LIVE: Braves need to win ‘gimme’ series vs. Nationals

This photo of a male fan in a wedding dress seemed more interesting than any other photo from Saturday's loss to Washington. He was arrested. (Hyosub Shin/AJC)

This photo of a male fan in a wedding dress was more interesting than anything else from the Braves' loss to Washington on Saturday. He was arrested. (Hyosub Shin/AJC)

The Braves’ franchise reached the 10,0000-win mark the other night. If they had played better against the Washington Nationals, that achievement would’ve be reached a while ago.

As has been stated several times before, particularly by Chipper Jones, one key to the Braves winning the National League East Division this year is how they play against the teams they should beat. Washington is at the top of that list. The Braves are only 59-58 all-time against the Nationals, including 4-4 this season after Saturday’s 5-2 loss.

Since the franchise relocated from Montreal in 2005, the Nats’ overall record is only 459-606 (.431).  But in the season series against the Braves, they’ve gone 9-10, 8-10, 7-11, 12-6, 8-10, 10-8 and 4-4.

“We have to take advantage of nights like last night,” Jones said in the clubhouse before today’s game “The Phillies go out and get pummeled [by the New York Mets 11-2] and we know it. We’ve got to turn it up a notch on nights like that and be sure we take advantage of their losses.”

Jair Jurrjens (12-3, 1.87) makes his return the All-Star Game to start against Washington’s Tom Gorzelanny (2-6, 3.94). Of course, Gorzelanny’s career numbers (38-43, 4.59) aren’t nearly as impressive as his outings against the Braves (2-1, 3.18). Go figure.

A few bullet points before we open the live blog:

Foxsports.com is reporting that the Detroit Tigers are interesting in Braves’ starter Derek Lowe.This isn’t the first time Lowe’s name has come up in trade rumors. The major impediment to a deal in the past always has been his contract ($15 million per year). But his deal has less than a season and a half remaining and a trade might be more do-able now than last year. I’ll get into that more in the game column.

Dan Uggla has an eight-game hitting streak — and, no, that’s not a typo. During that span, he is 10-for-29 (.345) with four doubles, three homers, six RBIs, six walks and a .457 on-base percentage.

– After Saturday’s loss, the Braves own only the fifth-best home record in the National League (29-19)  but they have the best road record (26-20). They leave immediately following today’s game for seven road games — four in Colorado (45-48) and three in Cincinnati (46-48).

That’s it for now. Be back for the first pitch.

By Jeff Schultz

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

186 comments Add your comment

extremus

July 17th, 2011
12:38 pm

Need to win this one and get back some momentum.

jfreak13713

July 17th, 2011
12:48 pm

Braves win series today but lose battle against Phillies! Again! Trading Lowe is risky as Medlen seems lost for entire year. I know we need a bat but who fills Lowe’s role?? However, a chance to dump that contract my be worth it in the long run??

birdbrain

July 17th, 2011
12:54 pm

WOW…good job Jeff!! A major U.S. newspaper that gets some coverage in 30 minutes before game time. Amazing!! Unlike the bozo’s , Dave and Carroll, who can’t seem to meet any sort of deadline.

TruthSeeker

July 17th, 2011
12:59 pm

jfreak,

Minor or Teheran would take Lowe’s spot, and either would be an upgrade.

TommyP

July 17th, 2011
1:00 pm

Would imagine the Braves would deal Lowe for salary relief and then take what they get back from Detroit (minor leaguers) and include them in another deal for a RH outfielder.

DaveinNEPA

July 17th, 2011
1:12 pm

It goes without saying that we need to keep winning, no matter who the opponent is.

But, I would hardy call this a “gimme” series. In case you haven’t noticed JS, and judging by what you wrote you haven’t, the Nationals are a vastly improved club. They aren’t a doormat anymore.

iTiSi

July 17th, 2011
1:14 pm

Why was the MAN(?) in the wedding dress allowed in the ballpark in the first place? I will bet that dress belonged to his X-wife!

"Chef" Tim Dix

July 17th, 2011
1:26 pm

Although I would make the deal you have to remember Lowe’s post season stats.

"Chef" Tim Dix

July 17th, 2011
1:31 pm

Dude in the dress moved well to his left.

Jeff Schultz

July 17th, 2011
1:39 pm

Hello . . . and that’s no way to start a game. Not sure if that was painful enough to qualify as a hit batter.

Jeff Schultz

July 17th, 2011
1:40 pm

Birdbrain — Aw come on, be nice. Those 2 are blogging round the clock.

GeorgiaYankeesFan

July 17th, 2011
1:40 pm

With all due respect, how is this a gimme series? Coming into the All Star break the Nats were one of the hottest teams in baseball.

T-Town Dawg

July 17th, 2011
1:41 pm

Question, if we make this trade and get a right handed bat, where do we pencil in the new bat in the lineup. Who sits from the current line up when Chipper comes back? Are there any power hitting center fielders avaiable?

Jeff Schultz

July 17th, 2011
1:41 pm

Truthseeker — Maybe but there’s some risk involved in trading Lowe. I’ll get into that more in the column.

Sonny Clusters

July 17th, 2011
1:42 pm

We was thinking All-Star second baseman Prado didn’t lose his job at second base, they took it away from him. And they took Conrad’s uniform number away from him. All of it went to Uggla. We say give Conrad his number back and let Prado play second base. Put Uggla out at the beer stand and let him draw some cold ones for the fans.

Jeff Schultz

July 17th, 2011
1:42 pm

T-Town Dawg — I wouldn’t assume a trade would be for a starter. Could be for bench help.

Jeff Schultz

July 17th, 2011
1:45 pm

Bad baserunning, great awareness by Jurrjens on that. Bernadina was dead.

T-Town Dawg

July 17th, 2011
1:46 pm

In other words, don’t look for a big splash before the deadline? Bench help only? Bourn, Pence etc. are probably out of the equation?

Sonny Clusters

July 17th, 2011
1:49 pm

All you little leaguers out there, when you get a baserunner hung up, remember to run right at him. If you shriek like a little girl and bug your eyes while you’re running it will sometimes scare ‘em into make a big base running mistake.

Jeff Schultz

July 17th, 2011
1:50 pm

T-Town Dawg — No way of knowing. But have to realize teams like Tigers don’t want to take a major piece of their team because they’re trying to make playoffs. Also, parting with Lowe’s salary counts for a lot.

Jeff Schultz

July 17th, 2011
1:53 pm

And THAT’S why Jordan Schafer is turning into a valuable piece for this team . . .

southgabrave

July 17th, 2011
1:55 pm

Trading Lowe makes a lot of sense. It would allow much needed room for Minor or Teheran. It opens up salary to aquire a much needed bat. In the playoffs, which I think the Braves are a lock for at least the wildcard, You go with 4 starters at the most. That would mean a rotation of JJ, Hanson, Hudson and Beachy,all that have been better than Lowe. That 5th starter is not needed in the playoffs but that bat would be. 15 mil can get you a bat. Maybe a 3-way trade with Detroit and Tampa Bay. Maybe we could aquire a BJ Upton and Detroit send a bat to Tampa Bay along with (wishful thinking0 Mclouth. Upton will get 7 mil in arbition next year, covered by Lowes salary save.

Steve

July 17th, 2011
1:55 pm

I think “Birdbrain” is hungover. Jeff, what moves do you see the Braves making before the deadline? Any rumors?

Jeff Schultz

July 17th, 2011
1:55 pm

Clutch AB by Prado. He was missed …. Braves up 1-0.

Jeff Schultz

July 17th, 2011
2:00 pm

Steve — It would surprise me if they did nothing but I’m not sure at this point move/moves will be major. Depends a lot on how Schafer/Prado/Uggla/Gonzalez perform between now and deadline.

southgabrave

July 17th, 2011
2:00 pm

Tampa has been trying to unload Upton because they cant afford him next year. He also has been a disappointment and lost at times. Maybe a change helps him, He has all the tools.

The Falcon Jedi

July 17th, 2011
2:00 pm

Did the guy in the dress say “I do” when he was asked if he understood his miranda rights?

Steve

July 17th, 2011
2:03 pm

Gonzo needs to step it up. One last question, who is in line to replace Chipper when he retires? Or, if the plan on moving Prado to third, who is the next up and coming outfielder? Just read that the Braves might try to trade Lowe. Probably a good move. Hear they have some good bars in Detroit.

T-Town Dawg

July 17th, 2011
2:03 pm

I wouldn’t expect to get a big piece from Detroit. I would just hope that the money that the trade would free up could help get a better bat in cf. I like Shafer and what he brings to the table but his BA and OBP are not very good right now.

Jeff Schultz

July 17th, 2011
2:05 pm

Uggla gets first base on a walk because Gorzelanny went to his mouth on the mound. Loads bases.

Jeff Schultz

July 17th, 2011
2:07 pm

Anybody else ever seen that called before?

Jeff Schultz

July 17th, 2011
2:08 pm

Steve — I’d say plan right now most likely is to move Prado to third.

Jeff Schultz

July 17th, 2011
2:09 pm

Braves get (earned) 2 runs on 1 hit, three walks, stolen base, wild pitch, error, and a ball called for pitcher licking his fingers.

southgabrave

July 17th, 2011
2:10 pm

Mclouth pulls another outside pitch for a week groundout

Steve

July 17th, 2011
2:10 pm

It’s always best to wipe.

Dawgs Man

July 17th, 2011
2:11 pm

2nd and 3rd one out and Seabass and McOut coming up. Do we get another run? Of course not.

"Chef" Tim Dix

July 17th, 2011
2:11 pm

Lowe’s possible leaving the ATL is pleasing to Home Depot.

Jeff Schultz

July 17th, 2011
2:15 pm

If Gonzalez can play defense like he did in this inning, team won’t care as much that he’s hitting .231.

Pongo

July 17th, 2011
2:21 pm

The ‘bride’ last night was hilarious. Did you see him get planted by that security guard? He got crushed, just laid there for several minutes! Then he had to go to jail for the night, wearing a wedding dress? Life is full of regrets…ouch!

Jeff Schultz

July 17th, 2011
2:21 pm

“Chef” Tim Dix — “Lowe’s possible leaving the ATL is pleasing to Home Depot.” …. I see what you did there.

Jeff Schultz

July 17th, 2011
2:28 pm

That’s triple, RBI and scores on throw … 2-2.

Jeff Schultz

July 17th, 2011
2:29 pm

Correction: Uggla charged with throwing error, allowing Bernadina to score.

Jeff Schultz

July 17th, 2011
2:30 pm

That’s two straight hard hit balls vs. Jurrjens.

"Chef" Tim Dix

July 17th, 2011
2:33 pm

JJ pitching to, too much contact.

Steve

July 17th, 2011
2:34 pm

Call me a moron but I am missing the Lowe and Home Depot joke. Please explain?

Jeff Schultz

July 17th, 2011
2:35 pm

Don’t know what’s wrong with Jurrjens but he’s laboring here. Also up to 41 pitches with 1 out and 2 on in third (and 2 runs already in).

"Chef" Tim Dix

July 17th, 2011
2:36 pm

BTW, Cheffy wouldn’t mind going solo w/ Hope.

"Chef" Tim Dix

July 17th, 2011
2:37 pm

Steve, it’s home improvement jargon humor.

Jeff Schultz

July 17th, 2011
2:38 pm

Just realized we’ve got 4 runs on only 3 hits in this game (5 walks, HB, SB, WP, 2 errors).

"Chef" Tim Dix

July 17th, 2011
2:38 pm

Is a 92mph FB just touching 90?