LIVE BLOG: Braves look for series win, Uggla looks for hope

Commissioner Bud Selig and the real home run champion, Hank Aaron, are among those in attendance for the Civil Rights Game.

Commissioner Bud Selig and the real home run champion, Hank Aaron, are among those in attendance for the Civil Rights Game.

Welcome to round nine.

The Braves and Philadelphia, expected to battle for the National League East lead all season, meet for the ninth time today at Turner Field. They’ve split the first eight games, which says as much as you need to know about how even the teams are.

It’s another throwback day on baseball’s Civil Rights Weekend. The Braves and Phillies will wear replica uniforms from the 1974 season, when Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s career home run record.

There have been times this season when Aaron probably could’ve helped the Braves’ lineup — and, yes, I realize he’s 77 years old. But the Braves have picked it up a bit offensively, hitting .273 in May after struggling at .229 in April.

The most notable exception is Dan Uggla. He is still batting fifth despite a .196 batting average. He is 0-for-7 in this series with four strikeouts and for the season is hitting .154 (6 for 44, 11 strikeouts) with runners in scoring position, which is a problem when you get paid to drive in runs.

I spoke to Uggla before the game and he admits he’s frustrated, but there’s certainly no sense of panic. There’s a chance the game column today will focus on him.

For what it’s worth, Uggla is 7 for 19 (.368) in his career against today’s Phillies’ starter, Roy Halladay.

The Braves are starting Tim Hudson, who was dinged in his last outing for seven runs (three earned) and two homers against Washington. Today’s pre-game ceremonies include the presentation of the Beacon Awards to Morgan Freeman (Beacon of Hope), Carlos Santana (Beacon of Change) and Ernie Banks (Beacon of Life).

That’s it for now. I’ll be back blogging life from the first pitch at 1:35 p.m. If you have any thoughts on Uggla or how this series has gone so far, I’m here.

By Jeff Schultz

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

257 comments Add your comment

Michael C

May 15th, 2011
1:16 pm

A potential FIRST! (but probably not since I read the article)

Jeff Schultz

May 15th, 2011
1:20 pm

Ernie “Let’s Play Two” Banks, one of my all-time favorites, on the stage.

Jieff'f

May 15th, 2011
1:25 pm

Here is an idea: If Uggla continues to suck, how about we drop him down in the order. With Nate batting so well, we could leave him at the 2 slot and move Heyward to 5 and Uggla to 6.

Joey

May 15th, 2011
1:27 pm

Welcome back Jeff.

Why of why doesn’t Fredi put Prado somewhere (2nd or 4th?) in the lineup where he has a possibility of knocking someone in while he is batting .400?

If he had been batting 4th Friday night, he’d probably have a couple more grand slams . . .

Ric Flair

May 15th, 2011
1:30 pm

Its time to play ball!

Ric Flair

May 15th, 2011
1:31 pm

Hopefully the Braves can take 2 from the Phillies.

Tucker T

May 15th, 2011
1:34 pm

Chipper scratched from lineup?

Raleigh Dog

May 15th, 2011
1:36 pm

Dan Uggla = Jorge Posada.

Jeff Schultz

May 15th, 2011
1:36 pm

LATE LINEUP CHANGE — Chipper Jones is a late scratch. No announcement yet why.

Tucker T

May 15th, 2011
1:38 pm

Chipper’s knee is probably sore. Not the one he had repaired. The other one that has been bothering him.

Ric Flair

May 15th, 2011
1:38 pm

So Prado will be playing 3rd Base

Tucker T

May 15th, 2011
1:38 pm

For a minute there I thought she was going to sing “I Will Survive”. Actually not a bad way to start a game.

Quicherbichin

May 15th, 2011
1:38 pm

would certainly be nice to take 2 of 3 from the Philthies again.. that would help a lot of things, but we shall see… Go Braves!!!

extremus

May 15th, 2011
1:39 pm

There was speculation yesterday during the telecast that Fredi Gonzalez might rest Chipper after resting McCann so at least one of them would be in the lineup each day. It probably is just a day off (let’s hope so).

Ric Flair

May 15th, 2011
1:41 pm

If Chipper is out then that must mean that Mather and Hinske will be playing in the outfield

katherine

May 15th, 2011
1:42 pm

carlos santana was inappropriate and embarrassing

1eyedJack

May 15th, 2011
1:42 pm

I used to absolutely love Carlos Santana. But since he’s taken to wearing Che and Mao shirts he can kiss the south end of my north bound mule.

Jeff Schultz

May 15th, 2011
1:44 pm

Chipper Jones is out with a sore right knee. Either that or he also was upset about Jorge Posada hitting ninth.

greshambrown

May 15th, 2011
1:44 pm

Fredi Gonzalez has a proven losing record in the big leagues. He’s the one the one that needs to be sent down. Along with that washed up Larry Jones.

Ric Flair

May 15th, 2011
1:45 pm

Lets go Braves!

Jeff Schultz

May 15th, 2011
1:46 pm

Joey — I agree with you but nobody else has been good enough to hit leadoff.

Ric Flair

May 15th, 2011
1:47 pm

Is Mather playing Right Field?

Tucker T

May 15th, 2011
1:47 pm

Posada needs to man up. Quit your whining. You have made $104M playing baseball. Get your a$$ on the field.

1eyedJack

May 15th, 2011
1:47 pm

Good day to sit on the bench with Haladay pitching. ;)

Ric Flair

May 15th, 2011
1:48 pm

Ok so Hinske playing right and Conrad playing 3rd base

Tucker T

May 15th, 2011
1:49 pm

What’s the over/under on Conrad errors today?

Ric Flair

May 15th, 2011
1:50 pm

Hope Conrad can play ok

Ric Flair

May 15th, 2011
1:50 pm

So far so good

Jeff Schultz

May 15th, 2011
1:51 pm

Since this is a throwback game, any chance Brooks Conrad turns into Bob Horner at third?

Tucker T

May 15th, 2011
1:51 pm

Prado is on pace to drive in over 100 runs. Would be only the second leadoff guy to do so.

Ric Flair

May 15th, 2011
1:51 pm

Good job Hudson!

Steve

May 15th, 2011
1:51 pm

Are Uggla and Troy Glaus related? I can’t believe he is batting under .200. Would love to see what the Braves record would be if he was hitting .300. Friday’s loss still hurts.

Ric Flair

May 15th, 2011
1:52 pm

At least there wasn’t a ground ball to Conrad!!

Ric Flair

May 15th, 2011
1:54 pm

Maybe the Braves can get to Halladay early

Ekim

May 15th, 2011
1:54 pm

@katherine
I totally disagree. I was so excited when I saw his comments that I emailed my friends. What was inappropriate was signing a “show me your papers” law a day or two before a showcase civil rights event.

Steve

May 15th, 2011
1:55 pm

Jeff, when does Prado’s current contract end? Need to lock him down for life.

Ric Flair

May 15th, 2011
1:55 pm

Good job Prado

Jeff Schultz

May 15th, 2011
1:58 pm

Uggy Uggy Ugg .. another strikeout.

Tucker T

May 15th, 2011
1:58 pm

Ugla strikeout. Shocking. Not.

5150 UOAD

May 15th, 2011
1:59 pm

I hate those LOSER uniforms, but it fits the weekends theme. Braves need this win for sure.

Ric Flair

May 15th, 2011
1:59 pm

Maybe Uggla can get out of his hitting slump

Jeff Schultz

May 15th, 2011
1:59 pm

Steve — Prado’s on a one-year $3.1 million contract but he’s still in arbitration window, can’t be unrestricted. I’m sure they want to lock him up.

Perlo

May 15th, 2011
2:00 pm

Just watched Uggla strike out for the 36th time in159 times at bat.

He is to Fredi as Kelly Johnson was to Cox.

MattMD

May 15th, 2011
2:00 pm

I understand acknowledging and honoring baseball players who broke the color barrier or played in the Deep South during Jim Crowe but this game seems way too political for me.

Just Saying

May 15th, 2011
2:02 pm

Girardi with the Yanks has an overpaid player hitting below .200 in Posada and he slots him to bath 9th….Fredi has the same situation with Fuggly Uggla and bats him cleanup

Tucker T

May 15th, 2011
2:02 pm

I’m starting to think that Ugla is turning into a head case. I would rather there be something wrong with him physically than be a head case like Nate.

Phil

May 15th, 2011
2:04 pm

Carlos Santana ruined a nice event! He should never speak in public again! Turned off the TV!!

Tucker T

May 15th, 2011
2:04 pm

Prado is a free agent in 2014.

Ric Flair

May 15th, 2011
2:04 pm

I would definately want to lock up Prado while you can

katherine

May 15th, 2011
2:04 pm

JohnKincade John Kincade
Dear Carlos Santana, we “Atlantans” are not ashamed of ourselves. If you don’t like it here allow me to drive you over the state line!

totally agree john kincade!