McLouth reaches base four times in 13-3 win over Astros

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. – For all the uncertainty surrounding center fielder Nate McLouth this spring, one thing was clear Monday. He got just the kind of game he needed to jumpstart his spring training.

McLouth went 2-for-2 with a double, two RBIs, two walks, three runs and a stolen base to lead the Braves to a 13-3 win over the Astros. It set the tone for a big offensive day for the Braves, including two doubles from Eric Hinske, Dan Uggla’s first hit as a Brave, and a six-run second inning fueled by two Brian McCann hits.

In the Braves’ first win of spring training, McLouth got his first hit of spring on a flare to left center off left-hander Wandy Rodriguez.

“My first hit was a bloop hit, but at least it didn’t take me nine games to get it,” McLouth said.

McLouth has reached base as many times in the first two games and he did in much of spring training last year. He’s been on base six times in his first two games, including a walk and hit by pitch on Saturday in Port St. Lucie. He went 6-for-51 (.118) last spring training with 16 strikeouts.

This is a pivotal time for McLouth to build confidence if he’s to rebound from last season when he hit .190 in 85 games and lost his center field job for much of the second half. Seeing early results doesn’t hurt.

“I’m really going up to the plate trying to be aggressive, and be aggressive on every pitch,” McLouth said. “It’s amazing how much better you see offspeed pitches, when you’re really, really aggressive on the fastball.”

The left-handed hitting McLouth got a base hit and two walks off left-handers Monday. He doubled to the opposite field gap off the only right-hander he faced.

“When I’m seeing lefties well, I’m laying off close pitches and swinging at good pitches,” he said. “That’s how I can gauge my progress at the plate.”

40 comments Add your comment

NYC Falcon

February 28th, 2011
6:26 pm

Lowe gets all the run support, even in spring training!


February 28th, 2011
6:32 pm

This is a good start, keep it up Nate.


February 28th, 2011
6:36 pm

I hope Nate has a terrific comeback year!!

the ftruth..............

February 28th, 2011
6:40 pm

It’s terrible….a one armed center fielder is not an asset……….. McLouth is a rag-arm and will hurt the team….


February 28th, 2011
6:53 pm

God I hate Lowe!!! Great Job Nate!!!


February 28th, 2011
6:56 pm

Keep it going Nate!!!


February 28th, 2011
6:56 pm

That’s funny… Lowe still getting all the run support.


February 28th, 2011
6:57 pm

How can you hate Derek Lowe? He is freaking awesome! Richie, you’re lame, buddy.

Ricky Bobby Cox

February 28th, 2011
7:11 pm

Say what you will about Lowe but I pitched in college and three years in A ball and have not seen movement like he has in a longgggg time. If he can keep it down, hit his spots and change his speeds, he really is a great pitcher. When he is on, look out. Braves have a solid team. I just think the Phillies are too good and will buy some bullpen help soon.

Brave New World

February 28th, 2011
7:32 pm

Derek Lowe has delivered 15 and 16 win seasons for the Braves, and the Braves have become a winning playoff team during Derek’s 2 years. Derek Lowe at $15 million is better than Cliff Lee at $25 million. Lowe was a stud down the stretch and in the playoffs in 2010. Maybe the “critics” wish they had his money and his talent.


February 28th, 2011
7:48 pm

Nate—-Hebrews 11—- nothing is impossible with God!!!!


February 28th, 2011
7:49 pm

I wouldn’t say Low is beter than Lee, but I would rather have Lowe at $15 mil than Lee at $25 mil… Especially with the crop of arms we have coming up while Lee, Oswalt, and Halladay’s arms are all getting older ;) )

big o

February 28th, 2011
8:03 pm

RBC I will say it again we should concede nothing to the Phills. I like ouur pitching Uggla changes our lineup. Im hoping Minor wins the 5th starter spot so we can watch the kid shut down the LH Philly bats who will miss Worth more than they think. Pitching was not the Phillies problem last year they could not hit lefties. Halladay is a beast but the rest of them can be had. Go Bravos !!!!!!


February 28th, 2011
8:08 pm

a braves new world begins welcome freddie G


February 28th, 2011
8:33 pm

One game Byron Leftwich threw for 300 yards and 3 tds too. But then he sucked the rest of his career, a-la Nate…


February 28th, 2011
8:37 pm

I remember one day my dog caught the tennis ball 20 of 20 times I threw it to him. Before and after that though, he was like 3 for 20. My dog’s name is Nate.


February 28th, 2011
8:42 pm

Been saying it all offseason .. I have no problems with McLouth being one of our OF’s. As long as Heyward doesn’t steamroll him again Nate is going to have a fine year.

.280, 20 HR’s, 70 RBI’s, 90 Runs, 20 SB’s and solid defense.


February 28th, 2011
8:47 pm

Im not convinced. We’ll see if he continues to kill us defensively by choosing not to make throws again this year. Even if he hits .270, it wont be enough to make up for what little he does in CF.


February 28th, 2011
9:14 pm

Its only one game, but considering how horrible his spring was last year, this is definitely a positive sign. Hopefully he can keep the confidence high and keep the hits coming.

bucky oneil

February 28th, 2011
9:21 pm

2010 = McOut

2011 = McLeadoff ?

bucky oneil

February 28th, 2011
10:08 pm

Maybe Mc2batter……….still no mulligans for decent bat, poor fielding. Nate needs to have a steller year to raise his value.
We’ll all know which Mc we have the first time we see his facial expression when he comes to the plate, especially in a run scoring situation. Last year was like “WTF am I gonna do!……..”Puzzled kinda, cross between smelling something bad and not being able to see real good” look on his face.

It's me...Jared

February 28th, 2011
10:55 pm

Justin 1… I’ve read a lot of your comments. I don’t understand why you are so pesimistic about the Braves this year. Seems like you want to see them fail. As for me I’m a true Braves fan. I believe this is going to be our year. I know the Phillies will be tough but once we are in the playoffs anything can happen!


March 1st, 2011
1:06 am

Alright! NateMac got totally DOUBLE PITS TO CHESTY with it today!

Tokyo jacket

March 1st, 2011
2:14 am

Is it me, or is there a special feeling in the air for the Braves this year? McLouth is a piece of that, but nowhere near the fulcrum point for the Braves. Chip looks to be back in form. Oh, what do we do if he goes down? Oh, that’s right, we have an all-star to back him up at 3rd. Pitching looks great. Defense looks ok. And this team looks good at the plate. I look for big things from the Bravos this year.

March 1st, 2011
7:45 am

To suggest you hate someone simply because they have failed to live up to your expectations is really sad! You can be frustrated and even not support a player because they are not producing but as long as they are really trying and not just Manny being Manny then you should also maintain som level of respect for them and yourself. Nothing about Lowe or McLouth suggest they weren’t or aren’t trying to do everything they can to earn their paychecks! So relax its just baseball! There are real serious things going on around the world and baseball is NOT one of them! Go Braves!


March 1st, 2011
8:03 am

The level of some comments is really below ground level! DOB, can’t you filter and clean up this blog, make it more RELEVANT to the Braves issues, without the vomit and c— that some of your “baseball-knowledgeable” (?) bloggers are unable to avoid spewing from both ends?! “God! I hate Lowe!” and biblical allusions are totally out of place (as is screaming “Adulterer’” at Chipper Jones, as on your colleague Schultz’s blog yesterday). Please, pull it out of the sewer, or it will become a serious waste of time. Go Braves, and may ALL the players succeed this spring, especially those seeking to come back from difficulties.


March 1st, 2011
8:17 am

Nate the Great is BACK! Haters be damned!


March 1st, 2011
8:24 am

I see we need more balance to the idiots who come here to show their hatred of the Braves.

So be it. I love the Braves. Always have. Always will. Despite having another team I cheer for, the Braves hold a special place in my heart. I have followed the team since they moved from Milwaukee, and have suffered through more lean times than most of the goobers on here can imagine. Seeing people bash some of the players today usually just makes me laugh, thinking how we saw some truly lovable losers during the 70’s and 80’s.

Those of you who constantly bash this team are not fans, even if you claim to be so. You are in the same category as the Mets fans and Phillies fans who come here to spread hate and discontent. You are trolls.

Back to the good. The players are looking very good so far. ST is progressing at a nice pace, and I wish I was there to watch some up close. I had to cancel my trip to Dark Star that was scheduled for an upcoming weekend. Too bad, I will miss seeing them in person. It will not dampen my spirits though.

Go Braves. There are still true fans out here.


March 1st, 2011
8:39 am

I hated one of the biggest aholes in history, Tom Glavine but I cheered for him when he pitched because he was a Brave and I am a Braves fan. Get off Lowe and hope McClouth comes thru. Bring on the Phillies!

Old Braves Fan

March 1st, 2011
8:48 am

Lowe has balls that sink and run off both sides of the plate. If he pitches like he did at the end of last year he will be almost un-hittable.

Larvell Blanks

March 1st, 2011
8:53 am

Glavine an “ahole”? He’s such a class act that I only held his brief whining after being released against him for a teensy-tiny amount of time before letting it go — I figured it was mostly out of character for him (unlike his compadre, St. John the Offended).

Larvell Blanks

March 1st, 2011
8:54 am

“Lowe has balls that sink and run off both sides of the plate.”


D man

March 1st, 2011
9:05 am

Way to go McLouth. He is a good ball player. It would be nice to get him going this season like the old mclouth.

D man

March 1st, 2011
9:10 am

If Mclouth goes ofer in the next two games, everybody will say he stinks. But remember that if you get 3 hits out of 10, you are considered a superstar for only failing 7 times out of 10. Point being, he has two hits out of 2 so he is likely to go ofer to be like the superstars. GO MCLOUTH!!!


March 1st, 2011
9:29 am

What kind of a person calls Glavine an anus?
And, why?

Disbott 3000

March 1st, 2011
9:47 am

Knocking on Glavine is not classy. I’ll agree he did nothing to make himself popular by being a union rep during the strike that made a million men cry, but he also played a huge part in delivering, to date, the only world championship this state has known, so why don’t you let it go already and give the guy a break, ok?

Oh, and good work Nate. Keep it up. Same to you Derek. Continue not thinking and let your arm do the work and you’ll be aok. Go Braves!

Dan in West Georgia

March 1st, 2011
2:25 pm

I don’t have an opinion on the quality of McLouth’s arm, but I think his failure to even throw the ball was a mental issue, a symptom of his total loss of confidence.


March 1st, 2011
2:25 pm

A player doesn’t go from .276/26/94 to .190/6/24 in two years without something serious going on mentally or physically. It’s not like he was juicing or had batting order protection in Pittsburgh. So even if we concede that 2008 was his best career year (and he’s a little young to be making that kind of statement about), you’d think he has the potential to hit .265/20/80 – which I’d take at this point. Of course if he’s still lost or hurt, we’ll know soon enough.


March 1st, 2011
10:28 pm

I would point out to everyone that at one time the Braves had a pitcher who had shown some promise but seemed to have mental speed bumps that got in his way, to the point that the Braves hired a sports psychologist to work with the pitcher, much to the delight of lots of comedians. Callers to the sports shows bashed on the pitcher. There were no trolls on the blogs hating on him, but only because this was pre-internet.

The pitcher’s name was John Smoltz. It turned out pretty well that the team was patient with him.


March 2nd, 2011
1:17 am

Look for the fastball and adjust to the off-speed – sounds like a plan to me, Nate.

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