Braves in throwbacks, try to take series vs. Brewers

(Staff writer Carroll Rogers is filling in for David O’Brien Saturday and Sunday.)

So it’s the calm after the home-opener. Great crowd for Friday night’s wild win over the Brewers, 10-8, of 50,635, but now we settle into the heart of the Brewers series, and still get the red-and-white bunting too, and maybe a little shorter lines on the concession stands (I hear they were a little nutty.)

The Braves are breaking out the new cream-colored, throwback style, uniforms for Saturday and then it’s back to the home whites with “42s” for Jackie Robinson day on Sunday. Sunday is the 65th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier, so the players and coaches will wear his “42” for the occasion. But going forward the Braves will be in the cream throwbacks on home Saturdays and Sundays.Cream12

For those who missed the big reveal in February, the new uniforms are reminiscent of the ones the Braves wore in 1966 and 1967, with “Braves” across the chest and the jersey numbers below, as well as on the back. They also feature a new crossed tomahawk logo on the left sleeve.

I’d expect Chipper Jones to take another day off Saturday to rest his knee and return to the lineup Sunday against left-hander Chris Narveson. He got his knee drained during the game Friday night – 45cc of fluid (ick!) – and was immediately feeling better. But he was thinking chances were probably 30-70 that he would be back in there Saturday. So we’ll see.

So now do you put Juan Francisco back in the lineup against the right-handed Shaun Marcum? The young third baseman struggled mightily in his last start, committing three errors in Monday’s game 8-3 loss to the Astros, including two on one costly play. He’s got to get back on the horse some time, but the Braves are already playing rookie Tyler Pastornicky at shortstop and could use some sure hands on the left side of the infield. At the plate, Francisco is 1-for-10 so far as a Brave, 1-for-3 vs. lefties, and 0-for-7 vs. righties.

Starters lagging

Seven games into the season entering Saturday, no Braves starter had pitched more than five innings. It’s early, yes, but the trend is fairly troublesome. Jair Jurrjens tried on Friday night, pitching into the sixth inning, but he managed just a “plus” on the end of his five innings, as he allowed three consecutive hits, including a two-run Corey Hart double, and that was it for him.

“As a group, we’ve been struggling,” Jurrjens said. “We’re not really doing our job by eating innings. We need to step it up and try to help these guys in the bullpen. It’s the first month and we’re using them too much already. As a starting group we need to step it up and try to eat some innings and try to go deeper in the game.”

It’s up to Mike Minor on Saturday and Brandon Beachy on Sunday to try to remedy that.

The weird thing for Jurrjens Friday night was that his velocity was finally up, but he still gave up five runs in five innings. He touched 92 mph with his fastball in the first inning to strike out Ryan Braun.

“That’s why I said it’s hard to swallow my performance because I felt really good,” Jurrjens said. “I felt the ball was coming really good out of my hand. I’m just happy we won. It would be a hard one if we had lost. I don’t think I would have slept if we had lost this game.”

DOB came up with a great stat Friday, that while the Braves had the fewest innings from their starting pitchers (29 1/3 entering the Brewers series) of any major league team, the Braves didn’t have a single reliever among the 34 with at least four appearances before Friday.

As of Saturday, the Braves were still getting the fewest innings from their starters of any major league team (34 1/3), and Kris Medlen, Eric O’Flaherty, and Jonny Venters had joined a group of 69 relievers with four or more appearances. But none were in that group of 17 relievers with five or more appearances. (The Marlins’ Steve Cishek and Oakland’s Grant Balfour were leading the way with six appearances; 15 others have five appearances.)

O’Flaherty is one guy who’s been fighting it here recently, as evidenced with the three runs he gave up in the seventh on Friday which allowed the Brewers to tie it 8-8.

O’Flaherty certainly set the bar high for himself with a 0.98 ERA last year, the lowest in major league history for a pitcher with 75 or more appearances (78). But after giving up only eight earned runs all last year (in 73 2/3 innings), he’s given up four in the past two games and four in his 3 2/3 innings overall.

Fredi Gonzalez said last night he remembered O’Flaherty having a few issues early last year as well, and it was something pitching coach Roger McDowell would get into the video room and work on to iron out. Just looked back at his numbers last year, and O’Flaherty did get hit quite a bit early, but the overall damage wasn’t close. He gave up 11 hits in his first 11 2/3 innings over 12 games last year but only two earned runs for a 1.54 ERA. Through four games this year, he’s given up four runs for a 9.82 ERA.

Brewers and the former Braves

Shortstop Alex Gonzalez will miss both Saturday’s and Sunday’s games against the Braves while on paternity leave. His wife, pregnant with their third child, was supposed to be induced on Sunday. Congratulations to the Gonzalez family. Eric Farris is coming from AAA Nashville to replace him on the roster.

It’s probably good news for the Braves, who watched Gonzalez go 2-for-4 with a two-run home run off Jurrjens on Friday night.

I didn’t get a chance to talk to Gonzalez yesterday, which is a shame, but he told Guy Curtright from MLB.com this: “I liked Atlanta. Good teammates, good fans, good team. But I’m happy. I’m glad to be with the Brewers. We have a playoff team. I’m excited about the season.”

I did get some scoop on our old friend Brooks Conrad from the Brewers’ illustrious beat writer Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. As you might recall, Conrad signed a minor league deal with the Brewers this winter after it was clear the Braves weren’t going to bring him back. Well, Tom says Conrad was the last guy cut from the team coming out of spring training with the Brewers, after losing out a bench spot to Travis Ishikawa.

Unfortunately for Conrad, he also jammed his shoulder sliding into base in his last game of spring training, so currently he is on the 7-day DL in Triple-A Nashville.

Javy Lopez autobiography

Javy Lopez (left) was back in camp this spring

Javy Lopez (left) was back in camp this spring

I just started reading Javy Lopez’s autobiography “Behind the Plate,” written with former AJC and ChopTalk editor Gary Caruso, and it’s been an interesting read so far. I’ve known Javy probably since 1993 or 1994, and he’s always been a nice guy, a soft-spoken guy. And while he spoke English really well by the time he came into his own with the Braves, I never felt like I really knew what was going on in his head quite like some of the other players because of his personality and the language barrier. So I’m enjoying getting that chance now with this book.

I’m only three chapters in and already I’ve learned some nuggets I didn’t know, like Lopez used to wear his baseball uniform under his school clothes so he wouldn’t be late for practice as a kid. That his father was embarrassed about his signing bonus with the Braves, coming out of Puerto Rico, so they lied about the amount, saying it was $90,000 when it was really $37,000.

I also learned that Javy’s ex-wife got rid of the balls from his first hit and first home run, and that the day he got called up in 1992 was also the first time he went to a major league game.

Anyway, some interesting stuff and a good read for all the Lopez fans out there.

Eye on Gwinnett

The Gwinnett Braves won Friday night to make that five in a row now. They got Julio Teheran back on track Thursday, with five shutout innings, and Jose Constanza had three triples in three games.

Sunday lineup:

1. Bourn CF

2. Prado LF

3. Jones 3B

4. McCann C

5. Uggla 2B

6. Freeman 1B

7. Heyward RF

8. Pastornicky SS

9. Beachy P

2,621 comments Add your comment

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

April 14th, 2012
3:04 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Ms. Rogers!

CONGRATS to A-Gon and his wife!! Guess that homer he hit last night was for the baby… :)

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

April 14th, 2012
3:05 pm

nolie

April 14th, 2012
3:06 pm

thanks Carroll

tiger297

April 14th, 2012
3:06 pm

I so want to buy a Medlen jersey in the new cream color…either that or JV

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

April 14th, 2012
3:07 pm

tiger

Hmm…yeah, that’s a tough choice…

nolie

April 14th, 2012
3:08 pm

do they have O’Ventbrel shirts?

tiger297

April 14th, 2012
3:10 pm

but I’m afraid I’ve got a jinx going on – I’ve gotten 3 jerseys/shirts…

my oldest got a diaz jersey at the start of the season he tore up his knee
little one got a medlen shirt the year he needed TJ and
I got a chipper jersey the christmas prior to his latest ACL

Lew

April 14th, 2012
3:11 pm

No doubt the starters need to go longer. After seven games, bullpen innings are pretty close to accounting for three of the seven so far.

nolie

April 14th, 2012
3:12 pm

damn, y’all are a regular Typhoid Mary group aintcha?

tiger297

April 14th, 2012
3:12 pm

nolie – no but you can customize anything only issue is you can only use 2 numbers…so you could do o’ventbrel with 12 for the year.

But I wouldn’t want that b/c eric seems to be a bit of a d-bag

B-F_52

April 14th, 2012
3:14 pm

Tiger please go with the Durbin jersey

ncbravesfan90

April 14th, 2012
3:14 pm

Just looking at the Gwinnett boxscore from last night, it showed that Joey T has already made 5 errors there this season…has he really made that many already, or is that a misprint?

nolie

April 14th, 2012
3:15 pm

was just kidding, it would prolly get dated too quickly considering the cost anyway

cabravesfan

April 14th, 2012
3:15 pm

tiger-

DON’T you DARE buy a Meds jersey and jinx him!!! I would HUNT YOU DOWN…

tiger297

April 14th, 2012
3:15 pm

now that I think about it maybe I should get an eric shirt

nolie

April 14th, 2012
3:16 pm

BF_52 :lol: agreed

Philly Fred

April 14th, 2012
3:16 pm

tonights line on Minor,4 ip 7 er 6 walks! Braves lose!

tiger297

April 14th, 2012
3:16 pm

b-52…I think he will let himself out the door so I don’t feel the need to spend my money helping it along

tiger297

April 14th, 2012
3:18 pm

how about this…I’ll open a paypal account with the top 5 players/coaches we want gone and folks from the blog can donate…first to get the amount for a jersey I’ll get it and the rest of the funds I’ll donate to the Human Fund?

Blog Monitor

April 14th, 2012
3:18 pm

my thought for the day..

I love college football, almost as much as baseball..

but Baseball is, and always will be, America’s pastime..

Bank on it!!!

nolie

April 14th, 2012
3:20 pm

and Fredi ,OMG! what a horrific manager

Phillippe Du Brave

April 14th, 2012
3:21 pm

Ohhh! I just can’t wait to see that fine ass of Uggla’s in the new uniform. SWAK

Bat Masterson

April 14th, 2012
3:21 pm

Make Veer happy, tiger get a JJ jersey.

nolie

April 14th, 2012
3:22 pm

despite what you might have read here, the scouting reports portray him as a rather poor third baseman

nolie

April 14th, 2012
3:22 pm

despite what you might have read here, the scouting reports portray him as a rather poor third baseman

B-F_52

April 14th, 2012
3:23 pm

That sounds like a plan The bravos siberian “tiger” trap

nolie

April 14th, 2012
3:23 pm

so I tried three times to post it and now all of a sudden it shows up twice. stoopid damn site…..

Bat Masterson

April 14th, 2012
3:24 pm

Good read, Carroll. Thanks

cabravesfan

April 14th, 2012
3:24 pm

oh sure, blame technology… ;)

tiger297

April 14th, 2012
3:25 pm

bat – hey this is all making my plan sound even better

tiger297

April 14th, 2012
3:27 pm

if thereis enough interest I can take donations and any of the jerseys get purchased and do the dontation at the end of the year…if the WLBB puts their money up I’ll have enough to wear a different jersey to every game in even the longest homestand

nolie

April 14th, 2012
3:27 pm

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

April 14th, 2012
3:31 pm

I got a JJ jersey-shirt last year and like, that very same day he went on the DL…

Samantha

April 14th, 2012
3:31 pm

Just popped in to say hello to everyone

tiger297

April 14th, 2012
3:33 pm

haven’t seen everyone post lately…wonder what happened to him

tiger297

April 14th, 2012
3:34 pm

nolie – who is ranked as a poor 3rd baseman? don’t want to lose the baseball discussion in here

nolie

April 14th, 2012
3:36 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUfS8LyeUyM

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows
Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long stem rose
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you’ve been faithful
Ah give or take a night or two
Everybody knows you’ve been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
Without your clothes
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

And everybody knows that it’s now or never
Everybody knows that it’s me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever
Ah when you’ve done a line or two
Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe’s still pickin’ cotton
For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows

And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
Everybody knows that it’s moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there’s gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows

And everybody knows that you’re in trouble
Everybody knows what you’ve been through
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach of Malibu
Everybody knows it’s coming apart
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
Before it blows
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

Oh everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows

nolie

April 14th, 2012
3:37 pm

Joey T, tiger

nolie

April 14th, 2012
3:40 pm

someone asked earlier if the 5 errors at Gwinnett were correct

tiger297

April 14th, 2012
3:41 pm

ahhh hate to hear that…time for snuggle time..

Samantha

April 14th, 2012
3:50 pm

Nice poetry nolie Thanks.

B-F_52

April 14th, 2012
3:51 pm

Saw Leonard in the Atl that was a good show

Orange Brave f/k/a Billy Jack's BBQt

April 14th, 2012
3:51 pm

good read; thanks.

ncbravesfan90

April 14th, 2012
3:55 pm

nolie,

So its just another example of some people overvaluing some of our prospects?

katherine

April 14th, 2012
3:57 pm

arghhh i hate long posts…so annoying :)

phoenix

April 14th, 2012
3:57 pm

Chipper is in his usual spot tonight (out of the lineup) with Juan Francisco at 3rd. Wouldn’t we be better off if some lucky fan got chosen to play the hot corner?

MAC

April 14th, 2012
4:06 pm

we got a lineup yet?? like to see FF in that 3

Samantha

April 14th, 2012
4:06 pm

Hi katherine Glad to see another lady on her

Bravefaninok

April 14th, 2012
4:07 pm

#Braves lineup: 1. Bourn CF 2. Prado LF, 3. Freeman 1B, 4. McCann C, 5. Uggla 2B, 6. Heyward RF, 7. Francisco 3B, 8. Pastornicky SS 9 MinorP

B-F_52

April 14th, 2012
4:08 pm

Fredi-n-slip

Busch Leaguer

April 14th, 2012
4:09 pm

Fatz Francisco gets another chance in front of the home fans this time.Maybe he will have a good night and he won’t have any ground balls hit his way.

Soph

April 14th, 2012
4:09 pm

‘teen ‘teen the yo-yo.

where have you gone chipper jones dimaggio

April 14th, 2012
4:10 pm

Old ones are fairly close to the ones since ‘91 and that’s a good thing.

more day games please

April 14th, 2012
4:14 pm

Anybody eat that $8 slice of Brickhouse pizza last night?
That slice better be the size of a whole large.

Woody Woodward

April 14th, 2012
4:15 pm

I noticed the stolen bases thread earlier. Don’t want to wade into a stats war, but does anyone know who the braves all time leader is? (post WWII.)

ChrisfromSacramento,Ca

April 14th, 2012
4:20 pm

Any hope to think Minor can at least pitch 6 innings.

B-F_52

April 14th, 2012
4:22 pm

Herman Long of the Boston bean eaters all time steals leader

nolie

April 14th, 2012
4:24 pm

Woody Woodward

April 14th, 2012
4:25 pm

I could read that around cocktail hour nolie. Still before noon here tho

Phillippe Du Brave

April 14th, 2012
4:29 pm

And those arms.. dreamy!

nolie

April 14th, 2012
4:29 pm

¿uoɹɐɐ ʎɹuǝɥ

Woody Woodward

April 14th, 2012
4:30 pm

Correctimundo nolie. I gottA tip my hat

nolie

April 14th, 2012
4:32 pm

?noraA yrneH

Woody Woodward

April 14th, 2012
4:33 pm

You lookin for another tip of the hat?

nolie

April 14th, 2012
4:35 pm

nah, just tryin’ out upside down vs backwards to see which i like best

I'm Popeye, I am, I am

April 14th, 2012
4:36 pm

nolie

April 14th, 2012
4:37 pm

I was foolin’ around with it and posted the second one without seeing that you had responded

Samantha

April 14th, 2012
4:38 pm

Nolie you still afraid of me. If so I dont no why? Im sweet and lovable.

nolie

April 14th, 2012
4:40 pm

!ffits deracs

Ward

April 14th, 2012
4:41 pm

Hello everyone! Just incase should the Braves consider Oswalt. A solid 7innings guy, and can save the arms of the bull-pen? Just wondering?

ncgary

April 14th, 2012
4:41 pm

id guess the road runner ralph garr

B-F_52

April 14th, 2012
4:42 pm

It looks like Ron Gant, Lonnie Smith and Otis Nixon had more but not all for Braves next comes Ralph Garr

Powderfinger

April 14th, 2012
4:42 pm

If Francisco doesn’t have a decent/competent night, I worry about the crowd eating him up and ruining him in the long term. But then, I worry a lot…

Ward

April 14th, 2012
4:43 pm

On long post we could always post Shauns……His post could be movie scripts…….little humor.

Bravissimo

April 14th, 2012
4:43 pm

i got a crick in my neck reading that nolie. good article Carrol

ncgary

April 14th, 2012
4:43 pm

oswalts washed up

Powderfinger

April 14th, 2012
4:45 pm

Just curious. What kind of money is Oswalt seeking?

Ward

April 14th, 2012
4:46 pm

The only reason to have Oswalt, would be for long innings, and if you could get him cheap?

Woody Woodward

April 14th, 2012
4:46 pm

My first guess was garr.

Samantha

April 14th, 2012
4:47 pm

I can make you relax and have a good time Just try me Nolie

Ward

April 14th, 2012
4:47 pm

My view is Braves don’t have a starter that can go past 5 innings, so far, and Oswalt wouldn’t be a bad idea for a vetran pitcher.

Woody Woodward

April 14th, 2012
4:48 pm

She likes yer pomes nolie. Favor her with more rhymes.

Ward

April 14th, 2012
4:50 pm

DOB- Would Oswalt be a good investment,or a bad one? Just would like your opinion….

nolie

April 14th, 2012
4:50 pm

I would Guess that Chipper is near the top 10 since WW2

Powderfinger

April 14th, 2012
4:51 pm

Remember nolie, if a tree falls in her, er the, forest, and there’s no one present to hear it, it doesn’t make a sound.

njbraves

April 14th, 2012
4:52 pm

Oswalt has had back issues and would cost more than the Braves are willing to spend. Not happening.

Gimpah & McError

April 14th, 2012
4:55 pm

How many stolen bases does McError give up tonight? Another 3?

Woody Woodward

April 14th, 2012
4:55 pm

Murph actually has more than chipper. And chipper ahead of andruw. That list, however, is a little thin as far as the numbers go.

nolie

April 14th, 2012
4:55 pm

i is too young and sweet and innocent to have any idea what y’all are goin’ on about…..

cabravesfan

April 14th, 2012
4:56 pm

Oswalt would probably need a minimum of 2 months to get into playing shape. Not worth it

nolie

April 14th, 2012
4:56 pm

yeah I figgered Murph for more along with Furball

Samantha

April 14th, 2012
4:57 pm

Nolie really loves me he just wont admit it. You want to try me Powderfinger

Ward

April 14th, 2012
4:57 pm

Secret Service, scandle now….. Amazing……What’s this world coming too?

Woody Woodward

April 14th, 2012
4:57 pm

He’s there too. Wonder about that other great jones, Mack?

B-F_52

April 14th, 2012
4:57 pm

Brett Butler had almost as much as Nixon but all these guys played for so many teams I can’t find a list of braves only years

nolie

April 14th, 2012
4:59 pm

I love everybody..well maybe not Mitchell,Millsap,Robert,Lou/Earl,Dentz and Jeff321

cabravesfan

April 14th, 2012
5:00 pm

I don’t love everyone. I really don’t even like that many people. :D

Jo Nicca

April 14th, 2012
5:00 pm

Oswalt is interesting suggestion. Isnt his hometown or home close to GA?

Mayb Jurrjens gets traded for a bat or well anything and atlanta can sign Oswalt cheap

Ward

April 14th, 2012
5:00 pm

Cab- Since Oswalt owned the Braves, just thought of his innings when healthy. Still would be interesting on who will pick him up. It would aslo be nice not to see him pitch against the Braves.

Woody Woodward

April 14th, 2012
5:01 pm

http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/sortable.jsp?c_id=atl#sectionType=sp&playerType=QUALIFIER&statType=hitting&page_type=SortablePlayer&season=&season_type=ALL&sportCode=‘mlb’&league_code=’MLB’&split=&team_id=144&active_sw=&game_type=’R'&position=&sortOrder=’desc’&sortColumn=avg&results=&page=1&perPage=50&timeframe=&extended=0&last_x_days=&ts=1334437183225&tab_level=child&click_text=Sortable+Player+hitting

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