Things different in Chipper’s last trip to City of Brotherly Boooo!

PHILADELPHIA – So we’re here for the next-to-last road series of the regular season and Chipper Jones’ last trip to the City of Brotherly Booooo! And, man, we sure thought six or seven months ago that this would be a bigger series than it turns out to be.

Chipper Jones has 49 career homers against the Phillies, including a pair of walk-off homers against them this season. This weekend marks his last series in Philly.

Chipper Jones has 49 career homers against the Phillies, including a pair of walk-off homers against them this season. This weekend marks his last series in Philly.

I say six or seven months ago, because seven months ago spring training had begun, but no Grapefruit League games had been played. And so I took the approach that until someone proved otherwise, Philly would find a way and was still the team to beat in the NL East, just as the Braves had been for more than a decade.

But six months ago it was mid/late March and we already had plenty of warning signs that this Philly team might struggle until it got healthy and that its run of five consecutive NL East titles would be put to the test.

Sure enough, the Phillies went 41-54 through July 21, not the thing to do in a year when the Nationals and Braves would have two of the sport’s best five records at midseason.

The Phillies eventually started to get healthy, and after going 13 games under through July 21, they are 35-20 since then. The Braves are 34-22 in that same period. But the Braves went 52-42 though July 21, hence their 10-game lead over Philadelphia entering tonight’s series opener at Citizen Bank Park, and the Phillies’ situation of almost needing to run the table in their remaining 12 games to have any real hope of getting the second wild-card spot.

They trail St. Louis by four games for the second wild-card slot with a dozen games to go, and making that playoff berth all the more unlikely is the fact that Milwaukee and the L.A. Dodgers also stand between the Phillies and Cardinals. And while they can and probably will pass the Dodgers, reeling in the Brewers is another matter.

They are 1-1/2 games behind Milwaukee, and the Brewers are blazing hot.

Given your druthers, you do NOT want to face the Brewers in a first-round playoff series or wild-card game. They are 19-5 with a .302 batting average, 38 homers, 150 runs and a 3.39 ERA in their past 24 games, including 8-1 with a 2.44 ERA in their past nine games.

The Phillies? Also sizzling now. They are 15-5 with a 2.80 ERA and 106 runs in their past 20 games, including 7-0 with a 2.29 ERA in seven home games in that stretch. Which isn’t what the Braves had hoped for as they came to town with already extremely slim chances of making up 5-1/2 games on the Nationals, even if the Nationals go into coast mode (which they show no signs of doing).

Anyway, in regard to the Phillies, if not for their inexplicable 1-3 series at Houston last week, they’d probably have a good shot at the second wild-card spot. Now they face the Braves and Nationals back-to-back, albeit at home.

The Braves are 10-5 against Phillies this season and 5-1 at Citizens Bank Park. What a change from recent years, huh? The Braves are 9-3 with a 3.33 ERA and 61 runs in their past 12 games against the Phillies.

But again, keep in mind the Phillies have played like a different team the past few weeks, and haven’t lost at home in September.

By the way, my man Bob Brookover noted in the Philadelphia Enquirer today that Charlie Manuel’s teams have been a better second-half team in all but one of his eight seasons as Phillies manager, and this team is the sixth of those teams to play above .600 in the second half. These Phillies are 39-24 (.619) since the break.

• Cy Young case for Kimbrel: ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark makes a strong case for Craig Kimbrel as Cy Young Award winner in this article, which has a thorough examination of all the candidates for the award.

After watching Kimbrel slice-and-dice and otherwise devour hitters for the past two seasons, I couldn’t agree more. In the absence of a clear-cut, overwhelming season from an NL starting pitcher this year, Kimbrel should get the Cy. I still don’t think he will, but he should.

Stark did extensive research and found that, among pitchers (starters or relievers) who worked 50 or more innings in a season, Kimbrel’s current season stats would rank as the best strikeout ratio EVER at 16.5 per ninnnings, his .128 opponents’ batting average would be the best since 1900, and his .368 opponents’ OPS would be the lowest of the expansion era.

Braves closer Craig Kimbrel has been the NL's best pitcher this season, and ESPN.com's Jayson Stark makes a strong case for him to win the Cy Young Award.

Braves closer Craig Kimbrel has been the NL's best pitcher this season, and ESPN.com's Jayson Stark makes a strong case for him to win the Cy Young Award.

Oh, a few more: his 0.68 WHIP would also be the best by an NL reliever since 1900, and his 49.5 percent of hitters struck out would rank first in the live-ball era. His 105 strikeouts to 25 hits? That 4.2-to-1 ratio would be the best of all time. Repeat, best of all time.

If any reliever is worthy of the Cy Young Award, it’s Kimbrel in this particular season.

By the way, after Kimbrel failed to strike out a batter Wednesday while recording his NL-leading 38th save to finish off a 3-0 shutout for the Braves and the absurdly hot Kris Medlen against Miami, I went back to see when was the last time Kimbrel had an appearance without a strikeout. It was July 18 at San Francisco.

That’s two months without a strikeout-less outing for Kimbrel, who before that last had such an outing May 18. Two months again.

Between that May 18 game and Wednesday’s outing, Kimbrel pitched 41-1/3 innings in 41 appearances and piled up 82 strikeouts with four walks. That’s not a typo. Eighty-two strikeouts with four walks. He had a .101 opponents’ average in those 41 appearances.

•Tonight’s matchup: It’s Tommy Hanson (12-8, 4.33) against Phillies righty Kyle Kendrick (9-11, 3.95). It and the rest of the pitching matchups for the series are in this preview.

Hanson is 0-3 with a 4.50 ERA and .281 opponents’ average in his past six starts, and the Braves scored two or fewer runs while he was in all six of them, including one or no runs in four.

He’s 2-0 with a 2.48 ERA in his past seven starts against the Phils, and 1-0 with a 5.91 ERA in two this season. After allowing four runs in 3-2/3 innings for no decision May 5 in Philly, he gave up three runs in seven innings and won July 7 in Atlanta.

Ryan Howard is 2-for-15 with a homer and eight strikeouts against Hanson, the only Phillie with a homer against him.

Kendrick is 5-3 with a 3.13 ERA in nine starts since moving back from the bullpen, including 5-2 with a 2.09 ERA and .199 opponents’ average in his past seven. He has 37 strikeouts and only seven walks in 47-1/3 innings in the latter period.

Against the Braves, Kendrick is 6-1 with a 2.87 ERA in 18 games (12 starts), including two dramatically different ones this season. He threw seven scoreless innings of four-hit ball against them July 6, but gave up six runs and seven hits in 3-1/3 innings on Aug. 8. He got no decision in either game, both won by the Braves.

Against Kendrick, slumping Michael Bourn is 7-for-14 with two homers; Martin Prado is 8-for-17 with a homer, and Chipper Jones is 8-for-26 with two homers

BRAVES LINEUP

  1. Bourn CF
  2. Prado SS
  3. Heyward RF
  4. Chipper 2B
  5. Freeman 1B
  6. Uggla 2B
  7. McCann C
  8. Constanza LF
  9. Hanson P

• Etc.

The Braves still dead last in majors in average with RISP at .231, behind Astros (.235), Marlins (.235), Cubs (.235) and Padres (.233).

They’re also last in the majors in pinch-hitting average at .162 and next-to-last in pinch-hit OPS (.493). By comparison, the Nationals lead the majors in pinch-hit average (.306) and pinch-hit OPS (.847). Nats pinch-hitters are 57-for-186 with 19 extra-base hits, while Braves pinch-hitters are 33-for-204 with nine extra-base hits….

Ryan Howard has two homers, 13 RBIs and a .500 slugging percentage in his past seven games, including a grand slam in Thursday’s 16-1 destruction of the Mets. Only Miguel Cabrera (14) has more RBIs in the past 10 days than Howard (13).

Howard is third in the NL with 19 RBIs this month. In his past five games against the Braves, he went 7-for-19 (.368) with three homers, 10 RBIs and a 1.373 OPS….

Don’t look now but the Cardinals, after dropping eight of 10 games, are 4-0 with a 1.62 ERA in their past four, and have Chris Carpenter about to return from the DL.

* Let’s close this with one of the half-dozen or so sublime songs that Jimi Hendrix did with The Isley Brothers. Man, this stuff is good. Hear it by clicking here.

hendrix-06

“MOVE OVER AND LET ME DANCE” by The Isley Brothers (with Jimi Hendrix)

I know you like to dance,
Oh, but uh, give somebody else a chance.
I like to express myself,
Get back you're ruinin' my hair, uh.

Oh, move over,
Let me dance.
I need some room, so I can
Really, really work out now.

Oh, but uh, if you don't move over,
Then I can't dance.
I wanna show ya,
Show ya what it's all about, now.

Oh, but you gotta get back, uh,
You're on the wrong track, uh,
You gotta learn how to relax, uh,
Oh, get off of my back.

Move over,
Oh, let me dance.
I wanna really,
I mean really, turn you on.

Get it now!

Oh, if it's all the same to you, uh,
Do what the other folks do.
Oh, don't be so, uh,
Nasty.

Just move over,
Oh, let me dance, uh.
Don't get me wrong, uh,
I don't, uh, mean you no harm, ah.

Look like you still refuse,
You got a nasty attitude.
But I pay my dues just like you, uh,
I wanna do my thing too.

So move over,
Why can't you dance someplace else?
You're steppin' on my shoes, uh,
Oh, you're spoilin' everything.

Move over,
Move over.

--David O'Brien, Braves/MIB blog

995 comments Add your comment

TennesseePaul

September 21st, 2012
2:48 pm

Thanks for the work DOB.

GO BRAVES!!!

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 21st, 2012
2:50 pm

Thanks DOB!

Andrew Baggarly ‏@CSNBaggs
BREAKING AND EXCLUSIVE: Melky Cabrera ruled ineligible to win NL batting title. Our story: http://www.csnbayarea.com/baseball-san-francisco-giants/giants-talk/EXCLUSIVE-Melky-Cabrera-ruled-ineligible

Finally.

Brian from SC

September 21st, 2012
2:50 pm

Stark did extensive research and found that, among pitchers (starters or relievers) who worked 50 or more innings in a season, Kimbrel’s current season stats would rank as the best strikeout ratio EVER at 16.5 per ninnnings, his .128 opponents’ batting average would be the best since 1900, and his .368 opponents’ OPS would be the lowest of the expansion era.

Braves closer Craig Kimbrel has been the NL’s best pitcher this season, and ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark makes a strong case for him to win the Cy Young Award.

Oh, a few more: his 0.68 WHIP would also be the best by an NL reliever since 1900, and his 49.5 percent of hitters struck out would rank first in the live-ball era. His 105 strikeouts to 25 hits? That 4.2-to-1 ratio would be the best of all time. Repeat, best of all time.

I pretty much posted this exact same thing a little over a week ago, I think. I didn’t know Stark was one of my followers!

Bat Masterson

September 21st, 2012
2:51 pm

CB_

A little less talent, huh. Okay

Sounds like fun.
:lol:

MFin04

September 21st, 2012
2:51 pm

Not good when Jimmy Rollins has as many RBIs as Ryan Howard and Chase Utley combined!

MFin04

September 21st, 2012
2:52 pm

Melky can’t win batting title but Braun can win the MVP? What a joke.

cricket

September 21st, 2012
2:53 pm

i completely disagree with this from smoltz. that one game is elimination game and i would leave everything on field to win it. there is no WS to be won if they lose this game. all others are multi-game series with better chances to win and make adjustments.

I wouldn’t start Medlen or Hudson in that one-game playoff. I will tell you why. So what if they win that first game? So what? My theory is the Braves’ best chance to win the World Series is to line up their rotation in the (Division Series) with Medlen and Hudson or Hudson and Medlen.

Brian from SC

September 21st, 2012
2:54 pm

It is a little arbitrary of MLB to make Melky ineligible. Unless they put in a rule that says no players under suspension are eligible for statistical titles.

Brian from SC

September 21st, 2012
2:56 pm

Found it! It was actually just Tuesday when I posted it:

Brian from SC
September 18th, 2012
11:22 am

For players with at least 50 innings pitched in a season, Craig Kimbrel for the 2012 season has:

The highest strikeout rate (16.78/9 IP) of ALL TIME
The fourth-lowest WHIP (0.675) of all time
The second-lowest opponents’ slugging percentage (.177) of all time
The third-lowest opponents OBP (.184) of all time
The lowest opponents OPS (.374) of ALL TIME

CB

September 21st, 2012
2:56 pm

Bat,just a little bit, I was pretty good in younger days. 190-195 average in league play, this was before they have made bowling like everybody is on steroids. :-)

phil

September 21st, 2012
2:58 pm

Kimbrel.

Wow. Historic stuff.

Now, can he get em out if needed when we face elimination?

Murph

September 21st, 2012
2:58 pm

They’re also last in the majors in pinch-hitting average at .162

Adios Hinske.

Antwan Mitchell

September 21st, 2012
2:59 pm

Bat Masterson…..The Braves will have plenty of money to sign both Josh Hamilton and Cody Ross. Chipper’s $14 mil is coming off the books, Derek Lowe’s $10 mil (the Indians are paying $5 mil of Lowe’s $15 mil salary), Jair Jurrjens’ $5.5 mil coming off (he will surely be non-tendered).

That’s $34.5 mil in salary coming off the books. I’d rather pay Hamilton and Ross that kind of money….than the trio of Chipper, Lowe and Jurrjens.

That’s where the money is coming from. Hamilton and Ross would add some serious power to our line-up.

phil

September 21st, 2012
3:00 pm

Smoltz is dead wrong….

It is what it is. Win the divison, it wouldn’t be an issue.

We didn’t. It still isn’t an issue because we have to win to advance.

Then again, FG often displays marbles for his brains…..

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 21st, 2012
3:00 pm

Okay, so the excerpts from the article aren’t posting, but basically, Melky asked to be removed (refusing the extra ABs) in an effort to rehab his public image. He says that he has “no wish to win an award that would be tainted,” and that he “believes it would be far better for someone more deserving to win.”

MFin04

September 21st, 2012
3:00 pm

“that one game is elimination game and i would leave everything on field to win it.”

That doesn’t mean you have to use your best pitcher though. You ultimate goal is to win the World Series, if you have a better chance of winning the World Series by sitting Medlen in the play-in game then you do it. You could make it a bullpen game and really screw up the other team by going lefty/righty starter/reliever throughout the game.

phil

September 21st, 2012
3:01 pm

Brian from SC = DOB

Brian from SC

September 21st, 2012
3:03 pm

Still seems weird that a player would be able to “ask out” of a statistical crown. I mean, he can decline if they want to give him a trophy or something, but according to the rules in place, he is the batting champion.

MFin04

September 21st, 2012
3:03 pm

“Adios Hinske.”

Sad but true. Happened with Greg Norton and Brooks Conrad. Those guys all had some great at bats, but eventually the magic seems to run out.

Brian from SC

September 21st, 2012
3:04 pm

OK, I see that they did do a one-time amendment to the rules to make him ineligible. I would hope they would keep that amendment in place for the future.

DAP

September 21st, 2012
3:04 pm

cricket i completely disagree with this from smoltz. that one game is elimination game and i would leave everything on field to win it

yeah, and if you think about it enough, the argument doesnt even make any sense. if the goal is to win the world series, why would you go to your 2nd or 3rd best option in any elimination game? if mike minor is good enough to get us through the playoff game (which you must assume smoltz thinks he is, based on this idea) why isnt he good enough to get us through game 2 of the NLDS, where much less is on the line?

MFin04

September 21st, 2012
3:04 pm

“I mean, he can decline if they want to give him a trophy or something, but according to the rules in place, he is the batting champion.”

Completely agree. Maybe the Braves can ask out of the 1-game play-in game.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 21st, 2012
3:05 pm

JIM BOWDEN ‏@JimBowdenESPNxm
Melky Cabrera ruled ineligible for batting title in unprecedented onetime amendment to Rule 10.22a;why just one time? why not going forward?

Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal
Melky Cabrera ineligible for NL batting title. Agreement reached after he asked to be removed from consideration. First reported, @CSNBaggs.

Tomahawkin

September 21st, 2012
3:05 pm

Ha Ha Melk Dud!

Trader Jack

September 21st, 2012
3:06 pm

Antwan

Check the Braves salaries for 2013, including guarantees, arb eligible, etc. Trust me the money is not there

Tomahawkin

September 21st, 2012
3:06 pm

MFin04

“Melky can’t win batting title but Braun can win the MVP? What a joke.”

Co-Sign, Ditto For Bonds and Clemens winning awards, they should be stripped

Brian from SC

September 21st, 2012
3:07 pm

I love it when people think the money available to spend in the off-season is equal to the salaries of the players who are leaving the team.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 21st, 2012
3:08 pm

_____ ‏@_______
@me @mlbbowman if basing off hot hand like should come playoff time Minor is sure Gm1 guy…10QS since break, Huddy 6

Interesting. Huddy has struggled, but you almost have to go with the vet in game 1, right?

kenhotlanta

September 21st, 2012
3:08 pm

Trouble with the Curve is getting very good reviews. And it’s dedicated to a couple of guys named nolie and ncscoots. Who knew?
At least it wasn’t dedicated to Don and Robert.

phil

September 21st, 2012
3:09 pm

When game one of the playoffs is an elimination game….

It’s probably a good idea to do what must be logically be done to win that game.

Otherwise, there won’t be a next game.

MFin04

September 21st, 2012
3:09 pm

Maybe they should amend the MVP trophy so Braun can’t win it this year due to steroids and he loses last years due to steroids.

Venice Jim

September 21st, 2012
3:10 pm

Jason Sobel ‏@JasonSobelGC
Jim Furyk posts a front-nine 29. Here in the ATL, they call that a Smoltzy.

ncscoots

September 21st, 2012
3:12 pm

And it’s dedicated to a couple of guys named nolie and ncscoots. Who knew?

I was only looking for credit for the “pole dancer” line.

phil

September 21st, 2012
3:14 pm

Jim Furyuck has gagged away two tourneys this year that he basically had won.

He pulled a Kimbrel in each….

Of course, had it been me, I would’ve too!

cabravesfan

September 21st, 2012
3:15 pm

Bat Masterson

September 21st, 2012
3:15 pm

CB_

Yep, that is, or was, a good average. I was about the same except for one good year when I carried a 205 average. I was in a scratch league that year and was low man on the team. Some of those guys were other worldly. Knock off perfect games and just shrug. Bunch a punks…..

Frankie

September 21st, 2012
3:15 pm

Holy cow, touting the guy earlier but my boy Smoltzie is off his John Rocker. Got to start Medlen and idea of saving Medlen and Hudson for games 1 and 2 is flat out insane.

Guy on radio here had a good point though. Minor starting game 2 a lot easier to comprehend here at home where his splits are better than on the road. God forbid if Minor ever had to make a start in Cincy’s ball park in the playoffs.

cabravesfan

September 21st, 2012
3:15 pm

Bat Masterson

September 21st, 2012
3:19 pm

That’s $34.5 mil in salary coming off the books. I’d rather pay Hamilton and Ross that kind of money….than the trio of Chipper, Lowe and Jurrjens.

Antwan_

You would be better served looking at what is on the books, or most likely will be, than what is coming off. It might give you a better idea what they will have to spend. That said, who knows what the budget will be.

SNEAKY PETE

September 21st, 2012
3:19 pm

.The Braves will have plenty of money to sign both Josh Hamilton and Cody Ross @antwon

you are out of your mind

Murph

September 21st, 2012
3:20 pm

phil, absolutely right. If the Braves lose the WC game, they are going home. If they lose game 1 of the division series, they still live to play another day.

There isn’t a better pitcher in baseball right now than Medlen. How this is even up for debate is beyond me.

Medlen gives the team the best chance of winning… and winning the WC game is everything at this point. It’s the entire season, right there, on the line. One game. Worry about the next round if you get to that point.

Look at it this way:

WC Game: Medlen

Division Series 1: Hudson
Division Series 2: Minor
Division Series 3: Medlen
Division Series 4: Hudson
Division Series 5: Minor

Sets Medlen up to pitch game 1 of the NLCS.

phil

September 21st, 2012
3:21 pm

I cracked 200 once bowling….

I think it was because I smoked at the time.

Not So Simple

September 21st, 2012
3:22 pm

As for awards, there are some probs. Braun has never been cleared but MLB dropped it because of the chain of custody question. MLB couldn’t prove it so that seemed to set the criteria. What about Clemens? Never proven by MLB and won his court case. What about Bonds? His case was obstruction of justice based on one count of lying to the Grand Jury.

Melky has been caught doping in the year he is performing. It’s a no brainer. It was proven. He failed a drug test and didn’t deny it. He shouldn’t be considered. Braun, Clemens and even Bonds haven’t been proven guilty of doping at any level, based on their outcomes with MLB and legal system.

Do I think they doped? Heck yeah. Does the court of public opinion think they doped? Yes as well. Even though that’s how it is, until there is “hold up in court” proof and not hearsay…. no matter how much hearsay…that these players doped….. their statistics and awards are gonna stand.

I hold their achievements in contempt, but I also hold in contempt the opinions of those who want to change the record books because “everyone knows they were guilty.”

phil

September 21st, 2012
3:23 pm

Quick. Cab made a mistake.

Someone hurriedly upbraid her for it! ;-)

Thanks for the link…

SNEAKY PETE

September 21st, 2012
3:23 pm

MF, when did they decide Melky can’t win it? A few days ago they said they would not intercede

ncscoots

September 21st, 2012
3:23 pm

You have Hudson and Minor both going on three days rest in the NLDS, Murph. I really doubt the Braves will do that. Maholm or Hanson in game 4 and Hudson in game 5.

Efrim

September 21st, 2012
3:24 pm

I’ve changed my mind. It’s now getting Hanson out the rotation (likely meaning off this team)…TOBF

you just denied being a Hanson hater and the next thing out of your keyboard is this? you have been going on and on about Hanson for a while now, – nolie

Him and MFin. Very strange. Perhaps the same.

Juan

September 21st, 2012
3:25 pm

Look at it this way:

WC Game: Medlen

Division Series 1: Hudson
Division Series 2: Minor
Division Series 3: Medlen
Division Series 4: Hudson
Division Series 5: Minor

Sets Medlen up to pitch game 1 of the NLCS

Agree 100%…Smoltzy was smoking something when he make that statement.
In 6 games agains the Card Hanson is 1-1, the other winner was Beachy,Hernandez, Hudson.
You have to cross the river first before anything…

Frankie

September 21st, 2012
3:25 pm

I like to see Dempster get the ball for Game 2 myself.

Oh wait, he bailed on us.

Brian from SC

September 21st, 2012
3:25 pm

I agree with Scoots. The Braves will use 4 starters in the NLDS, if necessary.

Efrim

September 21st, 2012
3:27 pm

I love Smoltz, but I’ll probably just go with best pitcher available there given that it’s an elimination game and it’s probably Medlen…..

Or Hudson. :)

Venice Jim

September 21st, 2012
3:27 pm

phil – if only I had any braids around here I’d take care of the upbraiding… ;)

Murph

September 21st, 2012
3:28 pm

Maholm or Hanson in game 4 and Hudson in game 5.

Let’s hope the Braves don’t go into game 4 trailing in the series then, ’cause that’ll be all she wrote.

SNEAKY PETE

September 21st, 2012
3:29 pm

I think Smoltz makes a good point, I can see both sides. If I did start Medlen I would not take my next two best pitchers along

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 21st, 2012
3:29 pm

Efrim: That’s not even mine… was from a friend, and in a totally different tab. I even posted below that I don’t know how that got there.

Brian from SC

September 21st, 2012
3:30 pm

I’d rather try Maholm and Hudson on full rest than Hudson and Minor on short rest in Games 4 and 5.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 21st, 2012
3:30 pm

Minor’s outperformed Hudson…. just sayin’

ncscoots

September 21st, 2012
3:31 pm

Let’s hope the Braves don’t go into game 4 trailing in the series then, ’cause that’ll be all she wrote.

Always with the negative waves, Moriarity.

Better hope you’re wrong, because I doubt the Braves will win the WS without at least one 4th-starter win along the way.

Brian from SC

September 21st, 2012
3:33 pm

Prado at SS again tonight…hurry back Andrelton.

Frankie

September 21st, 2012
3:33 pm

“Minor’s outperformed Hudson…. just sayin’”

Experience goes to Huddy on this one. Not so in the play in.

Huddy still can make a huge impact going forward. Just not the 5th of October.

Efrim

September 21st, 2012
3:33 pm

I have a hard time talking about the NLDS when our participation is based on a coin flip…….

Brian from SC

September 21st, 2012
3:34 pm

I have a hard time talking about the NLDS when our participation is based on a coin flip…….

Yah. October 5th will be a stressful day.

MFin04

September 21st, 2012
3:34 pm

No way Hanson pitches in a playoff game this year. Just isn’t one of the best 4 pitchers on this team.

Frankie

September 21st, 2012
3:34 pm

Relax Efrim,

Winning that game at home.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 21st, 2012
3:34 pm

Atlanta Braves ‏@Braves
Tonight’s lineup at PHI (7:05, PTV/680AM/BRN): Bourn 8 Prado 6 Heyward 9 Jones 5 Freeman 3 Uggla 4 McCann 2 Constanza 7 Hanson 1

ncscoots

September 21st, 2012
3:34 pm

I’d rather try Maholm and Hudson on full rest than Hudson and Minor on short rest in Games 4 and 5.

Shoot, yeah. With two more playoff series ahead? Absolutely.

Could get really lucky in the NLDS, if they are the wildcard, with two at home and then Medlen first on the road. Might go blitzkrieg before the opponent can get their heads up.

Efrim

September 21st, 2012
3:35 pm

Atlanta Braves ‏@Braves
Tonight’s lineup at PHI (7:05, PTV/680AM/BRN): Bourn 8 Prado 6 Heyward 9 Jones 5 Freeman 3 Uggla 4 McCann 2 Constanza 7 Hanson 1

Good lord. Please come back soon, Simmons.

Brian from SC

September 21st, 2012
3:35 pm

The worst part is, IF the Braves lose that game, there will sure enough be people all over this thing talking about it being a choke job. One game! Against a very quality opponent!

Frankie

September 21st, 2012
3:36 pm

Talk of Hanson like he is Jo Jo Reyes. I don’t have a problem with him if there is a game 4. Just get 5 innings from the guy.

SNEAKY PETE

September 21st, 2012
3:36 pm

Prado at SS again tonight…hurry back Andrelton @Brian

what about that amazing play that Prado made the other night, far into the hole and a great jump and throw

ncgary

September 21st, 2012
3:36 pm

i feel good doo doo dun
so good

lol

tony austin

September 21st, 2012
3:36 pm

You can’t bowl a 300 game without a strike in the first frame.

You can’t get to the Division Series by losing the WC game. That game is the most important game of the playoffs at the current time. Don’t try to set up the DS rotation before you get there.

Felix

September 21st, 2012
3:36 pm

I never bought into Braun being clean. Letting him off and blaming the guy who collected the sample was B.S. ‘O.J. Simpson Case’ stuff.
I knew that Melky had to be doping. Bochy had to know it too. But of course the Giants have a long history of turning their head and pretending they don’t see dopers on their team (aka Barry Bonds).

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 21st, 2012
3:36 pm

No way Hanson pitches in a playoff game this year. Just isn’t one of the best 4 pitchers on this team.

^^^ Hasn’t needed to be, so that’s fine. Just don’t let him start in the playoffs.

“Minor’s outperformed Hudson…. just sayin’”

Experience goes to Huddy on this one. Not so in the play in.

Well Efrim said that he’d go with our best pitcher for the play-in, so it’s Huddy or Medlen. Minor has outperformed Huddy though, surprised he wasn’t included.

Brian from SC

September 21st, 2012
3:36 pm

Good play, Sneaky Pete, but I’m still much more comfortable with Simmons there. Simmons perhaps makes that play flat-footed.

MFin04

September 21st, 2012
3:37 pm

“Yah. October 5th will be a stressful day.”

You guys are Brave haters. We are going to win the division. STOP BEING SO NEGATIVE!

Efrim

September 21st, 2012
3:37 pm

I guess some of the comments made here about the division series rotation, or playoff rotation, are a little premature.

Not like last year, when we had a 10 game lead in early September. Bit different when we have to play an elimination game to even play a playoff series.

ncscoots

September 21st, 2012
3:38 pm

Please come back soon, Simmons.

Yeah, put a wrap on that flippin’ shoulder and haul your butt out there, LOL. One-armed with a pulse, you’re bound to be better than Fredo’s alternative.

Puma

September 21st, 2012
3:38 pm

Ditto to what Not so simple said, and kudos for Melk Man for taking his punishment like a man. Although I am sure if he wasn’t caught he would not be volunteering any information.

Brian from SC

September 21st, 2012
3:38 pm

Sorry, MFin04. Can’t help it. I’m already nervous about October 5th. I might as well not even go to work that day. I will be useless.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 21st, 2012
3:38 pm

Jon Heyman ‏@JonHeymanCBS
i give melky credit for giving up the batting title. we all already knew he didnt deserve it, anyway. #SFGiants

SNEAKY PETE

September 21st, 2012
3:38 pm

yes Brian, Simmons probably makes it look much less dramatic.
I agree I want him back, but I did want to give props to Prado for that play

David O'Brien

September 21st, 2012
3:39 pm

Braves lineup: Bourn 8 Prado 6 Heyward 9 Jones 5 Freeman 3 Uggla 4 McCann 2 Constanza 7 Hanson 1

Efrim

September 21st, 2012
3:39 pm

The worst part is, IF the Braves lose that game, there will sure enough be people all over this thing talking about it being a choke job. One game! Against a very quality opponent!

I think the thing that will stand out to me is the team has nearly averaged 90 wins over the last four seasons and played in exactly one playoff series.

That’s a real, real shame.

phil

September 21st, 2012
3:39 pm

Good point, Efrim….

It’s not as if we’re actually going to win the october 5th game, given that we’ll maybe scratch out 4 hits and that Medlen will finally implode.

But I remain optimistic as ever!

Bat Masterson

September 21st, 2012
3:40 pm

Good read, DO’B. Thanks

(Maybe Ace will let that slide now that he is on probation)

Heisenberg

September 21st, 2012
3:40 pm

Just a little OTB thinking on a slow Friday afternoon. If the Braves cannot raise their RISP average, may I suggest instead they strive to increase the number of times they get a runner at or beyond 2B. If they got runners at 2B 50% more than they do now, they could actually hit for a lower RISP and still score more runs.

Efrim

September 21st, 2012
3:40 pm

Still hoping for 8-4 over the last 12 games. That’d get our four year mark to 360-288 – an average of 90 wins over 4 seasons. Really good last four seasons.

Felix

September 21st, 2012
3:41 pm

Dave: Isleys Brothers with Jimi—awesome!

…………and yes, Kimbrel should win the Cy Young.

ncscoots

September 21st, 2012
3:41 pm

But I remain optimistic as ever!

Ha!

phil

September 21st, 2012
3:41 pm

Ever get the feeling we’re not getting the truth on Simmons?

Frankie

September 21st, 2012
3:42 pm

Got me some tixs for the October 5th game and it’s going to be anything but stressful. Friday night(hopefully) crowd, that place is going to be unbelievable.

My 6 yr old is fired up as much as his papa.

ncgary

September 21st, 2012
3:43 pm

why not use the rox theory use 3 starters for 3 innings each

Felix

September 21st, 2012
3:43 pm

Watch out. Filly trolls are out again and they really stink bad.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 21st, 2012
3:43 pm

keithlaw ‏@keithlaw
The “batting title” is a statistic, not an award. So, basically, Melky Cabrera asked to be exempted from math, and MLB granted it.

That’d get our four year mark to 360-288 – an average of 90 wins over 4 seasons. Really good last four seasons.

And that’d be good work by Frank Wren and Bobby Cox/Fredi Gonzales.

phil

September 21st, 2012
3:44 pm

I don’t much think we’ll be seeing ACE here again, at least not as ACE…..

After that scalding last night, why would he want to come back? Not that he maybe didn’t deserve it.

ncscoots

September 21st, 2012
3:44 pm

That’s a real, real shame.

Geez, it’s not a shame yet, man, LOL.

Puma

September 21st, 2012
3:44 pm

I think Maholm will be the 4th starter in playoffs, he has been iffy lately, but has been good all season. Lets hope he gets more consistency these last few weeks.

I keep imagining our rotation with Beachy still in it, makes me misty

Dum-Bass

September 21st, 2012
3:44 pm

Just the other night, CK stuck out the side with 10 pitches. Anybody know if he has ever done it with 9 pitches? For that matter, wonder if Elias Sports Bureau would have the stat on how many times a pitcher, especially a closer, has struck out the side with just 9 pitches?

Bat Masterson

September 21st, 2012
3:46 pm

It’s beyond me how Maria Bartiromo keeps her job.

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