Braves need Bourn to heat up; Chipper in SI

(Staff writer Carroll Rogers is filling in for David O’Brien this series.)

Milwaukee – OK I’m going to throw some numbers out there, but you already know what they’re getting at: Michael Bourn isn’t hitting and you know this because the Braves offense isn’t scoring runs.

That’s how important Bourn is as the leadoff man is to the Braves offense. When he’s going, the Braves are scoring runs and when he’s not, they’re not. We’ve seen it all year both on the positive and negative side.

Bourn is 0-for-8 in the Brewers series and the Braves have lost both games, while scoring one run on a double play grounder by Andrelton Simmons.

Bourn has played in all but one of the Braves games this year and started all but three. In the 81 wins he has played in, Bourn is hitting .320 with a .403 on-base percentage, 16 doubles, five triples, six home runs, 45 RBIs and 26 stolen bases. In the 61 losses he has played in, Bourn is hitting .221 with a .269 on-base percentage, seven doubles, five triples, three home runs, 11 RBIs, and 13 stolen bases.

In 57 games since the All-Star break, Bourn is hitting .227 (51-for-224) with a .323 on-base percentage. The Braves as a team have hit .238 while averaging 4.2 runs in 58 games. Before the All-Star break, Bourn hit .311 with a .366 on-base percentage, and the Braves hit .259 and averaged 4.6 runs per game.

Bourn struck out once every 4.82 at-bats in the first half, and in the second half, he’s struck out once every 3.5 at-bats, including twice last night.

“We’ve got to get him going,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez acknowledged after last night’s game. “We’ve got to get him going and we will. He came in today and (hitting coach) Greg (Walker) saw a couple things that he wanted to work on and fix, but we need to get him going.”

In the process of talking to Chipper Jones last night about the Braves offensive struggles, he basically said the same thing in so many words.

“We know our offense starts at the top, and we’ve been struggling to get on base early in the innings to be able to put pressure on the defense,” Jones said. “And that’s the reason why we’ve been struggling offensively, I think.”

It’s a tough assignment to try to turn things around tonight against Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo who faces Braves left-hander Paul Maholm. Gallardo is 6-0 with a 3.04 ERA in his past eight starts and the Brewers have won all eight.

Maholm knows the Brewers well from all his years in the National League Central, and maybe too well. He won only once in his past 18 starts against them dating back to 2006, going 1-10 with a 5.37 ERA including losses in his past five decisions. He’s 3-10 with a 4.87 ERA against them in 21 games overall.

A lot rides on this game mentally for the Braves, who would love to salvage a win so they can finish the road trip 4-2 and take a little momentum home to Atlanta where they welcome in the Nationals this weekend.

The Cardinals have lost two in a row (and four out of five) so the Braves maintained a 5 ½ game lead in the wild card, but both the Brewers and Phillies are making a push now, and trail St. Louis by only four games. Both the Dodgers (one game back) and Pirates (2 ½ back) are having their issues.

Tidbits

Looking ahead to the weekend, pitching match-ups for the Braves vs. Nationals, who are now sans Stephen Strasburg. On Friday it’ll be Kris Medlen vs. Ross Detwiler, on Saturday, Tommy Hanson vs. Edwin Jackson, and on Sunday Mike Minor vs. Gio Gonzalez….

Major League Baseball released the 2013 schedule today. The Braves open and close the season at home against the Phillies, and they’ll travel to Kansas City for the first time in their history. Click here for a story about the schedule.

Tidbits: Bryce Harper had four hits in the game to become the first teenager to collect four hits in a game since Andruw Jones did it on Sept. 22, 1996 at age 19…

Happy Birthday to Freddie Freeman who’s 23 today.

Chipper in back pages of Sports Illustrated

Something you all are going to want to look out for this week. Sports Illustrated asked Chipper Jones to write the “Point After” in this week’s issue. It’s pretty poignant and you won’t want to miss. (Chipper is being honored tonight by the Brewers in his last game in Milwaukee before retirement, by the way.)

Here are a couple of excerpts from that article, including one when Chipper talked about meeting his boyhood (and his father’s) hero Mickey Mantle at a card show shortly before Mantle died.

“He was a god to me. Because he batted switch, I wanted to bat switch. Because he spent his whole career with one club, I wanted to spend my whole career with one club….There were grown men with tears in their eyes that day, meeting the Mick. I asked him, ‘Do you ever get tired of signing?’ He said he had a recurring dream where he gets to the pearly gates and the guy at the door says, “Mick, we’re gonna let you in, but we need you to sign these dozen balls first.” If you’re a ballplayer, people want a piece of you. Why? Because baseball is the grand American game, that’s why.”

And then Chipper closed it with something very personal.

“I’ve had a lot of failings, as a ballplayer, as a father, as a husband. I married at 20 the first time, too young, but I didn’t know that then. I’m getting divorced now from my second wife, and I will never, ever, get married again. But I honestly wouldn’t change a thing. I believe everything happens for a reason. My four kids, three with my second wife, are athletic, smart, fun, still young. I’ve been a part-time father. Now, come October, I’m going to be a full-time father, like my father was to me. I’m going to teach Shea to bat switch. He’s eight. It’s time. I’m saying goodbye without a tear in my eye. I gave it my all.”

Braves lineup:

1. Bourn CF

2. Prado LF

3. Heyward RF

4. Jones 3B

5. Freeman 1B

6. Uggla 2B

7. McCann C

8. Janish SS

9. Maholm P

1,786 comments Add your comment

Kevin

September 12th, 2012
4:00 pm

Thanks for new blog Carroll!

Tomahawkin

September 12th, 2012
4:00 pm

FREE MIXXO

Braves are now 10-13 Since he got Bozo’d and the team is has hit like ####

Its a Curse

Venice Jim

September 12th, 2012
4:03 pm

Atlanta Braves ‏@Braves
Tonight’s lineup at MIL (8:10, SPSO/680AM/BRN): Bourn 8 Prado 7 Heyward 9 Jones 5 Freeman 3 Uggla 4 McCann 2 Janish 6 Maholm 1

nolie

September 12th, 2012
4:03 pm

ChipperisGod

September 12th, 2012
4:04 pm

You’re right Carrol. Gotta get Bourn going. Ironically, I think he should get the night off. Looks exhausted.

Got the new SI and can’t wait to read it. Going to come to a game this weekend to see Chip and the boys again, and the last game vs. the Mets as well.

Let’s get it going all!

Go Braves!

ChipperisGod

September 12th, 2012
4:04 pm

You’re right Carrol. Gotta get Bourn going. Ironically, I think he should get the night off. Looks exhausted.

Got the new SI and can’t wait to read it. Going to come to a game this weekend to see Chip and the boys again, and the last game vs. the Mets as well.

Let’s get it going all!

Go Braves!

nolie

September 12th, 2012
4:05 pm

Has anybody actually communicated with Mixxo to know for sure he was banned? He said something about leaving the blog not too long B4 he disappeared. Or is this just more speculation accusation?

Kevin

September 12th, 2012
4:05 pm

Might be time for the do-it-all Prado to hit leadoff for a few games just to give Bourn a breather.

ncscoots

September 12th, 2012
4:06 pm

Wow, is Simmons sore, you think?

reckingball

September 12th, 2012
4:07 pm

ncscoots

September 12th, 2012
4:07 pm

Has anybody actually communicated with Mixxo to know for sure he was banned? He said something about leaving the blog not too long B4 he disappeared.

Geez, who cares why that guy is MIA? Good riddance.

DAP

September 12th, 2012
4:09 pm

What would be really nice is for the Braves to get a chance to set up their rotation for the playoffs

DS1 and scoots, if we keep the current rotation, i think medlen can start the one game playoff on 3 days rest.

or, they can skip a starter on an off day(which would be easy, since hanson is scheduled to start on an off day), and medlen can start the playoff on regular rest.

ChipperisGod

September 12th, 2012
4:09 pm

Why is Simmons out of the line up? He got two hits last night! Unless he’s sore, he should under no circumstance, be out of the order.

nolie

September 12th, 2012
4:09 pm

well Tomahawkin seems to make a big deal out of it scoots…..

Venice Jim

September 12th, 2012
4:09 pm

nolie – it would be an amazing coincidence if he left on his own after those last 4 posts…

raleighbravefan

September 12th, 2012
4:10 pm

T’Hawkin – “it’s a curse” ….or a slump. By the way, ALL baseball teams have slumps and losing streaks. It baseball. Long season. Hitting is streaky. Great pitchers have bad games. Sorry pitchers have great games. Too much Football mentality around here. ( this was not directed at you specifically, T’H, but at the minions.)

nolie

September 12th, 2012
4:12 pm

I don’t know VJ, he mighta used that as a parting shot not planning to come back.
I never actually saw the posts, but I get tired of all the unproven accusations that some folks love to spread around

raleighbravefan

September 12th, 2012
4:14 pm

VJ – I’m sorry I missed all the excitement. I don’t particularly miss Mixxo.

nolie

September 12th, 2012
4:14 pm

( this was not directed at you specifically, T’H, but at the minions.),,,raleigh

it should have been, he is one of the premiere football mentality guys on the blog, always has been

cricket

September 12th, 2012
4:14 pm

is simmons broke? why the heck is janish playing?

raleighbravefan

September 12th, 2012
4:16 pm

nolie – Yeah, it’s a lot like certain politicians lately…some people just say schydt with no basis in reality.

MFin04

September 12th, 2012
4:17 pm

So the Nationals currently are project by ESPN to have 100% lock on the playoffs. Braves are at 99.1%.

So the Braves chances of winning the division are somewhere in the realm of .9% I’d guess.

I’m not gonna put my hopes on the .9%

cricket

September 12th, 2012
4:17 pm

best records since the All-Star break in NL -

Reds 39 19
Nationals 39 20
Phillies 34 21
Braves 35 23
Padres 34 22
Giants 34 22

toast

September 12th, 2012
4:17 pm

carroll

any idea on what time the WC game will be played on the 5th and how tixs are selling?

got my 5 this morning and can’t wait. friday hopefully at night and for once the ted should be LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD.

hopefully hamels won’t be opposing pitcher :(

Gary O.

September 12th, 2012
4:17 pm

Look on the bright side. With Bourn struggling, that should bring down his price tag in free agency.

Bourn has played in all but one of the Braves games this year and started all but three..

Also, is it possible he is overused/worn out?

cricket

September 12th, 2012
4:19 pm

I’m not gonna put my hopes on the .9%

no guts no glory. those are the odds that vegas loves and made lots of money for the guy that bet on Cards last yer.

MFin04

September 12th, 2012
4:22 pm

“and made lots of money for the guy that bet on Cards last year.”

Yeh, well I went all in on the Cardinals last year and it still didn’t make me very happy. :cry:

ChattTownBrian

September 12th, 2012
4:24 pm

Already called sweep, nolie.

Tomahawkin

September 12th, 2012
4:26 pm

raleighbravefan

“T’Hawkin – “it’s a curse” ….or a slump. By the way, ALL baseball teams have slumps and losing streaks. It baseball. Long season. Hitting is streaky. Great pitchers have bad games. Sorry pitchers have great games. Too much Football mentality around here. ( this was not directed at you specifically, T’H, but at the minions.)”

Yeah Man, Most Braves Fans are Hardcore Fans of The SEC, and Atlanta is The MECCA of the SEC

Jimmy

September 12th, 2012
4:26 pm

OK, what’s the deal with no Simmons?

Fish Bisch – Please butcher Yovani Gallardo’s name with your “owns us” line. It is traditional to start a winning streak with that, don’t you know.

nolie

September 12th, 2012
4:26 pm

yeah I made a killing on the 96 series but it didn’t make me happy. did alleviate much of the pain though….

Tomahawkin

September 12th, 2012
4:27 pm

SWEEP

only a 30 percent Chance of us winning this one…

We hit like this against the Curley W’s this Weekend, They are gonna take us to the Woodshed

nolie

September 12th, 2012
4:28 pm

Brewers own us

DAP

September 12th, 2012
4:29 pm

we havent won a single game since simmons returned. get him outta there!

ChattTownBrian

September 12th, 2012
4:31 pm

Collapse will be in high gear WHEN, not if, we loose tonight. That’s just the way it goes. BANK on it!

DAP

September 12th, 2012
4:31 pm

guyardo owns us. ….?

Jimmy

September 12th, 2012
4:31 pm

Two games, no XBH’s.

It’s real hard to watch them right now. But, I feel obligated to.
I love baseball and I’m a lifelong Braves fan.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a Cubs faithful.

ncscoots

September 12th, 2012
4:33 pm

well Tomahawkin seems to make a big deal out of it scoots…..

Why am I not surprised at that particular pairing, LOL? Mercy.

I’m not gonna put my hopes on the .9%

No stones at all, brother. You don’t win the rodeo by riding the broke hoss, you got to get up on the wild bucker for eight seconds.

raleighbravefan

September 12th, 2012
4:34 pm

Jimmy – Difference is NOBODY expects the Cubs to win. :)

Jimmy

September 12th, 2012
4:34 pm

Hey George, Carroll wrote this blog too. Not DOB.
I want to make sure you knew that.

DAP – add this :-( and it might work.

raleighbravefan

September 12th, 2012
4:35 pm

scoots – Man, you are on a roll today (even more than usual).

MFin04

September 12th, 2012
4:35 pm

“You don’t win the rodeo by riding the broke hoss, you got to get up on the wild bucker for eight seconds.”

So bench Chipper? ;)

nolie

September 12th, 2012
4:35 pm

( this was not directed at you specifically, T’H, but at the minions.)…scoots

true dat. saddle bronc ridin’ ain’t so awful bad, bareback is right tough, bull ridin’ is a stone bitch….

Bat Masterson

September 12th, 2012
4:36 pm

Carroll_

Good read, thanks.

ncscoots

September 12th, 2012
4:37 pm

No, MFin, I was doing a ****-kicker paraphrase of Sun Tzu, you dolt. :-)

raleighbravefan

September 12th, 2012
4:37 pm

George is so obsessed with DOB’s schedule, that there is a BOLO out on him for stalking.

nolie

September 12th, 2012
4:37 pm

yeah raleigh, that is at least partially true, after a long enough time being bad I think it hurts less that when your team has an actual chance fairly regularly, and gets bucked off

nolie

September 12th, 2012
4:39 pm

Sun Tzu say “War is fun, but WAR sukks”

Jimmy

September 12th, 2012
4:40 pm

raleigh – I guess it’s not as bad if you go in expecting to lose. Expectations sets the bar.

And honestly, it’s not just the Braves losing that gets to me, it’s how they do it. Frustrating as heck.

Like having a first and goal at the one… and not scoring. Now, repeat that two or three times in a game.

cricket

September 12th, 2012
4:41 pm

You don’t win the rodeo by riding the broke hoss

or without going all-in with gut-shot straight draw
or without playing janish instead of simmons

raleighbravefan

September 12th, 2012
4:42 pm

Jimmy – I understand completely (although, there goes that football mentality again. :) )

cricket

September 12th, 2012
4:43 pm

Expectations sets the bar.

lower expectations – secret of happiness

raleighbravefan

September 12th, 2012
4:43 pm

You have to beat the best to be the best…..or you could just get REAL lucky.

Jimmy

September 12th, 2012
4:44 pm

raleigh – that was for TH.

Got to run. I’ll be back before game time.

See you good folks later.

Gustopher

September 12th, 2012
4:45 pm

Great blog Carroll. Any idea what the Brewers are going to do for Chipper’s last appearance?

nolie

September 12th, 2012
4:47 pm

they could give him a sausage race costume with the #10 on it

ncscoots

September 12th, 2012
4:47 pm

lower expectations – secret of happiness

Or what passes for happiness, I guess. Me, I always like to look around for the Blue Label before I settle for something else in my glass.

nolie

September 12th, 2012
4:49 pm

some guys go home with the prom queen, some with the class punch…

MFin04

September 12th, 2012
4:49 pm

Brewers and Phillies are making a push? Yep those 3% to 4% chance of making the playoffs are really exciting for them, let me tell you.

I’ll take my 99.1% chance of making the playoffs and take it to the bank, invest it in a CD at 1% for the next 10 years and ROLL in the dough!

MFin04

September 12th, 2012
4:50 pm

“some guys go home with the prom queen, some with the class punch…”

No, no

Losers always whine about their best, Winners (go home with) the prom queen.

Carla WAS the prom queen!

ncscoots

September 12th, 2012
4:50 pm

…and some guys are afraid to go to the dance, period. :-)

nolie

September 12th, 2012
4:51 pm

they are both prolly glad they scored…..

nolie

September 12th, 2012
4:53 pm

gotta try to be a bit more original than just quoting mf

raleighbravefan

September 12th, 2012
4:55 pm

Time to go. Happy trails, frineds. Go Braves!

Bat Masterson

September 12th, 2012
4:55 pm

Has anybody actually communicated with Mixxo to know for sure he was banned? _ nolie

Not likely to get an answer to that type of question. Now if you asked “did you hear so and so got Mixxo banned, that SOB”, you would get plenty of replies saying “hell yeah”.

If I remember correctly someone said something along the lines of ‘if you hate it so much why don’t you leave, Mixxo’. And he replied with something like ‘don’t worry chief, I’ll be gone for good soon.’

Maybe he committed blog suicide. Maybe he just split. Maybe something else, who knows.

Heisenberg

September 12th, 2012
4:56 pm

Just gotta tip your cap to those Brewer pitchers. Right? But I gotta say this, they must turn on the extra high powered wind machines to blow a few of the balls Braves have hit back into the park. Seems like a half dozen or so have died on the warning track. But then the turbines get reversed when the home team bats.

Rick

September 12th, 2012
4:57 pm

Is there some STUPID frigging reason Fat Fredi is starting no hitting Janish over Simmons tonight? Does this guy just not frigging get it!?

Heisenberg

September 12th, 2012
4:58 pm

“Maybe he committed blog suicide”

blog-o-cide?

MFin04

September 12th, 2012
5:01 pm

“But then the turbines get reversed when the home team bats.”

No joke. Wouldn’t be surprised, they are the same team that juiced up Braun right? Or was it the FedEx guy? Wait I forget?

nolie

September 12th, 2012
5:01 pm

thats about what I remember too Bat

ATLcracker

September 12th, 2012
5:02 pm

Come to think of it Simmons made two throws last night that were not his usual quality. Could be something wrong with his hand/arm. Did anyone see him throwing in those minor league games?

steve

September 12th, 2012
5:02 pm

Braves are not hitting so Fredi starts a sub .200 hitter at short? Anyone else see a problem?

Braveone

September 12th, 2012
5:03 pm

From the previous blog which had 1,056 comments, TheOnlyBravesFan led the way with 71 posts. There were 155 different poster names. Here are the Top 25:

Rank Poster Frequency

1 TheOnlyBravesFan 71
2 Disgusted 38
3 cabravesfan 36
4 Mark 35
5 MFin04 33
6 ChattTownBrian 32
7 Efrim 32
8 Venice Jim 31
9 ncscoots 26
10 Brava 22
11 phil 22
12 FIRE FREDI GONZALEZ 21
13 brian 21
14 nolie 21
15 Capt.Mudd 20
16 Tomahawkin 20
17 tiger297 20
18 Hugo Z Hackenbush 19
19 TennesseePaul 19
20 ncbravesfan90 18
21 Heath 17
22 VaBravesFan 16
23 sometimesiwonder 14
24 ACE 13
25 Lew 13

nolie

September 12th, 2012
5:03 pm

FCS people get a grip, I’m sure there is a reason

Heisenberg

September 12th, 2012
5:03 pm

One of those throws was because of a poor feed from Uggla that would have ended the inning. But then that would have only made the final score 2-0.

Bat Masterson

September 12th, 2012
5:04 pm

Blog-o-cide? Works for me. PL committed it but he came back from the dead over and over. He’s still hovering around.

nolie

September 12th, 2012
5:06 pm

death by (blog) cop

Bat Masterson

September 12th, 2012
5:07 pm

thats about what I remember too Bat

nolie_

Good enough for me then. Though not as interesting as some meanie getting poor, innocent, misunderstood Mixxo banned.

Bat Masterson

September 12th, 2012
5:13 pm

In the meantime I’m getting pretty much fed up with not scoring some runs.

nolie

September 12th, 2012
5:13 pm

me too, i lie them 8-1 braves wins

steve

September 12th, 2012
5:14 pm

Janish is playing, so we will score!

cricket

September 12th, 2012
5:17 pm

Janish is playing, so we will score!

but Biff is not playing, so we can’t win :(

Bat Masterson

September 12th, 2012
5:17 pm

Janish? I thought Biff was the run midas

Venice Jim

September 12th, 2012
5:19 pm

robneyer ‏@robneyer
“Never apologize. It’s a sign of weakness.” – Capt. Nathan Brittles

Heisenberg

September 12th, 2012
5:19 pm

Simmons sitting does seem odd. Not like he needs a rest. He only drove in the lone run scored in last 2 games and had half the team hits last night. Guess maybe the rest of the guys had relaxed thinking Simmons is back and he will carry us the rest of the way.

nolie

September 12th, 2012
5:21 pm

he is probably real sore. even Fredi is not dumb enough to sit him for no reason with Simmons just back

Bat Masterson

September 12th, 2012
5:22 pm

He only drove in the lone run scored in last 2 games and had half the team hits last night.

Well there you go. Sitting will teach him a lesson about hotdogging

cricket

September 12th, 2012
5:22 pm

Janish? I thought Biff was the run midas

Biff affects only the stat that matters without worrying about peripherals – wins

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 12th, 2012
5:23 pm

People are still concerned with Mixxo’s disappearance? I say good riddance!

By the way, as a team the Braves hit .252/.333/.353/.686 against Gallardo in 139 ABs (and have drawn 18 walks). Struck out 37 times against this guy. Bourn has hit this guy hard, going 11-27, with 5 RBI, 2 BB and 10Ks against him. (.407/.448/.444/.893

Uggla is 4-15 with 1 BB and 2Ks

Chipper is 3-11 with 3 BB and 3Ks

Janish is 5-8 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI for the person who asked why he’s starting

We will win tonight, hope the bats do lots of damage. Later folks, Peace.

Bat Masterson

September 12th, 2012
5:23 pm

cricket_

Good point.

buzzer

September 12th, 2012
5:24 pm

Is MIxxo the same as the free mike vick dude(dudette)?

cricket

September 12th, 2012
5:24 pm

Janish is 5-8 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI for the person who asked why he’s starting

why is Janish starting?

Brava

September 12th, 2012
5:26 pm

Matthew Diaz ‏@diazfoundation
remember that time the offense was struggling in Milwaukee and then Martin Prado hit a bomb and the offense got hot for a month? I do!!

Let’s hope lightning strikes twice.

Bat Masterson

September 12th, 2012
5:26 pm

Janish is 5-8 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI for the person who asked why he’s starting

He’s over do for an O’fer then

MFin04

September 12th, 2012
5:27 pm

This offense was hot…when Uggla and McCann got on base 9 times in a game, since then all downhill.

Brava

September 12th, 2012
5:28 pm

Amanda Comak ‏@acomak
Davey said he told Strasburg to “keep taking BP. If I can’t use your arm, I might need your bat.” Not sure if he was joking, but we’ll see.

cricket

September 12th, 2012
5:28 pm

Let’s hope lightning strikes twice.

i’m afraid that retractable roof will block that lightning..

buzzer

September 12th, 2012
5:29 pm

That Prado homer happened in like late April or sometime in May. It was Spring and the team was fresh. Not like now when everbody looks comatose in Sept.

Bat Masterson

September 12th, 2012
5:29 pm

The Braves are due for an offensive explosion. I’m calling over 2 tonight.

Heisenberg

September 12th, 2012
5:30 pm

“remember that time the offense was struggling in Milwaukee and then Martin Prado hit a bomb and the offense got hot for a month? I do!!”

That must have been the reason they are using wind turbines to blow Braves dingers back onto the warning track. Supporting evidence for my theory.

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