Archive for May, 2010

Braves comments from the clubhouse after Monday’s win

Manager Bobby Cox on first-place:

“We have 110 games to go, something like that, lot of baseball left,” Cox said. “But we made a great recovery and we’ll take what we’ve got right now, that’s for sure.”

Cox on Hanson’s control problems in early innings:

“He did that his last start,” Cox said. “He was bending a little bit, he never broke. He certainly didn’t break today. He was off target. His arm slot wasn’t exactly perfect and he recovered and threw great baseball. He was able to throw the curveball and change speeds with the electric fastball that he does have. You’ve got to recover. We like to see him get out of the first inning with no adjustment one of these days but he’s a great competitor and he threw a great ballgame.”

Cox on Glaus’ month of May:

“Troy is our RBI guy,” Cox said. “The top three guys are always on base so that sets the table for Troy and Mac and whoever is hitting sixth. The runners are on there. But that ball he …

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Stat of the day – Glaus’ month of May

Troy Glaus drove in 28 runs in 28 games in May and finished it off with a three-run homer in the seventh inning Monday against the Phillies. Glaus hit .330 (34-for-103) with three doubles and six home runs in May. This is after he hit .194 (14-for-72) with one double and nine RBIs in 23 games in April. He now trails Jason Heyward (10) for the Braves’ home run lead by two.

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Glaus finishes May like he started – hot

Troy Glaus put some fitting finishing touches on a scorching May Monday when he hit a three-run homer against the Phillies to put the game out of reach.

He added three more RBIs onto his total to finish the month with 28, which led the National League and trailed only Vladimir Guerrero of Texas (31) in the majors.

For the month, Glaus hit .330 with three doubles, six home runs, and 28 RBIs in 28 games. He went 2-for-4 with three runs scored Monday.

“He’s had an unbelievable month,” Chipper Jones said. “You talk about 28 RBIs in a month. I’ve never had a month like that. I don’t even know if I’ve had 20 in a month. You get a hitter who’s confident and hot and on top of his swing and you give him opportunities with runners on base every day, day in and day out, sometimes multiple times – that’s how you do it.”

Since May 14, when manager Bobby Cox bumped Martin Prado into the leadoff spot and put Jason Heyward into the No. 2 hole ahead of Jones, Glaus has …

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Hudson swinging a hot bat

Braves regulars aren’t the only ones who started heating up at the plate in May. Pitchers joined in too, with Tim Hudson leading the way. Hudson brings a four-game hitting streak into Tuesday night’s start against the Phillies.

Hudson hit .353 (6-for-17) in May to raise his season average to .280, which is ninth among National League pitchers. He follows Tommy Hanson to the mound (and plate) where Hanson had the first two-hit game of his career on Monday afternoon.

“Everybody is going to run into a hit every now and then,” Hudson said. “Let’s be honest, of the hits I have, there are probably only two of them that are legit. There were a couple swinging bunts in there, there was one where I got beat, but it found a hole. It’s not like I’m Wade Boggs up there by any means.”

But he’s no Jason Bergmann either. (Bergmann went 0-for-40 with the Nationals in 2008.)

“If it’s going to help us win, why not take a little bit of pride in it, halfway know what …

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Jurrjens targeting next week to start minor league rehab

After two pain-free bullpen sessions, Jair Jurrjens could throw the first start of his minor league rehabilitation as early as next week, if all continues to go well.

Jurrjens threw 45 pitches in a bullpen Monday, mixing in all his pitches, and said he’s able to pitch without pain in his left hamstring.

“I don’t feel anything,” Jurrjens said. “I feel normal. I’m just trying to get my conditioning up and get my location back on my pitches.”

Jurrjens has been on the disabled list since April 30 with a strained hamstring, which he re-injured running in the outfield in Milwaukee three weeks ago.

He threw his first two bullpen sessions Saturday and Monday and will continue building up arm strength by throwing every other day, working up to a round of live batting practice on the Braves’ upcoming road trip. If all goes as expected, Jurrjens said he’ll leave the team from Arizona next week for a minor league rehabilitation assignment.

Braves manager Bobby Cox said …

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Next for Braves – Hudson vs. Hamels on Tuesday

Next for Braves

Who: vs. Phillies

When: 7:10 p.m. Tuesday

TV; radio: WPCH; 680 AM, 100.5 FM

Probable starters: Braves RH Tim Hudson (5-1, 2.24 ERA) vs. LH Cole Hamels (6-3, 2.22 ERA)

Tuesday’s matchup:

• Hudson has eight quality starts in 10 outings this season. His last start in Florida rain forced him out after four innings having allowed two runs. Hudson hasn’t beat the Phillies since Aug. 8, 2006, going 0-5 with a 4.41 ERA in 10 starts since.

• The Phillies are 9-3 in their last 12 games against the Braves started by Hamels. He beat them on May 9 allowing three runs in five innings. He went 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA in five May starts, not allowing more than three runs in any of them.

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Memorial Day, the Phillies and a shot at first place

(Staff writer Carroll Rogers is filling in for David O’Brien this series.)

Well it’s Memorial Day, it’s the Phillies, and we’ve got a lot going on today at the ol’ ballyard. So we’ll start with the Phillies, hanging onto the NL East by a half-game and a least a couple more hours. Wait, did I get ahead of myself?

Well, Tommy Hanson is on the mound against Joe Blanton, whose 5.63 ERA is highest among Phillies starters and who has made only five starts this season while battling oblique problems.

Hanson is due for a clean outing after his eight-run nightmare here to end the Braves’ last home stand and his uphill outing in Florida, when he matched a career-high with five walks and hit a batter but still held on to beat the Marlins, allowing them two runs in six innings.

The Phillies’ recent struggles have been pretty well documented, but I’ll go ahead and break them down here for you:

Since they opened the month of May by going 12-3, they have lost eight of their …

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Know Your Braves: Jonny Venters

Yet another installment of the popular AJC video series called “Know Your Braves.” For more Braves video, go here. Keep coming back. We’ll have more throughout the season.

MORE VIDEOS: Brooks Conrad. Takashi Saito.

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Post-game quotes: ‘I don’t think anybody plays for second place’

CHIPPER JONES quotes

on his go-ahead RBI hit: Skip [Bobby Cox] originally told me I was going to lead off the inning, and we knew Mac was going to hit third probably, hitting for the pitcher. Then he throws ‘Ski [Hinske] up there [pinch-hitting instead of Chipper] to lead it off, and he told me he wanted me to hit for Infante. And you know if we get that deep in the inning that the game is going to be on the line. There’s going to be ducks out there. So I was mentally ready, ever since their guy hit the two-run homer to tie it.

“They’ve got some guys who can run it up there really good in the seventh, eighth and ninth inning, 97-98 miles an hour. I missed the first [pitch], but got just enough of the second one.” [he laughs]

On the team’s lastest last-at-bat win: “It’s not often than you leave as many runners on base as we did today and you come out with the win. We left the bases loaded a couple of times, less than two outs – against good ballclubs that’ll come back and …

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Prado, Heyward are NL leaders in key categories

.325, .596 and 1.017 – The National League’s top batting average, slugging percentage and on-base-plus-slugging percentage (OPS), which all belong to Braves hitters.

Martin Prado is the league leader in average (.325), hits (69) and multi-hit games (23) after going 2-for-5 in Sunday’s sweep-completing win against the Pirates.

Rookie Jason Heyward, all of 20 years old, leads the “senior circuit” with a .596 slugging percentage and 1.017 OPS, 23 points ahead of St. Louis’ Albert Pujols.

Heyward had two hits Sunday including a two-run triple, raising his average to .301 with a .421 on-base percentage (third in the NL) and 38 RBIs (tied for third). He has 10 home runs (tied for eighth) and three triples (tied for seventh).

Chipper Jones has 37 walks to tie for the NL walks lead with Pujols and Josh Willingham, and Troy Glaus leads the league with 25 RBIs in May.

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