Archive for April, 2011

Postgame quotes after Saturday’s 3-2 loss to St. Louis

CRAIG KIMBREL

On his recent stretch:

“I’m leaving pitches over the plate and they’re hitting them. I’m letting their leadoff guy get on, and that’s probably one of the most important guys to get out, especially if you want to get in a rhythm in an inning and I haven’t done that in the last few outings and it’s shown.”

On if any physical reason:

“No, everything’s good.”

On last two games for team:

“It is frustrating. It’s frustrating to me because I feel like I’ve let the team down the last two games. (Those were) two games I felt like we should have won. I’m going to come in tomorrow and try to do my job and help the team win a game.”

On Beachy’s outing:

“He pitched excellent. Took a shutout into the eighth. He pitched his butt off today. It’s frustrating for him, I know it is to pitch that well and come out on a losing end. We’re all frustrated, especially me. You don’t want to do that. I’ll come in tomorrow and try to do my job.”

On if hitters are sitting on his …

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Wallace trying to make best of interim situation

Braves minor league pitching coordinator Dave Wallace was in Single-A Rome working with pitchers when he got the call the Braves needed him to serve as interim major league pitching coach.

It’s not the most comfortable call for Wallace, a mentor and close friend to Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell, who is on administrative leave while the Braves investigate allegations he made anti-gay slurs to fans in San Francisco. But Wallace is making the best of the situation and staying in close contact with McDowell.

“I talk to him daily,” Wallace said. “We keep updated on what’s going on and some of the things he thinks I need to keep an eye on.”

Wallace is a 30-year veteran of the coaching and front office ranks, who has coached in the major leagues for the Astros, Red Sox, Mets, and Dodgers. He’s in his second year with the Braves and got to know the staff during some major league stints last year as well as spring training. He coached Derek Lowe for two years with the Boston Red …

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Kimbrel enduring first blown saves as Braves closer

Somewhere on his alpaca farm in Charlottesville, Va. former Brave Billy Wagner is saying he knew there’d be days like this for Craig Kimbrel.

The Braves young closer is experiencing some of his first major league bumps in the road since taking over for Wagner. He blew his second save in his past four chances Friday night in an eventual 5-3 loss to the Cardinals.

In those two outings, Kimbrel committed the cardinal sin of allowing the leadoff man aboard – he put Jamey Carroll on with a leadoff walk April 21 in Los Angeles and Yadier Molina on with a leadoff single on Friday night.

Carroll took second on a wild pitch and scored on a single. Molina took third on a hit-and-run and scored on a sacrifice fly.

“Got to keep the leadoff runner off base, get that first out,” Kimbrel said. “It’s big.”

Kimbrel has been walking the fine line of not trying to walk the first hitter, and not trying to give him anything to hit either. After 32 appearances in the majors now – including 21 last …

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Back to baseball and Game 2 of the Cardinals series

 

McCann has been great with RISP

McCann has been great with RISP

 

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

You know it’s not good when you’re walking to the car a little before 1 a.m. last night and a great stat dawns on you just as you’re leaving the building, long after your game story is filed.

Well, I couldn’t do anything about it in that moment, so I’m rehashing it for your reading pleasure now. How ironic was it that the key at-bat last night in a 5-3 extra inning loss to the Cardinals was when Brian McCann grounded into a double play with the bases loaded, and the Braves couldn’t add on to Nate McLouth’s homer in the second inning.

That was the guy who’d been killing it with runners in scoring position – leading the majors in fact with a .688 (11-for-16) average with RISP and 13 RBIs. As manager Fredi Gonzalez said last night, Chris Carpenter made a great pitch at the right time to get McCann and avoid key add-on runs.

McCann had come up with a runner at second in the …

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Braves postgame quotes after Friday’s loss to the Cardinals

FREDI GONZALEZ

On the leads given up:

“We really had a good chance to break it open and Carpenter made a hell of a pitch and doubled up Mac. It’s tough to save one-run games, it really is, in the major leagues. I think (Craig) Kimbrel is learning that. It’s difficult. But again we get the lead, had a nice job there with Jonny Venters in the eight. We had the lead going into the ninth, just couldn’t close it out. That’s just the way it goes. Play extra innings you just don’t know how those extra innings are going to work. I think Gearrin did a terrific job again for us. I really did. In the boxscore he’s going to come out with the L by his name, and I think he pitched a little better than that.”

On the 11th inning dispute with Tim McClelland:

“I think Freddie (Freeman) thought that he had called ball four. We almost got a runner picked off. That would have been big. For me, having the opportunity to look at it, a replay, for me it’s a strike. It’s too close to take. I’m not …

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Moylan making progress but still hasn’t thrown

Braves reliever Peter Moylan is eligible to come off the disabled list on Saturday but needs more time before he can return to action. Moylan, who has yet to even throw, didn’t want to give a specific timetable but said he’s making some progress.

Moylan received an epidural last week to treat the bulging disc in his lower back.

“It feels OK,” Moylan said. “My movement has come back really well. I can twist and walk and do that sort of stuff.”

Moylan has been doing rehabilitation exercises on his back since getting the epidural 10 days ago, but he has yet to pick up a baseball.

“There are still some issues we want to try and work through before I start trying to throw,” he said.

Moylan, 32, had two surgeries for bulging discs in 2001 and 2003, when he was out of baseball and living in his native Australia. He’s hopeful he can avoid surgery this time because he said unlike in previous cases, he hasn’t felt shooting pains down his legs.

The Braves have struggled to fill his …

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Lowe apologizes to teammates following DUI arrest

Braves pitcher Derek Lowe apologized to his Braves teammates in a closed-door meeting Friday, the day after he was arrested on suspicion of DUI and piled another controversy on a clubhouse already reeling from accusations against pitching coach Roger McDowell.

“It’s been a rough couple of days for this organization and clearly I have a lot to do with that,” Lowe said. “…Any time you do anything, you’re putting the Braves in a bad spot and that’s what I did. You want to let them know that you are sorry for the situation.”

A trooper reported seeing Lowe racing another car down Peachtree Road about 10 p.m. Thursday night.

Georgia State Patrol spokesman Gordy Wright said Lowe was stopped about 10 p.m. at the intersection of Peachtree and Rumson Road and that the trooper “detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage.”

Lowe underwent a field sobriety test but refused a breathalyzer. He was taken to Atlanta city jail before bonding out Friday morning. Lowe, who was driving a 2011 …

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Braves place McDowell on administrative leave – updated

The Braves have placed pitching coach Roger McDowell on administrative leave while they continue to investigate allegations that he directed anti-gay slurs toward fans at San Francisco’s AT&T Park.

Braves general manager Frank Wren said Friday he hoped to have the situation resolved in “the next day or so.” The Braves are working in conjunction with Major League Baseball to determine how to proceed.

Wren would not comment on what McDowell’s potential punishment would be, or whether McDowell would lose his job. But when Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was asked if he thought this would cost McDowell his job, he said no.

“In my opinion it shouldn’t,” Gonzalez said. “I’m sure there’s going to be some hoops that he’s going to have to go through and some apologizing, which he should have to go through, but for a person to lose their job, I wouldn’t think so and I hope it doesn’t.”

McDowell was not at Turner Field Friday but has been in close contact with Gonzalez, who lives four …

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More troubling news with Lowe arrest brings dark day for the Braves

 

 

 

 

 

This was a much better day for Lowe than today

This was a much better day for Lowe than today

 

 

 

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

No doubt, it’s a dark day for the Braves. While sorting out the next step to take with pitching coach Roger McDowell and allegations that he made anti-gay remarks and gestures to some Giants fans, came this morning’s news about Derek Lowe.

The 37-year-old Opening Day starter, one of their team leaders and on a normal day the most positive guy, and great clubhouse influence, was arrested last night at 10 p.m. for DUI in Buckhead.

To have two things of this nature come to light in a span of 36 hours is as big a one-two punch as I can remember in my 16 years (off and on) around the Braves. McDowell, at least so far, has not been nearly the firestorm kicked up by John Rocker in 1999 with his tirade in Sports Illustrated. That seemed to drag on and on as Rocker wouldn’t diffuse anything by addressing the media, and then kept making news with run-ins …

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Braves option reliever Asencio, recall IF/OF Mather

The Braves dropped their 13th pitcher Thursday when they optioned reliever Jairo Asencio back to Triple-A Gwinnett and purchased the contract of utility player Joe Mather from Gwinnett.

The Braves has added an extra reliever during their 10-day West Coast road trip after a 12-inning game in LA on April 21. They played three extra-inning games in a five-day span on the trip.

The Braves claimed Mather off the waiver wire from the St. Louis Cardinals in November, but sent him to Triple-A to open the season after he struggled offensively in spring training. He hit only .145 (8-for-55) with 15 strikeouts in 25 games in Florida.

For Gwinnett, Mather was hitting .258 (16-for-62) with five doubles, a homer, and four RBIs.

Now he’ll be in uniform against his former team this weekend when the Braves host the Cardinals for three games. Mather can play all three outfield positions, third and first base.

The Braves originally opened the season with outfielder Matt Young on the roster but …

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