Venters got rare work in the seventh; Uggla’s a walking machine

Jonny Venters found himself in unfamiliar territory Tuesday night when he was called on to pitch the seventh inning with a lead, followed by Eric O’Flaherty in the eighth, as opposed to the other way around.

It was the first time this season Venters pitched before the eighth inning when the Braves were leading.

The way he’s struggled this month – going 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA and three home runs allowed – Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez is trying to find a way to ease some pressure on Venters, or at least mix things up, while Venters tries to regain the consistent feel on his sinker.

“You do that with your hitters, move them from one spot to the other,” Gonzalez said. “Whatever it takes to get them going a little bit.”

Venters has seen some progress with the number of ground balls he’s getting, but he is still trying to see adjustments he’s making in the bullpen translate onto the field.

“I need to get out there and pitch – whether it’s down two, up two, 7-6, face a lefty, it doesn’t matter to me,” Venters said. “At this point, I just want to go out there and get into a rhythm and get my stuff to be where I want it to be.”

Walking machine

Dan Uggla was leading the Braves in walks with 34 entering Wednesday night, and on pace for a career-high 108 on the season. He’d been walked 13 times in his previous 10 games, and not coincidentally that dated back to about the time Chipper Jones was injured in Tampa Bay.

With Jones, Freeman and Brian McCann out of the lineup much of that stretch, opposing teams haven’t given Uggla much to hit.

“I’ve never seen him walk this much, and I’ve been with him as long as anybody,” said Gonzalez who managed Uggla in Florida when he walked a career-high 92 times in 2009. “But I think it’s the byproduct of the lineup, when McCann’s not there, Freeman’s not there, Chipper’s not there, they’re going to say ‘Uggla ain’t going to hit us.’ And to Danny’s credit, (he’s said) ‘I’m not going to expand the strike zone and get crazy with it.’”

When Uggla has gotten his pitches to hit, he’s taken advantage, with a two-run home run Saturday against Stephen Strasburg and another three-run shot on Tuesday night against the Cardinals’ Jake Westbrook.

13 comments Add your comment

Brave Decisions

May 30th, 2012
7:51 pm

Good to see from Uggla.


May 30th, 2012
8:02 pm

oohhh! Dannnny is so muscular & cool…he can’t even button his shirt, he’s soooo strong…

and he struts around like a gdamn ballerina! Don’t care if he hits a homer a couple of times a week. He was a bad ‘purchase’. He’s batting @ 265…why is that good??? because he was batting 165 last year!!???

Mr. Spock

May 30th, 2012
8:20 pm

The Cards have absolutely laced seven or eight balls in a row–all for outs. Wouldn’t you think the announcers might point out St. Louis seems to be getting some good swings against “Huddy.” Instead, Chip just said: “and Hudson keeps rolling along.” Will we ever get some real announcers like the major market teams have?


May 30th, 2012
8:29 pm

Ha ha. Because you Mr. Spock could do so much better rightZ


May 30th, 2012
8:51 pm

If you don’t like what you are hearing Spock just turn the knobs. I like our play by play announcers and so does everybody else that I know. Look for Bravos to turn this thing around big time even with chip in the booth.


May 30th, 2012
8:51 pm

The offense finally starts to score some runs, and you useless , pathetic ass pitching staff screws it up again. Venters needs to go, hell, Chad Durbin has been more productive than this bald piece of crap. This team is going nowhere with these losers on the team. Sad part about it, if they got rid of every useless pitcher on this team, we would have to use position players as pitchers.


May 30th, 2012
9:32 pm

As I was saying. Just because the name on the back of the jersey changes doesn’t mean the result does. This pitching staff sucks plain and.simple.

Mr. Spock

May 30th, 2012
9:49 pm

Canman you must not read the same blogs I do. Corporate suck-ups is the best phrase I have heard to describe them lately. Real baseball fans want to hear the good, the bad and the ugly–that’s part of the fun of being a fan. Braves announcers, radio and TV, only give you the Rebecca of Sunneybrook Farm coverage.


May 30th, 2012
10:14 pm

Constanza has done it again..last year when he came up, Braves ran off a 17 game bing. Now he’s been up two days and Braves win first two he’s to wonder about the speed factor. Great game..Go braves!


May 31st, 2012
6:04 am

What’s the deal with Venters’ fastball. He’s lost velocity and sink. Should we expect to soon read about him heading to the doc for an MRI?


May 31st, 2012
6:55 am

Bill, I like Constanza being in there also. He and Bourn can give them fits and can help the RISP problem the Braves always seem to struggle with. Last year he was great but the injury got him off of the field and Fredi was never smart enough to get him back in there. And we just tanked. We need that speed. It seems to really distract the opposing pitchers and just adds a nice dimension to the offense that we are typically missing.

I never dreamed our pitching would be this bad. It is astounding how it has just tanked compared to last year. Seems like Hudson has now gone the way of the wind. Pretty bad when a team has to score 8-10 runs to win a game because the pitching is so bad.


June 1st, 2012
1:14 am

The kid has grit and can play in the major leagues,but not as a SS but as a 2nd baseman.
The kid had a ton of errors in the minors so it was not surprising that he would have a lot of errors in the majors. His problem is that the only position Uggla can play defensively is 2nd base. Uggla will be the starting 2nd baseman for at least four more years,so if the kid wants to get back with the Braves He will have to show them that he can play 3rd base.


October 28th, 2012
12:23 pm

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