Game 2 starter Jurrjens says he’s ready, certainly rested

NEW YORK – After overcoming some concerns and doubts brought on by his early spring-training struggles, pitching on extra rest didn’t seem daunting for Braves pitcher Jair Jurrjens.

He starts the second game of the season Saturday against the New York Mets and will have had a full seven days off since his last spring-training start March 30. That’s three more days than usual between starts, and Jurrjens has done more work in the interim to compensate.

“I threw a long bullpen on Sunday and had a bullpen [Wednesday before the team left Atlanta],” said the right-hander, who planned some light running and throwing at the Braves’ optional workout Friday at Citi Field on a day off between the season’s first two games. The workout was closed to media.

An open date is built into most teams’ schedules after opening day in case of rainout, which would require rainchecks for a large opening-day crowd if the game wasn’t made up the next day.

Jurrjens has been around long enough not to stress over matters such as being thrown off a starter’s regular schedule because of rotation shuffling at the beginning of the season.

“Just try to keep that feeling [throwing from] the mound, nothing else you can do about it,” he said of his increased throwing between starts. “I felt good [Wednesday], worked on some little stuff I needed to work on to get ready.”

He turned a corner late in spring training, to the considerable relief of the Braves and himself. After posting a 10.13 ERA in his first four Grapefruit League starts, Jurrjens allowed just eight hits and two runs in 13 innings over his last two, with two walks and 11 strikeouts. That those two games came against Houston split-squad lineups didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the team or Jurrjens.

Jurrjens said the key to the late-spring improvement was to stop worrying about his right knee and instead focus on making every pitch and every batter. He’s pitching this year with a brace on the knee that was injured late in each of the past two seasons, causing him to miss the Braves’ September games both years and their division series loss against San Franicisco in 2010.

Last season he went 12-3 with a 1.87 ERA in a career-best first half to earn a spot on the National League All-Star team, then went 1-3 with a 5.88 ERA in seven starts after the break and didn’t pitch after Aug. 30.

He said that while he wished he didn’t have to wait a day between the season opener and his start, he’d handle it.

“Come in [Friday], run a little bit, keep the body going, long-toss and get ready for Saturday,” Jurrjens said Thursday. “Then try to do what Tommy did.”

Tommy Hanson allowed one run, four hits and three walks in five-plus innings of the Braves’ 1-0 season-opening loss. The only run in the game scored after he gave up a leadoff walk and consecutive singles to start the sixth inning.

Jurrjens will face Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey when the series resumes on Saturday.

Against the Mets, Jurrjens is 8-4 with a 2.94 ERA in 13 starts, including 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in his last two against them during an 11-day period in June. Before those games he’d been 8-2 with a 2.54 ERA against the Mets.

Dickey was 1-2 in five games (four starts) vs. Braves last year despite 2.60 ERA and .190 opponents’ average. He’ll be pleased not to face Chipper Jones, who is 4-for-8 with a homer against him. Jones is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery and hopes to come off the 15-day disabled list as soon as Tuesday, the first day he’s eligible.

50 comments Add your comment

evan

April 6th, 2012
1:37 pm

B-F_52

April 6th, 2012
1:44 pm

JJ is a battler a pitcher who knows how to win good luck this year

go bravos

braves95

April 6th, 2012
1:48 pm

Braves fan in maine

April 6th, 2012
1:58 pm

Coach

April 6th, 2012
2:03 pm

I think the regulars will come back strong. We have just too good of a lineup not too. If the first game was any indication of what’s in store as far as the pitching goes, then we’ll be in for a fun season. Greg Walker will not let this happen without saying or doing something with our hitters. I thought Hanson and the bullpen did everything they possibly could do to keep them in the game. Now that we got the first game jitters out, let’s play some ball and get to work! On paper, we are as good as anybody, we just need to get clicking and playing like everyone think and know they can do.

Coach

April 6th, 2012
2:05 pm

Dave,

I know that Constanza was already on the 40 man roster, but how could Durango, Parraz and Sutton get passed over? I know they were non invites, but did they really stand a chance on making the 25 man roster? Your thoughts?

Fred ™

April 6th, 2012
2:09 pm

DOB: You are a mind reader sometimes. I was wondering why in the hell they weren’t playing today. You would think that as long as I have been a baseball fan I would have known that. Is it something recent? I can remember sitting in miserably cold rain for hours at Fulton County Stadium on opening day waiting for the game to start………

Coach

April 6th, 2012
2:13 pm

I think the signing of Hernandez was a good move. Someone that could spot start and assist building another bridge to the bullpen. Now, the Durbin signing has me a scratching my head a little. I am aware that experience goes a long way, and I understand their logic for signing him, but with the spring that Flande had, I felt sure that he was going to make the final bullpen spot. I would feel that Flande would have done just fine, probably even better than Durbin. Given the fact that teams have not seen him and don’t know what his strengths and weaknesses are lead me to believe that Flande would do well. I feel that he deserves his chance, and may very well get it if Durbin struggles.

Disgusted

April 6th, 2012
2:14 pm

Loss number two comming up on saturday.

The Braves will not see .500 all year. Lost season, its over.

Coach

April 6th, 2012
2:16 pm

Fred,

I’m with ya bud. Kinda frustrating to have the opening game then a day off, and its not even a travel day either!

Coach

April 6th, 2012
2:22 pm

DOB,

I know as a sports writer you probably have seen everything under the sun as far as comments on these blogs, both positive and negative. You do a great job updating and keeping the fans informed about what is going on with the braves. It can be frustrating and sometimes humerous to read some of the entries on these blogs. I just wanted to post something positive to you and the staff at the AJC and say thanks and keep up the good work.

dap01

April 6th, 2012
2:25 pm

Anyone; With the pending retirement of Chipper, what are your predictions: Will the Braves actually make a legitimate attempt to sign Bourn to a contract?

phil

April 6th, 2012
2:34 pm

Coach – Aren’t you sweet to be so kind to all the good people at the AJC…

But I do echo your remarks, except for the knock on the negative bloggers…

Big Wolf

April 6th, 2012
2:49 pm

The Braves need to WIN some games. Going back to last September, through spring training, and now the first 2012 reagular season game, they are 20-38. I usually discount the spring exhibition games, but THIS spring, I really think the Braves should have made an effort to WIN more of these games to get rid of the losing attitide developed with last year’s epic collapse. The Braves seem to lack the hitters who will do the little things to get a run across, just too many strike outs even from speedy contact hitters like Bourn. Still VERY early, but the team needs to shed the image of “choking,” which did seem a factor last September.

Billy

April 6th, 2012
3:08 pm

waitng for http//www.ajc sports…this is what I get everytime I refresh, blog are whatever..freezing and wheeling..ajc is the pits…get some new equipment.

Go Braves.

BravesWin

April 6th, 2012
3:10 pm

I’ve got plenty of confidence in JJ — if he can stay healthy. His brace is for his knee, but I thought he was also using a shoe insert as well. Anyone know?

Mikey

April 6th, 2012
3:26 pm

Big Wolf: “Choking” is what the Phillies did last year in the playoffs, with “the best starting pitching staff money can buy” or maybe the Bosox and their $163m dump. The Braves on the other hand were missing their top 2 pitchers, Peter Moylan, Chipper on one leg, Prado never recovered from staff infection, McCann batted .300 up to Aug. 1-.180 after injuring oblique and the bullpen was spent. Cheer up! Derrick Lowe will not be pitching every 5th day for this team and accumulating 17 losses.

Mister Frisky

April 6th, 2012
3:34 pm

JJ,Bring your no-hit stuff and a Louisville Slugger.You will need both.

wayn-o

April 6th, 2012
3:37 pm

dap01,

Braves won’t re-sign Bourn & it’s for good reason. With increases & bonuses for next year, they can only afford to add one star to the team. As nice as he is, he isn’t a game changer like a Reyes or Rollins. They need a clutch RBI guy to replace Chipper. Not someone who will be stuck at 2nd base.

Rip Wren all you want, but it’s like a chef shopping at the dollar store, he can only work so much magic.

David O'Brien

April 6th, 2012
3:38 pm

Fred, the off day after opener has become standard around baseball in recent years, probably because ticket prices and crowd sizes have both climbed so much at newer parks. Most places sell out or come real close on opening day, and most teams also now charge higher prices for tickets on opening day.

BRAVESFAN

April 6th, 2012
3:44 pm

Give em $hi+ JJ!

reckingball

April 6th, 2012
3:49 pm

digusted with Disgusted.

Tha AJC needs to give their Blog Machine a tune-up, or maybe a complete engine overhaul.

Jay Dubu

April 6th, 2012
4:25 pm

I’m in favor of giving Wren a break on the roster, but when you pay Cleveland 10 million to allow D-Lowe to pitch for them, and pay KK 7+ million to pitch at AA the year before, you have to re-evaluate how decisions are made.

If you’re working with 120+ million budget, maybe you can cover up that type stuff, but @ ~85 million (with Chipper & Huddy getting more than 25% of that) you have to shop very carefully.

I know that a lot of decision are organizational decision, so all of the fall out does not belong to Wren.

Ralph

April 6th, 2012
4:50 pm

I turned on ESPN to watch the Masters but there was only one player on the course, you can guess who that was, anyway he wasn’t my favorite player so I turned it off.

Ralph

April 6th, 2012
4:54 pm

Mister Frisky
April 6th, 2012
3:34 pm

I was about to say the exact same thing.

war daddy lightfoot

April 6th, 2012
5:11 pm

Bullsheesh! These Braves will be just fine
Why be negative? Wren and company have it all under control.
He has Frediot right where he wants him.

war daddy lightfoot

April 6th, 2012
5:13 pm

Constanzass will be this years Greg Norton!

flyin south

April 6th, 2012
5:26 pm

LOVE watching Jurrjens pitch! GO JJ! Will be seeing you at the HOME OPENER April 13th! Hey BRAVES – HOW BOUT SCORING SOME RUNS FOR YOUR ACE’s!

Mister Frisky

April 6th, 2012
5:39 pm

What’s up Ralph,Waiting for Fatsiscos debut tomorrow.

BrandonLee49

April 6th, 2012
5:51 pm

The Major Problem here, is “Can” and “Do” Never seem to intersect, they go off in parallel tangents… Is Baseball Geometry ?, so far it’s Biology, how many times do we eat SKUNK… ? Probably a RECORD Number this year. Get out the Condiments, because we sure won’ t be fillin up on Steak this year, not even Round-Steak Oscar Meyers are going to have Plenty on the Shelves for you guys this year…. Coach and Steve are going to be Conniseurs of Eating CROW this year…

229Bravsfan

April 6th, 2012
5:53 pm

Everybody just needs to chill, we have a 161 games left. GO BRAVES!!!

BrandonLee49

April 6th, 2012
6:12 pm

Why am i so Frustrated? You Tell me. How Many Years has it been since ‘91, Over Two Decades of Losersville… That may be OK for Atlanta’s weak Sister up i85, the Town called Charlotte that is nothing but a Wannabe Atlanta, They’ve got the most Pathetic NFL team in America, & what does anybody Expect with those Sissified Uniforms !!! SO Let’s Have some Atlanta Pride Shown on the BALL-FIELD Guys, or do you actually prefer Richmond??? MLB is Next on Charlotte’s List. You Think we’ll have a Winner by Then ?

Michael

April 6th, 2012
6:14 pm

I don’t mind constanza being on the team as much i do fredi double-switching him to 3rd in the order the next inning. Never have I seen constanza hit 1 fly ball and he had less than 10 extra base hits all last season between gwinnett and atlanta, so why fredi did not pinch-hit is beyond me.

someone tell me

April 6th, 2012
6:19 pm

why livan hernandez pitched against the futures. he messed up the timing of my man J-Terdo, as he went 0-5 with 4 strikeouts last night

Seattle Braves

April 6th, 2012
6:59 pm

@BrandonLee49

I could of see him go with Ross or Fransisco over Constanza. Then put Fransisco at third, Prado in Left, and Constanza on the bench. Freddi took the Braves best opportunity and flushed it down the drain.

This is Seattle Braves “and we are not Stupid”

Seattle Braves

April 6th, 2012
7:00 pm

@ michael and not brandon lee.. my bad

Rap Torn

April 6th, 2012
7:49 pm

Greg Walker’s made a huge difference over Larry Parrish. The Braves had four hits and zero runs instead of 3 hits and zero runs. Money well-spent !!!

Rap Torn

April 6th, 2012
7:53 pm

You wait all winter for the games to finally start then they play 1 game then have a day off ? That’s just stupid. Especially when you play the Mets again.

Adam JK

April 6th, 2012
8:10 pm

DOB – Mentioned you in this piece. Really wish I’d been able to get a quote or two from you for the article! http://www.sitenet.com/travelblog/?p=7952

The Bravenator

April 6th, 2012
8:23 pm

They’re Off!! And The Braves take an early lead in the race for the cellar between two of the sorriest, most mismanaged organizations in MLB.

Easter Bunny

April 6th, 2012
9:25 pm

Jurrjens, couldn’t be traded because no one wanted him. If he gets 3 outs in a row, the Atlanta media will declare him an ace again. This year will mirror last year, big surprise. Anemic hitting, impotent starting pitching, and a worn out relief staff. Dull, dull, dull baseball. Anyone that buys a ticket to watch them only had the option of watching flies mate.

Ralph

April 6th, 2012
10:08 pm

Ariz just beat SF 5-4, other teams score RUNS against good pitching!

ChrisfromSacramento,Ca

April 6th, 2012
10:29 pm

Heyward is worthless. Same shytie Jey Hey. BUST!

Disgusted

April 6th, 2012
10:34 pm

Jair could have been traded but it wouldprobably been for for a low ball offer.

JJ does not measure up well with those new fangled stats. And he has been injury prone.

I’d just assume keep his 13-14 W’s and mid 3’s ERA and just hope aganst hope that he stays healthier. Why would U move him for a couple of middle of the pack low minors prospects which is what I suspect that Wren was offered for him.

Of course when its his time to be paid, JJ will leave but so what, better to get a couple more yrs out of him than a junk offer of guys who are not MLB caliber.

Tommorrow’s prediction, Muts 4, Braves 0. Will prolly take till April 20th before these BUMBS score a run.

I doubt this team scores 400 runs total this yr.

Disgusted

April 6th, 2012
10:35 pm

Even Greg Walker cannot fix Jey Hey Bustward

And, do not let spohomore flunkie Freddie Fraudman off the hook so quick, he looks like soph jink all over him, he is a BUMB. He deserves to be Booed.

least of the east

April 6th, 2012
10:39 pm

Braves can’t hit lefties with their mostly lefty lineup. it was a clear problem that was never addressed in the offseason.
maybe they can score vs righties
if they can’t contend, it’ll be better to find out early so they can move some guys for prospects

Disgusted

April 6th, 2012
11:13 pm

One good piece of news is that Bill Hohn, one umpire the Braves have had trouble with over the yrs has been forced into retirement.

Remember the time that idiot threw a Braves fan out of Turner Field.

Have a miserable the rest of ur life Hohn, he is one of the worst people who ever lived.

Now, if we could only rid of Angel Hernandez and Wally Bell. Same for Doug Eddings. Umps are No good.

Disgusted

April 6th, 2012
11:16 pm

@Least of the east—-

It does no good to trade for prospects if you get B level guys.

Most prospect do not make it, and we have had our share of guys who turned out to be alot less than they should have been.

Remember the Baby Braves, save for Mc Cann most of them turned to be busts or mediocre players.

David O'Brien

April 7th, 2012
12:27 am

Fine job, Adam JK. Sorry, you must’ve emailed me in the middle of spring training, because I don’t remember seeing it. Anyway, good stuff.

Furman Bitcher

April 7th, 2012
7:45 am

I am of the belief that the Braves will hit this year. .300 from Bourn, .325 from Prado, .275 from Chipper in 100 games, .270 from Uggla, .285 from McCann, .290 from Freeman, .250 from Pastornicky & .210 fro Heyward. I dont see Heyward turning it around this year. He needs to be sent down and we could find a bat at the break to replace him. All these numbers are possible and I really expect a big season from Prado.

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