Heat Check: Braves aren’t hot, but they’re getting warmer

From bullpen to bellweather: Give that man (Kris Medlen) a great big hand. (AP photo)

From bullpen to bellwether: Give that man (Kris Medlen) a great big hand. (AP photo)

College football commences this week, with the NFL not far behind. Even so, our Heat Check begins with baseball.

BRAVES: A key week opened badly — the Braves lost the first two games in Washington to fall seven behind the Nationals — but ended rather better. The Nats dropped their next four, and the Braves won three of five to draw within 4 1/2 games. Better still, they won’t face another opponent that is currently above .500 until Sept. 14. Heat Index: Can’t really call a losing (3-4) week hot, but it could have been much worse.

SIX-MAN ROTATION: Well, that didn’t last long. Ben Sheets is on the disabled list, which is where Braves pitchers who stop pitching well land. So now there’s no real debate over who should be sent to the bullpen. Heat Index: This means Tommy Hanson will apparently stay in the rotation, which might not be a great thing. He has worked as many as six innings only once in his past six starts, and he was gone after 4 1/3 against the Giants on Thursday.

KRIS MEDLEN: Good thing they didn’t take my advice and dispatch him to the ‘pen, eh? He won Wednesday in D.C. to break the Braves’ four-game losing streak. It might have been the biggest game of the season. Heat Index: The Braves are 16-0 over Medlen’s past 16 starts, dating back to 2010. That qualifies as hot.

JASON HEYWARD: He was 11-for-28 (.393) against the top-shelf pitching of the Nats and the Giants. He hit four home runs (including one in each of the past three games) with eight RBIs. He also stole two bases. Heat Index: He is, in sum, the anti-Uggla.

DAN UGGLA: Went 2-for-19 on the week with no RBIs. Didn’t start two games, and the Braves, perhaps coincidentally, won both. Got thrown out on the bases twice in one game  in D.C. That came one night after his bobble enabled the Nationals to score the winning run in extra innings. Heat Index: Is hitting .206.

FALCONS: They won their first exhibition game since 2010, which was no big deal. But it does mean we don’t have to read that they haven’t won an exhibition since 2010 any longer. Heat Index: Coaches will tell you that the only preseason game that comes close to mattering is the third, because that’s the one they treat as a regular-season dress rehearsal. The Falcons won their third exhibition 23-6 and did it on the road.

GEORGIA BULLDOGS: They open against the Buffalo Bulls. They’re favored by 37 points. They might be favored by 37 points against the Buffalo Bills. Heat Index: Because the Bills (not the Bulls) are coached by Chan Gailey, still winless against Georgia.t

GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS: They open against Virginia Tech on Labor Day night. In Paul Johnson’s previous Blacksburg excursions, his team was tied with five minutes left but was undone by a late field goal off a drive aided by two penalties, and two years later his quarterback broke an arm and still the Jackets were tied until they surrendered a touchdown on a kickoff return with 2:23 remaining. Heat Index: If Georgia Tech yields another kickoff return for a touchdown, we’ll have a real special-teams coordinator to kick around this time.

DREAM: They’ve won three of five since the WNBA season resumed after its Olympic break, but Olympian Angel McCoughtry didn’t play in two games (both victories) last week and was used as a sub in their loss Saturday to the Minnesota Lynx. Heat Index: Why was McCoughtry missing? “I asked coach for a couple of days off to get myself together,” she told reporters Saturday.

By Mark Bradley

72 comments Add your comment

dtanner

August 27th, 2012
9:03 am

FIRST ON MONDAY MORN.

Mark Bradley

August 27th, 2012
9:03 am

Paul

August 27th, 2012
9:04 am

Thanks for the Dream update

Atlanta Olympics 2020

August 27th, 2012
9:05 am

Thrashers still cold :’(

Goldenrod

August 27th, 2012
9:05 am

FIRST! Georgia Tech RUNS this state!

I resent that Chan Gailey comment MB, the mutts got lucky against him!

Atlanta Olympics 2020

August 27th, 2012
9:07 am

Wait, no love for the GSU Panthers? They play in 3 days!

Ted M

August 27th, 2012
9:07 am

Damn the Braves almost looked like the Epic Collapsers of last year there for a while.

Dawgs East Champs

August 27th, 2012
9:19 am

Like clockwork, there’s that tech troll again – and tech doesn’t run anything besides DragonCon.

Ask Chan for his memories of 51-7, or Coach Turkey neck about any of his three losses against the big brother Dawgs!

Sonny Clusters

August 27th, 2012
9:20 am

Well, it’s nice to see Heyward and Freeman hitting the ball. Maybe they should be splitting Uggla’s $60 million. Their time will come. We was watching the game and was thinking how important Prado is to this team. Plug him in anywhere and watch him play. We figure he’s done everything in the infield but pitcher and catcher plus playing left field most of the season. And now, there is trouble in Washington and LaRoche didn’t run hard on a ball he hit yesterday . . . who could have seen that coming? Well, if Fredi finds a way to “win” the division we will have to consider him one of the great all-time Atlanta Braves managers. Right.

dawgnation1

August 27th, 2012
9:24 am

Its here. Its finally here. Like Christmas in August. Who in the crap thinks tech runs this state? I couldn’t breath for 5 minutes I was laughing so hard.

FIRE HERSCHEL TALKER!!!!! (He’s an idiot)

Rey

August 27th, 2012
9:30 am

Is the backup QB Davis better than Matt Ryan? I know he lacks the experience, but he’s got serious upside and a Drew Brees like deep ball.

RaleighDawg

August 27th, 2012
9:32 am

I suspect the time LaRoche spent under Chipper’s wing helped Adam to see that running out ground balls just isn’t important…watched Chipper loaf down to first on yet another infield grounder last night that was bobbled…yet no one seems very upset about that…well, as they say: as Chipper goes, so goes the team.

ARdawg

August 27th, 2012
9:34 am

Georgia Tech tuns this State? Thats funny right there, I don’t care who you are :D

Paul

August 27th, 2012
9:35 am

Why no comment on Jim boy Donnan since you wanna bring old coaches into the foray.

ARdawg

August 27th, 2012
9:35 am

Tech doesn’t even run North Ave

HUH?????????????

August 27th, 2012
9:36 am

“They open against the Buffalo Bulls. They’re favored by 37 points. ”

Which is why the rest of the college football world laughs at UGA and their pathetic schedule.

Bama and Auburn open with non-conference top ranked opponents.

Stank Wren

August 27th, 2012
9:36 am

The only thing that Georgia Tech runs is the IT department in my office

Stank Wren

August 27th, 2012
9:37 am

And, like football, they don’t seem to be very good at that either

Herschel Talker

August 27th, 2012
9:41 am

dawgnation1:

You must like mediocrity. When coach Mr. Magoo goes 9-3 with this great talent and joke of a schedule, what will be this year’s pathetic excuses?

HT

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Herschel Talker

August 27th, 2012
9:42 am

MB:

Great line on Chan Gailey.

HT

Best Buy

August 27th, 2012
9:44 am

Mr. Dawg

August 27th, 2012
9:44 am

The Jekyll and Hyde pattern of winning and losing runs the Braves have shown all season make it difficult to be optimistic about the post-season. I certainly want to see them get into the playoffs. But that one game play in is really bothersome to me. If they can get through that, I still sense that at the rate things have gone in 2012 Braves fans will be faced with yet another disappointing conclusion this year.

Just Asking?

August 27th, 2012
9:51 am

HUH????????????? “The rest of the college football world laughs at UGA and their pathetic schedule.
Bama and Auburn open with non-conference top ranked opponents.”

Get Your facts straight. Alabama and LSU play their fare share of cream puffs too. And they do it every year.

UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA Football Schedule Opener 2011
Sept. 3 Kent Stateat Bryant-Denny Stadium
UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA Football Schedule Second Game 2012
Sat, Sept 8 vs Western Kentucky

LSU Football Schedule Second Game 2011
Northwestern State Demons at Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA
2012 LSU Football Schedule Opener
Sept. 1 North Texas

Yogi

August 27th, 2012
9:51 am

Uggla should go on the UHL – Unable to Hit List

Blindog

August 27th, 2012
9:52 am

Herschel please go away, far away,real Dawg fans are sick of you and your stupid comments!!!

HUH?????????????

August 27th, 2012
9:56 am

“Alabama and LSU play their fare share of cream puffs too. And they do it every year.”

Yep, but they play more than one ranked team every year.

LSU played more ranked teams last year than UGA and UF combined.

Pippa's hiney

August 27th, 2012
10:00 am

STILL waiting for that RH hitter.

Sonny Clusters

August 27th, 2012
10:05 am

Light hitting Dan Uggla rested yesterday against the Giants and Tim Lincecum. How does Fredi expect him to come out of his slump and get things going like he can do at any time if he doesn’t run him out there? We was thinking yesterday that this may not be a slump. This may just be Dan Uggla as presently constituted. Light hitting Dan Uggla. When Andruw was like this and Francoeur after Andruw we was always surprised they wouldn’t listen to TP and try to make contact and have some smart at-bats. That would appear to be where light hitting Dan Uggla is right now. It’s comforting to know that Walker thinks Uggla is going to get better but is not sure when. We was thinking light hitting Dan Uggla may just remain light hitting Dan Uggla.

Blackberry Cobbler

August 27th, 2012
10:06 am

MB– How are the Braves “getting warmer”? They lost 2 of 3 to the Nats and split 4 games with the Giants. That’s 3-4 so far on the road trip. The Braves have a few individuals that are warming up but as a team, no way. Uggla and McCann are awful and Chipper, while having a good year, only plays when he feels like it. Hanson in the rotation certainly isn’t good news.

Sonny Clusters

August 27th, 2012
10:14 am

We don’t like to brag but they used to say Popeye had “Clusters Arms” . . . our arms are muscular and strong and we have quite a bit of “pop” in our bat because of that and our lightning quick Clusters wrists. So, we don’t see why light hitting Dan Uggla’s Popeye arms are such a big deal with some folks who think he is too muscular to play ball at this level. We think the muscle that needs developing is brains so that a more intelligent approach can deliver good results at the plate. We was listening to an interview with light hitting Dan Uggla and was thinking he may not be the smartest of ballplayers but we understand when he was in school his mama kept running him out there hoping it would help.

Papa Smurf

August 27th, 2012
10:22 am

@ARdawg Thank you for clearly rebutting the haters regarding UGA’s schedule. Of course, most will not understand a simple explanation regarding scheduling.

HUH?????????????

August 27th, 2012
10:24 am

ARdawg

You need to grow up.

HUH?????????????

August 27th, 2012
10:25 am

“Thank you for clearly rebutting the haters regarding UGA’s schedule.”

Stay classy, mutt fans.

Papa Smurf

August 27th, 2012
10:29 am

@HUH???????? What exactly is a Mutt fan?

Delbert D.

August 27th, 2012
10:29 am

Watching Uggla in his last game, it appeared to me that his bat was about 4 inches too short on the strikeouts.

HUH?????????????

August 27th, 2012
10:36 am

“What exactly is a Mutt fan?”

You’re not smart are you.

HUH?????????????

August 27th, 2012
10:38 am

“Coaches will tell you that the only preseason game that comes close to mattering is the third, because that’s the one they treat as a regular-season dress rehearsal. The Falcons won their third exhibition 23-6 and did it on the road.”

The Falcons, like the UGA mutts, are not relevant. The Falcons can not win a playoff game. The UGA mutts can not win a bowl game.

ARdawg

August 27th, 2012
10:44 am

HUH?????

Angry? LOL, not on your best day. I give no yield to Trolls. Obviously, your widdle feelings are hurt. Too bad, now get them fries in the grease

Papa Smurf

August 27th, 2012
10:47 am

@HUH??????? You don’t make any “mutt fans” angry, we just laugh at the lack of a life that you obviously live. Have a wonderful day and hopefully one day life will get better for you!

ARdawg

August 27th, 2012
10:48 am

Papa Smurf

The nerds are so easy. When they cling to scheduling as an issue or argument, they’ve already lost. Something about pocket protectors full of ink pens that drains reason or logic from the brain. BTW, have you seen Tech’s schedule? Yet they call UGA’s soft, puleeeeze

DawgDad

August 27th, 2012
10:52 am

Here’s hoping we don’t see the ill-fated “six-man rotation” again for another 150 years.

Dan Uggla has had one good month plus a couple of weeks over a span one month short of two seasons with the Braves. Nothing against Dan personally, he just hasn’t lived up to expectations. The IDEA of a productive Uggla in the lineup is very intriguing. The reality is he has forced a legitimate All-Star second baseman into the outfield and forestalled management from finding a real solution for a right-handed bat in the middle of the order. It’s striking how much better Prado looks at second base.

The Falcons: Barring key injuries I don’t see any big drop-off or substantial up-tick. Schedule is pretty tough; they may be better on offense and still go 9-7. Hope I’m wrong, but the ground game no longer appears to be an asset and the defense may still struggle to get off the field. You can’t burp three pro-bowl players still in their primes off your roster (Dahl, Mughelli, Lofton) and somehow imagine you’ll be better; just isn’t possible.

ARdawg

August 27th, 2012
10:54 am

Presbyterian Blue Hose? Tech’s record against the Blue hose is already 3-0 Presbyterian is little sisters of the poor to the other Little Sisters of the Poor

Pippa's hiney

August 27th, 2012
10:56 am

ARdawg: Remind us, when was it dawgs were playing toughest sched. in country? Hmmm?

greg mcgarity

August 27th, 2012
10:56 am

let me clarify the SEC sets the conference portion of the schedule, but i get to make the non conference portion is why i schedule buffalo, fla atlantic, ga southern etc. you see these are easy W’s and easy paydays, and as long as you people are dumb enough to keep spending your money on these 56-3 blowouts i’m damn sure gonna keep scheduling them,

ARdawg

August 27th, 2012
11:06 am

Pippa

Your head is that firmly implanted in your hiney? 2007-09 UGA was playing Bama, LSU and AR, the supposed “vaunted West” Along with Florida and Tenessee . Please tell when GT ever played the toughest schedule in the country. And please make it in the last 50 years. Take your time

Bobo for Attorney General

August 27th, 2012
11:34 am

Mark, gotta give a shout out to Huddy. Strong performance yesterday. Still the rock of the rotation.

HUH?????????????

August 27th, 2012
11:46 am

“Angry? LOL, not on your best day. I give no yield to Trolls. Obviously, your widdle feelings are hurt. Too bad, now get them fries in the grease”

Troglodyte, you could never hurt my feelings. I’m just surprised that you can walk and chew gum at the same time. You’re a miracle to science.

HUH?????????????

August 27th, 2012
11:48 am

“You don’t make any “mutt fans” angry, we just laugh at the lack of a life that you obviously live. Have a wonderful day and hopefully one day life will get better for you!”

I love the hypocrisy from mutt fans when they proceed to tell other folks that they have no life because of how they spend time on blogs yet at the same time they themselves spend time on blogs.

HUH?????????????

August 27th, 2012
11:49 am

“BTW, have you seen Tech’s schedule? Yet they call UGA’s soft, puleeeeze”

When mutt fans have to deflect attention away from their soft schedule you know they’re in trouble.

HUH?????????????

August 27th, 2012
11:49 am

“2007-09 UGA was playing Bama, LSU and AR, the supposed “vaunted West” Along with Florida and Tenessee .”

Auburn, Bama, LSU and Arky have to play each other every year. You don’t hear them complaining.