Archive for June, 2011

Braves salvage game against Padres but need more

Martin Prado's sixth-inning homer turned out to be the winning run against the Padres. (AP photo)

Martin Prado's sixth-inning homer turned out to be winning run against the Padres. (AP photo)

(Updated: 10:45 p.m.)

Maybe the analogy Fredi Gonzalez chose was a little dated, but the context still translates clearly in 2011.

“You look at the back of the bubble-gum cards and you see the [career] numbers by these guys and you think, ‘It can still happen,’” the Braves’ manager said Wednesday night.

Back in the day, I didn’t have the patience to wait. So my seven Matty Alou baseball cards — I chewed a lot of bad gum, hoping to land a Willie Davis or a Bill Freehan, always getting an Alou brother — ended up clicking in my bicycle spokes if he was hitting .258 in May.

The Braves don’t have that option. (With the cards maybe, but not the players. They’re under contract.)

Right now, they are an average team. After dropping the first two games of the San Diego series, they salvaged one against the Padres on Wednesday night, winning 4-3 behind the strong pitching of …

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LIVE BLOG: Braves’ new objective is a .500 homestand

Freddie Freeman is one of the few hot-hitting Braves right now. (Curtis Compton/AJC).

Freddie Freeman is one of the few hot-hitting Braves right now. (Curtis Compton/AJC).

Good evening. Figured I would check in on another Atlanta team that will be leaving town soon — but just for a road trip.

The Braves, only 2-3 on this homestand and 30-26 overall after consecutive losses to San Diego, play host to the Padres again tonight. Tommy Hanson is pitching, but then who’s starting on the mound hasn’t really been the issue for the Braves this season. It’s the offense.

Here’s today’s news: Dan Uggla is back in the lineup after a day off but he has been dropped to seventh in the batting order by manager Fredi Gonzalez. The hot-hitting Freddie Freeman (.362 over his last 15 games) is hitting fifth and Alex Gonzalez is hitting sixth.

OK, here’s the good news: Uggla is 6-for-15 with three doubles in his career when batting seventh. See? There’s a positive stat for everything and everybody.

We can break down the offense 20 different ways, but the two biggest issues are Uggla …

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Minus NHL, did Atlanta just drop to Triple A of sports towns?

Here's a word we didn't see in banners very often at Thrashers' games: playoffs.

There's a banner we did not see very often in Philips Arena for Thrashers' games: playoffs.

Good morning. Did Atlanta just drop out of the majors?

This probably would carry a little more weight if Los Angeles still had an NFL team (which remains the funniest thing in sports, only because it drives Roger Goodell nuts). But when Atlanta was officially mugged by Atlanta Spirit, LLC and the NHL on Tuesday and the Thrashers were sold and moved to Winnipeg, the city dropped out of an elite group. There are only 12 remaining metropolitan areas that still have teams in all four pro sports leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL). Those 12: New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco (San Jose), Boston, Washington, Detroit, Phoenix (until the Coyotes move), Minneapolis, Denver and Miami.

Atlanta is now the second-biggest market (behind only Los Angeles) that doesn’t have teams in all four leagues. The second tier group of seven cities with teams in three leagues: L.A. (no NFL), Atlanta …

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