Archive for August, 2010

Stat of the Day: Braves’ 48-18 home record

48-18 – Braves’ home record, the best in the majors by a significant margin.

After pounding the Mets 9-2 on Tuesday for their fourth consecutive win at Turner Field, the Braves have a stunning .728 winning percentage in home games this season, and four more wins than the next-highest home-wins total (Yankees are 44-22).

The Braves lost four of their first nine home games in April, but since April 30 they have a 43-14 record and 3.01 ERA at Turner Field. In that same period on the road, the Braves are 26-27 with a 3.80 ERA.

They’ve won the first two games of this week’s four-game series with the Mets, assuring at least a split. The Braves have lost only one of their 22 home series this season, when they dropped two of three games against Philadelphia April 20-22.

The Braves led the Phillies by 3-1/2 games before the conclusion of the Phillies’ late game at Los Angeles on Wednesday. Atlanta and Philly will close the season with a three-game series at Turner Field Oct. …

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Braves’ quotes after Tuesday win over Mets

BOBBY COX

On luxury of having Ross as a backup

“It is, because he throws out runners, calls a great game, he’s got the power to hit homers – he always does something.”

“He’s a guy that can throw out runners, he’s got power … you know, it’s a joy to see his face every day in the clubhouse. He’s always full of energy, team-oriented all the time. And he hit the big one tonight, no doubt about it. That was huge.”

On Minor

“It looked like he just kind of hit a wall in the fifth inning. I don’t know what happened; he was up there in pitches. It wasn’t a bad outing by any means. I thought he was cruising pretty good. He only gave up two runs.

“He’s had four really nice starts, I think.”

On damage control by Minor

“He did. He had a big strikeout and got out of that inning. He has mound presence and composure. A lot of kids don’t when they come up.”

On Heyward

“Heyward’s just on fire right now. He had another huge hit tonight. But everybody’s swinging. Lee’s swinging, Infante, …

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Glaus returns, awaits what happens next

Troy Glaus rejoined the Braves Tuesday with two days to go before he could be activated from the disabled list. For the moment, he’d seem a man without an every day position and a desire to play every day.

Glaus spent a week in Gwinnett working out at third base, hoping the Braves would consider moving him from first base, where Derrek Lee is now playing, to third, his natural position. But with Martin Prado and Omar Infante both playing so well, the Braves aren’t in any hurry to move either of them out of the infield to make room.

“We’ve just got to play it by ear right now,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “We’re down to 30 games. I’ll try to get him in as much as I can.”

Glaus said he went to Gwinnett in the hopes of convincing the Braves to play him every day at third. And if they don’t?

“I would be disappointed, but I would do what I can,” Glaus said. “Obviously I want to play, that’s why I went down there. If that doesn’t work out, that’s …

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McLouth recalled from Gwinnett Tuesday, more likely to get postseason nod

The Braves went ahead and recalled center fielder Nate McLouth from Gwinnett on Tuesday with an eye toward having him available for a potential postseason roster.

The Braves have some flexibility with both Kris Medlen and Chipper Jones on the disabled list, giving the Braves two postseason roster spots they can substitute with players who were not on the 25-man roster as of Aug. 31.

But Braves general manager Frank Wren said the Braves know they want a player like McLouth on the postseason roster, and this will allow them to be more flexible with the two remaining spots.

“You want to get as close as you can to what you project will be your 25 (for the postseason),” Wren said. “We don’t know what that exactly looks like today, but we do know that Nate McLouth is a likely candidate to be on that roster because he brings speed and defense and a lot of things you’re looking for in postseason.”

For McLouth, it was a welcome vote of confidence. He went from being the …

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Next for Braves: Hanson vs. Pelfrey on Wednesday

Next for Braves

Who: vs Mets

When: 7:10 p.m. Wednesday

TV; radio: WPCH; 680 AM, 100.5 FM

Probable starters: RH Tommy Hanson (8-10, 3.76) vs. RH Mike Pelfrey (13-7, 3.61)

Wednesday’s matchup:

• Hanson looks to rebound from his four-homer game vs. the Marlins Friday, when he gave up back-to-back homers in the first and sixth innings. Hanson hasn’t won since July 3, going 0-5 with a 3.08 ERA in 10 starts since. Only in the last two has he given up more than three runs.

• Pelfrey is facing the Braves for the fifth time this year, having won his first two starts against them (2 ER in 12 IP) and lost his last two (7 ER in 8 2/3 IP). He’s 4-7 with a 5.45 ERA in 13 career starts vs. Atlanta. He’s had four straight quality starts, including eight shutout innings vs. the Astros Friday.

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Freeman, six other Braves to play in Fall League

First baseman Freddie Freeman heads a group of six Braves prospects who’ll play in the Arizona Fall League, along with shortstop Tyler Pastornicky, outfielder Cory Harrichak and right-handed pitchers Michael Broadway, Brandon Beachy, Erik Cordier and Kyle Cofield.

They will play for the five-time defending AFL champion Phoenix Desert Dogs, managed by Don Mattingly. The 35-man Desert Dogs roster has players from five organizations: Braves, Yankees, Athletics, Dodgers and Marlins.

Jamie Dismuke, the Braves’ Triple-A Gwinnett hitting coach, will serve as hitting coach on Mattingly’s staff. The six-team AFL is comprised primarily of prospects from Double-A and Triple-A affiliates, with a limited number of Single-A players rounding out rosters.

This year’s announced AFL rosters include 30 former first-round draft picks.

Freeman, 20, is the Braves’ top-rated position player prospect. He hit .319 with 35 18 home runs and 87 RBIs in 127 games at Triple-A Gwinnett, and will join the …

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Lowe received cortisone shot in elbow, plans to make Friday start

Derek Lowe acknowledged Tuesday he’s been bothered by inflammation in his pitching elbow for the past six weeks. He got a cortisone shot on Sunday after struggling to get a grip on his pitches while giving up five runs in a season-low three innings against the Marlins.

Lowe said with two days to let the cortisone take effect, he planned to play catch Tuesday and then throw a bullpen session on Wednesday. He did not think it would hinder him from making his next scheduled start on Friday in Florida.

“I should be able to,” he said.

Lowe, who is 2-4 with a 4.93 ERA in his past nine starts, said he didn’t tell the Braves about his elbow stiffness until three weeks ago.

“I’ve done countless exams and talked to doctors,” said Lowe, who said it’s not an injury that would require surgery. “It’s not the (ulnar) ligament, it’s not the Tommy John thing. We’re just trying to figure out what we can do to get the swelling out where you can bend your arm.”

Lowe said …

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Hudson’s in small group of Cy Young favorites

Sunday morning at the ballpark, Terry Pendleton and Brian McCann were busting my (chops) about not writing enough concerning Tim Hudson’s Cy Young Award bid.

Surging Braves ace has moved into the handful of contenders for the Cy Young Award.

Surging Braves ace has moved into the handful of contenders for the Cy Young Award.

I mentioned that Adam Wainwright and a couple others have been considered the front-runners for much of the season, mentioned the wins and strikeouts, and T.P. jumped on that, razzing me about knowing more about the other team’s ace than Hudson, etc.

We mention this incident because it in no way reflects upon what I’m about to write, which is that Hudson has, indeed, slowly but surely thrust himself squarely into the middle of the NL Cy Young conversation.

In fact, one might argue that he’s at least a co-favorite today, given how he has moved into the ERA lead while outperforming Wainwright, Josh Johnson, Ubaldo Jimenez and even Roy Halladay in recent weeks.

Of the perceived Cy favorites, only Chris Carpenter’s recent stats compare with …

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Freeman leads Braves’ list of September call-ups – updated

Braves first base prospect Freddie Freeman has had to wait more than a month for his first major league call-up, so the Braves weren’t going to make him wait one more day.

The Braves announced Tuesday Freeman would be joining a handful of others among their September call-ups on Wednesday.

Rather than packing his bags and heading to Norfolk with the Gwinnett Braves, the Braves notified Freeman Monday night he’d be joining the Braves when rosters expand on Wednesday.

Also coming are relievers Mike Dunn and Scott Proctor, catcher J.C. Boscan and Kenshin Kawakami.

(The Braves optioned Kawakami to the Danville Braves Tuesday in a procedural move to open up a roster spot for center fielder Nate McLouth, whom they recalled from Gwinnett Tuesday. But Kawakami will rejoin the Braves roster on Wednesday.)

Braves general manager Frank Wren always says a prospect will tell the organization he’s ready by how he plays. Freeman? He hit .394 with 11 doubles, four home runs and 24 RBIs …

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Stat of the Day: Heyward .531, 4 HRs in eight games

.531, 4 HR, 9 RBIs – Jason Heyward’s offensive production in his past eight games.

The Braves’ rookie slugger is 17-for-32 with six extra-base hits (four homers), nine RBIs and 14 runs in that eight-game span, after batting .169 (11-for-65) with five extra-base hits (one homer), three RBIs and six runs in his previous 18 games.

Batting in his usual second spot in the lineup, Heyward went 4-for-5 with a three-run homer (his 16th) and four RBIs in Monday’s 9-3 win against the Mets, his fifth multi-hit game in his past eight, including three games with at least three hits.

The big right fielder matched his career highs in hits and RBIs with his second four-hit, four-RBI game in nine days. Heyward was 4-for-4 with two homers and two walks in an Aug. 22 win against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Heyward and leadoff man Omar Infante combined for eight hits, eight runs and eight RBIs on Aug. 22. On Monday, that top-of-the-order duo combined for six hits and six runs.

The first five in …

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