Archive for May 29th, 2010

Stat of day: Glaus leads NL with 23 RBIs in May

23 – Troy Glaus’ National League-leading RBI total in May.

Atlanta’s first baseman has hit .320 (31-for-97) with four homers and 23 RBIs in 26 games in May.

This comes after Glaus hit .194 with two homers and nine RBIs in 23 games in April, when he was booed during several home games in his first month with the Braves. He missed most of the 2009 season with St. Louis while recovering from shoulder surgery, then signed with Atlanta as a free agent.

Glaus is 17-for-42 (.405) with 11 RBIs in 11 home games in May, after hitting .125 (4-for-32) with two RBIs in 10 home games in April.

The Braves have won nine of 11 home games in May, batting .312 while averaging 6.4 runs per game in those 11. They will go for a home-series sweep of the Pirates on Sunday in their last game of what’s been a turnaround month for the Braves.

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Sunday preview: Kawakami faces Pirates

Next for Braves

Who: vs. Pirates

When: 1:35 p.m. Sunday

TV; radio: Fox Sports South; 680 AM, 100.5 FM

Saturday’s matchup: Braves RH Kenshin Kawakami (0-7, 4.93 ERA) vs. LH Paul Maholm (3-4, 3.98 ERA).

* Kawakami is allowing a .284 average to opposing hitters this season — .313 to left-handers. His seven losses are tied for second most in the NL, behind the nine the Pirates’ Charlie Morton.

* Maholm is 1-1 with a 1.33 ERA in four career starts against the Braves. The Pirates are 4-1 in Maholm’s five road starts this season.

– CHRIS VIVLAMORE

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Talking Heyward, Venters, Kawakami, Otis Redding….

It’s not supposed to look anywhere this easy for a 20-year-old in the major leagues, much less for a rookie who had only 208 plate appearances above Class A before this season.

Jason Heyward began today as the National League leader in on base-plus-slugging percentage with a .991 mark, just ahead of Philadelphia slugger Jayson Werth.

[Blogmeister addendum, 12:24 a.m.: After homering and doubling Saturday night, Heyward's league-best OPS climbed to 1.011, ahead of Josh Willingham (.973), Werth (.968) and  Joey Votto (.961) entering Sunday's games. OK, now back to our original blog written just before Saturday's game...]

Get out of this kid's way. Heyward is National League OPS leader entering Saturday.

Get out of this kid's way. Heyward is National League OPS leader entering Saturday.

Consider that Werth’s .990 OPS before Saturday was 111 points higher than the career-best OPS that the veteran posted last season, when Werth made the All-Star team and finished 17th in the MVP balloting.

Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Hanley Ramirez, Chase Utley … …

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Etc.: Rain delays longer than game on Friday

Friday’s game featured two rain delays that totaled 2:31 – or five minutes longer than the 2:26 in took to beat the Pirates. The start of the game was delayed 1:21 and another 1:10 in the ninth inning. …

The Braves had 17 wins in the month of May before Saturday, tied for second in the majors and one behind the Dodgers. …

The Braves led the National League with 5.72 runs per game in May. …

The Braves led the majors with 217 walks, 18 more than the Twins. …

The Braves’ .344 on-base percentage was second in the NL and fourth in the majors before Saturday. …

With a 14-6 record prior to Saturday, the Braves have played the fewest home games in the NL. …

Their .700 win percentage at home was tied with the Yankees as the best in baseball. …

On Tuesday, the Braves began a stretch of 20 games in 20 days, with 14 on the road.

Continue reading Etc.: Rain delays longer than game on Friday »

McCann misses third straight start with quad injury

Brian McCann missed his third straight game Saturday with a strained right quadriceps.

Braves manager Bobby Cox said the catcher was “80 to 90 percent” and was held out of the lineup again as a precaution.

McCann did agility work in the outfield hours before the start of Saturday’s game.

“There is no sense pushing it,” said McCann, who described himself as day-to-day. “It’s getting better.”

McCann felt a “tweak” running between first and second on a fly out during Wednesday’s game against Florida.

David Ross started his third straight game behind the plate. He went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs in Friday’s win over the Pirates. Before Saturday, Ross was batting .316 (12-for-38) with 11 RBIs and seven walks in 11 starts as a catcher this season.

Continue reading McCann misses third straight start with quad injury »

Jurrjens throws bullpen session

Jair Jurrjens threw a bullpen session before Saturday’s game against the Pirates but could still be several weeks away from returning to the Braves’ rotation.

After being cleared by a doctor Friday to step up his rehabilitation from a strained left hamstring, the right-hander said he felt good after throwing off a mound.

“JJ had a really good day,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said.

Cox said Jurrjens would have to throw three or four more bullpen sessions and some simulated games before making a minor-league rehabilitation start.

Jurrjens, 0-3 with a 6.58 ERA in five starts this season, injured his hamstring preparing for a start against St. Louis on April 29 and had to be pulled after one inning. He suffered a setback while running in Milwaukee earlier this month. An MRI didn’t reveal a significant tear but enough swelling to cost him more several weeks.

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Heyward leads National League with .991 OPS

.991 – Jason Heyward’s OPS, the highest in the National League.

Not quite two months into his rookie season, the Braves’ 20-year-old phenom leads the NL in on base-plus-slugging percentage, ahead of Philadelphia slugger Jayson Werth (.990).

Heyward had two hits and a walk Friday to raise his on-base percentage to a whopping .422, to go with a .568 slugging percentage. (His total rounds up to .991.)

He  also ranks among NL leaders in each category individually.

The only major leaguers with higher OPS totals than Heyward after Friday’s games were American League stars Justin Morneau (1.170), Miguel Cabrera (1.074), Kevin Youklis (1.041) and Robinson Cano (.994).

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