From Braves-Phils: Can the Bradley live-blog streak continue?

This young fellow always seems to hit when MB's here. (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

This young fellow always seems to hit when MB's here. (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

Strange homestand. The Braves have been shut out twice and no-hit once over these five games. On Sunday they were an out away from losing 3-2, and two nights ago they were an out away from losing 3-0. And yet they’ve won three times in five.

They’ve done it with two bursts of late-inning lightning, sure, but they’ve also done it with pitching. The Braves’ starting pitchers have managed only one win this homestand — that by Derek Lowe against Colorado on Friday in a game he led 7-0 after two innings — but they’ve kept their team close in every game except Saturday’s, which was the night Kenshin Kawakami worked against no-hit Ubaldo Jimenez.

Throw out that game and the Braves’ starting pitchers have yielded 10 earned runs in four starts against two good-hitting teams this homestand. And that is, I submit, what will have to keep the Braves close if they’re going to make a race of it — pitching.

The Braves are hitting .227 as a team. That’s second-worst in the National League. That will improve over time — it has to improve, does it not? — but this lineup isn’t apt to hit .270 all summer. Too many holes, as we’ve noted a time or two before.

But the lesson of three wins in five games is that pitching is the great equalizer. The Braves haven’t hit much this homestand — 33 hits and 17 runs in five games — but they haven’t let the other guys hit much, either. (The Rockies and Phillies have mustered 35 hits and 17 runs between them.) Tonight Lowe starts against Jamie Moyer, and Lowe is 3-0.

And I’ll be here all night, watching and reporting and typing and chattering away. I’d be obliged if you’d join me, and I should note that the four previous games we’ve done this the home team has prevailed. With two walk-off wins. With three wins in the final at-bat. With Jason Heyward having an RBI in all four games. As Kate Smith was to the Philly Flyers, I am to the 2010 Bravos.

481 comments Add your comment

Hillbilly Deluxe

April 22nd, 2010
6:22 pm

Probably not.

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2010
6:24 pm

Oh, ye of little faith.

Hillbilly Deluxe

April 22nd, 2010
6:26 pm

Like you Mark, I’m a realist.

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

April 22nd, 2010
6:30 pm

With Lowe and Moyer, this could be an epic slugfest.

beauvighn

April 22nd, 2010
6:32 pm

If Eric H. is not in the lineup tonight, Booby needs his head examined. The cat is raking it everytime he gets a chance. We will hang around the bottom of the league in hitting until the braves hire J-Heys personal hitting coach to replace TP…

two iron

April 22nd, 2010
6:34 pm

The burden of the entire Brave Nation on your back, MB

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

April 22nd, 2010
6:34 pm

Our pen will win this game. The Phillies have a lousy pen, and both pens will play a huge roll tonight.

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2010
6:39 pm

Heyward is hitting seventh tonight, FYI.

Braves lineup: Diaz, Prado, Jones, McCann, Glaus, Escobar, Heyward, Cabrera, Lowe.

Martin Prado is hitting .400. Heyward is at .286. Five starting Braves (Lowe included) are at .200 or below.

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2010
6:40 pm

Of some consolation: Ubaldo is shutting out Washington after eight innings. But the Nationals have accumulated four hits.

todd grantham

April 22nd, 2010
6:44 pm

Mark, this has gotta end somewhere. May as well be tonight.

Resign or Resign?

April 22nd, 2010
6:45 pm

MB:

Who ever thought they would refer to you as “My Lucky Charm”? (Can anyone come up with any good “Cereal Killer” lines?)

Bat Masterson

April 22nd, 2010
6:45 pm

Alright, the Braves good luck charm is in attendance tonight, Mark Bradley. Should make for a fun night.

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2010
6:45 pm

I know, Coach Todd. I’d hate to cede my hard-won designation as a jinx.

Bravissimo

April 22nd, 2010
6:46 pm

I think Jimenez must be related to Juan Marichal….I know theyre both from the Dominican.

Papa Johns pizza in the pressbox MB?

todd grantham

April 22nd, 2010
6:46 pm

If your streak keeps going, what happens to the odds? do the odds against you rise with every game? or is each game one-unto-itself and the odds never change?

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2010
6:46 pm

Nobody has ever referred to me as a Lucky Charm, Resign. Fact is, the folks at Publix refuse to sell me Lucky Charms. I’m still eating Cap’n Crunch.

todd grantham

April 22nd, 2010
6:47 pm

or is the fare philly cheese steak sandwiches in honor of the visitors?

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2010
6:47 pm

No Papa John’s, Bravissimo. Though there is pizza. And there’s a Chick-fil-A stand just down the steps.

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2010
6:48 pm

The streak won’t last, Coach. I’m very confident in my capacity to deliver a whammy.

todd grantham

April 22nd, 2010
6:49 pm

Cap crunch is better anyway. just never go to the publix in buckhead and ask the effeminate bag boy where the Fruit Loops are.

todd grantham

April 22nd, 2010
6:50 pm

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2010
6:50 pm

Plenty of quality seating available here at the ballpark. If you take my meaning.

Bravissimo

April 22nd, 2010
6:50 pm

Do they deliver to you or make you hard working scribes go get it yourself?…Ill go get you some food if i can hangout in the pressbox and drink beer?…sounds like a deal to me:)

Bat Masterson

April 22nd, 2010
6:51 pm

Whoops, I wrote then read, hence the lucky charm redundancy.

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2010
6:52 pm

It’s self-service, Bravissimo. But I don’t eat much at the ballpark anymore. I’m more of a heavy drinker. I can’t go two innings without a Coke product.

todd grantham

April 22nd, 2010
6:54 pm

If the Braves cant draw against the Phils, the attendance might not hit 2.5 million.

todd grantham

April 22nd, 2010
6:54 pm

Mark, is that coke and Jack?

Bravissimo

April 22nd, 2010
6:55 pm

Ok…Ill bring you coke products and adult beverages for myself….When Misses ESterhaus shows up youll know its me(Caddyshack reference)

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2010
6:55 pm

Talking with Chip Caray before the game — good guy, Chip — and he noted something I completely missed: The Braves have only three weekend home series against NL East competition. Two of those are against Florida in midsummer; the third is against Philly on the final weekend. From a gate-attraction standpoint, that’s a bad home schedule.

And then factor in the AL teams that come here this season: Tampa Bay, Kansas City and Detroit. Not exactly the Yankees and the Red Sox.

todd grantham

April 22nd, 2010
6:55 pm

Jack can make even Brook Whitmire seem entertaining.

todd grantham

April 22nd, 2010
6:56 pm

revised gate estimate: 1.9 million

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2010
6:57 pm

The Braves have drawn a total of 39,203 for the first two games against the Phils.

todd grantham

April 22nd, 2010
6:59 pm

Don Sutton is up to 5,363 words per minute.

Bravissimo

April 22nd, 2010
6:59 pm

Wait till schools out and it will pick up…always does.

eric

April 22nd, 2010
6:59 pm

Wow, attendance is going to be attrocious this year….

todd grantham

April 22nd, 2010
7:01 pm

good grief. that means 1,587,721 and one half fans attending 81 home games.

MEB

April 22nd, 2010
7:02 pm

D.Lowe is due for a good game tonight. Don’t think you’ll see the slugfest that’s anticipated. Mark I take it you hate it as well when ordering a Coke they say “Will a Pepsi be alright?”

GO BRAVES!!!

todd grantham

April 22nd, 2010
7:03 pm

UGA draws a third of that in 6 games. a little perspective here.

todd grantham

April 22nd, 2010
7:04 pm

Sutton: 89.4 words per second. gotta like that man.

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2010
7:07 pm

I have to say I’m surprised by the lack of a crowd tonight. I know it’s a school night in April …

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2010
7:08 pm

I don’t mind the occasional Pepsi product, MEB. But a lot of my neighbors who work for Coke won’t allow it in their household.

Gordon

April 22nd, 2010
7:08 pm

Mark, quick subject change then back to baseball. What do you think of the NCAA going to 68 teams instead of 96?

Methusalah

April 22nd, 2010
7:09 pm

Jamie Moyer is my favorite player.

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2010
7:10 pm

I think that’s much more prudent, Gordon. The only folks who wanted 96 teams were the coaches, and that was so 31 more of them could say, “Hey, I just made the NCAA tournament.”

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2010
7:11 pm

Methusalah, Bobby Cox asked me before the game if I’m older than Jamie Moyer. I am, by seven years.

Lowe strikes out the Flyin’ Hawaiian to start the contest.

Gordon

April 22nd, 2010
7:13 pm

Agreed, Mark. Making the tournament still means something.

Enjoy the game.

rob graner

April 22nd, 2010
7:15 pm

who wants to pay and see a low scoring or I should say no scoring affair night in and night out. If our bats don’t come around soon there will be even fewer fans

Methusalah

April 22nd, 2010
7:16 pm

Me too. but by a few more years than 7.

todd grantham

April 22nd, 2010
7:17 pm

Mark Bradley

April 22nd, 2010
7:18 pm

Might not be low-scoring this time. Phils with two on and Howard up.