Braves sweep Brewers, then leave town in style

MILWAUKEE — When Braves manager Bobby Cox and his coaches changed into unimaginably bold zoot suits, fedoras and patent-leather shoes Wednesday afternoon for the team’s flight back to Atlanta, it was the perfect, entirely out of character ending to the improbable series that had just unfolded.

The Braves, after totaling 33 runs and three homers in a 2-11 stretch of road games before Milwaukee, racked up 28 runs and five homers among 35 hits in a three-game sweep of the Brewers at Miller Park, capped by a 9-2 win Wednesday.

“We had a great road trip, turned it around a little bit,” said Cox, whose Braves finished 5-4 on a trip that began with series losses at Washington and Philadelphia. “We got some clutch hitting — a lot of hitting. We could have done a little bit better in Philly, but it was a good road trip for the club.”

The first road-series sweep of the season for the Braves gave them an 8-4 record since the nine-game skid that put them alone in the National League East cellar.

On Wednesday they moved into a fourth-place tie with Florida and gained a game on division leader Philadelphia, pulling within 4-1/2 games of the Phillies.

“It’s huge to sweep another series,” said Braves rookie Jason Heyward, who lashed a  two-out, RBI double off first baseman Prince Fielder in the seventh inning to give the Braves a 4-2 lead, before the floodgates opened.

“And it’s big for us to sweep on the road. That’s the best finish to a trip. … We knew if we continued to work and stay positive, things would turn around.”

The clothes that Cox and his coaches changed into afterward left Braves players howling in approval. Players had not known about the coaches’ plans to wear the outfits, which were going to be used only for a private picture-taking moment the previous day between the coaches and Cox as part of his farewell season.

“Eddie [Perez, bullpen coach] and I have been talking about this for a couple of years,” said hitting coach Terry Pendleton, who got the idea when they would ride past Johnny Walker’s men’s store in downtown Milwaukee. “We wanted to do something different with Skipper [Cox], so we all came in here early yesterday, took some pictures with him.

“It was Skipper’s idea to wear these home today. We were like, no way. He said, ‘We’ve got to wear them home.’ So we’re in ‘em.”

Cox also told the coaches that the Braves had better win Wednesday or risk looking like clowns as they left the ballpark in their bright, long-tailed polyester suits and hats, including Kangols, porkpies and fedoras.

Every coach was dressed to the nines, including Pendleton in a lavender suit with a purple cap, purple shoes and a purple vest. Cox wore orange slacks with a jacket that featured wide orange-and-white pinstripes.

“Wags, would this go well on the farm?” Cox said to closer Billy Wagner, who laughed and said, “I don’t know about that, but it looks good on you.”

The players loved it, almost as much as they did what transpired on the field at Miller Park the past three days.

They had a three-game home series against Houston before the trip, but that good feeling turned sour on the road when they dropped two of three against the Nationals and two of three against the Phillies.

The Brewers, coming off a sweep at Arizona, seemed like a formidable foe. They were the highest-scoring team in the NL entering the series, and the Braves were one of the league’s worst in most offensive categories.

So much for that. The Braves outscored them 28-7 in three games, with 17 runs coming in 9 1/3 innings against Milwaukee relievers.

“We needed a series like this,” said Braves starter Derek Lowe (5-3), who pitched six strong innings Wednesday, allowing six hits and two runs while pitching with a revamped approach that included many more inside pitches.

“I think it’s well-documented how we’ve been on the road. Haven’t been very good,” he said. “To come in here and have three consecutive games where we were able to hold them to reasonable amounts of runs is pretty good pitching.

“We had a lot of hitting. But if you look at the games, for the most part they were close until about the sixth inning. They were close games. I think that goes to show you, one of our strengths is our bullpen depth. We’ve been saying this since we left spring training. We have six guys that we can put out there at any time in any situation.”

93 comments Add your comment

john

May 12th, 2010
8:21 pm

lol hilarious. Need images though!

yeah, baby!

May 12th, 2010
8:21 pm

wakka wakka!!1

summer of 91

May 12th, 2010
8:22 pm

The_Superhoo

May 12th, 2010
8:23 pm

WOW. Haha we HAVE to have pics!

David Athens, Al

May 12th, 2010
8:24 pm

agree need pictures

Troy Glaus

May 12th, 2010
8:28 pm

Did bobby’s fedora have a feather in it?

OldeFan

May 12th, 2010
8:48 pm

DOB, Please, please, please get some of the pix that were taken. This is too good for BCox and the coaches to keep to themselves & the players. Sounds like a lot of fun. Winning sure cures all.

TS

May 12th, 2010
8:49 pm

this post is worthless without photos

Steve

May 12th, 2010
9:08 pm

Dave,

Did you see them or a picture of them? How funny was that? Bobby looks pretty sharp in that Orange striped suit huh? TP kinda looks like Barney in that purple. Ha ha. Great sweep today!

We Run This Division!

May 12th, 2010
9:16 pm

Anyone else notice the Braves lead MLB in number of road games played?

cattle dawg

May 12th, 2010
9:20 pm

A good game to listen to on the radio today. I hope the braves can keep rolling.

AdirondackDave

May 12th, 2010
9:21 pm

DOB — Pics, pics.. we have to have pics.

Steve

May 12th, 2010
9:22 pm

I doubt he has the pic. The only one out there was taken at the actual store.

robdawg08

May 12th, 2010
9:25 pm

If you put Moylan in close games you will likely lose.

They looked like pimps to me.

Replace mcLouth with Schafer (soon) and maybe they can do something. I still would want to add a power bat.

RHR

May 12th, 2010
9:27 pm

Love it. Wish there was a photo.

Steve

May 12th, 2010
9:29 pm

Troy Glaus, no, unfortunately there were no feathers in their hats. They looked like pimps though!

Rob

May 12th, 2010
9:29 pm

We Run… I have noticed that the Braves lead in road games. Ridiculous schedule to start the season. They also lead in games against the Phillies, and have another 3 coming real quick. There is hope, but man, DO NOT let down against the D Backs this weekend. That would get rid of that glimmer of hope we are all starting to feel. I keep coming back to teams with this good of pitching cannot be as bad as they have been. Too bad the BRaves always start so damn slow. Any explanation for that???

Steve

May 12th, 2010
9:33 pm

I agree Rob. Lets hope they at least go 5-2 on this homestand. Mr. 0-6 KK goes Friday which sucks. I say if he loses again he is replaced by Medlen for good.

Steve

May 12th, 2010
9:36 pm

Talk about a sense of humor, Mr. Cox wore the suit on the plane, through Hartsfield, to his car, and all the way home. Hilarious!

MattinPA

May 12th, 2010
9:41 pm

Steve at 9:33pm:
We can’t really replace Kawakami with Medlen because Medlen is currently filling in for Jurrjens in the rotation. Now when/if Jurrjens comes back if Kawakami hasn’t improved…that might not be a bad idea…

jptuba

May 12th, 2010
9:42 pm

I’m curious. Does TP get the credit for the resurgent offense in this series? If no, why then does he get the blame when things don’t go well?

We Run This Division!

May 12th, 2010
9:42 pm

What year was it the Braves started out the season 13-0? Somewhere around 1998. I think the general clubhouse attitude they had on opening day is back. This team is going to compete for the division and I think they can win it.

Steve

May 12th, 2010
9:44 pm

I think the 13-0 thing was like 1982. MattinPA you are right but I meant when JJ comes back. Hopefully that will be soon. KK blows I am sorry to say.

sugarfoot

May 12th, 2010
9:53 pm

Where are the pictures? Also, I notice no banner headline on the AJC home page today when they won; but, it sure is there when they lose!

Steve

May 12th, 2010
9:55 pm

Sugarfoot the only pic that was taken was taken at the actual store unless a journalist got a shot as they were headed for the airport.

C. Tampa Ironworse

May 12th, 2010
9:55 pm

TP gets no credit for the turn around. Henske, Conrad and Prado aren’t TP projects…

jamesj

May 12th, 2010
9:56 pm

“I’m curious. Does TP get the credit for the resurgent offense in this series? If no, why then does he get the blame when things don’t go well?”

Good question jptuba…but I think the answer is no. That would be logical and reasonable. The TP tirades are based on stupidity and emotion not reason.

Where are the pics????

May 12th, 2010
9:56 pm

Entertaining article, but where are the pictures?!!!!

thunderbull56

May 12th, 2010
10:10 pm

Raphael,Yunel,Elvis Andrus is posting 8th best OBP in American League.Thanks TEX.They Utubed a song for TEX Pence,was that what started the DOB song of the day? Sweep,sweet,until ABBT meets another pitcher.Oh,it’s Arizona,@ home,all bets are off.

Skeezix

May 12th, 2010
10:14 pm

Dave: You got to get us some pictures of those suits! Hope the Braves have turned a corner here. Jason back in the line up was a key—I like him batting third. Also, looks like Bobby needs to start Hinske and Conrad more–they can actually hit. I hope we soon see the end of McOut as a leadoff hitter.

David O'Brien

May 12th, 2010
10:45 pm

Funniest line of the day was when Tim Hudson cited one of the pimp suits worn by the coaches and said, “Mondesi wore that in ‘05.”

SC Ace

May 12th, 2010
10:51 pm

That is a great line about poor old Raul

Coach

May 12th, 2010
10:52 pm

I think a Schafer callup is not such a bad idea. The kid wants to put aside any doubts about whether or not he is worthy of playing at the major league level. We could pull a trade for McClouth and get additional pop in the outfield, and have speed at the top of the order with Schafer. I think if the Braves are in the mix come late June to the allstar break, then look for Frank to pull a trade that can put more runs on the board. Going into the season, The Braves really didn’t factor Heyward as being a catalyst much less being near the top of the league leaders in homers and RBI’s, but he has and has already given us several wins with his play. The Mets, Marlins and Nationals will tail off as the season passes, and it will be a dogfight with us and the Phillies in the end. It should be a fun Fall/Summer to watch.

Hinske Da Man

May 12th, 2010
10:54 pm

What a series. This is by far the best the Braves have played this year. I know they put up 16 runs in the opening game of the season against the Cubs, but this was the best overall series they had this season to date. Why is that? Here is my take on it.

1. Heyward was moved up in the lineup which is where he belongs.

2, Hinske started 2 of the 3 games and hit very well.

Hinske needs to be our starting LF from now on. All the guy does is hit and hit some more. Does anyone else see how pumped up he gets when he gets a hit? Or when another guy scores he is usually the first one to slap high fives when that player gets into the dugout?

That is the kind of guy you need on your team. He is the type of player that can pump up everyone else on the team and get them going. Conrad had a very good series as well. 2 HR’s and some great glove work at 3rd base.

Hinske Da Man

May 12th, 2010
10:57 pm

Coach,

I am not certain that any other team would want to trade for McLouth. It would be a nice thought, but he is not producing well enough IMO for other teams to come knocking at the Braves door with a deal good enough for the Braves to accept. I would love the thought of a Heyward, Hinske, and Schafer outfield though, even if all of them hit left handed.

KnightInATL

May 12th, 2010
11:13 pm

Trey

May 13th, 2010
12:52 am

Bobby put Chipper in the 3 hole when he “officially” made the big league club in 1995, look it up doubters, and thats exactly where J-Hey should be, with a vet batting behind him, someone who could protect him. He is by far the best player on our team, as of right now, and the kids’ 20! GO BRAVOS!

NO MORE BOBBY

May 13th, 2010
12:55 am

Why did Bobby wait until his last season to let loose and have fun? Crap! I would have another name if the old geezer would’ve been like this more in the past.

NO MORE BOBBY

May 13th, 2010
12:59 am

I agree on Hinske. He brings a swagger this team has not seen all year.

scottbravesfan

May 13th, 2010
2:51 am

I agree put Heyward 3rd move Chipper to 2nd and Prado to 1st.

And please keep playing Hinske in left field.

hahahaha

May 13th, 2010
4:39 am

Trade Nate McClouth? What team do you think would want him. He’s batting what? .150 Yeah trade Nate McClouth. We couldn’t GIVE him away.

Chipper Who?

May 13th, 2010
4:41 am

Chipper stay out as long as you need with your ingrown chest hair. Brooks Conrad is doing fine. Go Braves!

STRETCH

May 13th, 2010
4:45 am

Love that guy Hinske. Even on PS2 and 3 he brings it day in and day out. LOL!

Can anyone tell who this Conrad kid is? I like him!

And KK has got to go. Sorry Wren, just take your losses on him and move on.

GTFan1

May 13th, 2010
6:02 am

wjones

May 13th, 2010
6:35 am

“robdawg08

May 12th, 2010
9:25 pm
If you put Moylan in close games you will likely lose.

“They looked like pimps to me.

Replace mcLouth with Schafer (soon) and maybe they can do something. I still would want to add a power bat.”

Boy, aren’t you a load of laughs. Next time the Braves lose, you might want to call the suicide hot line.

Marc in FL

May 13th, 2010
7:01 am

I kept telling myself “there’s no way our offense is really this bad, it’s impossible” and “Our pitching is too good for us to go through another extended losing streak, in fact, it’s good enough to get us a lot more winning streaks!”

Up until this series with teh Brewers my confidence in this team has started to fade, but I am begining to tell myself those same statements again. I think they’re true, and once JJ and Esco come back, I believe they’ll both be scorching hot and this team will make 3-4 game win streaks a norm.

Rowland Office Worker

May 13th, 2010
7:11 am

We get a picture of Chipper Jones’ ingrown toe but we don’t get a picture of the coachs?

Tami

May 13th, 2010
8:02 am

Oh, man! I’m trying to imagine Bobby wearing an orange zoot suit with fedora!! I agree: We definitely need some pictures! Hilarious. And, what a great idea to boost the team’s spirits even more. I think Bobby thought the guys deserved the laugh, as they most certainly earned it. And, Brooks Conrad is starting to grab some buzz among the MLB commentators. I hope all of this keeps rolling through the homestand and beyond!

OneEyed Jack

May 13th, 2010
8:31 am

Sounds kewl, but where o where are the pics? We need pics!!!!

Way to go out in style, Bobby.

Go Braves!

Jerry Willard

May 13th, 2010
8:40 am

“replace McLouth with Schafer and maybe they can do something”. I agree McLouth has been horrible, but I don’t get the Schafer ManCrush. He had a good minor league season a few years back in ‘07, but what else has he done?

speak up

May 13th, 2010
8:43 am

Joe Thurston is hitting .235 and his OBP is below .300. Where are all the folks that were taking shots at BC for keeping Conrad over Thurston???

EddieG

May 13th, 2010
8:49 am

DOB- first you report earlier in the week that J-hay returend to the line-up on on Tues batting 3rd (he was 2nd) & now you report his 7th inning 2-out double scored two (only scored 1) DOB- PLEASE learn to be accurate with your journalism facts for us Braves fans! Thank you………EG

Marc in FL

May 13th, 2010
9:01 am

Something people don’t seem to get is that baseball scouts and FO people don’t care what a player’s minor league numbers are. They’re looking at mechanics, approach, and whether or not the player is working on what he’s supposed to improving. That’s why sometimes guys hit .250 in AAA and .320 when they get the call to the bigs.

It’s like spring training where numbers can be skewed badly cause a pitcher is working on a new pitch or batter on a new swing.

When they’re confident Schafer is ready, hitting .400 or .200, he’ll get the call.

enz

May 13th, 2010
9:25 am

what a tease! we want pics!

Jerry Willard

May 13th, 2010
9:25 am

….or, his numbers THAT ONE GOOD YEAR were skewed because of something else. hmmmmm

enz

May 13th, 2010
9:26 am

Great series against the Brewers…Let’s carry this momentum into another series and surprise everyone!

enz

May 13th, 2010
9:28 am

Conrad is so awesome he doesn’t need batting gloves.

Brock

May 13th, 2010
9:38 am

I’ve said this since the first time I saw this guy play. Conrad is a great ball player and needs to be playing everyday. I heard Mazzone talk about Bobby would not move Chipper into the 2 hole and let Heyward bat 3rd out of respect. I ask, do you want to win ballgames with the best guys out there or do you want to coddle Chipper? It’s time to let go of the geezers and start playing the guys that are hungry. Lineup: (not in batting order) Hinske, Conrad, Heyward, Infante, Prado, Glaus, McClouth/Cabrera(we really need a CF) McCann and Pitcher (KK needs to go) . With this group playing together the Braves have a great chance to win a lot of games.

Rod

May 13th, 2010
9:38 am

Where are the pictures?!

blueridge

May 13th, 2010
9:50 am

EddieG- this is a blog, this is a BLOG.

Ghostrider

May 13th, 2010
10:02 am

We Run This Division! —- I think it was 1982 when they went 13-0 to start.

Jerry Willard

May 13th, 2010
10:05 am

Conrad is not an everyday player. He is what he is; a bench guy worthy of spot starts.

Peric Isenstein

May 13th, 2010
10:07 am

Everybody on here that wants McClouth gone are you the same people that two weeks ago were running Glaus out of town. Here is what the lineup should be.
McClouth
Prado
Heyward
Glaus
McCann
Chipper
Hinske
Escobar
Trade Melky for anybody.

Alphare

May 13th, 2010
10:17 am

Since Bobby likes to play a nice guy to his players(well, I have the same personality deficiency). Here is a suggestion of mine:

Anybody who hits below .240 has to give his position to the backup player, but the backup player has to hit above .250 to keep the position. A grace period of 5 games can be given.

Football coaches would give away a position in a heartbeat if a player does not perform. Why not do the same with baseball player?

This way, no players can complain since it’s a team rule. And it should save Bobby countless sleepless nights.

What do you guys think?

Marc in FL

May 13th, 2010
10:41 am

It’s not a bad idea Alphare… For a college team or semi-pro league. The problem is some guys are making 10+ mil a year and others are making league minimum. Managers don’t care, but the Front Office spent a ton of money a guy and they’ll usually hound a manager till he gets more playing time.

As usual, money triumphs logic and justice.

Craig

May 13th, 2010
10:48 am

Let’s not get to excited here people. We swept the Astros and look what happened in the next two series. We swept an average Brewers team at best and now we have a pretty good D’backs team coming in and the Phillies close behind. I am not ready to say this team has turned the corner until they start beating teams like the Phillies. I did like what I saw in Milwaukee and Henske and Conrad need to stay in the line up. Chipper needs to sit for a while and McClouth needs to go. We have the pitching, we just need the bats that faced the Brewers to show up consistently.

Jerry Willard

May 13th, 2010
10:49 am

Alphare- It may work in recreation ball as well; but the kids with the hotter mom gets more of a grace period….kidding

Jerry Willard

May 13th, 2010
10:52 am

….somewhat

jim

May 13th, 2010
11:08 am

Please!!! Do not bat Heyward 2nd when Chipper returns!!! You cannot bat your best RBI man in a spot where he will not have any RBI opportunities. Batting Chipper 2nd and Heyward 3rd makes some sense, or batting Chipper 3rd and Heyward 4th makes sense also, but with no production out of the 8 and 9 holes and only Prado batting before him, Heyward will have few RBI ops other than solo HRs if he hits 2nd. Prado has thrived in the #2 spot — maybe he should stay there.

The best part of Conrad’s contributions to the sweep, was not his offense, but his deefense. He made a couple of plays that Chipper would not have made that staved off potential big innings when those two games were still tight. I remember a game in St. Louis this year that was still close in the latge innings when Pujols led off the inning with a ground double past 3rd that was more than 2 feet inside the bag and not hit particularly hard. Flash back to Tuesday night, and there was a similar ball hit closer to the line and just as hard. Conrad was playing (properly) closer to the line, showed better range, and made the play.

JeanE

May 13th, 2010
11:14 am

Oh man, I’d love to see a picture of that!! That is just hilarious, go glad they won so they didn’t feel like idiots dressing like that but even if they lost, since it’s Bobby’s last year, it was a great idea!!

Marc in FL

May 13th, 2010
11:16 am

When you best RBI man is also your best OBP man, it gives you manager the luxury of being picky. Besides, Glaus is our RBI man now.

jim

May 13th, 2010
11:18 am

Jerry Willard,

I agree with your assessment of Conrad. However, is Conrad hitting 8th with occasional power and playing solid defense a worse option than Chipper hitting 3rd with a higher OBP, but showing little power, subject to frequent injuries that disrupt the lineup, and playing weak defense? When Yunel is ready to return, we might consider playing Infante at 2nd, Yunel at ss and Prado at third (or some variation of the above)

jim

May 13th, 2010
11:25 am

Whether Glaus or Heyward ends up with more RBIs is irrelevant. The big thing about Heyward is how clutch he is with 2 out RBI opportunities or with runners in scoring position in general. He needs to be in a spot that maximizes those opportunities. Hitting 3rd or (with this team 4th) in the lineup ahead of Glaus maximizes the opportunities both players will have.

ArtyDodger

May 13th, 2010
11:38 am

Keep playing Conrad…Dump the Chumper..er I mean Slipper…oh…I meant Chipper…yeah dump Him

Dwayne

May 13th, 2010
11:42 am

No TP does not get credit. Each player was told to ignore anything he says, but show respect and act like you are listening. Hank Haney is the Braves new swing coach.

Jerry Willard

May 13th, 2010
12:20 pm

Jim- “we might consider…”. WE aren’t making out the lineup. No, there is NO POSSIBILITY of Conrad playing instead of #10 when Chipper is healthy.

Dick Doss

May 13th, 2010
1:29 pm

this is useless

Once a Braves fan always a Braves fan

May 13th, 2010
1:30 pm

First of all Chipper has been one of the only players on that team to hit consistantly throughout this team slump. Yeah, he may not of hit in every single game but he has hit in the majority of them. Secondly, all of y’all who seem to think YOU know what the coaches should or shouldn’t do in regards to certain players just need to shut up already. I’m sure if the coaches really wanted or cared about your opinions you’d be a paid member of the Braves organization instead of sitting in front of your computers or on your cell phones whining about things you personally can do nothing about.

Harold in Huntsville

May 13th, 2010
2:13 pm

When Chipper is ready, he goes back in the three slot. Heyward will move back down the order. He has shown that he can produce RBI,s any place in the order. Before we get too excited, remember most of the hitting was NOT when the starting pitching was in the game.

Chipper's out of wedlock child

May 13th, 2010
2:53 pm

Leave me daddy alone… he take me out to eat at Hootsers for hot dogs once a week!

Alonso

May 13th, 2010
3:02 pm

DOB, you gotta get us a pic of this. immediately.

KC

May 13th, 2010
5:57 pm

Harold in Huntsville, yes and no. Yes, when Chipper’s ready, he’ll be back in the 3-slot. However, Bobby has said that Heyward will remain toward the top of the lineup because of his OBP.

NO MORE BOBBY

May 13th, 2010
6:49 pm

I found this pic online of Bobby and Hubbard in the suits….

http://i730.photobucket.com/albums/ww308/ldezarn0001/dumb.jpg

Infante should lead-off

May 13th, 2010
11:49 pm

I’d like to see Infante continue leading off, AND staying on the infield. His numbers, if he started a full year, may be better than Escobar’s – but we just don’t know yet. Up until his hand injury last year, he had an extremely hot bat, as I recall. And I agree with several posters that there’s just no justifiable reason to take Hinske out of the line-up. He should start, and play Left Field every day.

My line-up (until either Schaffer comes up or trades are made):
Infante (3B)
Prado (2B)
Heyward (RF)
Glaus (1B)
McCann (C)
Escobar (SS)
Hinske (LF)
McLouth (CF) for now..
Pitcher

Oops! I left Larry off the list. Hmmmm. Oh well. Better luck next year, Chip Ol’ Boy!

smalltownbravesfan

May 14th, 2010
11:54 am

i like the Infante should lead off line-up. that is the best line up of all the possibilities listed.

smalltownbravesfan

May 14th, 2010
11:57 am

bobby, please do not put Chipper back @ #3, leave Heyward in 3 spot and move chipper down to #6

Ralph Macchio

May 18th, 2010
4:59 pm

Wow. The Brewers invented Sweep Suits about 8 years ago. They then proceeded to get swept in 14 series in a row before finally sweeping another club…

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