Jurrjens rejoins Braves, could be ready if they advance

SAN FRANCISCO — Jair Jurrjens flew from Florida to rejoin the Braves in San Francisco on Wednesday, and manager Bobby Cox said the pitcher might be ready to start in the next round if the Braves advance.

Jurrjens threw 55 pitches in four innings of a start Tuesday in the Instructional League. He reported no pain in his right knee, after missing his last three regular-season starts with torn meniscus.

“It’s a good sign, a sign it’s getting better,” Jurrjens said. “I’m just waiting for the chance.”

Cox said Jurrjens threw 21 pitches in the first inning Tuesday.

“He was erratic and rusty [because] he hadn’t been out there in a long time,” Cox said. “I don’t think we can afford to put him on [the roster] this round, but I think if he keeps going down there and starting, there’s a good chance he could go in the second round.”

Can Braves revive offense?

Catcher Brian McCann led the Braves with 77 RBIs, the lowest team-high total for any major league postseason qualifier in a quarter-century.

The banged-up Braves went 14-16 with a 3.5-run scoring average and only 17 homers in 30 games since Sept. 1, and McCann hit .221 with two homers and seven RBIs in 28 games in September and October.

Now they’ll face a San Francisco team that went 19-10 with a 1.91 ERA and 39 homers since Sept 1.The Giants’ 1.78 ERA in September was the best single month by any team in more than four decades.

But the way the Braves see it, the slate’s clean with the start of the postseason.

“Once you get in here, anything can happen,” McCann said. “We got in, now it’s time to go do some good things. If we can play good defense and get timely hits, we should be in every game.”

50 comments Add your comment

SG10

October 6th, 2010
10:40 pm

Offense should start with McCann..he has hardly done anything noteworthy this season..I thought he might have Joe Mauer type of year but he hasn’t been anything special offensively or defensively! If we get Heyward, McCann and Lee going, this offense will transform and can win lot of games…

kaminari

October 6th, 2010
10:49 pm

We gotta advance first. But I’d love to see JJ in there for a seven game series. I’m getting psyched for the game.. just hope it doesn’t turn out like the Reds-Phils. What an unbelievable story that Halladay is. Anyway, Go BRAVES!!

mike

October 6th, 2010
11:05 pm

what the Braves need is Chipper back – at least pinch hit – for second round. Any chance?

Tessa

October 6th, 2010
11:26 pm

Mike…I don’t think there is a chance of that. I read in an interview with Chipper, talking about that possibility, and he said he can swing the bat just fine but he would need someone to run for him right out of the box.

Tessa

October 6th, 2010
11:34 pm

Not that this means much but I just read a blog from the Giants and one of their beat writers were talking about watching the Braves taking BP. He said it was like watching the HR Derby. I know this doesn’t mean much but it could mean something. Here’s to hoping for some consistent offense

Michael

October 7th, 2010
12:13 am

Here’s hoping the Braves offense picks up or the playoffs!

Alex C

October 7th, 2010
4:27 am

Tessa – homers are nice….but we do better when we’re spraying it around. Super psyched….but I’m like Kaminari – let’s hope we don’t see anything like that Phils game.

GT71

October 7th, 2010
6:10 am

Mac’s right – anything can happen…especially in SF.
This team has over-achieved all year, unlike Braves teams in the past.
Why not continue the trend?

GMCK

October 7th, 2010
6:46 am

im debating on weather to drink tonight for the game… its going to be a late one, and i might need something to calm the nerves… GO Braves and lets get after Lincecum early!

Gulf Coast

October 7th, 2010
6:57 am

Dear Jair,
You should have stayed in Kissimmee the remainder of the playoffs. The Braves cannot take a chance of you blowing yet another start. Pitchers and catchers report in a mere 17 weeks. I am sure that there are plenty of diversions to take in while you are there. However, I do not recoment perusing Craigslist for companionship. In short, you lost your place to Brandon Beachy!

bravesgrl4life

October 7th, 2010
7:56 am

Dream: Chipper pinch hits with bases loaded and knocks it outta the park. He could take his time rounding the bases :) I know, I know, just a dream, but can you imagine the fan reaction if that happened?

GovClintonTyree

October 7th, 2010
8:14 am

Glad Jurrjens is feeling better, but he hasn’t pitched since September 15. Not sure I’d want him working out the kinks in the NLDS or the NLCS.

dpelfrey

October 7th, 2010
8:18 am

Playoff games come down to whoever has the best pitching, whoever plays solid defense and whoever gets the most clutch hits. It has nothing to do with which team has the best lineup 1-8 or the most power hitters. The pitching should be even and I give the edge to the Braves in the clutch hitters department (especially with Lee swinging a good bat, he’s always hit well in the postseason, was 6-11 with 3 doubles in 2008 NLDS). So this series, in my mind, will come down to who makes the fewest mistakes on defense.

Boy, how nice would it be to have Chipper at 3rd, Prado at 2nd and Infante in left.

Dalmore

October 7th, 2010
9:00 am

I’d rather have Jurrjens as is, rather than carry Farnsworth at all.

ryan c

October 7th, 2010
9:42 am

yeah, that mccan sure has sucked offensively. here’s something to quiet the naysayers:
mccann rankings for nl catchers:

according to fangraphs:

home runs: 1st
rbi: 1st
obp: 3rd
ops: 4th
WAR: 1st (5.3)
value: 1st (21.3 million dollars)

his late season slump has more to do with not being rested than anything. with the emergence of buster posey, mccann will probably become the 2nd best nl offensive catcher, but saying he hasnt “done much” is ludicrous.

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=c&stats=bat&lg=nl&qual=350&type=6&season=2010&month=0

Keith

October 7th, 2010
9:56 am

JJ’s news is good. Let’s hope it ends up being relevant. I actually like our chances in Game 1.

GO BRAVES! :)

Dirty Dawg

October 7th, 2010
9:56 am

One thought…after seeing the Ranger’s left fielder – Perez or something – hit one about 500 feet while choking up about an inch on the bat…and knowing that Barry Bonds hit about all his HRs while choking up…then why won’t our shortstop, Gonzales, choke up a little? The guy can’t make contact without blowing his bat to smithereens. All they do is pitch him on the inner third and it’s over.

bigboi

October 7th, 2010
10:27 am

Dirty how dare you mention Gonzales and Barry Bonds in the same sentence. Barry is only the greatest hitter to ever put on a uniform and I’m not even a fan of his.

Dick Doss.

October 7th, 2010
10:39 am

bonds was a steriod freak who should have his name stripped from the records what a disgrace

bigboi

October 7th, 2010
10:45 am

Enter your comments here

bigboi

October 7th, 2010
10:46 am

Dick, again I’m not a Bonds fan, but the guys was never proven guilty of steroid usage. He was just a beast with incredible hand eye coordination. I don’t care what you say but steriods don’t help you put the bat on the ball.

TennesseePaul

October 7th, 2010
10:56 am

If we can play good defense and get timely hits, we should be in every game

damnit

Wes

October 7th, 2010
10:59 am

Offense should start with McCann..he has hardly done anything noteworthy this season..I thought he might have Joe Mauer type of year but he hasn’t been anything special offensively or defensively! – SG10

Yea, he only went to the All-Star Game for the fifth straight time, and became the All-Star MVP by SAVING the National League from a 13-year winless streak. He also leads his team in RBIs and will probably win a Silver Slugger award again.

What the hell dude?

SG10

October 7th, 2010
11:41 am

There is one statistic on Fangraph called ‘clutch’ defined as ‘A measurement of how much better or worse a player does in high leverage situations than he would have done in a context neutral environment’… McCann is right in the middle of the pack saying he has not delivered anything special in clutch for the Braves.

It is more of an issue than anything that we are so used to seeing McCann deliver in clutch that he has been disappointment this season. Quite often he has struck out or popped out with men on. He may have performed well on standard statistics but he has certainly not carried the offense, the way we expected him to do (based on his previous years). I hope he turns it around after few days of rest.

jim

October 7th, 2010
11:47 am

The McCann glass is either half-full or half-empty depending upon the viewer. His numbers this year were down compared to the past, but he led the team in HRs and RBIs. He was the star of the All-Star game, but will probably finish behind Ruiz when an all league team is published. With the absence of Chipper and the disappearance of Glaus after mid June, he was more exposed in the lineup than ever before. His season was decent, but below expectations. Along with Heyward, Gonzalez, and Infante, he slumped during the last 2 weeks of the season.

jim

October 7th, 2010
11:56 am

Were the comments by the SF reporter about the Braves’ batting practice resembling HR derby meant to be a positive or negative comment on the Braves? Unless the team bus took an unscheduled stop at BALCO on the way to the park, this team does not have a lot of HR hitters on it. Instead of rocketing batting practice fastballs out of the park, a more productive approach to BP might be hitting in turn line drives to all 3 fields or even laying down a few bunts. BP homers might inflate the ego of some of the hitters, but don’t often translate into productive ABs in the game.

joe kill

October 7th, 2010
12:14 pm

congrads on Jair we need u man and mccann can provide soild offense but dont forget about dlee heyward and clutch conrad GO BRAVOS btw i hate the philles more than the yankees i never thought this would happen!

Wes

October 7th, 2010
12:14 pm

SG10 – Granted, he hasn’t been clutch this season. And his defense hasn’t been sharp neither (made 14 errors this season, and his caught stealing percentage is low).

However, I was just simply stating that he has done noteworthy things this season. Most obviously, being the All-Star MVP, and securing home-field advantage for National League in the World Series. When he hit that double, I truly thought that was very special. And him being from Georgia and being our starting catcher also contributed to that special feeling.

jim thompson

October 7th, 2010
12:14 pm

Does anyone else think Ankiel might need glasses> I just dont think he can see the ball. He is a strikeout machine

Wes

October 7th, 2010
12:30 pm

I sometimes like to sit back and think how powerful the Braves would be if we still had these 5 guys (2 we traded, 3 injured):

Yunel Escobar – Yea, he was “showy”, maybe a little arrogant, and wasn’t liked in the clubhouse (probably because he didn’t speak too much English), but he made some of the best defensive plays I’ve ever seen and had some pop in his bat.
Gregor Blanco – He had a .316 average when we traded him, and was a solid defensive player. He also was a spark that, I thought, ignited that team. Blanco and Heyward WAS our outfield. (getting Ankiel for him was the WORST trade in Braves’ history).
Chipper Jones – No explanation needed.
Kris Medlen – Great pitcher, and was our good luck charm.
Martin Prado – No explanation needed.

So if we still had ALL 5 of these guys healthy and none were injured, I think this Braves team, combined with our pitching, would be virtually unstoppable.

John OTC

October 7th, 2010
12:30 pm

bigboi- Bonds admitted to taking steriods while under oath. Do you really need more proof?

bravesfansince66

October 7th, 2010
12:34 pm

JJ better have more than his knee pain solved should he be allowed to pitch. He just plain stunk during his last five starts. Those were way before the knee pain issue was raised publicly. He seems to have periods of brilliance followed by periods of pure disaster! Since he was not man enough to tough out a little knee pain he should sit down and take notes for the rest of the year!

bravesfansince66

October 7th, 2010
12:40 pm

Wes: Yunel was a big baby who would pout about things. Yes he was a great fielder but he was not a fit for the team! Gregor on the other hand was a great team player…it was a shame to see him go for the likes of Ankeil or Farnsworthless. Injuries are part of the game. We were unlucky in that department for sure but we still managed to make it the the playoffs! GO BRAVOS!

SG10

October 7th, 2010
12:45 pm

Wes: I agree about the All-star game and what he did made the Braves proud but he hasn’t had as much impact on the Braves season as I had hoped..well, all that would not matter if he has super post-season. I just hope there is nothing mechanically wrong since several of his doubles off the wall this year would have been HRs in the past..he also seems to be falling over a bit while trying to make a contact..When he hit 0.500 and Bobby announced that he was in mid-season form, I surely hoped he would have a special year but he actually took a step back..again, with the successful post-season, it wouldn’t matter… Let’s go and take the first one tonight! Read on MLB.com that only 3 out of 30 NL teams (from 1995 onwards) have come back from the first game loss to win..we have fought all odds but it wouldn’t hurt to take easy path this time :)

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October 7th, 2010
12:46 pm

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poof!!!

October 7th, 2010
12:59 pm

Jair Jurrjens will be an asset if that knee is truly healed. He has always pitched really good when he was free of any ailments.

Wes

October 7th, 2010
1:05 pm

bravesfansince66: Let’s not forget that both Blanco and Escobar had great speed, which is what this team seriously lacks. Blanco had 10 steals for the Royals after being traded, while he only had one for us. Heyward leads the team with 11 steals. Melky, McClouth, and Infante all have 7. My point: We seriously could’ve used those 10 steals!

Wes

October 7th, 2010
1:18 pm

SG10 – I see what you’re saying. But in McCann’s defense, he did have a walk-off homer one Sunday, which they had to review on reply. I surely remember this because I saw the ball hit on the very top of the wall, and then it went out. It was the first game to end with a reviewed home run call.

I seriously hope the offense turns things around this series. Lowe, Gonzo, D-Lee, Hinske, and Glaus all have postseason experience (and success), so hopefully they’ll make other players (who have no postseason experience) feel relaxed.

GO BRAVES!

jim

October 7th, 2010
1:31 pm

Wes,
Escobar had slightly above average speed, but was not a very good base runner. Blanco batted 8th for much of the time he was up with the Braves, which limited his steal opportunities — with less than 2 outs, Bobby would prefer to have the pitcher sacrifice him to second, and with 2 outs he wanted to at least clear the pitcher for the next inning. What Blanco did give was a lot of long ABs where he worked the count. This team was noted for its plate discipline before the All Star break, but after the trades and Chipper’s injury and Glaus’ decline, the new lineup was a lot less disciplined. Blanco might have been the closest we could come in combining Ankiel’s defense and the extra offense that McLouth (post Sept 1) and Melky might give into one player. A lineup of Blanco, Infante, Heyward, Lee, McCann, … would be an improvement on any we might have now.

jim

October 7th, 2010
1:36 pm

If we are listing post season experience, don’t forget Ankiel — both as a pitcher and outfielder.

Wes

October 7th, 2010
1:44 pm

jim – I would love to ask Frank Wren specifically why he traded Blanco. I just can’t see any reasons. I think GMs owe it to the fans to publicly explain why they got rid of a player.

I hope Ankiel is starting in CF tonight… I already foresee Triple’s Alley giving the Braves outfield a major headache. If Melky is in centerfield tonight, I might just cover my eyes if any balls are hit to him. He’s so damn slow.

jim

October 7th, 2010
2:07 pm

I think Wren would say he wasn’t trying to get rid of Blanco, he was trying to acquire Ankiel, whom he thought would give better defense and more power. This may be the truth. I don’t remember Ankiel being so bad an offensive player when he was with the Cards, but maybe he was being protected better by Pujols and company. I expect (hope!) Ankiel will be playing CF tonight and tomorrow, and maybe he will actually run into one with his swing hard in case you hit it approach. I’ll be happy if he just plays good D. With all the talk about playoff experience, I hope this does not become a reason Bobby would start Melky tonight, or any night. It just might be.

The player in that trade we may regret losing most is the reliever Tim Collins. He has been highly rated by Baseball America and seems to be something of a Medlen clone.

GMCK

October 7th, 2010
2:42 pm

bigboi – steriods doesnt help you put the bat on the ball but it does make easy pop-ups in shallow right feild go in extra 100 feet and over the wall.

SG10

October 7th, 2010
2:44 pm

Read this on ESPN:
“The Braves as a team hit .287 against fastballs, tied for second in the National League, but just .216 against offspeed pitches. That gap was the second-largest in the NL this season. Against changeups, Tim Lincecum’s out pitch, the Braves also hit .216, the second-worst mark in the NL. ”

I suppose we know what Braves will be getting tonight…lots of off-speed pitches and that also explains their struggles against Livan who throws ton of those..

MiaBchBravesFan

October 7th, 2010
5:17 pm

Anyone who has ever torn a knee ligament would not even ask if Chipper is going to even PH in these playoffs.

Really, folks, show some common sense.

MiaBchBravesFan

October 7th, 2010
5:22 pm

Wes: I agree. Bobby would do well to start Ankiel in CF during the two games in SF. Putting either Melky or Nate in CF is tantamount to a defensive surrender on the Braves’ part.

Puma

October 7th, 2010
5:27 pm

SG10 – that is interesting, though I don’t buy too heavily into those types of cuts. Offspead pitch is only as good as the fastball that sets it up. But your point about Livan, and also Moyer, is well taken. Those two worked us in every start.

iopbrave

October 7th, 2010
9:31 pm

I think Jurrgens is done – played the braves this year – sore shoulder etal = another Boras pupil

jpaul

October 9th, 2010
12:55 am

BW just blew a hip out

jpaul

October 9th, 2010
12:56 am

4-4 in the 10th with one on! Crap!!!

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