Archive for April, 2011

Braves quotes after win over Giants’ Lincecum

***FREDI GONZALEZ

“Huddy was outstanding. We got some timely hitting. I think something that goes unnoticed sometimes is, when we scored Huddy went back out there and shut ‘em down. We were able to add on later in the game, put up a crooked number, and we held on.”

On taking out Hudson with one out to go

“Obviously we were going to give him that opportunity to complete the game, and then Schierholtz had a pretty good at-bat, a seven or eight, maybe even nine-pitch at-bat, and I didn’t want to take him any longer. It’s a catch-22, because if you let him face Posey and he gets a base hit, now you’ve got to bring in Kimbrel with [runners on] first and second and no wiggle room, and I always like to give closers wiggle room.

“I think that at-bat with Schierholz made the decision a little bit easier.”

On McCann’s two-run, two-out single

“Big RBI against a tough left-hander. That’s why he hits fourth and that’s why he’s won a bunch of Silver Sluggers. I …

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Chipper’s out of lineup with sore (other) knee

SAN FRANCISCO – The day before his 39th birthday, Chipper Jones is out of the lineup for this afternoon’s game with the Giants with a sore knee.

That sentence that would make the Braves and plenty of their fans cringe, if the knee in question was Jones’ left. But it wasn’t. As we wrote late last night, it’s not his surgically repaired left knee that’s sore, it’s the right knee, and it doesn’t sound like a serious issue.

Chipper Jones is out of the lineup today with a sore right knee, a day after hitting a two-run double off the right-field wall in a 4-1 win over the Giants.

Chipper Jones is out of the lineup today with a sore right knee, a day after hitting a two-run double off the right-field wall in a 4-1 win over the Giants.

Hot-hitting rookie first baseman Freddie Freeman replaces Chipper in the third spot in the lineup today, Martin Prado moves from left field to third base, and Eric Hinske gets his second start in left field.

Don’t be surprised if Jones is back in the lineup for Sunday’s series finale — although he says it bothers him batting right-handed and not left-handed, so returning for tomorrow’s …

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Braves quotes after Friday’s win against Giants

FREDI GONZALEZ

On Tommy Hanson

“He was real good. I thought his command was outstanding. His breaking pitches – he almost had, like, two different kind of [breaking pitches], the hard slider and threw that slow curveball at them. He did a helluva job for us.

“We got those four runs in the third inning and he did what you want your pitcher to do, go back out there in the next inning and shut ‘em down and kept the momentum in our dugout.”

On taking advantage of two walks in the four-run third inning

“That’s the new thing we’re going to try to do is walk, so we can catch up to last year’s team at this time.” [sarcasm]

But seriously…

“No, they walked a couple of us and we made them pay. Chipper drove the ball for the two-run double there, Heyward got a couple of knocks. You wish you could add on the rest of the way, that maybe we’d have had some opportunities to maybe add another run. But that didn’t happen, because it’s a pretty good bullpen they …

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Linebrink: Not just Kimbrel felt responsible for loss

SAN FRANCISCO – A few hours after Craig Kimbrel was tagged for his first major league blown save on Thursday in Los Angelese, the Braves’ rookie closer was at a San Francisco restaurant with a group of teammates.

“We got into town and went and had dinner,” veteran reliever Scott Linebrink said. “He had a pretty good attitude about it. We were all kind of venting frustrations over the game, everybody. It was just a hard one to lose.

“I think it helps to talk about it, get it out, and move on.”

Kimbrel blew a 3-2 lead after issuing a leadoff walk in the ninth inning and giving up a two-out, two-strike RBI single by Casey Blake. The Dodgers won 5-3 in 12 innings on Matt Kemp’s walkoff homer off Cristhian Martinez.

For Kimbrel, 22, it was the second earned run allowed in 28 appearances over two seasons. He felt terrible, said he failed to do his job after Braves hitters had staged a two-run, two-out rally in the top of the ninth to take the lead.

Blake …

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So far, so many holes in Braves lineup

SAN FRANCISCO – Yes, it’s gotten ugly. Not getting. Gotten.

A day after managing just four hits and one run in nine innings against Jon Garland, the Braves had two hits and one run through eight innings against Clayton Kershaw on Thursday at Dodger Stadium, before rallying when the lefty tired in the ninth.

Some were concerned about how rookie Freddie Freeman would handle big-league pitching. Well, he's been one of the few bright spots in the Braves' stagnant offense.

Some were concerned about how rookie Freddie Freeman would handle big-league pitching. Well, he's been one of the few bright spots in the Braves' stagnant offense.

They still were one strike away from having consecutive complete games pitched against them, before David Ross’ two-out, two-strike, two-run single off Kershaw turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead the Braves held for less than a half-inning.

The Braves lost 5-3 in 12 innings, after Craig Kimbrel blew the save in the ninth and Cristhian Martinez gave up a two-run Matt Kemp walkoff homer, and now find themselves four games under .500 (8-12) and 4-1/2 games behind NL East co-leaders Philly and Florida.

It’s …

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Reliever Gearrin up from Triple-A (UPDATED)

SAN FRANCISCO – When Cory Gearrin found out Thursday night he’d been called to the big leagues, the excited Braves reliever dashed a few blocks to a Men’s Wearhouse in Norfolk, Va., five minutes before they closed.

He had to get a blazer to meet the Braves’ major league travel dress code before his flight to San Francisco early Friday.

To bolster a fatigued bullpen, the Braves called up the sidearmer from Triple-A Gwinnett, optioning backup outfielder Matt Young to Gwinnett to open a spot. Gearrin was at AT&T Park and ready Friday, it not exactly rested.

“I woke up at about 3:45 this morning,” said the Chattanooga native, smiling as he told the story of how Gwinnett manager Dave Brundage messed with him for a while on the phone call Thursday before breaking the news that he’d been summoned by the big club.

“I was on the phone talking to [family and friends] all night,” Gearrin said before Friday’s series opener against the Giants. “It was …

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Braves quotes after Thursday loss to Dodgers

***FREDI GONZALEZ

on Ross’ go-ahead two-run hit with 2 out in 9th

“Big hit for Rossy. I thought that might have gotten us over the hump. But hey, it’s a tough game, a humbling game. You’ve got to get all the outs, and we didn’t do that.”

Able to take any positives from coming back?

“You know what? The positive is that we’ve been in every single ballgame, and we really haven’t hit our stride offensively. The pitching has been outstanding, defense has been outstanding, baserunning today got us in position to win the ballgame. We just couldn’t get the last out.”

“Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to win some of those 10-run games. But you’re in every ballgame, and the guys know they’re not swinging the bats like they’re capable of swinging. So you tip your hats to the Dodgers – they came up with some big hits with two outs and two strikes – and we go on and nobody’s going to feel sorry for us. We go on to San Francisco.”

On Kimbrel’s 0-2 …

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Series preview: Braves at S.F. Giants

Series preview: Braves at Giants

When (TV): 10:15 p.m. Friday (SPSO), 4:10 p.m. Saturday (Fox), 4:10 p.m. Sunday (FSSO).

Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5

Probable starting pitchers:

Friday: Braves RH Tommy Hanson (1-3, 3.86 ERA) vs. LH Madison Bumgarner (0-2, 7.36)

Saturday: Braves RH Tim Hudson (2-2, 4.05) vs. RH Tim Lincecum (2-1, 1.67)

Sunday: Braves RH Brandon Beachy (1-1, 3.86) vs. LH Jonathan Sanchez (2-1, 3.13)

About the Braves:

• Batting: Jason Heyward, hitting .152 (5-for-33) on the road before Friday, will try to get things going in San Francisco, where he was 4-for-12 with two homers ias a rookie. … Brian McCann was tied for third in the NL with a .432 road average before Friday; all 16 of his road hits were singles…. Martin Prado’s .326 average against the Giants includes .364 (8-for-22) in six games at AT&T Park.

• Pitching: Hanson has lasted more than 5-1/3 innings in just one of four starts, when he pitched seven scoreless innings vs. …

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Slumping J-Hey gets rest vs. nemesis Dodgers

LOS ANGELES – For the first time this season, Jason Heyward is out of the lineup for today’s series finale against the Dodgers. And for the first time, I don’t think many people out there are actually going to complain.

Heyward sure isn’t.

Slumping Heyward doesn't  know what it is about the Dodgers that befuddles him, but  he's glad to get a rest with his first day out of lineup today.

Slumping Heyward doesn't know what it is about the Dodgers that befuddles him, but he's glad to get a rest with his first day out of lineup today.

“Most definitely, it’s nice to have a day off,” he said in the clubhouse this morning. “Coming into the season from spring training, with some things nagging, and that doubleheader [Saturday vs. Mets] was tough. Nice to have a day.”

The Braves’ hugely talented right fielder is in a slump, hitting .152 (7-for-46) in his past 13 games with two homers, two RBIs, five walks, nine strikeouts and a .235 on-base percentage. He went 0-for-4 with a season-high three strikeouts in Wednesday’s loss.

That stretch has dropped the 2010 All-Star and Baseball America Rookie of the …

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Braves quotes after Wednesday loss to Dodgers

*** DEREK LOWE

“I just was not very good. This had nothing to do with days’ rest. I never got in a good rhythm. They did a lot of taking. It just … it beat me up. I wasn’t very sharp and they took advantage. Just way too … God, 80 pitches in three innings. It’s just lull everyone to sleep in a way.

“And then Garland pitched a great game. So the combination wasn’t very good.”

Cut on thumb in last start had nothing to do with it?

“Heck no. I wish it did. I just threw way too many non-competitive pitches. I mean, to throw 80 pitches in three innings. And then walking the pitcher with one out just led to disaster. So all in all, it was no good.”

Looked out of sorts in 2nd inning

“The whole game. I wasn’t frustrated; I never felt like the inning or the game was going to spiral out of control. It just kept adding up. Sometimes you just get your brains beat in, and that’s what happened. So you regroup and then go out there whatever it is, on Monday or …

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