Freeman homers twice, Minor pitches gem, Braves roll

PHOENIX – On a night when Michael Bourn got caught with his pants down and Dan Uggla made what briefly seemed would be a costly error, Mike Minor shrugged it off and Freddie Freeman muscled up in another Braves win.

Freeman had two homers and a career-high five RBIs, and Minor worked a career-high eight innings –  strong innings — to lead the hot-hitting Braves to a 10-2 win in the opener of a four-game series at Chase Field. It was the eighth win in nine games since their 0-4 start.

“Everybody’s hitting,” said Freeman, who had a pair of two-run homers and a RBI double. “That’s something you couldn’t say last year; everybody wasn’t clicking at the same time. Everybody’s doing that now.”

The Braves have amassed 33 runs in their past three games, including two wins against the Mets for their third consecutive series win. They scored eight runs after the fifth inning Thursday.

It felt like offensive overkill on a night when Minor (2-1) didn’t need much help. The left-hander allowed just five hits and two runs (one earned) and struck out nine without walking a batter in the longest outing by a Braves pitcher this season.

“He’s about as good as we’ve seen this year,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. “He threw the ball very well. You’ve got to give him credit.”

Minor threw 76 strikes in 112 pitches while setting a career high for innings the second time in a row.

“He was outstanding,” manger Fredi Gonzalez said. “Between him and Freddie Freeman, I think we just watched two pretty good performances. Freddie had a career high in RBIs and Mike went eight innings. And we got a W. Scored some runs when we had to, then added on. Nice job.”

Minor has allowed seven hits, one walk and only one earned run in 15-1/3 innings over his past two starts. He limited Milwaukee to two hits an an unearned run Saturday in 7-1/3 innings.

“It was good for the whole team,” Minor said, “just to go deep in the game and not have the relievers have to go so many innings like they did last year. It really just puts the team at ease…. It’s not really about me, it’s about the offense right now, the defense.  They’re making good plays  behind me.”

Freeman said Minor’s talent has been obvious to teammates for some time.

“We all knew the potential, and I think everybody’s seeing it now,” Freeman said. “Those lefties that come in and throw 92, 93 [mph fastballs] with a changeup and a curveball like he has, don’t come around very often. He’s putting it all together now, and we’re lucky to see it.”

With the Braves ahead 2-1 , Arizona had a chance to tie in the fourth after starting the inning with two singles. One out later, Aaron Hill singled to left and Martin Prado came up throwing, flinging his body forward as he launched a throw to that cut down Jason Kubel trying to score from second.

Bourn had two singles and a walk, but drew more attention for an incident in the bottom of the fourth inning, when the Braves took the field with only eight players. TV cameras showed Bourn emerge from the dugout bathroom, smiling as he scrambled to fix his uniform pants and belt before running to his position in center field.

It was a moment of levity on a night when the Braves kicked off a seven-game West Coast trip by scoring eight late-innings runs to beat an Arizona team that put its best hitter, Chris Young, on the disabled list Wednesday with a shoulder injury and also played without Justin Upton (sore thumb).

Freeman has seven hits, three homers and 10 RBIs in his past three games, after totaling six hits and one RBI in his previous nine games. The two-homer game was the second of his two-year career.

“Just feeling good at the plate,” he said, “and got a couple of mistakes and was able to hit them today.”

The big first baseman gave up the Braves a 2-0 lead with his first-inning opposite-field homer off right-hander Josh Collmenter (0-1), and pulled a two-run homer to right field in the seventh off lefty Wade Miley to turn a three-run lead to a 7-2 margin.

“With Collmenter on the mound, historically he gives us fits,” Gonzalez said of the right-hander, who allowed one run and six hits in 13 innings of two previous starts against the Braves. “And I thought it was one of those nights.

“We were able to peg away and peg away, then had one big inning that got us over the hump a little bit. We got into their bullpen a little bit and were able to score some runs.”

The Diamondbacks trailed 2-1 when Uggla dropped Henry Blanco’s routine pop fly to start the fifth inning. Blanco went all the way to second on the play and scored the tying run on a sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly.

Killing them softly in the top of the sixth, the Braves scored three runs after three consecutive hits on groundballs or soft flies, including Jason Heyward’s RBI double to left. Juan Francisco, filling in for sore-kneed Chipper Jones, followed with a single to center field that drove in two runs including Heyward on an aggressive dash from second and head-first slide.

Blanco rushed and dropped the ball before he could make a tag on Heyward, who pumped his fist as he rose to his feet. Gonzalez said he liked seeing the energy of Heyward, who’s hitting .348.

“He’s doing everything, he really is,” Gonzalez said. “It’s nice to watch. And he’s healthy — that’s the biggest thing.”

The Braves, so moribund while totaling 10 runs in a four-game losing streak to start the season, are now playing with enthusiasm and firing on most or all cylinders on a regular basis.

“We’re putting together some good innings and we’re not stopping,” Freeman said. “We keep grinding out at-bats and not letting up till the end of the game.”

121 comments Add your comment

kelly

April 20th, 2012
12:35 am

ROCK AND ROLL BRAVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!
MK

Dan Struggla

April 20th, 2012
12:36 am

Go Bravos!!!!

Tyler (TN)

April 20th, 2012
12:36 am

That was fast!

kelly

April 20th, 2012
12:36 am

How much fun are you havin’ DOB?
MK

kelly

April 20th, 2012
12:37 am

How about Minor goin’ 8?
MK

Brave Decisions

April 20th, 2012
12:38 am

Great game tonight, bats are on fire! http://wp.me/2lqJ1

Mikey B

April 20th, 2012
12:38 am

Is this fun to watch or what?? It’s all coming together for this team. Wow!!

Trainwreck

April 20th, 2012
12:41 am

That was fun… let’s do it again tomorrow!

Kevin

April 20th, 2012
12:48 am

Its great to see the team perform so high. I wonder what the scout at ESPN who dissed the Braves for taking Minor so high thinks now?

J-MAN

April 20th, 2012
12:55 am

How about we trade Jair Jurrjens and Pastornicky to the Yankees for Eduardo Nunez and Andrew Jones and Mason Williams minor league outfielder

Sandlot

April 20th, 2012
12:55 am

You used the word “moribund”. I think I love you.

Simpson's Homer

April 20th, 2012
1:01 am

I’ll make sure that I don’t use the word “moribund” – thanks for the warning! :) Averaging 10+ runs per game sure does make watching the Braves a fun, peaceful experience!! Keep it going!

Simpson's Homer

April 20th, 2012
1:03 am

It’s so nice to see the Braves getting hit after hit against lefties, after being inept against them last year. No reason to stop until October……!

Kris

April 20th, 2012
1:03 am

Lost in Freeman’s heroics is Francisco’s 2 great at bats. I think we found the diamond in the rough. Thanks Reds and Scott Rolen.

moboman

April 20th, 2012
1:07 am

what happened to all the naysayers?????????

J-MAN

April 20th, 2012
1:11 am

If you look at Chipper and Fransisco combined stats at 3rd base.
Fransisco .293 avg. 2 HR 6 RBI in 24 AB
Chipper .300 avg, 2 HR 7 RBI in 20 AB
Excellant production from the 3rd base spot in fact I cant wait til interleague that way we can have both bats in the Game.

Bob "Great Seats" Uneker

April 20th, 2012
1:11 am

Heeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, how bout them thar Braves. Actually won a game after sweeping the crummy Mutts. What a team. What a team. On to the Super Bowl and play the Green Bay Packers. Oh, wait, that is the wrong sport. Never mind.

Tim D

April 20th, 2012
1:13 am

Another great start by Minor. He’s really shown me and a lot of Braves fan that he’s here to stay now. Keep it up Mikey! And the offense looks terrific. I can’t remember the last time I saw this team hit for 1 thru 8 in the lineup.

J-MAN

April 20th, 2012
1:15 am

The only thing im “Naysaying” is Fredi Gonzalez, Which I will until we make the playoff to atone for last years collapse. But if we make it there I will admit I was wrong about Fredi. But we need some production from Shortstop.
Pastornicky is batting .171
And Jack Wilson is batting .083
Also we need to put Jair Jurrjens on the DL instead of demoting Delgado.
Or we can promote Julio Teheran he has a 2.14 ERA so far

Bob in SF

April 20th, 2012
1:16 am

Uggla needs to get the bat rolling to make up for his stone glove.

MattinAtl

April 20th, 2012
1:18 am

Tomahawk Chop, Baby!

Big Lou

April 20th, 2012
1:21 am

Pastornicky will warm up. It’s fine to get around .250 production from him in the future, especially how everyone else is hitting.

Simpson's Homer

April 20th, 2012
1:32 am

Uggla raised his average 40 points tonight. Pastornicky can get his average back to respectability with just a couple of good games. Hopefully, he’ll do that soon. He’s had some good at-bats even when not getting hits. Jack Wilson’s sad .083 average would have been doubled to .167 if that eeeee-vil Met outfielder had not stolen his home run the other day. (not that .167 is all that great, but these early season averages can change in a hurry….) Let’s sweep the D-backs!!

BravesFan79

April 20th, 2012
1:49 am

I bet that guy who said he canceled his MLB DIsh Network subscription is pissed!

ohhhhYEAH

April 20th, 2012
2:25 am

Just an awesome interesting stat line.
2012 Braves compared to every team in MLB:

Runs- 75 (2nd), Hits- 115 (7th), 2B- 24 (T-7th), 3B- 4 (T-5th), HR- 15 (T-8th), RBI- 71 (3rd), BB- 43 (T-10th), SO- 95 (14th), SB- 13 (T-2nd), CS- 2 (23rd), AVG- .260 (T-7th), OBP- .322 (13th), SLG- .433 (6th), OPS- .755 (nice number; 8th)

Top ten in all the right places, though our on-base percentage could be higher. But hey, Ill certainly take it

Lobosolo

April 20th, 2012
2:47 am

C’Mon, J-MAN!!! What is your problem???

Tdawg

April 20th, 2012
2:56 am

Even though I am liking what I see now as far as the offensive side goes, I would also tell you guys to not get to high on this recent success. I was all giddy as he!! last season before they broke out the biggest choke job that I have ever seen. I still say that Hanson and Jair are a liability that will be hard to over come if Fredi insist on sending them out there on a consistent basics. Right now the Braves are showing that they have what it takes to win this division. Alas at this time last season they started to show the same and we all know what happened with that. Still, I like what I’ve seen the past 8 game’s. Now let’s see how long we can carry that new fount life we are now witnessing.

BosnianBaller

April 20th, 2012
5:02 am

about time braves

Brave New World

April 20th, 2012
5:40 am

moboman April 20th, 2012 1:07 am what happened to all the naysayers?????????

They are moribund! GO BRAVES!

Brave New World

April 20th, 2012
5:41 am

Minor is MAJOR LEAGUE!

OTP

April 20th, 2012
6:25 am

OK, so now they have proven they have a good team, that can win! Let’s keep it up. I just hope some of the pitching gets better.

GOP Cannon

April 20th, 2012
6:28 am

The Braves are playing incredible… the bats have come alive and the starting pitching has been lights out! Good pitching + Good hitting = A long win streak.

Ekim

April 20th, 2012
7:03 am

Fredi Gonzalez is responsible for the economy and the Middle East.

Ekim

April 20th, 2012
7:04 am

Fredi Gonzalez told Amelia Earhart to turn left when she should have turned right.

Ekim

April 20th, 2012
7:06 am

Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated by Fredi Gonzalez; it was NOT Gavrilo Princip.

BobDawg

April 20th, 2012
7:11 am

Remember when Minor was being dangled as trade bait??? Whew… glad he is still here…We need to keep all our arms as you don’t know with Hanson; JJ & TH – how all 3 will hold up this year.. Really a transition year with our arms as the Young-uns are going to start moving up like Minor and grab a spot.

Maybe some of you can put the “sky is falling” September month behind us.. and we finally have a great batting instructor team as is evident…

GO BRAVES

April 20th, 2012
7:44 am

Braves, must be butter. Cause they are on a ROLL.

BU

April 20th, 2012
7:51 am

Too bad they can’t play like this in September.

kerryb

April 20th, 2012
7:55 am

Now, where are all those know-it-all’s that were bashing the Braves for selecting Mike Minor with their first round pick?

dean

April 20th, 2012
7:57 am

It’s nice to flip on the tube at 0500 and see a win!

kerryb

April 20th, 2012
7:58 am

Tdawg

April 20th, 2012
2:56 am

Even though I am liking what I see now as far as the offensive side goes, I would also tell you guys to not get to high on this recent success. I was all giddy as he!! last season before they broke out the biggest choke job that I have ever seen. I still say that Hanson and Jair are a liability that will be hard to over come if Fredi insist on sending them out there on a consistent basics. Right now the Braves are showing that they have what it takes to win this division. Alas at this time last season they started to show the same and we all know what happened with that. Still, I like what I’ve seen the past 8 game’s. Now let’s see how long we can carry that new fount life we are now witnessing.

______________________________________________________________________

A typical UGA fan. Can’t see the good without going back to the bad. I’m a UGA fan but I get tired of the fan base that is SOOO pessimistic all the time. Kind of drags me down just to listen to them.

Happy Fan

April 20th, 2012
8:02 am

Minor turns Major……..

BU

April 20th, 2012
8:05 am

Kerry Uga gives many football reasons to be pessimistic. What part of top 10 recruiting classes for 10 straight years, voted #2 recruiting class in the country for the last decade and no appearance in any national champ game do you not get…while lsu bama fla auburn have all won them??

Lobosolo

April 20th, 2012
8:06 am

TDawg… crying in grown-ups, especially over a sport you don’t get, is generally frowned upon by your peers… Fans like you are the real liability to a team… You and J-MAN and the other clueless armchairs still have that “we” thing going on, too… doesn’t apply to fair-weather fans, chumlees…

Larry

April 20th, 2012
8:07 am

Enter your Fire Fredi. I’ve been saying it all along that you can’t win with Frank Wren and Fredi Gonzalez running the show. I mean we are behind the Nationals, for goodness sake. Hire Larry!! He can teach these bums how to really play the game. Heyward will never hit with all the holes in his swing. Chipper is killing us. McCann is overrated. Why don’t you people listen to Larry?comments here

Rob

April 20th, 2012
8:18 am

Should the Braves try to trade Jurrjens while they still can? Or Hanson? I’d like to see Medlin given a chance to start again.

kerryb

April 20th, 2012
8:26 am

BU

April 20th, 2012
8:05 am

Kerry Uga gives many football reasons to be pessimistic. What part of top 10 recruiting classes for 10 straight years, voted #2 recruiting class in the country for the last decade and no appearance in any national champ game do you not get…while lsu bama fla auburn have all won them??

______________________________________________________________________

UGA fans have ALWAYS been this way. Larry Munson was know as the eternal pessimist and it rubbed off on the fans base because they are too. The Braves are going great but leave it to a UGA fan to find something wrong in it or something that might happen bad in it. Also, BU I can’t believe that you haven’t noticed that getting into a BCS game in college football is a beauty contest or whoever the media wants to put in to try and get their ratings (ask OK State about that). Richt has won 106 games over an 11 year career at UGA. That’s pretty good. Every UGA fan knows that Richts BCS game should have been in 2007 but he was robbed.

kerryb

April 20th, 2012
8:28 am

Rob

April 20th, 2012
8:18 am

Should the Braves try to trade Jurrjens while they still can? Or Hanson? I’d like to see Medlin given a chance to start again.

_______________________________________________________________

Agree 100%. JJ should be dealt. Kris Medlin is the 3rd best starter on this team and he’s not a starter.

ATLFAN

April 20th, 2012
8:31 am

We are on a great hitting streak, hopefully it continues its exciting to watch them play when the bats are going and the pitching by Minor is Major that kid is going to be nice!!!

DePort

April 20th, 2012
8:33 am

Where are all you Braves haters? … Who should we get rid of now?..

BU

April 20th, 2012
8:33 am

Well that’s because we’ve seen this story played out before kerry. It’s only happened 3 seasons in a row. So why would I or T expect a different outcome? That insanity definition you know. Doesn’t mean I am not a fan. I;m just going to swallow each win with a grain of salt. Like I said, play like this in September and I will be a believer.

DePort

April 20th, 2012
8:34 am

WHO would we honestly get for JJ ? Come on all you GMs … please tell me the value you can get for him right now?

BravesfaninWis

April 20th, 2012
8:34 am

Now this is fun to see, not that anemic crap that they played to start the season. That is why I get so pissed off when they play like crap, because I know that they have the potential to be a very good, and dangerous team. You don’t support a team all these years to watch them lose all the time. Glad to see it, keep it going boys.

Longtimefan

April 20th, 2012
8:37 am

Where are all the bloggers that were saying the Braves suck, the offense was terrible etc? Why don’t you guys come on and post that maybe you were wrong. I’ve got your names and quotes from past weeks. How about the numerous experts that were calling out FW for trading for Francisco? As I’ve said all along FW and FG have forgotten more about assessing MLB talent than the pessimists trolling these blogs. Yea,yea,yea-I know- everybody is entitled to their opinion. That includes those of us posting that we get tired of reading negativity after every loss, every move or lack thereof by FW and every bunt sign put on by FG. Do some of you read about other teams? Some stars, free agent signings and long term contract renewals aren’t looking so good right now. No GM is going to bat 1.000 on his decisions. The Braves future looks pretty good to me. Tremendous young depth at starting pitching, two young legitimate closers in the pen, perennial AS catcher( with Bethancourt in the wings), potential stars in RF and FB, Prado in left and possible emerging replacement for Chippe

BravesfaninWis

April 20th, 2012
8:37 am

DePort,

The question isn’t really what we can get for him, its more like can we get anything for him. Remember, we got Jurrgens in a pretty sweet deal, so its not like the Braves have to get a mega deal to trade him. He is not pitching well at all, Delgado is pitching much better then Jurrgens, and Jurrgens is approaching free agency and is a Boras client. For me, if the Braves can get any player of some kind of value, it will be worth trading him. He is clearly not the same pitcher he was early last year.

BU

April 20th, 2012
8:39 am

The 3 in a row refers to the braves having a pretty good regular season only to fall apart at very end of the season

Joey

April 20th, 2012
8:40 am

“He’s about as good as we’ve seen this year,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. “He threw the ball very well. You’ve got to give him credit.”
**************************************************
What?

No “hat tipping?”

Ralph

April 20th, 2012
8:42 am

moboman

April 20th, 2012
1:07 am
what happened to all the naysayers?????????

We are still here, just too busy eating Crow right now and besides there is nothing to “naysay” about but we will be back.

BU

April 20th, 2012
8:42 am

Ahh longtime…10 games make up an entire season. lol Show us this kind of play in September, heck just play half this well in September and I will be a believer. Btw, pretty much everyone on this blog was negative after the first few games and with good reason. They were LOSING badly. Now they are winning and that’s nice but been there done that. See you in September.

Longtimefan

April 20th, 2012
8:42 am

Chipper at third. I really like the way the team sets up. With Chipper and Lowe coming off payroll next year, FW will have some flexibility to reup our own talent or land an impact player from free agency. No matter what happens this year( I think we have a team that could win it all) the future looks great. Contrast that with the aging Phillies!

STRETCH

April 20th, 2012
8:42 am

That Francisco kid just keeps filling in and getting hits! I think once he gets further into the season, his defense will improve as well.

This team can come out of the NL if they add another piece, not sure what that is, but they keep playing like this and they might make some real noise. But as soon as i say this, they will probably lose an engine and crash! LOL!

STRETCH

April 20th, 2012
8:45 am

Bill Hall Rumors

Bill Hall Elects Free Agency
By Ben Nicholson-Smith [April 4, 2012 at 3:09pm CST]
Utility player Bill Hall elected free agency upon learning that he didn’t make the Yankees’ Opening Day roster, Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal tweets. Hall wants a Major League job and will try to sign with another club.

The Yankees had signed Hall to a minor league deal in February. The contract would have been worth $600K plus incentives at the Major League level and it included an opt-out clause in case Hall didn’t make the Opening Day roster. The 32-year-old played for the Astros and Giants in 2011, posting a .211/.261/.314 line in 199 plate appearances. He played second base and left field last year, but has MLB experience at a wide array of other positions

This would be a nice pick up!

IHEARTCARROLL

April 20th, 2012
8:45 am

DePort,

I’ll give it a shot, though my heart ain’t in it. Here goes.

Trade Minor while his value is up and get us a right handed power hitter. We can’t win if we don’t score more than 10 – 14 runs per game. And dump Heyward. He doesn’t hussle. And Bourn can go potty on his own time.

How’s that.

kerryb

April 20th, 2012
8:45 am

BU

April 20th, 2012
8:33 am

Well that’s because we’ve seen this story played out before kerry. It’s only happened 3 seasons in a row. So why would I or T expect a different outcome? That insanity definition you know. Doesn’t mean I am not a fan. I;m just going to swallow each win with a grain of salt. Like I said, play like this in September and I will be a believer.

____________________________________________________________________

No, it only happened last year. The Braves made the playoffs in 2010 and had a good series with the Giants. The only reason we lost that series was because of fielding errors. Last year was a fluke. You had your 2 top starters go down the last two months of the season. Guys that are good hitters (Heyward, Prado, and McCann) suddenly couldn’t hit a basketball thrown to them. Because of the lack of starters the bullpen got wore out and Kimbrell started blowing games. If Kimbrel hadn’t blown 3 saves in September the Cardinals wouldn’t have won the World Series last year.

larry(notLARRY)

April 20th, 2012
8:46 am

Glad i’m not Larry who has no clue.

NotYou

April 20th, 2012
8:58 am

Lobosolo
April 20th, 2012
2:47 am

C’Mon, J-MAN!!! What is your problem???
—————————————————————
Problem is there are some Braves fans that are generally unhappy with their lives and can only find a glimpse of satisfaction when they have something to complain about. Don’t worry, there is nothing you can do about them. They are bitter, don’t understand life and can’t be happy like the rest of the fans.

[...] Braves are still winning. And scoring runs. Is this 1999 or [...]

NotYou

April 20th, 2012
9:00 am

And @BU – you being dissatisfied will not make the team play any better or worse. Just enjoy the wins and take the losses like real fans.

Stumped

April 20th, 2012
9:02 am

Where are the haters?

GwinnettDad

April 20th, 2012
9:15 am

Glad to see them 8-5. Very surprised too.

Bluestreak

April 20th, 2012
9:17 am

Did we ever say ‘hot-hitting Braves’ last year? Not just a single player, but the whole team? I don’t remember it.

Morning Reads April 20, 2012

April 20th, 2012
9:24 am

[...] Braves are still winning. And scoring runs. Is this 1999 or [...]

coach13

April 20th, 2012
9:29 am

Where did Francisco come from?? Is he a BRaves product or did we get him as part of a trade??

bill

April 20th, 2012
9:30 am

Go Braves . We will enjoy the ride this year.

Tami

April 20th, 2012
9:32 am

What a fun game this turned out to be! Great to see the team playing so well. Even though we know that it is a case of highs and lows during the course of a season, I sure hope that this run they are on is an indication of the season ahead.

STRETCH

April 20th, 2012
9:32 am

coach13,

We got him via trade with the Reds. Braves sent JJ Hoover to them. Dude can rake. Check out the homer he hit last year that left the stadium in Cinncinati on online.

AFSOC 1st Sgt

April 20th, 2012
9:35 am

Moribund??? OK Dave….put down the thesaurus and slowly step away from the desk and no one gets hurt.

double

April 20th, 2012
9:44 am

No Excuses/errors needed.

Longtimefan

April 20th, 2012
9:52 am

Francisco is the young, power hitting third baseman( position of need) that FW astutely picked up via trade while giving up very little, enduring the diatribes and ridicule from the expert, know- it- all fans who thought he was an idiot for making the trade. Do you geniuses remember who you are?

myside

April 20th, 2012
9:55 am

Fredi is holding back on Medlin as a starter until JJ, Hanson, and Hudson show what they will be able to do. Thats good managing and planning on Fredi’s part. The sure bet is that Medlin will become a starter at some point during the season.

Tech'83

April 20th, 2012
9:56 am

Good to see the Braves offense in full stride. Even young Tyler P. is advancing the runners when needed. Really fun to watch them last night. As for Minor’s performance, I can sum it up in one word: Wow.

kerryb

April 20th, 2012
10:09 am

http://blogs.buckbelue.com/2009/06/10/braves-draft-vandy-lefty-mike-minor.aspx

I guess Buck Belue knows a little something about baseball after all.

kerryb

April 20th, 2012
10:13 am

To everyone that has bashed Frank Wren and some of his moves in the past. Why don’t you now give him some credit for not trading Mike Minor to the Astro’s last year and still getting Michael Bourne

John

April 20th, 2012
10:21 am

This is what happens when the “stupid” front office doesn’t over-react to unfortunate circumstances at the end of last season and they put the same team on the field to start this year…. The young guys show renewed confidence and the team develops character and toughness… That’s what all of you doomsayers where saying after the 0-4 start right?? Not hearing much from you self-proclaimed baseball experts now… Go Braves.

htwownbravesfan

April 20th, 2012
10:22 am

For everyone out there who wants to the Braves to trade JJ: If you were another major league baseball team, what would you give for a guy who has struggled with injuries since last year’s all star break, has been knocked around pretty good when able to pitch, and has lost much of his velocity and movement during that time span? That’s what I thought. Until he comes around, there is no value. If he does come around, we keep him. Either way, he’s a Brave.

JoeFan

April 20th, 2012
10:23 am

No team is going to give up anyone of value for JJ while he is pitching ability has huge question marks attached to it. The Braves are just going to have to make some tough decisions when Hudson comes off the DL.

kerryb

April 20th, 2012
10:24 am

The Braves also got another good pitcher in Gilmartin in the last draft. We will soon have the younger versions of Halliday and Lee in the next few years.

splendid splinter

April 20th, 2012
10:26 am

I don’t count myself as a naysayer, but I did say the Braves were in trouble if they couldn’t hit – like the couldn’t in the first four games. They are on fire now in the hitting department. I also said that the offense would hang on the success of Heyward and Freeman. I hope those two continue their successes. The real secret (ala Bobby Cox) is to keep winning series. The rest will take care of itself.

kerryb

April 20th, 2012
10:32 am

How bad does Larry Parrish as a hitting coach look now. The best signing the Braves did in the off season was signing Walker and Fletcher. They have these guys battling at the plate now. I like the comments Walker made about wanting his hitters to be fighters at the plate.

Heisenberg

April 20th, 2012
10:50 am

JJ’s history last couple years combined with slow start this year pretty much means he will finish year with Braves (probably on DL) and become a FA. Thus Braves will get a comp pick for him. That is why I am in favor of moving Hansen at trading deadline this year. Braves have enough depth to replace him and with 1 1/2 seaons before FA, there will be a greater return.

The wildcard here is Hudson. It was long thought he may retire when his contract is up. But if pitches well and his back holds up, I could see where he may want to go another 2 or 3 years and I believe he could still be a high quality guy those years.

Steevo

April 20th, 2012
10:51 am

“He’s about as good as we’ve seen this year,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. “He threw the ball very well. You’ve got to give him credit.”

Sounds like a tip of the hat from the D’backs manager…sort of a classy thing to do, huh?

Too Tough

April 20th, 2012
11:01 am

HECK YEA! This is the way the Braves need to play! Keep on Keeping on! Go BRAVES!

danny

April 20th, 2012
11:08 am

Thank you Greg Walker, Thank you Greg Walker, Thank you Greg Walker…….

bfred

April 20th, 2012
11:08 am

As much as I’d like a mulligan for last September, the Braves have done a pretty amazing job of transitioning from an aging team to being loaded with young talent without having to undergo the typical agony of multiple rebuilding years. It’s one thing for the big payroll clubs to do it, it’s something else entirely to pull it off on a budget. Plus once Chipper moves on we’ll have some free agency money to throw around. I love where this team is right now.

DawgDad

April 20th, 2012
11:10 am

It has been fun to watch; hope they can sustain the offense.

BobDawg, you wrote: “Maybe some of you can put the “sky is falling” September month behind us.. and we finally have a great batting instructor team as is evident…”

Two things:

(1) The sky DID fall in September. I have playoff tickets to prove it. In the minds of many fans the Braves will have to prove they are not a fragile collection of faders. I’m not as much of that mind as believing the roster has gaping weaknesses that will likely haunt this team.

(2) How much of any improvement evidenced is attributable to the batting instructor is highly debatable. Based on the salary structure in baseball I’d surmise he’s not as valuable as you imply. And, the guy got fired or he wouldn’t be here. If the players and management are happy with Walker so am I, but I could say the same thing about the umpires.

Kudos to Heyward, Freeman, and Minor. Starters going deep in a game is just huge. In Heyward, I truly believe we are witnessing the emergence of a super-star.

Smitty

April 20th, 2012
11:20 am

Wow….where are all the fire Fredi bloggers? They must be a little embarrassed right now. Yea Go Braves

Another Clueless Blogger

April 20th, 2012
11:21 am

Frank Wren rocks! Braves rock! GO BRAVES!

aburtch

April 20th, 2012
11:57 am

YES! Love seeing the offense come out in force. So encouraging as well to have Minor pitch so well late in the game and getting offense from the entire lineup as opposed to just one or two guys.

buzzer

April 20th, 2012
11:57 am

boogity boogity booooooggiiiitttty!
Braves are doin WAT they r supposed 2 do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
oh and no…………
they are not off the hook 4 last year.

Atl_bravo

April 20th, 2012
11:59 am

Where are the Heyward haters gone now? I guess they are now solely focussing on Mick Vick.

Go Braves

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