Archive for September, 2011

Braves postgame quotes following Monday’s loss to Phillies

CHIPPER JONES

On losing despite good start:

“They sent a pretty good pitcher out there and a pretty good team. They came back and got us but we had a couple opportunities and didn’t cash in, but I’ll take that kind of effort from the guys every day. Sometimes you just get beat.”

On his right knee:

“It’s bugging me but you’ve got to go to the post.”

On the Braves 2-0 lead to start:

“We got off to the just the start that we wanted to and I thought the kid pitched good. Randall pitched awesome. I can’t really say he made a mistake per se. He made a good pitch to Polanco that was inside-outed up the middle, just good hitting and J-Roll went down and got a low ball and hit it out of the ballpark. Other than that, I thought he was nails.”

On lack of clutch hitting:

“When we did get opportunities after the second, just didn’t cash them in. I attributed it more to really good pitching, than lack of hitting.”

On liking the Braves effort:

“I’ll take that effort. I’ll take that …

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Braves activate Sherrill, Gonzalez returns to lineup

The Braves activated reliever George Sherrill from the disabled list Monday after he showed them he was ready in a side session Monday afternoon. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Sherrill would be available if need be for a hitter or two on Monday night.

The left-handed specialist has been on the DL since Aug. 31 with elbow inflammation. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his elbow and shut down for a week. The Braves could use another weapon against left-handed hitters with nine left-handed hitters on the Phillies’ roster and another two switch-hitters.

Shortstop Alex Gonzalez returned to the lineup Monday for the first time since Tuesday in Florida when he strained his right calf. Gonzalez has been one of the Braves’ hottest hitters, going 14-for-30 (.467) with three home runs in his previous eight games.

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Moylan facing surgery for torn rotator cuff and labrum

A visit to Dr. James Andrews on Monday confirmed Peter Moylan’s fears, that he’ll require surgery for a torn rotator cuff and torn labrum in his right shoulder. It’ll be his third major surgery in the past four years.

Moylan had just returned from four months out following May 17 surgery for a bulging disc. He’d made six appearances since returning Sept. 3, going 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA. He went out to play catch Wednesday, the day after inducing a groundout from the one hitter he faced Tuesday night in Florida, and he felt something clicking in his shoulder.

An MRI revealed the tears and the diagnosis was confirmed by Andrews Monday morning in his Birmingham, Ala. office.

Braves general manager Frank Wren said the surgery will require Moylan to miss a minimum of four to six months in recovery time, but it could be more depending on what they find during the surgery.

“It was a small tear in the rotator cuff, small tear in the labrum, and they’re going to also check some other …

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Hanson not an option for Wednesday or Division Series

Tommy Hanson did not throw a bullpen as planned on Monday because he is still experiencing some lingering soreness in his scapula, behind his troublesome pitching shoulder.

So the Braves will ditch any plans to pitch Hanson in the final regular season game on Wednesday if they have managed to clinch a wildcard spot by then. And at this point, Hanson is doubtful to pitch in a potential Division Series game for the Braves.

Jair Jurrjens, on the other hand, still has a chance. He is scheduled to make a second start in the Instructional League in Florida on Thursday, going 70 pitches or four or five innings. If all goes well, the Braves might consider him for a potential Game 3 or 4 start on Tuesday or Wednesday, if they make the Division Series.

“He feels pretty good,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

Jurrjens threw 44 pitches in an Instructional League game on Saturday and came away encouraged about his right knee. It was the first time he’d pitched in a game of any kind …

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It’s the Phils standing between Braves and wild card

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

So here it is: a three-game series against the Phillies to determine if the Braves make the playoffs. Just like last year, only minus the emotion of coming to the end of Bobby Cox’s managerial tenure.

It’s hard to gauge the emotion of this team right now – for starters, since I wasn’t on the road with them for the

It's Lee.....

It's Lee…..

past seven days – but some nerves, maybe a twinge of doubt or just plain frustration is creeping in now. I saw frustration in the face of Michael Bourn yesterday when he lined out to the second base with runners second and third in the fifth inning of the 3-0 loss.

Safe to say, for the next three days we’ll see what these Braves are made of and if they can put aside any frustrations or concerns, and show some fight.

In some ways, you might say, this Braves team has played some of its best baseball against the toughest opponents. Last weekend, believe it or not, was a fair example, if …

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Next for Braves: Philadelphia Phillies

Series preview: vs Phillies

When (TV): 7:10 p.m. Monday (SPSO); 7:10 p.m. Tuesday (SPSO); 7:10 p.m. Wednesday (SPSO).

Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5

Probable starting pitchers:

Monday: Braves RH Randall Delgado (1-1, 2.70 ERA) vs. LH Cliff Lee (16-8, 2.38)

Tuesday: Braves RH Derek Lowe (9-16, 4.92) vs. RH Roy Oswalt (8-10, 3.86)

Wednesday: Braves RH Tim Hudson (16-10, 3.23 ERA) vs. TBA

About the Braves:

• Batting: After collecting 11 hits in Friday’s win over Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals, the Braves managed only 10 hits in two losses to the Nats to follow, while hitting .167. They’ve been shut out twice in four games, 4-0 to the Marlins on Wednesday and 3-0 to the Nats on Sunday. The Braves’ top four hitters in the order went 0-for-16 on Sunday. Brian McCann, who got the day off Sunday, is hitting .192 in September.

• Pitching: Delgado picked up his first major league win in his last outing against the Marlins, with five shutout innings in a 4-0 win on Tuesday. He …

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Medlen pitches perfect inning in return from DL

WASHINGTON — Thirteen months after ligament-transplant elbow surgery, Braves pitcher Kris Medlen worked a perfect eighth inning in Sunday’s 3-0 oss to the Nationals in his first game back.

Medlen, who was was activated from the 60-day disabled list on Saturday, fielded a comebacker to the mound behind his back, then recorded a strikeout and flyout to shallow center field for a seven-pitch, six-strike inning.

“Felt good — I floated to the mound from the bullpen,” he said, smiling.  “Obviously it’s bittersweet. I’d much rather go in and get a scoreless inning up 10-0 than down three runs. But from a personal level I can’t be happier, from the amount of work I put in and all that.”

Two months ago, the Braves announced he’d be shut dow for the rest of the season following a breakup of surgery-related scar tissued in his elbow during the rehab process. But they changed course two weeks ago because of a bullpen need and because Medlen felt good.

“He gave us a good …

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Braves quotes after Sunday loss to Nationals

FREDI GONZALEZ

Does it make it tougher to score later when you fail in earlier opportunities?

“I don’t know about that. I’ve never been a major league hitter in that situation. But it sure makes it harder on our pitchers, where you feel like you can’t make a mistake or you’re up against it the whole game. And also, I think it adds confidence to the other pitcher, if he gets out of that jam he feels pretty good about himself. If we scored one or two or break the game open it may be a little different story where we don’t have to face Rodriguez, Clippard and Storen later on.”

Got big hits in stretches earlier in season, does that make it maddening now when the team repeatedly fails in those situations?

“Through the course of the long season you know you’re going to experience those things. I don’t know about the word maddening. You’ve seen the guys doing it, and I feel like those guys, those hitters, at any given time are going to be able to do that again. Really, I …

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Braves haven’t ruled out Jurrjens for division series

WASHINGTON – Jair Jurrjens returning for a potential first-round playoff series still seemed unlikely, but Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez left open the possibility Sunday.

Jurrjens threw 44 pitches in three innings of an Instructional League game Saturday in Florida, his first time pitching in a game of any sort since an Aug. 30 start against Washington.

“He did OK,” Gonzalez said Sunday. “His velocity was up. Not up, but where it’s supposed to be. He was using his legs.”

Given the depleted state of the Braves pitching staff, “OK” just might be enough.

Jurrjens has been sidelined with a bone bruise in his right knee, the knee that kept him out of the 2010 postseason when he had a meniscus tear and arthroscopic surgery.

The bone bruise developed this summer and prevented him from pushing off the mound properly. Jurrjens is 1-3 with a 5.88 ERA in seven starts since the break, after going 12-3 with a 1.87 ERA before the break and making the All-Star team.

The right-hander was …

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Braves nearing finish, need to handle own business

WASHINGTON – The Phillies began Sunday mired in their first eight-game losing streak in 11 years, and privately the Braves probably would like to see their divison rivals snap that skid before arriving in Atlanta for a season-finale starting Monday.

Because does anyone think the Phillies could lose all of their last 12 games of the regular season?

Bad fourth inning doomed pitcher Brandon Beachy and the Braves in Saturday's 4-1 loss to the Nationals, the ninth loss in 14 games for Atlanta.

Bad fourth inning doomed pitcher Brandon Beachy and the Braves in Saturday's 4-1 loss to the Nationals, the ninth loss in 14 games for Atlanta.

“I’m sure Charlie [Manuel, Phillies manager] is sitting in New York right now thinking, ‘we’ve got to start winning some ballgames,’” Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said this morning, before his also-struggling Braves’ series finale with the Nationals.

Gonzalez only entertained the question – would you rather face the Phillies in their usual state or when they’re in a long losing skid? – for a few moments before closing the thought with, “But we’ve got to take care of our own camp.”

Indeed, …

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