Archive for August, 2012

Braves quotes after Sunday’s win against Giants

**FREDI GONZALEZ

On Hudson’s performance and the win

“Huddy was good. That seventh inning was a little bit of a jam, and he minimized the damage and did a terrific job. I tell you, we threw some leather at them today. Right from the beginning. Janish made a couple of great plays, Martin made a couple of plays….

“We got some runs early, we manufactured some runs, and then we were able to add on some runs late.”

On winning weekend games after losing 1st two in series, in front of packed houses

“It’s a fun atmosphere any time you come here. It really is. They sell out, the fans are really behind them. I think they’ve got a pretty good home-field advantage with the way they support their team. It’s a beautiful ballpark. You’ve got a little cold weather, so it kind of feels like it’s postseason almost every night. And we bounced back after losing two games. We won two, now we go on to San Diego and try to win that series.”

On Heyward and Freeman in the …

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Hudson sharp as Braves win, split series in S.F.

SAN FRANCISCO – After giving up four runs in the first inning of the Braves’ road-trip opener at Washington, Tim Hudson came out pitching like a man determined not to give an inch to the Giants on Sunday night.

Staked to a two-run lead in the first inning, Hudson took a three-hit shutout to the seventh and the Braves won 7-1 to split a four-game series with San Francisco at AT&T Park.

Hudson (13-5) won his seventh consecutive decision and Juan Francisco, Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman homered for the Braves, who are back to 4-1/2 games behind NL East leader Washington. The Nationals were swept by Philadelphia and have lost four in a row.

“It was important to at least come out of here with a split,” said Hudson, who allowed one run, five hits and one walk in seven innings, moving to 7-0 in his past 10 starts. “Any time you lose the first two in a four-game series, it’s tough to come out with a split. But we were able to come out here and get a couple of runs early, …

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Chipper out of lineup with sore oblique

SAN FRANCISCO – When Chipper Jones was out of the lineup for the second consecutive game Sunday, Gonzalez divulged that it was a sore left oblique and back that was the reason. Not the “just old” explanation Jones gave reporters Saturday morning.

Jones didn’t think the oblique was anything that will keep him out of the lineup for long, provided he doesn’t aggravate it trying to play before it’s ready. He took some swings during batting practice Sunday and said there was a possibility he could pinch-hit in Sunday’s game.

“The oblique’s bothering me more than the back,” he said. “Or else I would have pinch-hit [Saturday] with the bases loaded and one out. Kind of a good time to use me…. . That situation comes up and I know he wanted to use me right there, but you’ve just got to be smart.”

When Jones arrived at the ballpark Saturday morning, he told Gonzalez he didn’t think he could help the team in Saturday’s game. They didn’t want to say anything …

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Braves manager will ‘pick his spots’ to rest slumping Uggla

SAN FRANCISCO – When Fredi Gonzalez was asked by Fox broadcaster Tim McCarver what the manager had learned from his Braves’ September collapse last year, Gonzalez said he’d learned to be less patient.

Fredi Gonzalez is going to "pick his spots" to rest Dan Uggla until the slumping second baseman gets his bat going. He's hit under .150 for nearly three months.

Fredi Gonzalez is going to "pick his spots" to rest Dan Uggla until the slumping second baseman gets his bat going. He's hit under .150 for nearly three months. (AP photo)

“Sometimes you feel like you’ve got to go with a guy, and you go with him for a lot of good reasons,” he told McCarver. “But you have to understand, April and May is not September…. At the end of the season, you say, ‘You could have done this, you could have done that, maybe I stuck with this guy at this position too long, maybe I stuck with that pitcher too long.’”

And so I asked Fredi today about the specific player that came to mind when I read what he’d said to McCarver. I asked him how his statement applied to Dan Uggla, who entered Sunday with a .206 batting average and .364 …

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Series preview: Braves at Padres

Series preview: Braves at Padres

When (TV): 10:05 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, 6:35 p.m. Wednesday (SPSO)

Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5

Probable starting pitchers:

Monday: Braves LH Paul Maholm (11-8, 3.47 ERA) vs. RH Casey Kelly (major league debut)

Tuesday: Braves RH Kris Medlen (5-1, 1.86) vs. LH Andrew Werner (1-0, 3.00)

Wednesday: Braves RH Tommy Hanson (12-6, 4.40) vs. LH Eric Stults (4-2, 2.68)

About the Braves:

Batting: Jason Heyward was 37-for-118 (.314) in his past 31 games before Sunday with nine home runs, 23 RBIs, 24 runs and a .379 on-base percentage and .610 slugging percentage (.989 OPS). Against the Padres, he has a .387 career average in 16 games with nine doubles, two homers and 12 RBIs…. Dan Uggla hit .143 in his past 66 games before Sunday, with five homers, 44 walks and 82 strikeouts in 224 at-bats. He was 2-for-28 with one extra-base hit and no RBIs in his last nine games.

Pitching: Maholm is 7-2 with a 1.56 ERA in his past 11 starts, including 2-2 with a 2.40 ERA …

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Heyward, Minor lead Braves in much-needed win

SAN FRANCISCO – Jason Heyward made himself at home again Saturday at AT&T Park, and Mike Minor showed again that he’s the most improved Braves pitcher since the beginning of the season.

Heyward hit a three-run homer in the third inning and Minor allowed only two hits before the seventh inning of a 7-3 win against the San Francisco Giants, a win the Braves needed badly after losing six of their previous seven.

“The clubhouse vibe is a lot better,” Minor said after pitching 6-1/3 innings in his ninth consecutive solid outing, and getting what for him was a relative abundance of run support. “Any time you get a win, especially against a good team like this, you kind of just reverse [momentum], get it going back our way.

“We had a lot of runs today, good at-bats, good defense. Everything just kind of started clicking. So hopefully we’ll keep it going.”

The left-hander was charged with four hits, three runs and no walks with five strikeouts, and two of his runs came …

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Braves quotes after Saturday’s win against Giants

**FREDI GONZALEZ

On Mike Minor

“He minimizes the damage, gets out of the inning with one run. He was outstanding. He was so good that I’m sitting in the dugout thinking about letting him face Peguero. That’s how good and dominant he was. Obviously we didn’t, but for me he was that good.”

If Bourn catches that ball, Minor….

“He gets out of the inning with no runs.”

On Minor, Heyward

“He [Minor] helped himself offensively. Got on base, scored two runs. He was good. And Heyward, big three-run homer, here against a tough left-hander. You don’t hit the ball out of here that easily. He hit it, and we were able to add on runs after they got the two runs in the seventh, then we got one run in the ninth on a hell of an at-bat by Johnson.”

“We talk about hitting being contagious and keeping the line moving, and we did that today.”

On patience shown with two bases-loaded walks in 8th

“And Yonny [Janish] with the big hit. He’s got a knack for the dramatic a …

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Chipper ‘just old’ — but no longer oldest Brave

SAN FRANCISCO -- Chipper Jones and his surgically repaired knees were out of the Braves lineup Saturday at San Francisco, the second game he missed through the first six on a 10-game trip that began in Washington.

“Just old,” said Jones, 40, as he suited up for the 1:05 p.m. game, the third in a four-game series against the Giants.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez often texts his 40-year-old third baseman in the morning to see how he’s feeling, but he didn’t need to Saturday. They had discussed it at the ballpark after Friday night’s 5-2 loss.

“He was walking around a little gingerly last night,” Gonzalez said. “He’s a little beat up. Hopefully he comes in [Sunday] and feels good… Maybe it’s just the coldness, and playing, and the trip and the whole thing.”

When a reporter asked Jones if the chilly weather in San Francisco contributed to more soreness than usual, Jones said, “No, just old.”

Jones was 10-for-32 (.313) with two doubles, three homers and five …

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Braves’ Sheets goes on DL with sore shoulder

SAN FRANCISCO – Ben Sheets gave the Braves’ pitching staff a big boost in July and thinks he could again, but not with his shoulder aching as it has in recent weeks.

The Braves’ feel-good summer story took another detour Saturday when Sheets was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right-shoulder inflammation, a day after he gave up nine hits and four runs in 4-1/3 innings of a 5-2 loss against the San Francisco Giants.

It was the third consecutive loss and fourth in five starts for Sheets (4-4), after he’d been signed off the scrap heap and won his first three starts following nearly two years out of baseball.

“If it was April, I think it’s something I could work through,” Sheets said. “But if it takes you three or four starts to work through, right now we don’t have the luxury to do that. I’m here to help. I’m not here to do anything else. I want to help this team win. Whatever we need to do.

“I know these guys want the pitcher they had at first. …

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Braves quotes after Friday’s loss to Giants

**FREDI GONZALEZ

On Sheets’ performance

“I think he left some balls over the plate. There were some balls hit pretty good. I don’t think we made any missed plays behind him or anything. I think he did a hell of a job getting out of that [second] inning with the bases loaded. But I think later on he left some balls over the plate and they capitalized on them.”

On struggling offense

“We got three solo home runs. Our guys battled back. We go up 2-nothing, they come back and tie, go ahead. You could easily have rolled over, and we didn’t. We battled and battled and got into some situations, just could’t get the elusive single with people on base.”

Only three hits other than the homers

“We’re just not keeping the line moving right now.”

On Sheets’ three-start losing skid, is he tiring?

“I’ll sit down and talk to Roger about it. I think he’s one of those guys, he’s going to charge. And maybe some of the balls are catching too much of the plate. You can …

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