We’re LIVE, as Braves try for something new — an early win

Somewhere in the middle of that celebration is Melky Cabrera, Braves' most recent late-game hero(Curtis Compton/AJC)

Melky Cabrera, the Braves' latest hero, is somewhere in the middle of the mob. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

I’ve made it to Turner Field for the start of tonight’s Braves’ game. But I figure I could’ve waited out the traffic for a few hours.

True story: I turned on Monday night’s game just in time for the ninth inning rally against Los Angeles, which ended with Melky Cabrera’s two-run single to give the Braves a 4-3 win. So I’m thinking: What was the rush to get here?

This team’s resolve and flare for the dramatic has been well-chronicled. The win over the Dodgers was their majors-leading 20th win of the season in their final at-bat. How significant is that? Well, Philadelphia is second overall with 18 final at-bat victories. The Braves lead the Phillies by only 2 1/2 games in the National League East. Do the math: Two fewer late-game rallies and the lead is a half-game.

The Braves’ good news doesn’t end there: Martin Prado is back. The Braves’ unofficial MVP will be activated off the disabled list (fractured small finger) for tonight’s game, and his return answers two questions: Who will start at third base (Prado) and who will bat third in the order (Prado). Manager Bobby Cox decided not to mess with Omar Infante, who is playing solid at second base and is hitting .372 over the last 18 games. Infante also will bat lead off.

This is a good chance for the Braves to go on a little run. They’ll be facing two teams (Washington and Chicago) with losing records in the next two series. At least, that’s the way it’s supposed to work. The Braves have losing records against only four teams this season, and the Nationals (4-5) are one of them. Offense has been the biggest issue, with only 12 runs scored in the last five meetings.

Last thing: You probably know this by now but a rumor has been floating around that the Braves might be interested in acquiring Chicago Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez in a waiver trade. David O’Brien did a fine job shooting this down for all of the obvious reasons: Ramirez is hitting .229 and will be owed a ridiculous amount of money — $31.6 million for two more seasons — if the Cubs deal him. He has a player option (sure to be exercised) for next year and a 2012 team option that automatically triggers in case of a trade.

These are the kind of trade rumors that generally get started either by someone with an agenda or someone under the influence of hallucinogens. Or possibly both.

OK, that’s it’s for now. Mike Minor makes his second start against Washington’s Scott Olson, who is 1-0 with a 2.03 ERA in two starts against the Braves this season.

I’ll check  back shortly. Or in the ninth.

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Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC and Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

495 comments Add your comment

Tee

August 17th, 2010
6:51 pm

First! Can’t wait to see Prado in the lineup

JoshTown

August 17th, 2010
6:53 pm

Thanks Jeff! Lookin for an early lead today…

John

August 17th, 2010
7:01 pm

Jeff,
Why do the Braves just assume Glaus will “bounce back”? It’s clear that his knees are shot and he physically is not the same player that had that great May. The two cheap homeruns he hit (meaningless, we were way ahead) were the worst thing that could’ve happened because it gave their stubbornness greater conviction. Glaus is an out-machine right now. He made 5 outs in 4 at-bats in critical, absolutely CRITICAL situations last night. It’s like having a pitcher bat 5th in the order. It completely kills any offensive rally. That Glaus will return to even a sliver of his May performance is nothing but wishful thinking. But wishes will be enough to keep him on the post-season roster, where he will be a huge liability.

Sonny Clusters

August 17th, 2010
7:01 pm

See Brett Favre anywhere, Jeff?

Sonny Clusters

August 17th, 2010
7:07 pm

We was thinking that if Troy Glaus would start grunting like Maria Sharapova when he swings at something maybe he will start hitting the ball. It may not work but it is worth a try. We would also enter him in the Home Depot race with the hammer and the paint brush and see how he does. We are betting on the brush.

jayvee

August 17th, 2010
7:09 pm

Ugh. Chip Carey. Can’t help it. Dude bugs the stuffing out of me.

Jeff Schultz

August 17th, 2010
7:12 pm

John — I don’t really know what the Braves “assume” about Glaus. I think they’re just hoping he hangs on. Hey, he homered the other night, and that’s one more than I thought he’d hit the rest of the year.

Jeff Schultz

August 17th, 2010
7:13 pm

Sonny Clusters — He’s warming up in the bullpen.

GLORYDays

August 17th, 2010
7:13 pm

I AINT COMPLAINING BUT I CAN’T BELIEVE THE BRAVES ARE IN FIRST WITH THIS STARTING LINEUP. IT IS LIKE WE HAVE BEEN BLESSED FROM ABOVE. HALF OF THE STARTING LINEUP CONSISTS OF ROLE PLAYERS AT BEST. GLAUS PLAYS FIRST LIKE HE IS MADE OF CARDBOARD AND IT IS AMAZING TEAMS DON’T PITCH HIM UP AND IN CONSTANTLY. I KEEP WAITING FOR IT BUT HE IS STILL BATTING CLEAN UP SO WHAT DO I KNOW. IT IS AN UNBELIEVABLE SEASON.

Jeff Schultz

August 17th, 2010
7:13 pm

Sonny Clusters — Do not EVER put Brett Favre and Maria Sharapova in the same sentence ever again.

Jeff Schultz

August 17th, 2010
7:14 pm

Jayfee — Ah, come on. Why is everybody so down on Chip all the time?

BoroBall3

August 17th, 2010
7:14 pm

couldve done w/out the 3-2 changeup

Jeff Schultz

August 17th, 2010
7:15 pm

Two on early against Minor. This isn’t starting well.

Bama brave

August 17th, 2010
7:15 pm

WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE AT THE GAME AT? GEEZ THIS IS A FIRST PLACE TEAM!

Bob

August 17th, 2010
7:15 pm

Looks like a Marlin size crowd tonight. That is a bit disappointing.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

August 17th, 2010
7:16 pm

your right JS- would like to see these Braves jump out early and get Minor a win tonight. I just hope we didn’t rush Prado back into the lineup..doesn’t that type of injury normally take 6 weeks to heal?

Jeff Schultz

August 17th, 2010
7:17 pm

Here’s Pudge, who’s a lot less pudgy than he was before they started drug-testing. Wait. Did I say that?

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

August 17th, 2010
7:17 pm

folks its called Atlanta traffic…wait till the 3rd inning and it’ll have more folks there.

Jeff Schultz

August 17th, 2010
7:18 pm

Dr. Kenneth — You’re a doctor, you tell me.

Sonny Clusters

August 17th, 2010
7:18 pm

Jeff, the 3-day old cheese in the press box must be affecting you some. Drink some water. That was 2 different posts. Ever wonder why she grunts like that? Of course, she’s very good looking and we could put up with the grunting if we had too. Still, mostly it was fat girls that grunted when we was in school. How does Minor look?

Jeff Schultz

August 17th, 2010
7:19 pm

And here comes Bobby . . .

Jeff Schultz

August 17th, 2010
7:20 pm

Hey, an umpire who made the right call. That’s something you don’t see every day.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

August 17th, 2010
7:21 pm

i would say a broken knuckle takes longer than 2 weeks to heal, IMO.
Wow, did Cox just win an argument??

Matt

August 17th, 2010
7:22 pm

Phils already down 2-0 but threatening.

Chief Nock A Homa

August 17th, 2010
7:22 pm

Jeff,

What do you think about this:

Saw that Micah Owings might be put on waivers… I doubt he’s going to be claimed by anyone as a pitcher…

He’s probably better with his bat, and has played the outfield throughout his career before making the bigs…

He’s got a .293 career average, .861 OPS, 9 HR, 34 RBI’s and has been used as a pinch hitter several times over, and was even a silver slugger…

Can you imagine what he could do getting every day at bats??

Just thinking outside the box and could add another outfield bat with some power that we still lack…

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

August 17th, 2010
7:23 pm

Good Call JS- Pudge/Drug testing = short temper. Gone for the night!!!

John

August 17th, 2010
7:24 pm

I was worried Mike Minor would be the next Brad Woodall. He looks more like Tom Glavine, though honestly I’d settle for just 200 wins :)

John

August 17th, 2010
7:26 pm

Chief Nock a homa, I like any suggestion that means giving fewer critical at-bats to Glaus. I would honestly rather have Tim Hudson starting at first base than Glaus. I cannot stress what an incredibly negative influence he has on our offense.

Jeff Schultz

August 17th, 2010
7:28 pm

Prado, 6-3… He stinks.

Jeff Schultz

August 17th, 2010
7:29 pm

Anyway, no official word in pressbox on Rodriguez (did they say something on TV?) but its believed the third-base ump is actually the one who threw him out for throwing his bat.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

August 17th, 2010
7:31 pm

they said he was ejected for throwing his bat & helmet. what an angry pudgy little man

Mr Charlie

August 17th, 2010
7:32 pm

Prado scares me, is he that good? Or will he come done to earth? Actually, that pretty much goes for the entire team.

heywood...

August 17th, 2010
7:34 pm

james wilder jr to commit to uga. allegedly.
hot d-mn!

and go braves. (hey jeff)

Mr Charlie

August 17th, 2010
7:34 pm

I get the feeling thet baseball gods might just want to give BC a little payback and send him out with a ring for Lonnie, Leritz, Kirby, Morris, etc.

SR

August 17th, 2010
7:34 pm

Giants get an early lead on Phillies- Pat the Bat goes deep again. Jeesh, he was available for a song, anybody know if Braves were ever in on aquiring him? He’s been raking out here…

Jeff Schultz

August 17th, 2010
7:35 pm

Mr. Charlie — I think Prado is on earth. Does that answer your question? The rest of the team is less certain but I think Prado is that good.

lanier

August 17th, 2010
7:37 pm

Jeff if you get a chance ask TP if he knows Escobar is hitting .308 at Toronto

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

August 17th, 2010
7:38 pm

heywood- heard the same thing about Wilder Jr. Let’s wait and see, you know how rumors go these days and besides, remember DaRick last year’s last minute switch?

Matt

August 17th, 2010
7:40 pm

Jeff also make sure to see if TP knows Escobar hasn’t had a hit in his last 10 at bats … idiot

Jeff Schultz

August 17th, 2010
7:40 pm

Heywood — my daughter committed to Valdosta.

Jeff Schultz

August 17th, 2010
7:40 pm

Well, that was uneventful … Olsen has retired 6 straight.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

August 17th, 2010
7:41 pm

wow, our offense looks great. only 6 outs on 17 pitches

itsover

August 17th, 2010
7:42 pm

good evening ladies and gentlemen….i have a good feeling tonight, I think Minor is going to be a Major factor in the next few weeks…..kid looks good………bound to be some bumps, but i think he has the stuff

heywood...

August 17th, 2010
7:42 pm

yes, but look at DaRicks character. no comparison.
anyway ill take a verbal from the nations #1 overall recuit!!
its the best anyone can get at this point in time.

ps. down goes glaus…again

"Chef" Tim Dix

August 17th, 2010
7:43 pm

Funny how the Nats have owned the Braves much like the Expos did.

Was there ever and I mean EVER, a worse place to play than the “O”?

Jeff Schultz

August 17th, 2010
7:44 pm

Lanier — And so your premise is that Escobar is hitting .308 in Toronto because of superior coaching there? Dude, Esco hit .470 in his first 4 games as a Blue Jay. Do you really think it’s because of something unbelievable tutoring he received on day 1?

Matt k

August 17th, 2010
7:44 pm

Why can’t we hit Olsen? The guy gets drilled by everyone. We can’t hit lefties!

country boy

August 17th, 2010
7:45 pm

Infante, Prado, Diaz, Gonzolas, Melky, Hmmm….. maybe you know something no one else does concerning acquiring Manny????

Matt

August 17th, 2010
7:45 pm

Whooops, I meant 0 extra base hits in last 10 games for Esco. He’s pretty much turned into a singles hitter. Who cares if he hits 300 in that lineup – just about anyone could. That kid was a headcase and the team is better off without him.

RichieRich86

August 17th, 2010
7:45 pm

Hey everyone. Just tuned into the game been at the pool all day in sunny florida. Why isn’t Bmac starting? We really need to sweep this series. Minor is looking awesome!