Archive for September, 2010

Braves waiting until Monday to see if Jurrjens can pitch vs. Marlins

Washington – Jair Jurrjens is still struggling to push off on pitches in the bullpen, but the Braves are holding out hope he can start Tuesday against the Marlins.

The Braves will wait until returning home Monday to decide.

Jurrjens missed his last scheduled start a week ago in Philadelphia with a slight meniscus tear in his right knee. In three bullpen sessions this weekend in Washington, he hasn’t been able to throw more than 10 pitches at full effort before his knee hinders his release and therefore his command.

“Yesterday the pain came quicker than today,” Jurrjens said Sunday, shortly after throwing a side session, with only a handful of pitches at game effort. “It’s getting better, but it’s not there yet. But time is not working on our side right now.”

Jurrjens, who received a cortisone shot after first injuring his knee in the bullpen in New York, said he will receive a pain-relieving injection of another kind on Monday.

“It’s not going to be …

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Braves holding out hope for Jurrjens Tuesday as they close out Nats series

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

Washington, DC – Greetings from a dreary, drizzly day in Washington. Reports are mixed as to how much rain we’re going to get up here today. Some say drizzle all day, going to be in for a long day, some say there will be about a three-hour window this afternoon from like 1 to 4 p.m.

I say let’s go with the latter and get this baby in. I do know with pitching the way it is, the Braves don’t want to be losing a starter early.

Some news coming out of the clubhouse today, so I’ll get right to it.

First, as for the Marlins series, the Braves went ahead and announced it’ll be Tommy Hanson on Monday, but they’re going to hold that Tuesday spot open for now in hopes that Jair Jurrjens’ knee will feel better by then and he can go.

It’s going to take some significant improvement in a short amount of time to get there, but who knows.

Jurrjens has been throwing bullpens each day, including this …

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Stat of the Day: Lowe 4-0 in his last four starts

Since Derek Lowe skipped a start to rest his elbow (he had inflammation caused by bone chips) he has gone 4-0 with a 1.08 ERA, allowing only three earned runs in 25 innings. He threw five shutout innings Saturday, coming out because he’d reached 103 pitches, in a 5-0 win over the Nationals. He allowed five hits and a walk (albeit mostly intentional to Adam Dunn) while striking out four.

By winning all four of his starts in September, Lowe is 15-12 on the season, with only one win less than Tim Hudson, who is 16-9.

In his last two starts against the Nationals, Sept. 13 and Saturday, Lowe has pitched 13 shutout innings with one walk and 16 strikeouts. This is after losing his previous four starts against Washington.

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Braves postgame comments after 5-0 win

BOBBY COX

On winning his 2,500th game:

“We sipped champagne, (a few) of us, for winning the ball game. D Lowe just pitched his rear end off today. Nyjer Morgan, the first hitter must have fouled 10 balls off and got his pitch count up, but he battled and battled. He’s had three really outstanding starts in a row now. And Alex got a big hit for us. We finally hit a homer with somebody on and could breathe a little bit. We haven’t been breathing much, trying to catch people. So it was a good win today, maybe get the team rolling again, get a little momentum going.”

On the milestone:

“I (forgot) until Roger (McDowell) told me. I was throwing the cards away and going to the mound. Roger got the (lineup) cards somewhere and Wagner gave me the ball. (PR director) Brad (Hainje) told me the other day, but I had no clue during the game that was 2,500. I didn’t think I’d ever live that long, let alone win that many.”

On Lowe:

“You feel like you’re going to win when …

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Cox reaches 2,500 wins for career

Washington – It took him four tries but Bobby Cox finally won his 2,500th game Saturday to become only the fourth manager in history to reach that milestone.

He is 2,500-1,998-3 in 29 years as manager, including 25th with the Braves. Only Connie Mack (3,731), John McGraw (2,763), and Tony La Russa (2,631) had reached 2,500.

“I didn’t think I’d ever live that long, let alone win that many,” said Cox, 69, who is trying to lead the Braves into the postseason before retiring at the end of the season.

Cox had been reminded of the upcoming milestone recently by Braves public relations director Brad Hainje but had forgotten by Saturday when he tried to throw away the lineup card. Pitching coach Roger McDowell stopped him.

“It’s another unattainable goal that Bobby sets for other managers,” Chipper Jones said. “That’s more games that I’ve played in my career and he’s won that many. That says enough right there.”

Jones, 38, has played 2,261 games in his …

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First person Cox tribute: Royals GM Dayton Moore

Royals general manager and former Braves scouting and minor league executive Dayton Moore on retiring Braves manager Bobby Cox:

“When you were trying to sign players through the draft or internationally, everybody knew who Bobby Cox is and we’d you’d say, ‘If you’re going play for Bobby Cox, you’re going to run balls out.’ “If you’re going to play for Bobby Cox, you’re going to get runners over.’ ‘If you’re going to pitch for Bobby Cox, you’re going to have to throw strikes.’ ‘If you’re going to play for Bobby Cox, you’re going to have to worry about being a good teammate first.’ It was all centered around being a good teammate and being professional and managing failure. That’s how you had to do it.

Moore (left) with long-time Braves scouting executive Paul Snyder

Moore (left) with long-time Braves scouting executive Paul Snyder

“Everybody knows the story and it’s true, (coach) Jim Beauchamp and I – it was during the draft – Kelly Johnson was really struggling up here, and I walked in the …

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Hudson, Lowe could go on three days’ rest vs. Marlins

Washington – Manager Bobby Cox had not set his rotation for the Marlins series as of Saturday morning, saying he wanted time to think about his next move, and it could be an interesting one.

“We’ll just wait,” he said.

Tommy Hanson can pitch Monday on regular rest. After that, Cox acknowledged he was considering using Tim Hudson and Derek Lowe on three days’ rest.

After losing two games to the Phillies with rookies Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor pitching, and forced to go with Beachy again Sunday because of Jair Jurrjens’ knee injury, the Braves are less inclined to rely on two rookies with the wild card race coming down to the last home stand.

“You’ve got to start thinking that way,” said Cox, when asked about short-rest.

Hudson is 2-0 with 2.61 ERA in three career games on three days’ rest. Lowe is 2-1 with a 5.09 ERA in four career games on three days’ rest.

Cox had already considered pitching Beachy over Mike Minor against the Marlins if Beachy …

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Next for Braves: Beachy vs. Hernandez

Next for Braves

Who: at Nationals

When: 1:35 p.m. Sunday

TV; radio: FSSO; 680 AM, 100.5 FM

Probable starters: RH Brandon Beachy (0-1, 2.08) vs. RH Liven Hernandez (10-12, 3.75)

Sunday’s matchup:

• Beachy makes his second major league start in place of the injured Jurrjens (knee). Beachy gave up three runs, but only one earned in 4 1/3 innings in his debut Monday in Philadelphia. He wants to improve his command (three walks).

• Hernandez pitched eight shutout innings in his last start against the Braves Sept. 14 in a 6-0 win over Jurrjens. The Braves managed only five singles and two walks. He is 4-1 with a 2.68 ERA in seven starts vs. the Braves the past two years.

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Beachy actually gets prep time for his Sunday start

Washington – After about only four hours to prepare for his first major league start in Philadelphia, five days must seem an eternity by comparison for rookie Brandon Beachy.

The 24-year-old who was playing third base and closing for NAIA Indiana Wesleyan two years ago will be making his second major league start for the Braves Sunday in the thick of a playoff chase.

When Jair Jurrjens injured his knee in a bullpen session last Friday, Beachy was forced into emergency duty in a playoff atmosphere in Philadelphia. He’d traveled from the Braves complex in Orlando, Fla. the day before but didn’t know for sure he was starting until Monday afternoon.

This time around, Beachy, who was signed undrafted in 2008 out of the Virginia Valley wood bat league,  has known all week he might start if Jurrjens couldn’t go Sunday on the Nationals. So when Jurrjens’ knee continued to bother him in a bullpen Friday, Beachy was ready.

Even in his major league crash course, Beachy held …

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Braves face Nats as the second-place team in wild card race

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

Washington - Less than three weeks ago, the Braves slipped out of first place in the division in Pittsburgh. Now they’ve dropped to second in the wild card. Yep both on my watch, thanks very much.

The Braves enter today’s game against the Nats down by one-half game to the Padres in the wild card.

It’s time to dig deep and get something positive from somewhere that everybody else can build on. The way the Braves came so unglued so fast last night would lead you to think it’s over. I can see why people are really struggling with this, and why the blog gets blown up with people venting.

If this team can’t beat a last-place team when it has to, does it deserve a chance at the playoffs?

We’ll let that one hang in the air for a minute and talk about the pitching matchups.

Today with Cuban defector Yunesky Maya going, it’s the first of two soft-throwing junkball types the Braves will have to …

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