LIVE: It’s time for the Braves (or is that the Black Knight?)

Do Omar Infante and the Braves have enough healthy bodies left to win the wild card? (AP photo)

Do Omar Infante and the Braves have enough healthy bodies left to win the wild card? (AP photo)

Welcome back to Turner Field for a game involving what remains of your Atlanta Braves.

To all of the injury issues the team has had in the season — not the least of which were losing Chipper Jones and pitcher Kris Medlen for the year and pitchers Jair Jurrjens and Takashi Saito for extended periods, we add this: Martin Prado is “definitely going to be out for a while” with a hip-pointer, manager Bobby Cox said after Monday’s game.

The biggest problem with that: There’s not “a while” left in the season. In fact, there are more letters in “a while” (six) than there are games left on the Braves’ schedule (five).

Prado might be toast, but the Braves aren’t, yet. They enter tonight’s game against Florida with a one-half game lead over San Diego and 4 1/2 over all-but-dead Colorado in the National League wild card race.

Prado is having an MRI and was not available for comment before the game. Cox said he was “feeling better” today. But, even though we’re talking about one of the toughest players on the team, it would be surprising to see him back in the lineup this season. A hip-pointer is an extremely painful injury, one that prevents a player from pivoting — which eliminates pretty much every movement in a baseball game (fielding, throwing, hitting).

How are the Braves still here? They’re like Monty Python’s  “Black Knight,” who kept fighting on despite severed limbs. (”It’s only a flesh wound!” …  I am invincible! The Black Knight always triumphs!”)

In fact, since everybody can use a laugh these days . . .

On  a related note, the “Black Knight” is batting third and playing center field for the Braves tonight.

OK, seriously. The lineup includes these changes: Catcher Brian McCann is batting third to replace Prado; the struggling Melky Cabrera (hitting only .229 with one homer in his last 49 games) is hitting fifth; Brooks Conrad starts at third base and hits seventh.

Pitching tonight on only three days rest (in place of the injured Jurrjens) is Tim Hudson. He’s only 1-4 with a 6.10 earned run average in five September starts after  going 6-0 with a 1.43 ERA in his previous eight outings. One positive omen: Hudson has pitched on three days rest three times before in the regular season, going 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA.

That’s it for now. I’ll be back to live blog at game time. Can the Braves hang on?

EARLIER POST

Bust poll: Bobo (Georgia offense) vs. Groh (Tech defense)

LogoGrass_652173aSACK SCHULTZ: Making a little comeback. Went 12-3 last week. Note to all competitors: You’re going down. It’s not to late to lose to me! Click here for details and then here to enter.

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

636 comments Add your comment

"Chef" Tim Dix

September 28th, 2010
5:44 pm

yeah baby cheffy’s cookin!

BBrown

September 28th, 2010
5:44 pm

Numero Uno – Go Braves!!

JJ

September 28th, 2010
5:45 pm

Good lord. Melky hitting 5th?

MattyB

September 28th, 2010
5:47 pm

I not only believe we have just enough warm bodies to get to the postseason, but I believe we’ll be facing the Phillies in the NLCS. I like our chances from now until that point.

Herschel Talker

September 28th, 2010
5:50 pm

Schultzie:

I’d rather have you batting 5th than Melky. Seriously, how stupid is Bobby Cox?

HT

Keith

September 28th, 2010
6:03 pm

Jeff,

The Braves can hang on, and I think this move for Huddy and Lowe might push them over the edge. :)

Prado’s injury is really going to hurt the Braves if they can get into the playoffs.

Know what’s interesting? The poor play of September doesn’t usually result in poor play in postseason (or vice-versa = playing well does not mean a great postseason). Only one of many examples is the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals. I’ve been talking to Bradley about writing a blog, and he said he might do that. But nothing yet.

GO BRAVES! ;)

Keith

September 28th, 2010
6:05 pm

Re: Herschel Talker

Its easy to judge on the surface to judge Bobby Cox, but if there is ever a season to see his genius…his uncanny ability to manage players way beyond their normal capabilities…it is this year. This year I have more respect for him than past years…even though I am frustrated by his tactics. :)

Wouldn’t be surprised if Melky doesn’t get a 2-hit night tonight…

GO BRAVES!

Keith

September 28th, 2010
6:06 pm

*look on the surface and judge* I meant to say

bwash21

September 28th, 2010
6:08 pm

Season on line. Must win situation.
Melky hitting 5th, Conrad 7th, and Ankiel 8th. Awesome.

I guess this is why Glaus, Diaz, McLouth, and Hinkse aren’t in the lineup.
Career against Sanchez:
Glaus 0 for 5
Diaz 2 for 8
McLouth 0 for 9
Hinske 0 for 10

Interesting enough:
Cabrera 3 for 6
Ankiel 2 for 2

S.O.I.A.

September 28th, 2010
6:09 pm

Hey Herschel and all the idiots that will now try and bash Bobby. What else is he supposed to do. We lost Chipper and Prado, our two best offensive players. Take the two best offensive studs off any other playoff team and lets see how good that team does. What is bobby supposed to do, hit McClouth 5th? Or maybe Ankiel? Or should Conrad be our new stud? Bobby has his arms tied, there is not much we can do but hope these mediocre players (gonzalez, ankiel, mcclouth, cabrera) step up. The braves are not going to make it out of the first round anyway, but lets hope they can make Bobby proud in these final games. Let the old man go out a winner.

GT Alum

September 28th, 2010
6:12 pm

I’ll bite your legs off!!!

DHD

September 28th, 2010
6:12 pm

Who do I trust….some guy yakking on a discussion board or future Hall of Fame manager Bobby Cox? I’ll go with Bobby.

Ghost of Gil Garrido

September 28th, 2010
6:14 pm

Agree with you, Keith. If Talker and the Bobby-Haters don’t understand what a diamond our manager is after this season, they’re just plain old ignorant. (Talker and the Bobby-Haters – - I think I used to have a 45 by them.)

As to the game tonight: “Have at you, Marlins. ‘Tis but a scratch.”

Keith

September 28th, 2010
6:14 pm

Re: S.O.I.A.

Exactly.

Re:bwash

Cox loves those things. I’m trying to remember the first time Cox put Diaz in the cleanup spot this year…it might have been vs Santana (but I’m not sure). I remember he went like 2/4 and hit a homer. Cox likes matchup history…and I say, you go BOBBY!!!

GO BRAVES!

BravesFan1

September 28th, 2010
6:15 pm

Anyone want to guess the crowd tonight? 25,000?

Keith

September 28th, 2010
6:16 pm

By the way, if you haven’t seen the article by Jayson Stark on Cox…it might be one of the best I’ve ever read on Bobby. You should check it out! Very good writing. :) And it even comes from an ESPN guy. lol

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=5625259

Tom Pridemore was tuff..

September 28th, 2010
6:20 pm

I’m not so sure I want Schultz hitting 5th HT….I’m doing the research now Jeff didn’t make the little league All-Star team in N. Calif back in the 70’s…

Upperclass Twit of the Year

September 28th, 2010
6:24 pm

Without Prado, I’m afraid this team wouldn’t voom if you put four million volts through it.

Melky

September 28th, 2010
6:25 pm

Can’t believe it–they got me hitting 5th.

Mini Me

September 28th, 2010
6:26 pm

Yeah Melky–and I’m batting clean up.

Mini Me

September 28th, 2010
6:27 pm

I’m batting clean up?

Rufino

September 28th, 2010
6:28 pm

To all you Bobby bashers…How about you name ANYONE else to manage this year’s team, and I guarantee you they would finish 3rd or 4th in the division.
Any takers?

You can’t. Know why? Bobby is the best. Period. The end!

TP

September 28th, 2010
6:30 pm

It is not my fault I can’t get Chipper’s Dad to teach the Braves how to hit.

champ

September 28th, 2010
6:33 pm

I AGREE 100% RUFINO,BOBBY’S THE BEST!!

James

September 28th, 2010
6:35 pm

Jeff, the UGA-related ‘Amelia Island’ banner ad sucks. please relay to the authorities that, while advertising is fine, it is annoying when it blocks actual site content and doesn’t go away, even when you click on it and get sucked into another site…

In other news, great work today, and go braves. I hope they win, even if they have to bite the Marlin’s legs off. (Or fins, I guess).

bobbycoxcountdown: 5

September 28th, 2010
6:36 pm

Rufino- i’d take:
Mike Soscia
Charlie Manuel
Joe Torre
Terry Francona
Because they all have the same amount of World Series Championships or more than BC.
And they’ve all done in the near past and have proven they don’t “nut-up” when the pressure is on.

and i didn’t even mention Tony Larussa, who has more wins and WS than Lord Bobby.

david s

September 28th, 2010
6:38 pm

Melky batting 5th?!?!?!? What the hell? How are we to build on last night’s success with him anywhere in the line up much less 5th?!?!

dick

September 28th, 2010
6:38 pm

Sure wish GM would start talking to the Nationals about Dunn. He is one of those Braves killers. He would be awesome with Prado, McCann, Haywood, Infante. We could then purchsaae a 12 foot boat with trolling motor and put Glause, Lee, Meldy, out fishing This would clear up problems with first base. I would get McCann to start working on first base and use Ross more as catcher.

GT Alum

September 28th, 2010
6:40 pm

dick, I was thinking the same thing. I hope we’re not completely eliminating him from consideration because he’s also LH.

GT Alum

September 28th, 2010
6:44 pm

dick -

Oh, but the Braves don’t have to talk to the Nationals. Dunn isn’t signed past this season. Unless you’re talking about trading for him, which is pointless because he can’t be on the postseason roster. We definitely need a LF that can hit next year, though, and he could be that guy, no matter what side of the plate he hits from.

Oh, and if we were going to send Lee and Glaus packing now, Freeman would be the 1B. McCann is staying behind the plate.

david s

September 28th, 2010
6:44 pm

Dunn would be great guys but I don’t see ownership spending any real money. I love Troy but isn’t that the reason we picked him up?

AKS

September 28th, 2010
6:58 pm

Marlins 4 Braves 2

Jeff Schultz

September 28th, 2010
7:02 pm

Keith — Obviously Braves need strong starts by Huddy and Lowe because this lineup is not going to produce a lot of runs.

Jeff Schultz

September 28th, 2010
7:03 pm

Tom Pridemore was tuff — Actually, I was in Little League in Southern California. But you’re right, I didn’t make the All-Stars. Voting was very political.

Jeff Schultz

September 28th, 2010
7:04 pm

James — I had the same problem when I went to the webpage.

Benjamin

September 28th, 2010
7:07 pm

We might just break out the lumber sticks tonight, Jeff. Keep the faith.

[My main concern is the guy on the mound -- we need him to look like Tim Hudson rather than, say, Marty Clary this evening. If Marty Clary is a reader on this blog, I sincerely apologize for referencing you. I can seamlessly transfer your insult to Kevin Coffman, if necessary....]

Katherine

September 28th, 2010
7:08 pm

AKS
September 28th, 2010
6:58 pm

Marlins 4 Braves 2

Ummmm…..the game didn’t start yet……

Jesse Stone

September 28th, 2010
7:09 pm

Benjamin- don’t forget Tony Brizzolara

Benjamin

September 28th, 2010
7:11 pm

Tony Brizzolara was JUST a bit before my shelf-life, Jesse; my memory of the Braves starts in about 1986 or so. It appears as if ol’ Brizzy last pitched for us in 1984.

He looks like a real stud, too. How did he make his MLB debut in 1979 and not see a major league mound again for four seasons? Did he serve in Panama? ;)

GT Alum

September 28th, 2010
7:13 pm

david s -

I think we’ve got enough young arms that we don’t have to re-invest the money that we’re spending on Wags and Saito back into the ‘pen, and I don’t really know that we need to pick up Farnsworth’s option. Add into that the money we’re not spending on Glaus and Lee, and we should have enough money left after giving the guys who are due raises to spend some significant money on a LF. It may not be quite enough to get Dunn, but we’ll see.

Jeff Schultz

September 28th, 2010
7:15 pm

Beautiful night but unfortunately a weak crowd tonight (given ramifications).

Jeff Schultz

September 28th, 2010
7:16 pm

Great pickoff by Hudson.

Katherine

September 28th, 2010
7:17 pm

I think the crowds will be bigger this weekend…but the braves kind of have themselves to blame for the weak crowds IMO

Benjamin

September 28th, 2010
7:21 pm

Anyone going out this weekend?

I’m there on Sunday afternoon. Hope it’s a meaningful game. Hope we win it…

MWC

September 28th, 2010
7:22 pm

Listening on the radio.
How many fans does it look likeso far?

Jesse Stone

September 28th, 2010
7:22 pm

I’m in Jupiter, FL. If I still lived in Macon, I’d be there

5150 P.O.A.D

September 28th, 2010
7:22 pm

I don’t know if I have it in me to watch the game tonight. Please let the Braves play error free baseball and win.

Jeff Schultz

September 28th, 2010
7:22 pm

Katherine — What do you think the Braves could have done to get bigger crowds?

Katherine

September 28th, 2010
7:23 pm

Im going on sunday as well…I hope its a good meaningful game too……..

Jesse Stone

September 28th, 2010
7:23 pm

Let Kim Kardashian throw out the first pitch