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