUP

1. McLouth
2. Prado, 3B
3. Diaz
4. McCann
5. Escobar
6. Anderson
7. LaRoche
8. Infante, 2B
9. Hudson

Jonas

September 18th, 2009
4:23 pm

This the only way the Miracle can Happen:
Braves go 12-4 Rest of Season
Phillis 4-13
Colorado 5-10
San Fran 6-10

And we can win the Division by Points… Braves 90-72 phillis 89-73.

Miracle can Happen..keep the Faith Braves Fan.

abwright

September 18th, 2009
4:23 pm

ncscoots, 4:02 pm … “You’re right, there was no reason that I should offend the fans of curling, LOL. Badly phrased, too late to edit. :-)

Whew! You had me worried. (I would put an emoticon here if I used them.)

Some time back, there was a “guide to being a true fan” mentioned. I was afraid that this guide might have an appendix listing what sports you could and could not follow and still be considered a “true baseball fan.”

Since I could never locate this “guide,” I’ve been petrified every time “new rules” on fandom are mentioned. I don’t want to lose my “membership.”

Tiger Woods

September 18th, 2009
4:23 pm

BELIEVE! 6-4 win tonight by the Braves. Mark it down.

monty

September 18th, 2009
4:23 pm

I’d keep Chipper benched until you know for sure he can swing without pain! Prado made that diving grab on the linedrive to his left that Chipper could have only watched.

Nova Scotia Steve - Is Worried

September 18th, 2009
4:23 pm

RE: Ryan Howard

Monty – “Fastballs up and in, nothing where he can extend.”

One in the ribs wouldn’t be a bad idea either…

Nova Scotia Steve - Is Worried

September 18th, 2009
4:25 pm

Love the line-up!

Diaz in the 3 hole is interesting however

Thrillhouse44

September 18th, 2009
4:25 pm

Thanks Tomahawkin. Sounds like a good read.

David O'Brien

September 18th, 2009
4:25 pm

They already changed the lineup — CHIPPER is back in. They posted the above lineup in pressbox, but it’s already changed. Gotta go down and check things out, will be back up. I’d guess Prado is at 2B, but I’ll let you know in a little bit.

AndyC

September 18th, 2009
4:26 pm

DOB

On the gutter issue, you can go to Lowe’s or Home Depot and buy some plastic gutter guards that will cover your gutters and prevent all that crap from getting in there. Not as fancy as the professional Gutter Guard stuff but works just as good and will only cost you $150 or so, depending on big your house is. You can install them yourself. I put some on three years ago and they work great.

RC

September 18th, 2009
4:26 pm

monty,

Not to mention that a team in the playoffs with this pitching could do REALLY well. I honestly think that most of our 2010 holes were fixed DURING 2009, and we are in good shape for next year. Didn’t even include Schafer vs. McLouth in my comparison of how much better the current team is now. I mean, look at these two lineups:

Game 1:
Johnson, 2b
Escobar, SS
Jones, 3b
McCann, C
Anderson, LF
Francoeur, RF
Kotchman, 1b
Schafer, CF
Lowe, P

vs. THIS lineup

Game 142

McClouth, CF
Prado, 2b
Jones, 3b
McCann, C
Anderson, LF
Escobar, SS
LaRoche, 1b
Diaz, RF
Hudson, P

That 2nd lineup is really pretty good, especially with a rotation of Vazquez, Jurrjens, Hudson, Lowe, and Hanson behind it (with Kawakami in for relief).

Danga

September 18th, 2009
4:26 pm

I can’t wait to see a sabremetric equation that defines scrappiness.

Marc in FL

September 18th, 2009
4:27 pm

I don’t think we’re post-season bound, but will watch the remaining games in hope and for enjoyment anyway. Of course I’m also the loony-toon that says Hudson isn’t coming back next, so what do I know.

Lew

September 18th, 2009
4:27 pm

It would be really nice to see the Braves return to the playoffs, especially with this rotation, but it’s always good to just see them playing some winning baseball.

RC

September 18th, 2009
4:27 pm

Jonas,

The Braves COULD do better than 12-4 the rest of the season, in which case those other teams wouldn’t have to do QUITE as poorly.

abwright

September 18th, 2009
4:28 pm

That sure is a “loosey-goosey” line-up. Just shows that BC has joined the fun. Diaz in the 3 hole!

Only thing not “loosey-goosey” …

McCann still has to hold down the four spot.

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