Posts Tagged ‘Sports/Braves’

Braves still looking for outfield help as trade deadline nears

Fredi Gonzalez heard the news on his way home Friday night. The Phillies had acquired all-star outfielder Hunter Pence, whom the Braves had also pursued heavily.

When the Braves manager arrived home, he sent a text message to pitching coach Roger McDowell.

“Pitch your [butt] off,” Gonzalez wrote.

“They got a pretty good player,” Gonzalez said Saturday, less than 24 hours before Major League Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline. “There is no question about it. They’ve made themselves a pretty good team. That’s a good piece to add in that lineup.”

The Braves players are well aware of what the Phillies, who lead the National League East, have done.

“They’ve made every move you can make in order to try to go for it,” second baseman Dan Uggla said. ” They got Cliff Lee in the offseason, they got Hunter Pence now, they’ve got unbelievable depth if somebody goes down; they’ve been picking each other up all year long. They’re a good team. But we are, too. And there’s a lot …

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Lowe takes mound against Mets Tuesday

Next for Braves

Who: vs. Mets

When: 7:10 p.m. Tuesday

TV; radio: WPCH; 680 AM, 100.5 FM

Probable starting pitchers: Braves RH Derek Lowe (10-9, 4.58 ERA) vs. RH R.A. Dickey (7-4, 2.32 ERA)

Tuesday’s matchup:

- Lowe is 0-2 against the Mets this season with a 3.65 ERA. He allowed 12 hits and five earned runs in 12.1 innings in two starts. He struck out seven and walked five.

- Dickey has posted quality starts in 11 of 14 games this season. In nine road starts, he has a 3-3 record and 2.81 ERA.

- Chris Vivlamore

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Hanson to start against Padres Wednesday

Next for Braves

Who: vs. Padres

When: 7:10 p.m. Wednesday

TV; radio: WPCH; 680 AM, 100.5 FM

Probable starting pitchers: Braves RH Tommy Hanson (8-6, 4.19 ERA) vs. RH Jon Garland (9-6, 3.45 ERA)

Wednesday’s matchup:

- Hanson is fifth in the National League with 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings. Hanson is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his career against the Padres, including a victory earlier this season.

- Garland is 0-3 in his past four starts with a 4.50 ERA. The Padres scored a total of five runs in those four starts. He has not had back-to-back wins since June 6 and 12th.

- Chris Vivlamore

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Lowe to face Brewers in finale

Next for Braves

Who: vs. Brewers

When: 1:35 p.m. Sunday

TV; radio: FSSO; 680 AM, 100.5 FM

Probable starting pitchers: Braves RH Derek Lowe (9-8, 4.35 ERA) vs. LH Manny Parra (3-6, 4.65 ERA)

Sunday’s matchup:

- Lowe has lost his last three starts, posting a 4.00 ERA in those decisions. He will be making his 20th start of the season and the Braves are 10-9 in those games. Lowe is 4-1 lifetime against the Brewers, including a 9-2 victory at Milwaukee in May.

- Parra made 17 of his first 18 appearances out of the bullpen and will be making his 10th start of the season. He has made only two quality starts and opponents are hitting .305 against him.

- Chris Vivlamore

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Next for Braves

NEXT FOR BRAVES

Who: Washington Nationals

Where: Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Time; broadcast: 1:05 p.m.; 1230, 1340 AM.

Comment: Derek Lowe, who was recently named the Braves Opening Day starter for April 5 against the Cubs, makes his first start of spring against Miguel Batista, the former Diamondback, Expo and most recently Seattle Mariner. Today will also be the debut of Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito, two newcomers to the back end of the Braves bullpen. Other relievers for the Braves include righties Todd Redmond and Jess Chavez and left-handers Mike Minor and Mike Dunn.

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Cox likes what he sees in Jo-Jo’s first outing

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – One pitcher who’s largely been lost in the shuffle of the reconstruction of the Braves starting rotation is Jo-Jo Reyes.

The 25-year-old left-hander, who has made 37 starts for the Braves over the past three seasons, basically provides insurance if something goes wrong with a rotation set with Derek Lowe, Jair Jurrjens, Tim Hudson, Tommy Hanson and Kenshin Kawakami.

But Braves manager Bobby Cox made a point to commend Reyes’ two innings of work Thursday, in his first appearance of the spring. Reyes walked two and gave up a run-scoring single to Bobby Crosby but he also struck out two and took the win in Thursday’s 4-2 final.

“I know he had a great spring last spring stat wise, but today was better than he threw all last spring for me,” said Cox, of Reyes who was 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in four outings last spring. “His two-seamer was 90-92 (mph) and he had a great breaking ball. And he attacked the strike zone as he could. He walked two, I know, but he was …

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Heyward hitless vs. Pirates, but on-base streak alive

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – For the daily J-Hey fix, we bring you the update that Jason Heyward actually went hitless Thursday, three games into his bid to make the right field job in spring training.

The Henry County product and ballyhooed prospect actually went 0-for-2 with a groundout and a pop-up in a 4-2 win over the Pirates.

But as manager Bobby Cox was quick to point out afterward, Heyward kept his on-base streak alive, reaching base for the third consecutive game when he was hit by a Charlie Morton 1-2 breaking ball in the first inning.

Overall, Heyward is 2-for-5 with a double, three walks and a run scored and a stolen base.

The plate discipline he’s shown in camp already has impressed a fairly well-known former Braves right fielder in Dale Murphy, who is down in Florida for a week-long stint as a guest instructor.

“Young hitters don’t always have that,” Murphy said. “He does seem to have an idea, an approach, that it seems to take guys a long time to learn. To be a tall …

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Morton faces old team, reflects on trade

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Former Brave Charlie Morton made his first start as a Pirate against his old team last June, so perhaps it was only fitting that he made his first start of his first spring training as a Pirate against the Braves too.

Morton gave up a run in two innings in a start against the Braves Thursday afternoon. He walked three and hit Jason Heyward with a pitch but managed to limit the damage to a run.

Morton had lasted only one inning at Turner Field June 10 in his debut with the Pirates a week after he was traded with minor leaguers Jeff Locke and Gorkys Hernandez for Nate McLouth.

Morton injured his hamstring warming up for that game and had to tell his new pitching coach he was hurt. He thought he could go, saying the hamstring would only hinder him fielding, but the Pirates pulled him after an inning.

Morton was eager for another go-around Thursday.

He is projected as a third or fourth starter for the Pirates after going 5-9 with a 4.55 ERA in 18 starts …

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