Schafer scratched again; O’Flaherty is ERA leader

Jordan Schafer’s injured finger isn’t healing as quickly as planned, and there’s a chance the Braves center fielder will need a stint on the 15-day disabled list.

He was a late scratch from the lineup Tuesday against Pittsburgh after the finger was too sore during batting practice. Nate McLouth moved back to center field from left field and Eric Hinske started in left.

“I’m not sure what we’re going to do,” Schafer said of the DL possibility. “Obviously we need a full bench, so…”

Schafer came on as a defensive replacement in center field  in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday and was hit by a pitch in the same hand in the 11th inning. The Braves were running out of players and he stayed in the game.

Schafer has missed five starts since jamming the finger on a head-first slide while stealing second base Thursday at Colorado. X-rays this week showed a chip fracture.

He and the Braves originally thought he’d only miss a game or two, and on Monday they decided not to disable him after he tested the finger throwing and hitting.

Since he was used to pinch-hit Monday – he struck out in the seventh inning – any DL stint could not be made retroactive prior to that.

Three hours before Tuesday’s game, manager Fredi Gonzalez said that team medical staff had assured Schafer he could not do more damage to the finger by playing with it.

But after batting practice, Schafer informed team officials that it was still too painful to swing.

“Yeah, it’s tough to do everything,” he said. “I mean, it’s not anything serious, but it’s just going to take a little bit to get that out of there where I can do stuff normal again. I guess they say it takes about 10 days to get that [swelling] out of there. The good thing is, they said it’s nothing serious.”

O’Flaherty is majors’ ERA leader

While All-Stars Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters have deservedly received plenty of attention for their performances in the Braves’ bullpen, fellow reliever Eric O’Flaherty quietly whittled his ERA to a majors-leading 0.96 before Tuesday, ahead of Cleveland’s Joe Smith (1.14) and San Diego’s Mike Adams (1.17).

“We have those two other guys, so he flies under the radar,” Gonzalez said. “He is putting together a hell of a season.”

O’Flaherty began Tuesday riding a streak of 22 appearances without giving up an earned run. He gave up 15 hits, one uearned run and eight walks with 14 strikeouts in 19-1/3 innings during that period.

“I’m not really pitching too much better than last year, it’s just that the guys coming in behind me aren’t cashing in any runs,” said O’Flaherty, who had a 2.45 ERA in 56 appearances for the Braves in 2010. “I left the bases loaded a few times and Jonny or someone came in and got a ground ball or a strikeout, and I look good. So it’s more a credit to those guys.”

Despite the numbers, O’Flaherty doesn’t put himself at the level of flame-throwers Kimbrel and Venters.

“It’s funny to be mentioned with those guys; they’re studs,” he said. “I’m doing the same thing I did last year. Like I said, with a guy like Jonny coming in behind you with the bases loaded, you feel pretty good about it. There’s not much to worry about. Liney [Scott Linebrink] has come in a few times. I’d say they probably stranded 10 runs for me, at least.

“So if half of those runs score, we’re not having this conversation.”

47 comments Add your comment

The Murf

July 26th, 2011
8:14 pm

Wow, didn’t realize O’F was first

MWC

July 26th, 2011
8:17 pm

So much for Uggla getting benched.

todd grantham

July 26th, 2011
8:21 pm

DOB, was about to say Heyward’s looking more and more like a flash in the pan till that hit.

todd grantham

July 26th, 2011
8:22 pm

substitute shortstop sure cant hit a lick.

todd grantham

July 26th, 2011
8:25 pm

i’ll bet Jordan hates the thought of a stint on the dl considering how up and down his career has been.

Chris

July 26th, 2011
8:45 pm

Does O’Flaherty even have enough innings to be ERA leader?

stinky

July 26th, 2011
9:17 pm

bobby cerasuolo

July 26th, 2011
9:21 pm

Well Gomes was traded and thank god for that so now whos gonna be the next trade canidate I am hoping for Stubbs but it looks like Pence. So maybe other then getting him maybe can throw in someone else with the deal like a decent SS Tommy Manzella and a back up OF Durango

Minor
Mclouth
Schafer
Salcedo

Pence
Manzella
Durango

BL

July 26th, 2011
9:29 pm

Absolute terrible job of execution by 3 straight hitters!

Not Impressed

July 26th, 2011
9:32 pm

LineSTINK and Kawasucki kinda sound like and pitch like the same – maybe we could trade them both for a few balls and bats – if not, tie an anchor to their legs and kick them off the boat in deepest part of Lake Lanier – no big loss either way.

.BravesfaninWis

July 26th, 2011
9:32 pm

Jeez the Braves suck.2nd and 3rd with no outs and they cant find a way to score. Against the Pirates nonetheless. I hope they aren’t sitting at home puzzled when they are watching the Phillies playing for a world series title. In all honesty, they deserve to lose this game and also not make the playoffs. When you are losing series to the Padres, Reds, Rockies, and Pirates, you deserve to go home after the season.

Skeezix

July 26th, 2011
9:48 pm

2nd & 3rd w/ no outs—isn’t all you need to do is bunt a ball towards first? Dumb, dumb, dumb. Make it hard guys, make it hard.

Joseph

July 26th, 2011
10:11 pm

Bravesfan?????what are you on sir? Yes the Braves have a 4-5 record against the Padres. Losing to the Reds??? NO…3-3 (should at least be 4-2, but that isn’t losing) Against the rockies….when did they lose a series to them? Season record against the rockies is 6-2. That is losing?

Might I suggest you look at the standings in regards to the Pirates. I do believe they are in 1st place in their division. Yup they are horrible right? Entering tonight…….2-1 against Pittsburgh while Phillies are 1-2. Please learn real facts instead of all of the negativity you always post here every time.

.BravesfaninWis

July 26th, 2011
10:33 pm

Joseph, my point is that you shouldn’t be losing to teams like that. We lose tonight, and we lose the series. The Braves shouldn’t be losing like this. How can you be taken seriously when you get beat up by teams like the Rockies? And yes, they got beat up in that last series.

MWC

July 26th, 2011
10:35 pm

Looked like an obliqe to me…been there…sucks. McCann may go on the DL if thats the case.

Joseph

July 26th, 2011
10:38 pm

Dude it is a 4 game series. A lose tonight doesn’t mean lose the series. A team like that? You mean a team in 1st place in their division? Get beat by the rockies? A 6-2 SEASON SERIES. The only 2 loses came on the road. Where they went 2-2. Where are they LOSING TO THE ROCKIES?

Joseph

July 26th, 2011
10:41 pm

MWC, at least we have Ross. Hope it isn’t the oblique, but just a back spasm. HOPING. Not sure who the catchers are in the minors to be called up though. Injuries are the real story of this team not that most want to admit it. Playing only 11 games all year with starting 8…yes all teams have injuries, but find me another team anywhere that has had only 11 out of over 100 games with starting 8. No excuses, given all of that they are still WC leaders and 4th best in the majors. I wonder why?

MWC

July 26th, 2011
10:45 pm

Great point Joseph…don’t let the nay sayers bother you. Ross can start anywhere in baseball. We will be OK. Also good to see Fredi with some fire for a change.

PMC

July 26th, 2011
10:45 pm

after he calls the low strike 18 times.. you would think they would notice it.

Alex Gonzalez might as well be a cardboard cutout. The least he could do is throw down a bunt or strike out instead of being an instant inning ender.

Seriously, 88 million this year and this is the hitting they are getting? I think they got ripped off.

Nick

July 26th, 2011
10:45 pm

Attaway to run it out gonzo. He has given up. And he’s been taking it to the field on defense. Candy ass.

PMC

July 26th, 2011
10:46 pm

It’s fairly unbelievable as poorly as they are playing they still could eek out the wild card.

PMC

July 26th, 2011
10:49 pm

nice job by Christian Martinez. I hope he can hit too.

Joseph

July 26th, 2011
10:53 pm

Now that is the Martinez he should be. Loved the fire he was running to the dugout before the ball hit the plate. Good job kid. Injuries happen. How can anybody really evaluate what this line-up is capable of when they are together when it has happened less than 10% of the time?

Joseph

July 26th, 2011
10:55 pm

Like I said before this series. The Pirates are a good team that is a threat to anybody. By the way…they have a winning record against the Phillies as well.

MWC

July 26th, 2011
10:57 pm

This may get nasty…

Joseph

July 26th, 2011
11:00 pm

I feel bad for Schafer. He has not played well as a lead off guy but man. Come on this kid is just having bad luck past week and a half. I feel bad for the kid.

MWC

July 26th, 2011
11:03 pm

Kind of like the kid has the black cloud over him…sucks…

Joseph

July 26th, 2011
11:06 pm

Side injury not back to McCann :( . Ok no reason to panic. It is obviously an oblique. Dl probably. Ross is the best back-up in the majors and would start for most teams today. That said….Does anybody know who the catchers are that are possible call-ups? I haven’t paid attention to the young catchers myself for about 4 years for obvious reasons.

MWC

July 26th, 2011
11:21 pm

Skip Carey has got to be rolling over, Chip is a MORON !!

Joseph

July 26th, 2011
11:24 pm

Skip will never replace Chip there is no question. But MWC, I have watched national games that Skip called before his father died and came here. Skip was a good announcer on national broadcasts. And I cannot speak on the man’s intelligence level being as I have never met him personally, and I doubt you have either.

Joseph

July 26th, 2011
11:31 pm

McCann DLed tomorrow. :( Who is there to call up? Martinez is the MVP of this game win or lose.

MWC

July 26th, 2011
11:32 pm

Read again my friend…Skip passed away , not Chip. And I an 52 years old, so I DO know what I am talking about…go have another one…

MWC

July 26th, 2011
11:35 pm

Joseph, perhaps your thinking of HARRY CAREY !!??

MWC

July 26th, 2011
11:41 pm

BTW…had many a beer with Skip…

Joseph

July 26th, 2011
11:44 pm

No you are right I inverted the names. Whatever lol. Neither is Harry. No argument there. Skip was so beloved here that Chip cannot replace him and he has to live in his shadows. My point, even though I inverted the names, still stands. And MR MWC, I have been with this team since before Skip and Pete were hired. By the way…..can’t that family think of original names for their kids? I mean come on. lol…….Now that you mentioned it, there will never be another Harry Carey. Nor another Skip. I’d give anything to just have Skip and Pete call a game one more time.

This ump is a joke. Worse than Buckner as bad as he is, ever was. PATHETIC. When is Selig going to do something about guys like this? Have to show how tough they are to a pitcher that is walking around the mound? I mean give me a break.

Joseph

July 26th, 2011
11:46 pm

MWC my claim to fame is getting plastered with Dan Marino and Tony Dorsett when I was living in Pittsburgh. i would have loved to just listen to Skip just talk baseball. Bobby I feel the same way. I’d give almost anything just to sit down 1 on 1 with him and just let him talk all day.

poop

July 26th, 2011
11:46 pm

Who needs Beltran? We have our new right handed bats: David Ross and Chrishtian Martinez

MWC

July 26th, 2011
11:48 pm

Cool bro… I knew you screwed up, but we all do… Skip was way too cool…

MWC

July 26th, 2011
11:50 pm

I miss him…

Joseph

July 26th, 2011
11:51 pm

This damn ump has a Napolean complex. Heck not many guys smaller than Nate and guess he is trying to be tough. When is MLB and the coward Selig going to actually be honest with how bad the umpiring is and stop the stupid “can’t say a word about the umps or else” rule. GROW A BACKBONE SELIG!!!!!!!

Joseph

July 26th, 2011
11:55 pm

I remember sitting in my office at work the day he died…..I ended up sending everybody home because i couldn’t bare to come out of my office to be the hard ass boss I have to be. i will be the same way with Munson. I was cool until I was listening to the radio and they were “remembering him” and played the “bream play” I couldn’t help it. That was when I lost it. Was at that game. And just everything just you know. Skip was blunt and honest. Joe tries to be. But is more reserved. I like Joe. But they will never be Skip and Pete.

Hey I honestly think this organization could build a new skip/pete…..in Smoltz/Glavine. Just my opinion.

MWC

July 27th, 2011
12:01 am

I was not trying to be hard on Chip, but sometimes he ,er, makes no sense at all…mabye I was out of line …sorry.

Joseph

July 27th, 2011
12:03 am

No MWC you are right. especially when he tries to sound like his father and his grandfather. That is embarrassing. But on national broadcasts he is OK. Working for the Braves……..not good at all.

MWC

July 27th, 2011
12:10 am

Mabye with growing, he will be ok… outside of that …well…who knows. GO BRAVES!!! See Ya.

wjones

July 27th, 2011
9:37 am

Well, is there any news regarding whether Schafer will be DL’ed or not? I know he played nine innings last night, but that was more out of necessity than anything. Seems odd that one day he’s ok, and they send down Wilkin, the next day they are talking the DL, and the same day he plays nine innings. This is shaping up to be a very strange week.

WILLIE G LOVES THE YANKEES

July 27th, 2011
3:04 pm

the braves need 3bats and trade heyward to florida for mike stanton TODAY.

jpc

July 27th, 2011
8:38 pm

Starting tonight, game 3, we have three good hitters plus one: Prado, Freedom, Uggla, plus Ross. That won’t get it done, usually. Looks like a split spring training team. Really missing McCann, Jones, Heyward (?). Let’s get serious and trade for another bat tonight!

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