Braves looking for that Turner Field magic vs. Marlins

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

OK, there has been enough has been said about the Colorado game for the last two days solid that I should leave it alone here, right? But what if one thing popped into my head that wants to get out?

Too bad, I’m saying it. As the Rockies comeback was happening, which I saw bits and pieces of in and around Coolray Field in Gwinnett, I thought back to what the Braves did the Reds on May 20. Remember Brooks Conrad and a certain walk-off grand slam? How demoralizing must that loss have been for the Reds? And they didn’t have wide gaps and weird conditions of Coors Field to blame, just stinkin’ ol Turner Field and the raw-dogging Conrad.

Conrad watches his grand slam vs. Reds

Conrad watches his grand slam vs. Reds

But the Reds kept trucking along. They won three of their next four games and seven of their next nine. Now, they’re in first place in the Central, four games ahead of the Cardinals, with an identical record as the Braves at 73-54.

Good teams absorb blows like that and just keep going. The Braves are looking to do that tonight when they open a three-game series with the Marlins.

It’s a welcome return for the Braves, who have gone a majors’ best 44-17 at home. No other team has won as many at home or lost as few. The Braves have gone 10-4 at home this month.

Have a look at their home and road breakdowns:

                  Record      Batting average      Runs/game    ERA

Home:      44-17              .269                              4.87                2.97

Road:         29-37            .250                              4.51                  4.06

Hip, Hip, Houston

The Phillies sure have been a big help to the Braves lately, getting swept in a four-game series by the Astros at home. After a 2-4 road trip, the Braves actually gained a half-game on the Phillies and now lead by three games in the NL East.

It is pretty odd how in sync these two teams have been lately. Ten times in the last 10 days they both played, the Braves and Phillies have either both won, or both lost. Since Aug. 15, on days when they’ve both played, the Braves and Phillies have matched up while going 5-5. Weird, isn’t it?

Well, sooner or later somebody has got to start separating. The Phillies are at San Diego this weekend and then at LA. They face Mat Latos tonight, which is no picnic for a team that scored seven runs in four games against the Astros. The 22-year-old Padres’ stud has allowed two or fewer runs in a franchise-record 12 straight starts. He’ll be going against Mr. Left Fielder Roy Oswalt.

Tommy Hanson is going tonight for the Braves against Chris Volstad, trying to revert back to that dominant run he was on before his five-run hiccup in Chicago. Hanson had gone five straight starts while allowing one or no runs. Of course, he hasn’t gotten much run support either and is winless in five starts in August despite a 1.89 ERA in that time.

Lee’s home debut

Tonight will be Derrek Lee’s first game as a Brave at Turner Field. He’s coming off a 3-for-24 (.125) road trip, though he does have five RBIs in six games.

For his career, Lee has hit only .237 (55-for-232) with nine doubles, one triple and eight home runs in 66 games at Turner Field. The good news for him, though, is he won’t be facing Braves pitching. The Braves have had their fair share of good pitchers in his 14-year career, dating back to 1997, the year Turner Field opened.

More on Freeman

I had some extra quotes from Gwinnett manager Dave Brundage about Freddie Freeman that I didn’t have room to put in today’s story, so I thought I’d share them here.

It has a lot to do with the adjustment Freeman made in June, working with hitting coach Jamie Dismuke, where he opened his stance, moving his front foot back, so he wasn’t as closed off.

“He was making a lot of outs to the right side on the ground, and rolling over for easy outs,” Brundage said of his struggles early. “Jamie went back and noticed from spring training where he was back-spinning balls to the right side and not rolling, hitting the topspin ball.”

And now?

“He covers both sides of the plate with authority,” Brundage said. “He’s driving the ball so well to right field. Right-handers, left-handers it doesn’t matter.”

As you probably know by now, Freeman went 5-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs last night to raise his average for the month of August to .435 (40-for-92). For the season, he’s hitting .324 with 18 homers and 87 RBIs in 120 games.

“It’s been fun to watch the other team try to pitch to him too,” Brundage said. “In Triple-A, you don’t have an advance (scout), so they see a big 6-foot-5 guy and they say ‘We’re going to go away.’ He’ll drive a couple balls to left center, so ‘Maybe let’s try him in.’ They try him in and hurts them with a homer to right, a double to right. He’s certainly been on an absolute tear.”

Medlen blogging

The young Kris Medlen is trying to keep himself entertained following “Tommy John” surgery and has started a blog about his recovery. Being the well-spoken, dry-witted, funny guy that he his, I imagine it will be a good read, not to mention informative.

His first blog post went up yesterday. And I knew he actually wrote it when I read: “I look like a mummy…. And I could smell like one too.”

Check it out at: http://krismedlen.blogspot.com.

Speaking of “Tommy John,” it’s a drag to hear Stephen Strasburg is headed for TJ surgery himself. That means we won’t be seeing him in any of the remaining six games against the Nationals in September. Well, there’s consolation in that for the Braves, maybe not the people who watch and/or write.

More from the ballpark this afternoon. Let’s hope more fans show up for these games than what we saw for the last three games against the Nationals, including two of the worst crowds of the season: 16,911, 18,105, and 15,593.

1,890 comments Add your comment

Hillbilly

August 27th, 2010
12:32 pm

I can still hear my ol’ hound dog barkin’, chasin’ down a hoo-doo there…

Ease™ in Sandy Springs

August 27th, 2010
12:35 pm

Ease™ in Sandy Springs

August 27th, 2010
12:35 pm

I wonder what the blog was about…

.575

August 27th, 2010
12:36 pm

My Mensa forumites say we’re good to go as far as the WS.

No worries.

CraZyTRaDeMaN ©

August 27th, 2010
12:36 pm

Who reads it anyway right?

Frankie Wren

August 27th, 2010
12:36 pm

.435 in August? Holy smokes.

Also after the Phils came back to score 8 against the Dodgers the last two innings that high followed being shutout the next day. Would have been a real bummer if the Phils won those 2 games but thankfully in a good position going into tonite.

Ease™ in Sandy Springs

August 27th, 2010
12:37 pm

Thanks Carrol…the timing was just right. Last blog was starting to get stale with riff-raff… :lol:

Snotboogie

August 27th, 2010
12:37 pm

I wonder what the blog was about…

It was just DOB talking about yesterday’s “vacation”.

(Ha – hit both the goober milestones in one comment there)

Ease™ in Sandy Springs

August 27th, 2010
12:37 pm

I was going for a FIRST, but Hillbilly beat me to it :grin:

I will go back and read it…

Trey

August 27th, 2010
12:39 pm

Hey, everyone. Wow, it’s a shame that Stephen has to have surgery. I hope he will be alright.

Ease™ in Sandy Springs

August 27th, 2010
12:39 pm

The question is SB, do the “vacation” jokes ever get old?

CraZyTRaDeMaN ©

August 27th, 2010
12:39 pm

Just kidding. I sometimes read it 3 or 4 times its so good!!! Or it could be because of my ADD. Oh well!!

Wayne in Utah

August 27th, 2010
12:40 pm

My papa said boy don’t let the man gitcha………

Snotboogie

August 27th, 2010
12:40 pm

Bat

Was he your guess? the whoosh guy?

Trey

August 27th, 2010
12:40 pm

Well I am not first nor am I second, but I can be last with this comment! At least, until someone posts after me :)

CraZyTRaDeMaN ©

August 27th, 2010
12:41 pm

The question is SB, do the “vacation” jokes ever get old?

What’s Dark Star mean????

:wink:

Snotboogie

August 27th, 2010
12:41 pm

The question is SB, do the “vacation” jokes ever get old?

It depends. When its directed at someone other than DOB, like the cases who come on here complaining about DOB, it’s fine. At DOB, not so much.

Ease™ in Sandy Springs

August 27th, 2010
12:42 pm

Oh dear, now that I’ve read it, I smell a jinx… :sad:

Hanson Hayward Hinske

August 27th, 2010
12:42 pm

Time to take a home-stand all the way Bravos. Freeman will be huge next year also, along with Mike Minor pitching for us next year. I think the Braves can win the pennant again next year, but first, let’s just focus on getting to the playoffs first. Maybe bring a World Series trophy home for Bobby on his last year as one of the greatest managers of all time.

Snotboogie

August 27th, 2010
12:43 pm

“It’s been fun to watch the other team try to pitch to him too,” Brundage said. “In Triple-A, you don’t have an advance (scout), so they see a big 6-foot-5 guy and they say ‘We’re going to go away.’ He’ll drive a couple balls to left center, so ‘Maybe let’s try him in.’ They try him in and hurts them with a homer to right, a double to right. He’s certainly been on an absolute tear.”

Loved this part about Freeman. Lets hope he can keep on hitting to all fields in the majors.

DAP

August 27th, 2010
12:44 pm

reading medlen’s blog is going to be fun. thanks for that, carrol.

Ease™ in Sandy Springs

August 27th, 2010
12:44 pm

Oh, I think DOB has come to grips with it…unless he’s in a bad mood like he was this morning (smile)…

Shaun

August 27th, 2010
12:44 pm

P’cola Brave, Heyward has the third-best OPS on the team. June was his only bad month. You are doubting his overall value based on around 100 PA, if that?

When someone criticizes a player for being streaky, can you please explain? What does a player have to do to not criticized for streakiness? All players are going to be somewhat streaky. And I realize that it may be legitimate to criticize a player for being streaky. But it would be helpful to explain if and why a specific player’s streakness is worse than other players’ streakiness. Also it would be helpful to know if a player’s cold streaks are so harmful that his hot streaks don’t make up for it. Without a more detailed explanation is difficult to criticize a player simply for being streaky, if that player’s overall numbers are very good.

Bartholomew (Bat) Masterson

August 27th, 2010
12:45 pm

SB _

Yeah, just a hunch…….

Snotboogie

August 27th, 2010
12:45 pm

Freeman will be huge next year also,

Of course, at 6′ 5″ 225 lbs who isnt? ;-)

Ease™ in Sandy Springs

August 27th, 2010
12:46 pm

Whose the whoosh guy? In-game “blogger”?

Not a band wagon fan

August 27th, 2010
12:46 pm

Guess that extra time in Gwinett has helped him, for those of y’all calling for him to be brought up.

Snotboogie

August 27th, 2010
12:47 pm

Yeah, just a hunch…….

Timing’s about right too. Just like in The Majestic.

Trey

August 27th, 2010
12:48 pm

Shaun, players get criticized no matter what they do or don’t. Chipper Jones gets criticized always, but look how successful he has been throughout his career.

UKUGA

August 27th, 2010
12:48 pm

No real surprise on Strasburg.

Look for the Nats to return in 2012.

iFrech

August 27th, 2010
12:49 pm

Wow! Kris Medlen is blogging, subscribing to his blog NOW!!!

UKUGA

August 27th, 2010
12:50 pm

Shaun is just baiting because he wants to have a debate about streaking today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtzoUu7w-YM

Bartholomew (Bat) Masterson

August 27th, 2010
12:51 pm

Timing’s about right too. Just like in The Majestic.

Is it blog ambition or just youthful energy/ exuberance?

Carroll Rogers

August 27th, 2010
12:51 pm

All right that’s two L’s in Carroll. Who the heck spells their name Carrol? We like symmetry.

Thanks for reading Ease. Can’t be responsible for karma of the blog. Gotta feed you guys something.

cabravesfan

August 27th, 2010
12:52 pm

Meds has a blog= I am happy :D

Snotboogie

August 27th, 2010
12:52 pm

Whose the whoosh guy?

Whoosh is sound made when something sails over your head…

zenman

August 27th, 2010
12:53 pm

Very nice writing Carrol, I believe the Braves have the talent and the character to win the division. The bad defense and lack of big plays on defense concerns me. Also the bullpen needs to get their act together. Those of you choose to ofer nothing but negative comments, must lead a similiar life.

cattle dawg

August 27th, 2010
12:56 pm

Bring up Freeman and the hitting coach

Trey

August 27th, 2010
12:56 pm

Ease, the woosh guy is Pete. L.entz

Bartholomew (Bat) Masterson

August 27th, 2010
12:56 pm

Gotta feed you guys something. CR

Yep, left alone too long and the blog is prone to cannibalism.

Trey

August 27th, 2010
12:58 pm

Ease, well that is what it sounds like, at least. The way they are talking about the woosh guy.

Ease™ in Sandy Springs

August 27th, 2010
1:00 pm

Sorry Carroll! :lol: And thanks for pointing that out…McFann will be all over me in a bit…

Whoosh is sound made when something sails over your head

Oh, that could mean anybody!!!

JBoog1285

August 27th, 2010
1:01 pm

Hey Carroll!

First off, I must say that I think both you and DOB do a heckuva job and I have enjoyed following the team through your coverage.

My question for you is this … based on your interactions, history, and any hunch you may have, will we see Freeman at the Ted in September? Couldn’t hurt, I wouldn’t think, now that D. Lee is here and he wouldn’t have to worry about being the savior out at first base.

Ease™ in Sandy Springs

August 27th, 2010
1:02 pm

Trey – that was definitely not Dense…I mean, helping (whether in jest or no) the homeless is just not his MO…

Trey

August 27th, 2010
1:03 pm

Ease, I don’t even know of whom was on to irritate everyone so badly, other than Nick and Mitchell and PL.

Trey

August 27th, 2010
1:04 pm

I just got on, but apparently you all are referring to a previous blog, as I have seen that people carry on the conversation from an old blog to the current.

Trey

August 27th, 2010
1:06 pm

Ease, however, if you said this dude was helping the homless then he can’t be all bad.

Ease™ in Sandy Springs

August 27th, 2010
1:11 pm

Trey – It was surely in jest…and he was getting that bad…

Bawlmer Brave

August 27th, 2010
1:11 pm

Anyone know where Zep’s seats are at the Ted? I might be getting tickets to the Fish series at the end of September and am wondering where the seats are.

Trey

August 27th, 2010
1:13 pm

Ease, I mean I can’t defend the guy or say anything bad about him, but we don’t know if he was lying or telling the truth. However, I have to take your word about it getting bad.

Mitchell

August 27th, 2010
1:14 pm

Trey, you’re not talking about me again are you?

Heisenberg

August 27th, 2010
1:15 pm

I am now officially on the Freeman bandwagon.

If the hitter is good enough the lefty/righty thing should not matter. One of the things that makes it look like it is so hard for lefty batters against lefty pitchers is that dang camera angle from left-center field. I first noticed it when Braves were at Twins. The CF camera was smack dab in the middle. It was the best. Some Braves games have been doing that lately and I wish they would always use the dead center shot and not the one off to left field. Better view of the strike zone & pitch movement. And the lefty-lefty matchup does not look any tougher than righty-righty from dead center. So what the hell. Bring Freeman up and bat him in in order with Heyward & McCann.

Trey

August 27th, 2010
1:16 pm

Mitchell, of course! Nah, apparently there was someone pissing everyone off, and I said it had to either be you Nick or Pete.

Trey

August 27th, 2010
1:17 pm

It could also be a Phillies troll again.

Ease™ in Sandy Springs

August 27th, 2010
1:17 pm

Trey – Knowing that you are prone to in-game blog, I think he was on his way to being one of “those”…But I think “whoosh” is about right, now that I think about it.

Sopheeeee

August 27th, 2010
1:18 pm

The young Kris Medlen is trying to keep himself entertained following “Tommy John” surgery and has started a blog about his recovery.

Oh, this is going to be good. He seems like a funny guy.

Carroll Rogers

August 27th, 2010
1:18 pm

JBoog1285, I’d be surrpised if he didn’t get called up after Gwinnett’s season for some ABs and a taste of the majors.

ncscoots

August 27th, 2010
1:19 pm

If the hitter is good enough the lefty/righty thing should not matter.

Of course, there are very few that would meet that definition of “good enough”, and ever fewer LH hitters.

Wayne in Utah

August 27th, 2010
1:20 pm

I noticed in Denver this week that Venters is still wearing the backpack. Or maybe that’s just his style, kinda like Angus of AC/DC?

Ease™ in Sandy Springs

August 27th, 2010
1:20 pm

Oh and it was not Mitchell :lol: He claimed to have had 4.0 in HS and a current 3.8 in college. Too boisterous even for you Mitchell!

Trey

August 27th, 2010
1:21 pm

Ease, I wonder if he will ever show up again, so I can see the dude.

Sopheeeee

August 27th, 2010
1:21 pm

Awwww!

One of the hardest things is that for the first time in a long time I can’t be with my team and hang out with my teammates. I know that I will be able to soon enough, but I guess it is true: you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. I would even go through hazing again and wear a “My Little Pony” backpack to be sitting back in the bullpen, on the bench in the dugout or hanging out in the locker room. Soon enough. Kris Medlen

:-(

cabravesfan

August 27th, 2010
1:22 pm

Soph-

I know, right? :D

vmguru

August 27th, 2010
1:22 pm

Maybe the Astros sweep of the Phillies this week will cut down on some of the Phillie fans on these blogs…one can hope anyway. They get to be very annoying with their rantings…

Wayne in Utah

August 27th, 2010
1:22 pm

If the Braves are counting on Freeman to start 2011 at first base, there is no reason not to bring him up in September. He won’t get any critical AB’s until he gets a few non-critical ones under his belt first, so the timing wouldn’t necessarily be important.

Any reports as to how Glaus is doing with the bat and in the field?

ncscoots

August 27th, 2010
1:22 pm

He claimed to have had 4.0 in HS and a current 3.8 in college.

He’s gonna have to work a little harder, then, if he wants me to read his posts. That’s AAA work. :-)

Trey

August 27th, 2010
1:23 pm

Ease, you never know, even the one who may seem like the dumbest blogger could be smart. Hell, I may seem kind of slow, but I came close to a 4.0 average a few times in high school. Then again, high school is so watered down these days, I probably would barely get a 2.0 in college.

Ease™ in Sandy Springs

August 27th, 2010
1:23 pm

Trey – he was not all that, just another guy without a clue…You’re missing nothing…

cabravesfan

August 27th, 2010
1:24 pm

Wayne-

Apparently Troy’s been hitting very well…fielding has been a bit of an adventure (although considering he hasn’t played 3rd base in a long time, I think that is somewhat understandable…)

vmguru

August 27th, 2010
1:24 pm

I read that the Gwinnett season ends Sept. 6th so it would seem likely the callups – especially Freeman – should happen by then if not on the 1st. Unless the Gwinnett team is in the playoffs I can’t see any reason not to get up a few extra troops to help out.

Trey

August 27th, 2010
1:25 pm

vmguru, I kind of like watching the Phillies come on the blogs, because it is so funny when they end up getting proven wrong. It it quite funny, really!

Sopheeeee

August 27th, 2010
1:25 pm

Bat, we need to start another investigation.

Trey

August 27th, 2010
1:25 pm

Ease, oh okay.

beekay

August 27th, 2010
1:26 pm

I told my buddy that Straburg would get hurt early and often …the Nats treated him like a baby. He didn’t have to run out grounders, he was on a strict pitch limit from the day they signed him, and they pulled him if anything at all was sore on him. I said back then let the kid play like everyone else or this will backfire and surely it did. Looking forward to winning 5 of 7. We will lose to Johnson and Santana and beat everyone else!

vmguru

August 27th, 2010
1:27 pm

I would agree Trey – although I could do without the one that thinks Ruiz is the best catcher in the big leagues. I forget the screen name but he always hollers chooch or something like that.

Trey

August 27th, 2010
1:28 pm

beekay, he may be alright, eventually. He will just need to work on his mechanics.

Trey

August 27th, 2010
1:28 pm

vmguru, is it phillies80-08wschamps?

Ease™ in Sandy Springs

August 27th, 2010
1:29 pm

scoots – seriously right? Pretty hard to get on your list, but I guess richbrave will keep us updated :lol:

These ladies…suckers, everyone of them!

Trey

August 27th, 2010
1:29 pm

That is the only name I really remember by heart.

vmguru

August 27th, 2010
1:29 pm

sounds familiar Trey – although I think he changes it from time to time…

Wayne in Utah

August 27th, 2010
1:29 pm

Thanks cab

I was never really expecting him to play much third when he comes back, not with the way Martin and Omar are hitting.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Matt Diaz

August 27th, 2010
1:30 pm

Carroll, the guys on the radio were going nuts Wednesday about O’Flaherty licking his fingers over and over again while on the mound because he should’ve been called for balking. He never got called for it. Did he get permission from the Umps or was everyone on the field just not paying attention? Thanks for your work!

Heisenberg

August 27th, 2010
1:30 pm

My 2010 all left hitting team (no switch hitters). bring on the lefty pitchers!

C – Brian McCann
1B – Adrian Gonzalez
2B – Chase Utley
SS – Steven Drew
3B – Ian Stewart
LF – Carl Crawford
CF – Josh Hamilton
RF – Ichiro Suzuki

Trey

August 27th, 2010
1:30 pm

Yeah I think he does. It’s probably one Phillie fan that comes on here with different monikers. That is the con of not having to register monkiers, but I will take that any day over having to register. I know I like to change mine from time to time with the Trey – 10 or something like that.

Bartholomew (Bat) Masterson

August 27th, 2010
1:31 pm

Soph _

SB is on it, though I don’t think an investigation will lead anywhere. An intuitive leap and I’m satisfied.

Bartholomew (Bat) Masterson

August 27th, 2010
1:32 pm

Ease™ in Sandy Springs

August 27th, 2010
1:32 pm

It’s probably willieg. Does he type in all caps with atrocious grammar?

Frankie Wren

August 27th, 2010
1:33 pm

Wayne-

Glaus is doing well. He’s hit a couple of bombs and yesterday hit the ball hard which resulted in two doubles. Unfortunately his first two times up were August like, 6-4-3 and missing badly on a curveball striking out. His arm looks strong although I guess made a couple of error his first game. Strange thing about the whole time here is that he looks like he is enjoying playing baseball. Smiling, talking to the young guys, I feel happy for the guy. Even veterans lose confidence, maybe he is getting some back.

Sopheeeee

August 27th, 2010
1:35 pm

I have a theory!

Not that my theories are ever correct…

vmguru

August 27th, 2010
1:35 pm

I did a quick search on a previous blog and found it under “Phillies, Class of the NL”. And yes Ease it is usually in all caps with a lot of O’s in the chooch.

Frankie Wren

August 27th, 2010
1:36 pm

Forgot to mention, looks like Glausy is moving around much better. Not sure if he got a cortisone or just the rest. Very surprised.

cabravesfan

August 27th, 2010
1:37 pm

Oh no…Soph has a theory?

Bartholomew (Bat) Masterson

August 27th, 2010
1:37 pm

Not that my theories are ever correct… Soph

Now you are starting to sound like Mark Bradley.

Ease™ in Sandy Springs

August 27th, 2010
1:38 pm

willieg it is then…he’s a charmer for sure!

vmguru

August 27th, 2010
1:38 pm

Amazing how quiet the Phillies fans got during the Astros series. Now we need to post a win against the Fish so the Phillies can see the score before they start. Time for the Braves to put a little pressure on and get on a roll. Would be really nice to post a 9 game win streak to offset that 9 game losing streak early in the year that keeps getting mentioned.

SG10

August 27th, 2010
1:39 pm

Carroll,

May be you or DOB have addressed this before…if FF continues his tear in the majors after the September call-up, would he qualify for the post-season? I remember K-Rod made it to the post-season kind of similar way in past for Angels .

Ease™ in Sandy Springs

August 27th, 2010
1:40 pm

Oh no…Soph has a theory?

As long as it doesn’t involve _______ celebrations or dreaming of ________, she should be alright…

vmguru

August 27th, 2010
1:40 pm

I am not able to get on here very often so I am not as familiar with some of the regulars other than the occasional name that I recognize.

Sopheeeee

August 27th, 2010
1:41 pm

Well then, I’ll keep my theory to myself, thank you very much.

Heisenberg

August 27th, 2010
1:41 pm

SG, I think that would a post 09/01 callup could only be added to post season roster to take the place of an injured player.

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