Archive for the ‘Buzz’ Category

Few tickets left for Braves Wild Card game Friday

It’s uncertain which team the Braves will face — St. Louis or Los Angeles — or what time the game will start, but tickets are going fast for the National League Wild Card game Friday at Turner Field.

Some tickets remained as of Tuesday noon, but most were standing-room only. Braves parking lots are sold out and fans are advised to take MARTA to the game.

The Braves will play either the Cardinals or the  Dodgers on Friday, with the winner advancing to a best-of-five Division Series that would start Sunday. If the Braves advance to the Division Series, Games 1 and 2 would be at Turner Field Sunday and Monday.

The Cardinals can clinch a wild-card spot Tuesday with either a win against Cincinnati or a Dodgers loss against San Francisco.

For available seat locations or to purchase tickets for Wild Card game or tickets and parking for the Division Series, please go to braves.com/postseason.

The starting time for Friday’s game isn’t expected to be announced until the second …

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Braves quotes after Monday’s loss to Pirates

**FREDI GONZALEZ

On missed scoring chances

“We had some opportunities. We had, what, first and second with one out, and Mac rolled into a double play. And bases loaded with two out and Freeman rolled over one. But yeah, it’s hard to win ballgames with two hits and one run. Pauly [Braves starter Paul Maholm] was outstanding. He really was.

“I thought the ball Simmons hit early in the game [to the left-field wall] had a chance. I thought that had more of a chance than the one that Marte hit [home run] to center; I thought maybe that would go off the wall, but it cleared the fence.”

More on Maholm

“Pauly was outstanding. A right-handed dominant lineup, and he gave up what, five hits and two runs? He did a nice job. He deserves a better fate, but we just didn’t get the bats going.”

Encouraged by Maholm’s recent starts?

“He’s been terrific. I feel like you’ve got a real good chance to win every time he goes out there.”

On lack of offense, even during the …

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Minor would start potential NL East tiebreaker

PITTSBURGH – In the unlikely event that the Braves forced a tiebreaker with the Washington Nationals, Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said Mike Minor would start in that single game Thursday in Washington to determine the division champion.

The Braves trailed the first-place Nationals by three games before Monday, meaning Atlanta needed to sweep the Pirates and Washington would have to be swept in its last three games against Philadelphia to create a tie. In that case, the winner of the Thursday game would be the division champion and advance to a best-of-five division series, while the loser would play in the Wild Card game the next day on Friday.

If the Nationals clinch the NL East before the regular season ends, Minor’s next start would likely be in a potential Game 2 of the division series that would start Sunday in Atlanta, provided the Braves won the Wild Card “play-in” game Friday.

Minor (11-10) has a 2.21 ERA and .193 opponents’ average in 15 starts since the …

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Chipper, Braves postgame quotes after Sunday’s win over Mets

CHIPPER JONES

On relief the weekend is over:

“Yeah, I had a lot of friends and family in town. Just a lot of attention that I’m glad is over and we can go to Pittsburgh and finish out the year and get ready for next Friday night back here when the fun is going to start.”

On if postseason tune-up for Medlen given atmosphere:

“Yeah had some electricity in the building tonight and Kris threw a great game again. The offense showed up. Big three-run homer by Rossy. But just a great weekend. Would have liked to have swept and given ourselves a little bit better opportunity to kind of make Washington nervous but have got to give some credit to those guys over there. They played a good game first game of the series. We bounced back nicely and got the last two.”

On Fredi offering chance for ovations:

“Well, I really wanted to finish the game. I told all the fans via twitter at the beginning of the week that I was going to start every game. I obviously didn’t know how …

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Series preview: Braves at Pirates

Series preview: Braves at Pirates

When (TV): 7:05 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, 12:35 p.m. Wednesday (SPSO)

Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5

Probable starting pitchers:

Monday: Braves LH Paul Maholm (13-10, 3.71 ERA) vs. LH Jeff Locke (0-3, 6.35)

Tuesday: Braves RH Tommy Hanson (13-9, 4.38) vs. RH Kevin Correia (11-11, 4.33)

Wednesday: Braves RH Tim Hudson (16-7, 3.62) vs. RH A.J. Burnett (16-9, 3.43)

About the Braves:

Batting: Martin Prado had a .324 average with 24 extra-base hits (five home runs) and an .873 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in his past 46 games before Sunday…. Jason Heyward is 20-for-60 (.333) with six extra-base hits, eight RBIs and a .946 OPS in 15 career games against the Pirates, including 10-for-21 (.476) with a homer in six games at Pittsburgh.

Pitching: Maholm is a longtime former Pirates pitcher with a 41-39 record and 3.70 ERA in 113 starts at PNC Park. The lefty is 4-4 with a 3.65 ERA in 10 starts for the Braves since being traded from the Cubs. With Chicago he …

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Prado racking up multi-hit games

When Martin Prado went 2-for-4 with two doubles on Saturday night, he reached 60 multi-hit games for the season. That extended his National League-leading total lead in that category and made him the first Brave to reach that mark since Terry Pendleton in 1992.

Prado is only the 10th player in franchise history to have 60 multi-hit games in a season.

Prado was also leading the majors with 93 two-strike hits, a category he led handily. Joe Mauer of the Twins was next-highest with 79, followed by Rangers shortstop and former Braves farmhand Elvis Andrus with 78.

Prado doesn’t place a lot of importance on numbers like that, saying about two strikes: “I’m just probably lucky or they’re just making mistakes. With two strikes, I’m just trying to put the ball in play.”

What’s most important to Prado is being healthy enough to play after missing five weeks last season with a staph infection, and being back to the player who uses all fields and doesn’t try to hit home …

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Braves quotes after Saturday’s shutout of Mets

**FREDI GONZALEZ

On Minor

“Outstanding. That’ll be his last start of the regular season, what a hell of a way to go. He gets to go above .500, 11-10, I don’t know more important. He had to be four, five games under. Terrific performance. I just wish we could score him some runs, so he would have a little breathing room instead of staring David Wright and Duda right down the barrel. He was terrific. Durbin and Avilan got us some big outs there in the seventh inning. Jonny did a nice job. We got a little crazy there in the ninth but we had the right guy on the mound to kind of settle him down and get two big punch outs there.”

On Minor’s ERA, low 2’s in second half of season

“Did he break 4.00? [4.12 for the season.] Yeah he’s been terrific. A majority right-handed hitting lineup and he’s pounding them in and he was really good.”

Concerned at all the way the offense is going?

“Well, that’s been for the most part our offense had been kind of in spurts. …

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Chipper/Braves quotes after emotional tribute night

**CHIPPER JONES

On the night:

“I was an emotional wreck all night. It was overwhelming. It was tough to play effectively. I was a little too emotional to be able to go out there and play.”

On trying to prepare himself for what it’d be like:

“There’s no real way to prepare for that. It’s so overwhelming and the support and the love in the ballpark tonight was just something that it’s hard to prepare yourself for… I appreciate everything that was said and done and the innings and the games they’re whittling away and it’s starting to sink in so. I try to play this game on an even-keel but the emotion got the best of me….

On the first ball hit to him to open the game:

“I was talking to Huddy before the game. I said, ‘I’m an emotional wreck.’ I said, ‘Keep the ball away from me the first couple innings until I can settle down.’ The first pitch of the game is hit right to me so we got a good chuckle out of that. I can’t believe I got the throw over. …

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Braves quotes after sweeping Marlins

**FREDI GONZALEZ

On Hanson’s performance

“He did OK. He kept us in the ballgame. He kind of scattered the ball around a little bit command-wise, but he made some pitches when he had to and only gave up two runs. We were able to score some runs for him and shut it down there with our bullpen. So he did OK. That was, what, his 13th win of the year? That’s not too shabby. And Danny had a great night offensively, two hits, three RBIs — a big two RBIs there in the seventh inning for us not to use Kimbrel in the ninth. That was nice.”

On Uggla coming around at the right time after three-month slump

“Earlier this month we talked about if he got hot, he could carry us. That’s what we’re seeing from him right now. And there will be a time where he’s going to come up with a big hit, in the postseason or today he came up with a big hit to add on some runs, and he’s capable of doing that.”

On Braves taking advantage of a mistake

“The left fielder made a mistake a …

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Heyward’s patience rewarded in 20/20 feat

Jason Heyward was stuck on 19 steals for a month, but he wasn’t going to let a personal milestone get in the way of the flow of the game for his team. His patience was rewarded Wednesday night when he saw a good opportunity to run and took it to swipe his 20th base.

Heyward became the first Brave since Andruw Jones in 2000 to steal 20 or more bases in a season while also hitting 20 or more home runs. He’s only the ninth player in franchise history to do it.

Heyward’s 27 home runs came quicker. Heyward attempted only stolen base between his 19th steal on Aug. 26 in San Francisco and his 20th on Wednesday night.

“I feel like I’ve been on base enough it was just not the situation to run,” Heyward said. “I’ve got Chip behind me or Freddie behind me or just a tight game situation where you may not want to attempt to steal a base right there, and I’m fast enough to score from first…

“It’s on my mind. It’s evident that you’re close to an accomplishment …

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