Live from the ballyard: The skidding Braves need a win (duh)

The NL's pitcher of the month for May needs to stop a June swoon. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

The NL's pitcher of the month for May needs to halt a June swoon. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

The Braves had a chance to consolidate the gains made on their road trip, on which they went 7-3. They’ve since gone 1-4, their only victory coming on a walk-off balk. They lost a series to the Mets and have lost this one to the Rangers, and now they’re just trying to exercise damage control.

Jair Jurrjens is pitching today, and that’s usually a good thing. He’s 8-3 with an ERA of 2.13. But Alexi Ogando is working for Texas, and he’s 7-1 with an ERA of 2.71. And the Braves, as you know, have a way of making ordinary pitchers look like Walter Johnson. Imagine what they might do against a good one.

The Braves trailed the Phillies by two games a week ago. They’re six behind now, Philadelphia having beaten Felix Hernandez in Seattle last night. They’re still in good shape for the wild card — tied with St. Louis and Arizona for the lead in that category — but that six-game spread between first and second in the National League East is the widest in baseball.

A cheery note: Dan Uggla had two doubles Saturday, lifting his average to .176 and his RBI total to 21. (He’s sixth on the team in ribbies.) He’s batting second today in a strange lineup that has Jason Heyward hitting third, Freddie Freeman fifth and Nate McLouth — back from the DL — seventh. Diory Hernandez plays third base and hits eighth.

Of the Braves’ starting nine, only Brian McCann is hitting above .264. Only four are above .240. I’ve been saying for a while now that this time is going to hit, but I have to confess even the famous Bradley patience is eroding. Six games back on Father’s Day — time to get going.

And with that, the figurative floor is again open for questions, comments and Father’s Day greetings. I’ll be here all day, and I’d love your company. Thanks, as ever, in advance.

By Mark Bradley

179 comments Add your comment

dean

June 19th, 2011
12:27 pm

dean

June 19th, 2011
12:28 pm

I don’t believe it. lets get it going Bravos!

Delbert D.

June 19th, 2011
12:37 pm

Well, Mark, “this time has hit”, and the Braves are in the doldrums. Now if we could get the *team* to hit, some good things would start to happen.

Mark Bradley

June 19th, 2011
12:38 pm

Kudos, Dean.

Henry D.

June 19th, 2011
12:39 pm

It’s time for Parrish to be gone, it’s time for the pressure to be ratcheted up on Fredi and it’s time for some of these no hit bums to be shipped out.

stevie zero

June 19th, 2011
12:46 pm

mark, heard anything about the braves trading for granderson?

Scott

June 19th, 2011
12:51 pm

Agreed, Parrish has to go.

ted williams head

June 19th, 2011
12:52 pm

2nd that henry d. all this is giving me a headache. not good

rich

June 19th, 2011
12:55 pm

Mark – what is going on with Freeman?? – it looks like he is thinking that ‘chicks dig the long ball’ and he is uppercutting everything – swinging for the fences on each pitch

mountain_jim

June 19th, 2011
12:55 pm

Hope the team is ready to play defense in the first inning today – they were terrible early yesterday.

Does Gonzalez have any fire in his belly at all? Needs to start raising hell when they play like that, don’t run out ground balls, etc.

chalkdawg4

June 19th, 2011
12:55 pm

I was listening to the braves mouthpiece on the rain delay yesterday and heard a load of crap. Talked about how good our pitching was up and down with no mention of how bad the offense is. Looking at another 2-1 or 3-2 loss today I’m afraid. These guys just can’t hit. Happy father’s day to all.

Cousin Vicker

June 19th, 2011
12:57 pm

First it was Mclouth 2 years ago. Now it’s Uggla. Heyward is a injury prone, batting practice legend and nothing more. Prado has heart, but is a utility player who happens to be a starter. Gonzales has been mediocre at best at the plate. I think the Braves are playing exactly to their capabilities.

Tomahawkin

June 19th, 2011
12:59 pm

It’s time to “Ol Yeller” Parrish…!

This team was so good under TP a year ago at making pitchers work and obtaining a high OBP…This year is a complete 180. It’s Hack, Hack, Hack at everything, And then try to play the Catchup game in the late innings! This team is not going to win in October having that approach that Parrish stresses

Ted M

June 19th, 2011
1:00 pm

the braves, I believe, are gonna stick w/the mantra that we’re gonna start hitting soon…until its too late

Tomahawkin

June 19th, 2011
1:02 pm

It doesn’t bother me losing a series to the Rangers, They are the defending AL Champs under Ron Washington for a reason…

I get more P’d off when we lose series to AAA Teams like The NY Mess and The Nationals! I abosolutely hate it when Philly beats the crap out of those AAA Teams and we make them look like the 1998 Yankees

ATLfan94

June 19th, 2011
1:04 pm

It’s funny how last season everybody wanted Terry Pendleton fired as hitting coach and now that Parrish is the coach everybody wants him gone. People chill out they are going to come around eventually. Just wait until we get Prado and Chipper back in the lineup. GO BRAVES!!!

chalkdawg4

June 19th, 2011
1:05 pm

It’s a cryin shame we are wasting this good pitching. They keep our crappy offense in every game. Didn’t like letting the rookie hit in the bottom of the 8th with a go ahead run at 2nd. Took a called 3rd strike. Would have rather had a hobbled Chipper up there in that situation.

Cousin Vicker

June 19th, 2011
1:06 pm

First it was Mclouth two years ago. Now it’s Uggla. Heyward is an injury prone, batting practice legend and nothing more. Gonzales has been mediocre at best at the plate. Prado is a utility man who happens to be starting. Chipper is past his prime. I think this team is playing to their capabilities.

teewest

June 19th, 2011
1:14 pm

Markus once again you have judged correctly!!! Thus you remain my favorite scribe right after Hummer, Tucker, Jeffery S, Towers, CARVELLE,Ralph, Sam, Joe, Clyde my cat,Hank and Fred and Smokey!!!

Mark Bradley

June 19th, 2011
1:14 pm

The good news: The Braves have great pitching. The bad news: They’ve needed it.

Tomahawkin

June 19th, 2011
1:21 pm

We need to get it going!

Matt Chernoff said it about 10 days ago that this is the Braves year to do something in the playoffs because the NL is weak and there is really no dominant team in the league but yet the Braves keep play as if they don’t want it…

rilo

June 19th, 2011
1:23 pm

Yeah….Debbie Downer here….we’re going to be 9 out come the All-Star break. The trade that we have been thinking about will not materalize because we are going to be to far out. If Prado and Hanson were active it might not look as bleak but since Hudson and Lowe are horrible right now…Heyward and Freeman look like pitchers swinging the bat and Chipper is hurt (again) there is NOOOOOOO WAAAAAYYYYY this team is going to make up ground on the Phillies, who aren’t struggling and don’t have anybody hurt. I’d like to believe these minor league hitters we have will surprise us but unless McCann can have 10 homers in his next three games (most likely solo-homers) we don’t have a chance. Sorry folks, just calling it like it is. I’m sure the front office and management will make excuses but that will be just to keep fans coming to the games.

Mike

June 19th, 2011
1:25 pm

Count me among the ones that truly believes that this team can play better than this.

However…

For those saying “dont worry, they’ll come around”, and “its early”…Get a clue. Its not early anymore. We are approaching mid point. And we have been saying they will come around for over a month and a half now. We have had 2 good streaks all season. Early May and about a week ago. Thats been it. That is unacceptable.

Something drastic needs to be done.

A agree that it is time to let Parrish go, issue an apology to TP and ask him to takeover and get this team back to the approach of last year.

I also feel that Fredi should be on the hot seat and have some pressure. I am not encouraging us to be like the Marlins and fire a manager every year, but Fredi has not earned the leeway that Bobby did. Fredi has proved nothing so far. I question his in game decisions and I question his fire, because the team is lacking passion. the team wide slump is no affecting the pitching and defense.

I dont feel that the whole team needs to be dumped. We have the talent, though a pick up of a good bat with some speed would be greatly desired. Maybe a guy like Pence or Bourne. We just need to get Prado, Chipper, Moylan, Medlen, and Beachy back healthy.

The wildcard is still there, but the division is slipping away drastically. the Phils have withstood their injuries and have hit better than us with what should be a worse offensive team.

Its coming time for something drastic needs to be done.

Dr. Phil

June 19th, 2011
1:26 pm

This team is average at best.

Mike

June 19th, 2011
1:27 pm

Jose Reyes. Whatever it takes. At least we’ll get some inspired play at short.

Michael

June 19th, 2011
1:28 pm

They’re done, and they’re pathetic. Watch the CWS instead and see some real teams. I doubt the Braves could win a series against any one of the eight teams in the CWS.

Gold Dawg

June 19th, 2011
1:29 pm

If the playoffs started today, they braves are in a 4-way tie for the wildcard. So stop complaining. They are doing their best. I guess.

Mark Bradley

June 19th, 2011
1:32 pm

I absolutely believe the Braves are better than they’ve played.

rob

June 19th, 2011
1:37 pm

i am so tired of seeing struggling teams suddenly look great against the braves. and these so so pitchers come in and look like the next cy young winner.

Mark Bradley

June 19th, 2011
1:38 pm

Rob, I feel your pain.

beaner from bogart

June 19th, 2011
1:38 pm

bring back cox!

Mark Bradley

June 19th, 2011
1:39 pm

Game time temperature: 88 degrees.

Mark Bradley

June 19th, 2011
1:39 pm

Ian Kinsler starts the proceedings by flying out to right.

rob

June 19th, 2011
1:39 pm

@mark- i totally agree. i am only hoping that perception doesn’t become a reality for this team. at the end of the day, you are only as good as you play.

Mark Bradley

June 19th, 2011
1:40 pm

Absolutely. Pretty soon now the Braves are going to have to play to their abilities.

Mark Bradley

June 19th, 2011
1:41 pm

Elvis Andrus singles to right. Used to be a Brave, as you’re aware.

rilo

June 19th, 2011
1:43 pm

It’s not about being IN the playoffs. I think fans are more frustrated with this team because 1. Hitters are not coming through in must come through situations (bases loaded no outs…no runs) 2. Without the excellent pitching at the beginning of the season we would be out of the playoff race already. 3. We’ve paid millions to be a better team offensively and yet we are much worse. 4. Poor managing/coaching (Uggla batting 2nd, batting Uggla 4th…..heck…batting Uggla at all. 6. Players willing to make changes while struggling 5. The extra effort. This may be last but I just don’t see (or hear) this team putting in the extra effort to break out of these slumps. Tie this in with #4…

Mark Bradley

June 19th, 2011
1:43 pm

McCann throws Andrus out stealing. Jurrjens had driven him back at least three times.

GT2010

June 19th, 2011
1:46 pm

Is Troy Glaus still available?

k483

June 19th, 2011
1:48 pm

Mark, just how much influence does a batting coach have over a professional hitter? And, just how does he influence the hitter? Maybe on some of the rookies, perhaps, or maybe on scheduling too much or too little BP, but I thought these players were pretty much on their own at this level.

dandaman

June 19th, 2011
1:48 pm

I agree that the Braves are better (and more than capable) than the way they are playing at now…

but the approach at the plate if just simply awful. What happened to last year’s approach to having more quality at bats? Seeing more pitches? Trying to coax some BB?

I’ve seen way to many 1-2-3 innings from the Braves offense lately. Too few are getting on base.

I’d definitely like to see more of hustle and sense of urgency from this team. C’mon! Get fired up!

Mark Bradley

June 19th, 2011
1:48 pm

Adrian Beltre breaks his bat but singles into center field. Two on, two out.

Mark Bradley

June 19th, 2011
1:52 pm

Jurrjens gets Michael Young on a comebacker. Inning over.

"Chef" Tim Dix

June 19th, 2011
1:52 pm

Bradley girls treat you right?

DHD

June 19th, 2011
1:52 pm

“Andrus used to be Brave”……….continuing with the long time obsession over former ATL players. The article about Francoeur striking out 4 times this week was amazing. Exactly the kind of deep, thought provoking article I was looking for.

Mark Bradley

June 19th, 2011
1:53 pm

The many Bradley women and I are convening later, Tim.

"Chef" Tim Dix

June 19th, 2011
1:53 pm

Treat your parents good everyday folks, wish my Dad was here to spoil.

rob

June 19th, 2011
1:54 pm

i am starting to this this trade package with the rangers was the the worst one of all. i hope frank wren is taking notes on what NOT to do this year.

Robards

June 19th, 2011
1:55 pm

I do think that part of the problem is the apparent lack of emphasis on working the count. I would think that has something to do with Parrish’s philosophy.

"Chef" Tim Dix

June 19th, 2011
1:56 pm

Rob: Two words for ya, Len and Barker.