Advancing Padres series, Braves schedule rest of the way

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

It’s that time again – high socks Monday – which has worked for the past two Mondays, when the Braves

Braves in their high sock last Monday in Philly. Photo courtesy of @KevinMcAlpin from 680

Braves in their high socks last Monday in Philly. Photo courtesy of @KevinMcAlpin from 680

went 2-0 with wins over the Marlins and the Phillies after an 0-12 start on that day of the month.

The Braves open a four-game series against the Padres, a team they haven’t faced all season. Weird, isn’t it? But they’ll play seven games against the Padres in the next 17 days, including three at Petco Park on Aug. 27-29. (For complete pitching match-ups and more stats, click here.)

The Padres actually come to town hot. They’d won six in a row until the Pirates snapped it on Sunday with a Clint Barmes grand slam and a 11-5 win. Before that they’d won two of three from the Pirates, swept the Cubs and taken two of three from the Mets.

The Padres are without their closer Huston Street, who was just placed on the DL Saturday with a strained quadriceps. He was 21-for-21 in save opportunities this season and had a 21 1/3 inning scoreless streak when he strained his quad covering first base Friday night on the game’s final out. He is 2-1 with an 0.75 ERA in 36 games overall. They’ll likely use set-up men Dale Thayer and Luke Gregerson to hold down the fort while Street is out.

Tonight Mike Minor will be facing left-hander Eric Stultz, who was just moved back into the rotation when the Padres designated Kip Wells for assignment. He pitched 5 1/3 shutout innings in his first start back in the rotation in a 2-0 win over the Cubs. As a starter he is 2-2 with a 2.78 ERA in six starts this season. This is his first start against the Braves, since Aug. 9, 2009 when as a Dodger, he gave up three earned runs in five innings of a loss.

(Chipper Jones decided to play Monday’s game despite the late-night return from New York. He’ll likely get a rest day later in the series.)

Minor hasn’t felt great in his past two starts but – a rain-shortened outing against the Marlins and a 3-0 loss to the Phillies – but he showed he could persevere even still. He rebounded after a rough first inning in Philadelphia to pitch six shutout innings.

And this little tidbit: former Brave Jason Marquis, whom the Braves will face on Thursday, took a no-hit bit into the seventh inning on Saturday against the Pirates and A.J. Burnett, and wound up with a two-hit shutout. This is the same Marquis was released by the Twins earlier this year.

Failure to gain ground

The Braves are coming off a 4-2 road trip with series victories against the Phillies and Mets but really last night’s loss cost them a rare opportunity to gain ground on the Nationals, who had lost earlier in the day to Arizona to snap an eight-game winning streak.

It seemed like the Braves had failed to take advantage of those here recently, so I checked back to verify and it’s really not been that bad. Since the Braves and Nats split their head-to-head series July 20-22, the Nationals have lost five games. The Braves have lost two of those, but won three.

Nats losses Braves results

Aug. 12 Loss to Arizona 7-4 Braves lost to Mets 6-5

Aug. 3 Lost to Miami 5-2 in DH Game 2 Braves beat Astros 4-1

Aug. 1 lost to Philadelphia 3-2 Braves lost to Miami, 4-2

July 31 lost to Philadelphia 8-0 Braves beat Miami 7-1

July 27 lost to Milwaukee 6-0 Braves beat Phillies 6-1

Upcoming schedule

Braves could use more productive this from Freeman, Heyward on into September

Braves could use more productive this from Freeman, Heyward on into September

Overall, the schedule from here on out is pretty favorable for the Braves. As the standings dictate today, the Braves play teams with sub. 500 records in two out of every three games the rest of the way.

Of the 48 remaining, 32 games are against sub. 500 teams (seven against the Padres, six against the Phillies, six against the Mets, six against the Marlins, four against the Rockies and three against the Brewers.)

Of their final 48 games, 16 are against teams with winning records (three against the Dodgers, six against the Nationals, four against the Giants and three against the Pirates.)

So what about the Nationals, you ask? Well, let me tell ya. The Nationals, who haven’t played the Cardinals yet this year, have it a little tougher. They play 19 of their remaining 47 games against winning teams (three against the Giants, six against the Braves, seven against the Cardinals and three against the Dodgers).

They have 28 games against sub .500 team (six against the Mets, nine against the Phillies, five against the Marlins, four against the Cubs and four against the Brewers.)

That schedule discrepancy accounts for a swing of about 3 ½ games. The Braves enter tonight’s game trailing the Nats in the standings by 4 ½ games.

Of course a lot can happen – and a lot will. It’s going to be an interesting finish, and I personally think it’s not a bad thing that the Braves will spend this September chasing, and not holding furiously to a wild-card lead. And yes, they want the division now more than ever, rather than a one-game playoff as one of the two wild-card teams.

Hanson update

Just wanted to include what Tommy Hanson said last night in Gwinnett after his five shutout innings in a rehab game. He’s wouldn’t be available to start until Friday at the earliest, so the Braves will probably take a few days before announcing their pitching plans and whether they’ll go to a six-man rotation for a while after Hanson returns from the DL.

But here’s what Hanson said after his start last night: “My back felt better, that was the main thing. I didn’t have much time to prepare for this start, but I still went out and made pitches. My off-speed stuff was really good. I felt really good with my curveball and slider. I feel good about the way I threw today. I’m looking forward to my next start.”

He threw 48 of his 78 pitches for strikes, gave up three hits, two walks and struck out five.

Braves lineup:

1. Michael Bourn CF

2. Martin Prado LF

3. Jason Heyward RF

4. Chipper Jones 3B

5. Freddie Freeman 1B

6. Dan Uggla 2B

7. Brian McCann C

8. Paul Janish SS

9. Mike Minor P

1,184 comments Add your comment

nolie

August 13th, 2012
1:56 pm

sure cause we have never beaten any of those guys, or any other top-line pitchers either :roll:

JoshTown

August 13th, 2012
1:56 pm

Thanks Carroll! Looks to be a good ending to the season. If we just keep playing the way we have, we’ll be in great shape. Losing last night sucks, but hopefully gives the guys some confidence going into today after a great comeback. Go Braves!

Joe

August 13th, 2012
1:56 pm

Pace

August 13th, 2012
1:57 pm

Still think the six against the gNats are going to be the games that make or break the race for the Division.

nolie

August 13th, 2012
1:59 pm

well we should hope they are anyway Pace

Clayton

August 13th, 2012
2:00 pm

Looking forward to spending my 21st birthday watching the Bravos win with the high socks

nolie

August 13th, 2012
2:02 pm

Happy Birthday, but now you gone and put xtra pressure on them…..

Thaddeus

August 13th, 2012
2:05 pm

Sure, the Braves can win against a top line guy, but I’d hate to see a one game playoff against one of the 3 earlier mentioned. Especially Kershaw. I don’t know the stats, but from memory it seems like he’s really had the Braves’ number the past several times we’ve seen him.

ncscoots

August 13th, 2012
2:06 pm

Looking forward to seeing some mammo yickety from the middle of the order on this homestand. :-)

Thaddeus

August 13th, 2012
2:07 pm

Of course, I mean that I’d hate to see the one game playoff as opposed to winning the division.
I’d love to see the one game playoff as opposed to missing the postseason completely…

Heisenberg

August 13th, 2012
2:09 pm

With the way Medlen has looked it could be that Minor is auditioning for his spot in the rotation (again) if Braves stick to 5 instead of going to 6. But he has shown a knack for bearing down when there is a gun pressed to his temple.

ncscoots

August 13th, 2012
2:09 pm

but I’d hate to see a one game playoff against one of the 3 earlier mentioned. Especially Kershaw.

You think any of those pitchers would look at this lineup and think “easy money”?

Efrim

August 13th, 2012
2:11 pm

(Chipper Jones is expected to get a rest day after last night’s late travel back from New York. Reed Johnson will likely be the in the lineup in left field and Martin Prado at third base.)

Would give Heyward tomorrow off…..

Just sayin.

Efrim

August 13th, 2012
2:12 pm

You think any of those pitchers would look at this lineup and think “easy money”?

Cough…..you could make a case for a LHP like Kershaw saying that……cough…

:)

TennesseePaul

August 13th, 2012
2:13 pm

Thanks for the work CR.

GO BRAVES!!

Byron

August 13th, 2012
2:13 pm

“But they’ll play seven games against the Padres in the next 17 days, including three at Petco Park on July 27-29″
Maybe there is a time machine allowing the Braves to go back to playing more games in July. Probably should read August 27-29 and not July.

ncscoots

August 13th, 2012
2:14 pm

you could make a case for a LHP like Kershaw saying that

Not if Uggla is squared away. That changes the equation.

Heisenberg

August 13th, 2012
2:15 pm

You think any of those pitchers would look at this lineup and think “easy money”?
********************************

Agreed ncscoots. But now I have an old REO speeedwagon song stuck in my head.

Efrim

August 13th, 2012
2:15 pm

Not if Uggla is squared away. That changes the equation.

Isn’t he worse vs. LHP over the course of his entire career? I could be wrong there, though.

veer

August 13th, 2012
2:16 pm

we have to win the division. we cant match the cardinals offense or kershaw or cain

ncscoots

August 13th, 2012
2:16 pm

Heisenberg, sorry for the ear-worm, man. :-)

BF54

August 13th, 2012
2:17 pm

No time warps Byron this is a new year,although it would give me a extra birthday but i’m not readdy to be 55 yet,maybe next year

ncscoots

August 13th, 2012
2:18 pm

Isn’t he worse vs. LHP over the course of his entire career? I could be wrong there, though.

I doubt such stats calm a LHP facing him, if he’s swinging the bat well. Somebody can pull out a tape measure and show you the ledge is 15 inches wide, but that doesn’t make you confident enough to take a step forward. :-)

JT Grace

August 13th, 2012
2:19 pm

Anyone else think these Romney ads are extremely irritating? It’s hard to even navigate on the page without that stupid thing popping up.

veer

August 13th, 2012
2:19 pm

Richards for Padres on Wed will be hard to beat. Next yr he will probably be one of the 10 best pitchers in the NL. Hudson needs to be on his game. No excuse to not win 3 out of 4 this series. If Giants can do their part then we will probably be within 2.5 games by Thursday

Efrim

August 13th, 2012
2:21 pm

Uggla vs. LHP for his career: .240/.344/.428

vs. LHP in 2011: .201/.288/.360
vs. LHP in 2012: .218/.378/.371

Capt.Mudd

August 13th, 2012
2:22 pm

“Pre-complaining,” and “Pre-blame,” May these interesting thoughts be applied to possible precomunications of pre-brain surgery?

Efrim

August 13th, 2012
2:22 pm

I doubt such stats calm a LHP facing him, if he’s swinging the bat well.

His presence does help, but I still really hope we face RHP in that one gamer – or every game from here on out for that matter… ;)

Gustopher

August 13th, 2012
2:22 pm

Great blog Carroll.

Heisenberg

August 13th, 2012
2:23 pm

Reo Speedwagon
Easy Money lyrics

South of the border and busted,
Caught by a woman I trusted,
Now don’t you call me a fool,
It could have happened to you,
It’s just my luck,
It had to happen to me.

Sweet carmelita betrayed me
She said, “take me home, serenade me.”
I figured a song could do me no wrong.
I didn’t know how wrong I could be.

Easy money for just one run to peru.
It’ll be so easy. we’ll have no trouble gettin’ through.
Well I almost made it, except for that one border guard.
He opened up my guitar. hello prison yard.
Goodbye easy money. easy money.

The chiquita must have told ‘em my story
’cause when my eyes finally focused next morning
Carmelita had spoken ’bout guitars and some coke
And she laughed as they slapped me in chains.

I was thrown in cell with a killer.
A convict who coughed through the night.
While I laid awake with the chills and shakes,
Hoping for a file in a cake.

Easy money for just one run to peru.
It’ll be so easy. we’ll have no trouble gettin’ through.
Well I almost made it, except for that one border guard.
He opened up my guitar. hello prison yard.
Just to make me mad he smashed my guitar.
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye,
Easy money

ncscoots

August 13th, 2012
2:25 pm

May these interesting thoughts be applied to possible precomunications of pre-brain surgery?

:-)

BF54

August 13th, 2012
2:28 pm

Obama to nasa workers ‘if in fact you do make contact with martians” …”please let me know”
good sense of humor

ncscoots

August 13th, 2012
2:28 pm

but I still really hope we face RHP in that one gamer – or every game from here on out for that matter

Well, they hospitalize RHP, that’s a fact. I’m all for your plan.

phil

August 13th, 2012
2:30 pm

34th or so!!

Another day off for Chipper? Seriously? Oh well…

Thaddeus

August 13th, 2012
2:30 pm

scoots

I don’t think anybody looks at the Braves lineup and thinks “easy money” by any means. I’m also not one of these pessimists that says we can’t win that game in that given situation. But when Kershaw is on, he’s gonna be tough for any lineup to score runs against. Nobody’s lights out every time they step out there, but that looming possibility would make me nervous about the game. I don’t think the Braves necessarily have a guy that imposing in the rotation.

Efrim

August 13th, 2012
2:34 pm

The Braves are 7th in team OPS, but are 2nd in runs scored in the National League.

Efrim

August 13th, 2012
2:34 pm

The Nationals actually have a better team OPS than we do – they rank 6th.

Efrim

August 13th, 2012
2:35 pm

Is it a stretch to say the Braves are the best baserunning team in the National League?

Heisenberg

August 13th, 2012
2:37 pm

” I don’t think the Braves necessarily have a guy that imposing in the rotation.”
********************************************

Maybe not in the rotation, but they do at the back end of the bullpen. Nobody wants to go into the 8th against Braves down a run or 2.

Capt.Mudd

August 13th, 2012
2:38 pm

Oye Como Va (State opens vs. Tech)

urban redneck

August 13th, 2012
2:39 pm

joe, you are a loser. only thing stupider than saying first is saying it and failing. that is just embarassing for you.

what’s going on in the FF/Jhey picture above?

Brian from SC

August 13th, 2012
2:39 pm

Efrim, it’s hard to really measure, but in the ways you can measure it, the Braves are stellar. I don’t think it’s a stretch to call them the best baserunning team in the league.

veer

August 13th, 2012
2:41 pm

Our best bet to winning the 1 game wildcard playoff is to hope that either the Pirates or the DBacks take the 2nd spot as we match much better aganist them.

You look at the Dodgers and Kershaw that guy will have the adredlin going and be hard to beat. The Giants are loaded with good pitchers and have Cain and then you have the Cardinals who have the best offense in the MLB and Wainwright is capable of shutting people down.

We might get lucky if Wainwright and Kershaw are pitching last game of the season and we end up missing them but again wildcard is not where i want to be bascially if we dont win the east then our season is over.

Capt.Mudd

August 13th, 2012
2:42 pm

Oh boy another ’shooting,’ Texas A&M

Thaddeus

August 13th, 2012
2:43 pm

“Maybe not in the rotation, but they do at the back end of the bullpen. Nobody wants to go into the 8th against Braves down a run or 2.”

Word.

nolie

August 13th, 2012
2:44 pm

Not if Uggla is squared away. That changes the equation….Scoots

now you know better than that, Uggla hits righties much better than lefties, almost like having another damn LHed hitter in the lineup

cricket

August 13th, 2012
2:47 pm

The Nationals are expected to have right-hander Stephen Strasburg miss two or three regular-season starts, according to a baseball source.

Strasburg, who is on an innings limit after having Tommy John surgery in late 2010, more than likely will pitch no more than 180 innings this season. There was talk of Strasburg pitching 160 innings this year, but the source said those amount of innings are not set in stone.

The same source went so far as to say Strasburg will not pitch in the postseason once he is shut down.

http://therocket.mlblogs.com/2012/08/12/plans-for-strasburg-garcia-to-be-called-up-by-nats-bourn-mum-on-free-agency/

nolie

August 13th, 2012
2:48 pm

according to ESPN Braves are tied for third in OBP in NL and are second in runs scored

Heisenberg

August 13th, 2012
2:49 pm

Can we all just agree that the WC crapshoot is less than desirable compared to being a division winner but better than being 3rd or lower in the WC standings?

Brian from SC

August 13th, 2012
2:50 pm

If the Nationals finish with something like 97 wins, which it looks like may come to pass, then a wild card is nothing to be ashamed of.

There’s still a lot of baseball to be played. 30% of the season left.

nolie

August 13th, 2012
2:50 pm

damn copycats sukk. should be shot….

Thaddeus

August 13th, 2012
2:50 pm

I can go with that Heisenberg.

Sundrop Kid

August 13th, 2012
2:52 pm

The period 17-26 Aug will either make or break the Braves season. Mark it down now. Also Braves need to hope for a Nats losing streak, otherwise it’s nothing but the wildcard. A one game wildcard and the Braves are out until next year.

TheOnlyBravesFan

August 13th, 2012
2:52 pm

Expecting an avg. of 2 yicketties and 1 mammo every day from this lineup… turn Petco into a hitter’s park :)

nolie

August 13th, 2012
2:52 pm

OBP has the highest correlation usually

veer

August 13th, 2012
2:53 pm

I think we have a team that is capable of winning the NLDS NLCS and WS bcause of our solid offense bullpen and starting pitching. Our biggest obsticle might just be winning that 1 game in the wildcard series. In a 7 game series we match up aganist any team but in a game series we don’t match so well with opposing aces

Thaddeus

August 13th, 2012
2:55 pm

nc fan

August 13th, 2012
2:58 pm

any time in the playoffs can win the world series,throw all the stats,out the book,ask the cardinals

Coach (2012 Fredi's beisbol Fandango)

August 13th, 2012
2:58 pm

Lets see, late night last inning gasp before losing on national television, followed by cross country red eye flight. Then arriving in San Diego jet lagged in the wee hours of the morning, screwing up the entire teams sleep and arriving the the ball park feeling like road kill.

Then we get the joy of seeing another lefty on the mound. Joy, joy , joy and the inevitable loss that is about to happen tonight.

Hey, don’t say I didn’t try to warn everybody……..

Pace

August 13th, 2012
3:01 pm

Two posts about the Braves playing/flying to SD? Did the schedule change, I thought these 4 games were being played in Atlanta?

nc fan

August 13th, 2012
3:01 pm

lets see how this team reacts to playing the dodgers and giants

the braves should take 3/4 from the padres……but then again…

thanks jhey for the strikeout once again

chipper thanks you also

nc fan

August 13th, 2012
3:03 pm

the braves are at home

quit listening to the sheep and kool aid people
they still looking for that hope and change

Thaddeus

August 13th, 2012
3:03 pm

My MLB AT Bat app says the games are in ATL.

TheOnlyBravesFan

August 13th, 2012
3:03 pm

The same source went so far as to say Strasburg will not pitch in the postseason once he is shut down.

Bullcrap…. not that I wouldn’t mind it.

DAP

August 13th, 2012
3:03 pm

coach, except the braves are at home.

nc fan

August 13th, 2012
3:03 pm

jhey is trying to catch uggla on the strikeouts

nolie

August 13th, 2012
3:04 pm

it was coach Pace…ya gotta make exceptions….

phil

August 13th, 2012
3:04 pm

Hope doesn’t win championships…

Coach (2012 Fredi's beisbol Fandango)

August 13th, 2012
3:04 pm

LOL, just messing with the locals. I know we are at home tonight, but it’s still fun to screw with people :)

nc fan

August 13th, 2012
3:04 pm

amazing how fredi can see the velocity of the ball from the dugout,and jhey thinks he is playing golf again

swung at balls all night

nolie

August 13th, 2012
3:05 pm

njbraves

August 13th, 2012
3:05 pm

I think the toughness of the schedule is a little misleading because of the Phillies. They’re having a bad season, but they still have those three great pitchers you have to deal with. Those six Phillie games won’t be easy.

TheOnlyBravesFan

August 13th, 2012
3:05 pm

My MLB AT Bat app says the games are in ATL.

Correct… I was looking at someone’s twitter feed, showing a picture of Petco… I apologize for my error.

nc fan

August 13th, 2012
3:05 pm

put prado in at ss

Kirk

August 13th, 2012
3:07 pm

@Jt Grace

Get yourself a pop up blocker. Ghostery does pop ups and trackers.

cricket

August 13th, 2012
3:07 pm

since when is NY to ATL flight considered cross country? thought they were playing at home

nc fan

August 13th, 2012
3:08 pm

just once i like to read chipper comments on how he screwed up in the 1st inning hitting into dp on 1st pitch never the less

of course no ajc writer will ask this since he is a god in atlanta

cricket

August 13th, 2012
3:09 pm

yep, phillies games are not a gimme due to their pitchers. same reason i was ok to see braves win series against them, tho sweep would’ve been great.

Brian from SC

August 13th, 2012
3:10 pm

nc fan, Chipper hit into a double play on the fourth pitch of the at-bat on a 1-2 count. Hit it hard too.

You might want to get your facts straight before spouting off about AJC writers.

nc fan

August 13th, 2012
3:10 pm

chipper mentioned on espn that he wants to spend a lot more time with his 4 bos which is a good thing…….didnt mention that a lot more times at hooters also.

chipper a piece of advice……you mite get the ajc writrs to to listen to what you say but no woman is going to put up with your bs

phil

August 13th, 2012
3:10 pm

The Cardinals got the hits, scored the runs, made the pitches and recorded the outs when they mattered.

That’s not luck, hope, chance, etc. That’s an excellent ballclub. Period.

cricket

August 13th, 2012
3:11 pm

chipper is on twitter now. why not ask him tough questions on twitter yourself?

phil

August 13th, 2012
3:12 pm

nc fan = doofus

nc fan

August 13th, 2012
3:12 pm

k brian still never hear him say i blew it now do you?

THOUGHT SO

Brave New World

August 13th, 2012
3:12 pm

It’s going to take about 95 wins to win The NL East. It’s going to take about 90 wins to be a Wild Card team. Braves are capable of either. So are Nats. I’m happy for Nats to be having a break out year. I’m even happier to see the collapse of the aging Phils. But what would make me happiest of all, would be The Braves winning a World Championship in 2012. GO BRAVES!

TheOnlyBravesFan

August 13th, 2012
3:12 pm

Heisenberg

August 13th, 2012
3:13 pm

“since when is NY to ATL flight considered cross country?”
*************************

When you fly TWA and every flight had a layover in St. Louis. Wanna fly Atlanta to Charlotte? Sure but you had to go through St. Louis first. Wonder why TWA no longer exists?

nc fan

August 13th, 2012
3:13 pm

PHIL

TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE

IDIOT

cricket

August 13th, 2012
3:14 pm

i’m willing to bet any amount that many more women will be willing to put up with chipper than with anyone else on this blog

SNEAKY PETE

August 13th, 2012
3:14 pm

nc fan = doofus @phil

now you are just being nice, doofus barely even starts to cover it

Brian from SC

August 13th, 2012
3:14 pm

k brian still never hear him say i blew it now do you?

Chipper’s built up enough collateral over his HOF career, and this season, to not have be accused of “blowing it” when he hits into a double play. Maybe you should call the AJC, get yourself a job as a sports writer since you know how to do it so well, and then you can ask him that to his face. And, please, please get it on camera. I’d pay to see it.

itsi

August 13th, 2012
3:15 pm

it is what it is
cant wait to see the game in san diego tonight

Pace

August 13th, 2012
3:15 pm

Kinda hate to post good news and break up this little tiff going on, but saw this and thought it was great news for the Braves going forward:

Andrelton Simmons @Andrelton

Man, I love Atlanta I hope I get to stay here for a while. It just feels like #thinkingoutloud

ncfan

August 13th, 2012
3:17 pm

as a fan i can say anything

just so you know last homestand i asked chipper when is he going to hooters again

itsi

August 13th, 2012
3:19 pm

petco park is nice cant wait

Heisenberg

August 13th, 2012
3:19 pm

I usually try not to make comments here about players personal lives but I got a laugh about Chipper saying he has not done well being married except for his marriage with Braves on a TV commercial that ran during recent games.

TheOnlyBravesFan

August 13th, 2012
3:20 pm

People seem to enjoy biting the dust around here…

itsi

August 13th, 2012
3:21 pm

since the game is at 710pm eastern,its 410pm in san diego,good thing chipper is not playing,that sun is tough at this time of day,dont want him to lose the ball in the sun

UKUGA

August 13th, 2012
3:22 pm

First

to mention the Lakers acquisition of Dwight Howard on today’s blog.

Go Lakers!

Go Braves!

veer

August 13th, 2012
3:22 pm

Why is Chipper’s wife leaving him? is this the same Hooters wife? I mean she isnt very decent girl as she was a hooter before. Anyon have any scoop on reason why she is leaving Jones?

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