Live from Braves-Phils: First place – wouldn’t it be nice?

"Got to keep those lovin' good vibrations happenin'." (AJC photo by Curtis

"Got to keep those lovin' good vibrations happenin'." (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

The Braves haven’t been in first place this late in a season since Oct. 2, 2005. They’ll be in first place if they win today.

How’s that for a snappy lead?

Memorial Day at the ballyard. Phils in the house.Big crowd assembling. Traffic a mess. Clouds overhead. Beach Boys to perform afterward.

(And here I pause for a Beach Boys digression. I saw Brian Wilson perform at the Daytona 500 a few years ago, and I thought to myself: Here’s an individual who couldn’t bring himself to leave his house — the one with the sandbox in the living room — for years at a time, and now he’s standing up there in front of a couple hundred thousand other individuals.)

Chipper Jones said it Sunday: “We’d like to win two of three. When we’ve played these guys the last few years, we went in knowing we had to sweep.”

True enough. Since 2005, which ended the run of excellence, the latest the Braves have been in first was May 15, 2007. So you could say there’s something at stake today. Then again …

It’s baseball. This is Game No. 51. There will be 111 games remaining after this. You don’t clinch pennants on Memorial Day, and the Phillies, who have been hurting — Jimmy Rollins is on the disabled list and Placido Polanco has been hurt — and who haven’t been scoring (six runs in the past eight games, three in the past six). And the Braves won’t face either Roy Halladay, who just worked a perfect game, or Jamie Moyer, who’s 2-0 against the Braves this season without yielding an earned run.

In sum, you have to think the Braves have a splendid chance to win this series, which would not only put them in first place on Memorial Day but would leave them there on June 2. Which would be big news ’round here.

And I’ll be here to witness the doings, and I invite you to join me. And if Brian Wilson and Mike Love get into a fistfight afterward — Love famously thought Wilson’s shelved masterpiece “Smile” was gobbedlygook — I’ll tell you who prevails.

513 comments Add your comment

Steve

May 31st, 2010
12:50 pm

A win would be nice.

Mark Bradley

May 31st, 2010
12:52 pm

The Braves are observing Memorial Day by honoring the military. It’s a nice ceremony.

Let's Go

May 31st, 2010
12:55 pm

hopefully no rain delays

steve

May 31st, 2010
1:05 pm

Mark how is crowd? Sitting at the airport in Sarasota with no TV.

Brent

May 31st, 2010
1:05 pm

Check your math Mark, 111 games left

Brent

May 31st, 2010
1:07 pm

Check your math Mark, there are 111 games left

Ted M

May 31st, 2010
1:08 pm

Are we only playing 152 games this year?

Mark Bradley

May 31st, 2010
1:09 pm

Crowd is smaller than I’d have guessed. Lots of unclaimed seats in the upper deck.

Mark Bradley

May 31st, 2010
1:09 pm

No, Ted M. Sorry. I’ll correct it.

OleJC

May 31st, 2010
1:10 pm

Mark,

Didn’t you mean 111 games yet to play?

ATL FAN363

May 31st, 2010
1:10 pm

Lets GO BRAVES

stevie zero

May 31st, 2010
1:10 pm

mccann feelin 100 percent, mark?

Brave New World

May 31st, 2010
1:10 pm

Let’s go Bravos!
Who thought they were gonna be this close two weeks ago?

Ted M

May 31st, 2010
1:11 pm

LOL no big deal…I was just messin’ with ya.

Stone

May 31st, 2010
1:11 pm

I’m nearly certain Brian Wilson does not perform with The Beach Boys anymore. It’s basically the “Mike Love Band”

Reid Adair

May 31st, 2010
1:11 pm

The “bottom feeders” are finished for a little while. Now we get to see how it goes.

Getting into first place after this series would be nice, but there is still a long, long way to go.

ATL FAN363

May 31st, 2010
1:16 pm

Come on not this early

Barnacle Bill Bavasi

May 31st, 2010
1:16 pm

Boy, I’m glad Glaus and Melky are no longer bums. Now, if only Chipper, Nate and Yunel can get rolling.

Ryan

May 31st, 2010
1:16 pm

Like I said, the phillies break out against the lowly braves.

a

May 31st, 2010
1:17 pm

why can we not get a big crowd against these guys!? it’s memorial day, not raining, first place on the line….come on atlanta!

Mark Bradley

May 31st, 2010
1:17 pm

Hanson gets Ryan Howard to hit into a 3-6-3 DP.

Mark Bradley

May 31st, 2010
1:18 pm

I haven’t heard anything to indicate Brian McCann isn’t OK, Stevie Zero. He’s hitting No. 4 today.

ATL FAN363

May 31st, 2010
1:18 pm

No break out yet love it

Alan

May 31st, 2010
1:19 pm

Better get a lead early cause there might be a long ran delay.

Mark Bradley

May 31st, 2010
1:19 pm

It’s a big crowd. But it doesn’t appear to be a sellout. I’m surprised.

Alan

May 31st, 2010
1:19 pm

Ed

May 31st, 2010
1:19 pm

why are you surprised mark. It’s atlanta and bad weather.

Mike Lum

May 31st, 2010
1:20 pm

Mark, do you buy into the Phillies-slump-is-because-of-getting-caught-with-binocs theory? Is there any evidence of how long they might have been doing it?

Mark Bradley

May 31st, 2010
1:21 pm

As I might have mentioned yesterday … Prado never makes an out. Breaks his bat but singles to center.

eddie willers

May 31st, 2010
1:21 pm

What’s with the white caps?

ATL FAN363

May 31st, 2010
1:21 pm

WOW Prado is really did it in that lead off spot

Mark Bradley

May 31st, 2010
1:22 pm

Heyward crushes one but directs it to the deepest part of the ballyard. Long, loud out.

Mark Bradley

May 31st, 2010
1:22 pm

I believe that’s a Memorial Day tribute, eddie willers.

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

May 31st, 2010
1:24 pm

thanks for the live coverage I am stuck at work and the blog screen looks enough like some of my work screens that i can get away with being on here all day .
Go Braves !

Mark Bradley

May 31st, 2010
1:24 pm

Chipper homers. Golfs it out. Braves 2-0.

Alan

May 31st, 2010
1:24 pm

Woo hoo Chip!!

ATL FAN363

May 31st, 2010
1:24 pm

That a boy chip

Mark Bradley

May 31st, 2010
1:25 pm

Chipper’s first left-handed homer of the season. His second homer since the season’s second game.

Alan

May 31st, 2010
1:26 pm

Phillies are lucky it’s not 4-0

Mark Bradley

May 31st, 2010
1:26 pm

Now McCann with a warning-track fly. Could be a long day for Joe Blanton.

Mark Bradley

May 31st, 2010
1:27 pm

And now Glaus hits it to the warning track. And Ross Gload muffs it.

Alan

May 31st, 2010
1:27 pm

Man we are just missing home runs

Alan

May 31st, 2010
1:28 pm

I predict a base hit from Henske

Mark Bradley

May 31st, 2010
1:28 pm

Four straight drives to the warning track or the seats. And now Hinske drives in Glaus.

ATL FAN363

May 31st, 2010
1:29 pm

That a boy hinske he needs more playing time

Alan

May 31st, 2010
1:29 pm

Yunel will pop up

Bo Diddley

May 31st, 2010
1:30 pm

Hinske is a hittin’ fool.

Mark Bradley

May 31st, 2010
1:31 pm

Given that Philly has scored three runs in its past six games, you’d have to be happy with a 3-0 advantage.

ATL FAN363

May 31st, 2010
1:31 pm

Better than yesterday ill take a 3 run first inng

GT Alum

May 31st, 2010
1:31 pm

Chipper with the big PH to put the Braves ahead yesterday and a big HR to give them an early lead today. Maybe he’s found what he was missing.