Archive for August, 2011

Irene shortens Braves-Mets series to 1 game

(UPDATED)

NEW YORK – Hurricane Irene has reduced the Braves’ three-game weekend series with the Mets to just one game on Friday night.

The Saturday and Sunday games were both postponed because of the approaching storm. Those games will be made up as part of a Sept. 8 doubleheader at Citi Field, which had been a mutual open date for both teams.

The Braves will play that doubleheader in the middle of a road trip between series at Philadelphia (Sept. 5-7) and St. Louis (Sept. 9-11).

Earlier Friday, a plan was in place to postpone the Sunday game and move up the 4 p.m. Saturday game to a noon start in hopes of getting it in before weather deteriorated. But because New York City is shutting down its subway system at noon Saturday, that game was eventually scrubbed.

When the Braves’ charter flight took off Thursday night from Chicago bound for New York, they had not been notified of any planned schedule changes for the series against the Mets. When they landed, still no …

Continue reading Irene shortens Braves-Mets series to 1 game »

Braves quotes after Thursday win against Cubs

***FREDI GONZALEZ

On Beachy and the win

“He was very good. He got in a little trouble in the one inning where they came back and scored, but he was really good. First and third there with two outs, facing Marlon Byrd after he’s got a home run earlier in the game, was a huge out. And we were able to add on some runs. That was good for us.”

On McCann, snapped 0-for-15 in big way

“He came in after the first homer and said, ‘I think I’ve got my stroke back.’ Hey, everybody goes through that stuff. Guys that win MVPs and batting titles, over the course of the year they’re going to have an 0-for-15 someplace, or a 1-for-22.

“I’m glad he’s back swinging, two home runs, one of them opposite field, which is nice to see. Bourney tied a career high [four hits]. You get those guys, him and Prado, getting on base at the top of the lineup, you should be able to create some runs.”

On resting two of the Big Three in bullpen, all but O’Flaherty

“We wanted to use …

Continue reading Braves quotes after Thursday win against Cubs »

Series preview: Braves at Mets

Series preview: Braves at Mets

When (TV): 7:10 p.m. Friday (SPSO), 4:10 p.m. Saturday (Fox), 1:10 p.m. Sunday (FSSO)

Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5

Probable starting pitchers:

Friday: Braves RH Tim Hudson (13-7, 3.01 ERA) vs. LH Chris Capuano (9-11, 4.71)

Saturday: Braves RH Jair Jurrjens (13-5, 2.71) vs. RH R.A. Dickey (5-11, 3.72)

Sunday: Braves LH Mike Minor (4-2, 4.37) vs. Dillon Gee (11-5, 4.37).

About the Braves:

• Batting: Chipper Jones is 21-for-50 (.420) with a .720 slugging percentage in his past 14 games, and has four homers and nine RBIs in his past 11. Against the Mets, he’s hit .326 with five homers and 13 RBIs in his past 13 games, including three homers and 10 RBIs in 10 games this season…. David Ross is 2-for-7 with a homer against Capuano.… Jason Heyward is 5-for-27 (.185) in nine games at Citi Field, but two of the hits were homers. He also has five walks at the ballpark.

• Pitching: Hudson is 8-2 with a 2.03 ERA and .204 …

Continue reading Series preview: Braves at Mets »

Hanson returns to ATL to have shoulder checked again

CHICAGO – Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson returned to Atlanta on Thursday to have another checkup and MRI on his troublesome right shoulder

He was diagnosed with tendinitis after an Aug. 9 MRI showed no structural damage, the second MRI and shoulder-tendinitis diagnosis this season for Hanson. He had a DL stint and a cortisone shot for the ailment in June.

When asked before Thursday’s MRI if the Braves were worried, manager Fredi Gonzalez said no, that team trainers still believed it was only tendinitis.

“They think maybe we haven’t given it enough time, maybe he needs a little bit more rest,” Gonzalez said. “The test before showed nothing, just showed a little tendinitis. But sometimes you want something to happen quickly and it takes a little longer.”

The Braves had planned for Hanson to make a minor-league rehab start Saturday, but that plan was scrapped after he had next-day soreness from a mere nine-pitch mound session Monday.

“He’s a competitor and he wants …

Continue reading Hanson returns to ATL to have shoulder checked again »

Dempster on Chipper: Best fastball hitter I ever faced

CHICAGO – Chipper Jones is out of the Braves lineup for a rest today, and Chicago Cubs pitchers are not saddened by that development.

The 39-year-old Braves third baseman had a home run and showed some savvy defense for an inning-ending unassisted double play Wednesday night in a 3-2 loss to the Cubs, the first loss in seven games for the Braves.

Chipper Jones has been on a roll in recent weeks. Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster said the 39-year-old third baseman was "the best fastball hitter I ever played agains -- and still is."

Chipper Jones has been on a roll in recent weeks. Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster said the 39-year-old third baseman was "the best fastball hitter I ever played agains — and still is."

Jones, who last week said he’s definitely playing again in 2012, has hit .420 (21-for-50) with a .720 slugging percentage in his past 14 games, and has four homers and nine RBIs in his past 11 games.

“I always remember he was the best fastball hitter I ever played against, and he still is,” said Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster, who held Jones to a single in three at-bats Monday. “I mean, you can maybe get one [fastball] by him. But if you just sit …

Continue reading Dempster on Chipper: Best fastball hitter I ever faced »

Braves quotes after Wednesday loss to Cubs

***FREDI GONZALEZ

On Lowe

“He was outstanding. Gives up the home run to Soriano, and we kind of make him work a little extra there. I think he threw 40 pitches in that [second] inning. But for him to go seven innings and keep us in the ballgame, that was big. That was really, really big.”

“I think it was two earned runs? And the biggest thing, we make him throw 40 pitches that one inning to get out of that jam. He gets the loss, but I think he deserves better. You look at the line score and it might be one of his best starts. Seven innings, three runs, two earned. He was really good. Hopefully this will carry on through the next start.”

On Randy Wells

“He was good. He was throwing off-speed. His breaking pitches and his changeups, he was throwing in hitter’s counts, mixing it pretty good, and we couldn’t figure him out.”

So Lowe’s going in right direction, in your view?

“Yeah, he’s been solid. I think three of his last four starts he’s given us the …

Continue reading Braves quotes after Wednesday loss to Cubs »

Hurricane Irene could affect Braves’ weekend in NYC

CHICAGO — Hurricane Irene could force rescheduling of at least one of the Braves’ weekend games against the Mets in New York.

With Irene potentially headed toward the Northeast and heavy rains in the Sunday forecast, baseball commissioner Bud Selig said contingency plans have been discussed for weekend games in New York, Philadelphia and Boston.

He didn’t elaborate on what those changes could be, or how long baseball officials would continue to monitor the hurrican’s path before deciding whether to make any schedule changes.

Braves players hoped that a Friday or Saturday doubleheader might be scheduled, enabling them to get out of town before Sunday.

“The weather reports are all different, so we’ll see what path it takes,” Selig said. “But we are trying to make as many contingency plans as we can. We’re trying to figure out what we could do in case we have the one really bad day of rain.”

If it looks like Sunday’s game would be rained out, Braves …

Continue reading Hurricane Irene could affect Braves’ weekend in NYC »

Kimbrel’s run has been something to behold

CHICAGO – On the way to converting his 40th save Tuesday night to tie the major league rookie record and extend his ridiculously long scoreless streak, Craig Kimbrel gave up a bloop hit to Aramis Ramirez with two out in the ninth inning.

It was a pitch Kimbrel said was located poorly and could have been hit a lot farther, so he felt fortunate.

Kimbrel tied the major league rookie record with his 40th save Tuesday in a 5-4 win against the Cubs.

Kimbrel tied the major league rookie record with his 40th save Tuesday in a 5-4 win against the Cubs.

Well, it says something about Kimbrel’s nasty repertoire that he can mislocate a pitch and have it only blooper by Ramirez, because the hottest hitter in baseball right now could probably count on one hand the number of mistake pitches he’s done that to in the past couple of weeks.

Oh, yes, Aramis Ramirez has been even hotter lately than Dan Uggla, albeit for a shorter period.

These numbers from the Cubs third baseman are hard to fathom: Ramirez is 27-for-48 (.563) during a 12-game hitting streak with three doubles, four homers, 14 …

Continue reading Kimbrel’s run has been something to behold »

Braves quotes after Tuesday win against Cubs

***JASON HEYWARD

On hitting grand slam to opposite field, seeing results of what he’s been working on

“Yeah, I wasn’t exactly sure when it was going to show up, but tonight’s definitely a good start for that.”

On his success in couple of series at Wrigley (9-for-16 with three homers, eight RBIs)

“I think it’s just worked out that way. I really felt our bullpen was huge tonight, man. They removed a lot of pressure on us hitters. We get out there in the field and think they have a great chance to score some runs again, and our bullpen shuts ‘em down.”

On having a major impact on team’s sixth straight win, with his grand slam

“It felt pretty good tonight. I tried to stay simple and not do too much. It showed.”

On staying positive through recent struggles and benching

“It’s not easy when you’re not playing every day, but I understand the situation we have at hand. I want to win games. I want to go to the playoffs and I want to experience that again. …

Continue reading Braves quotes after Tuesday win against Cubs »

Hanson has setback; Constanza rests sore ankle

CHICAGO – It’s good the Braves have pitching depth, because they’re going to be without sore-shouldered Tommy Hanson longer than anticipated.

His scheduled bullpen session Tuesday at Wrigley Field was cancelled after Hanson felt soreness again in his troublesome pitching shoulder, this time following a mere nine-pitch throwing session Monday. That was the first time he threw from a mound since Aug. 6.

He’s been on the disabled list with what was diagnosed as tendinitis after an MRI on Aug. 9 showed no structural damage. Hanson got a cortisone injection that day and the Braves had hoped he’d be ready to start Aug. 16.

When his condition hadn’t improve quickly enough, that start was pushed back and the Braves kept rookie left-hander Mike Minor in the rotation.

Tuesday’s planned session was supposed to help determine whether Hanson was ready to make a minor-league rehab start Saturday. Now that start is out of the question, and the Braves said Hanson …

Continue reading Hanson has setback; Constanza rests sore ankle »