Sunday, July 22, 2012


1. This rotation is a mess- they have no chance right now of making the playoffs with the current rotation of Hanson, Hudson, Minor, Jurrjens, and Sheets. Ben Sheets has shocked me and pitched very well in his 2 starts so far.Will it continue is the biggest question Braves fans can ask. If he can then it will strengthen the chances of october baseball but if he cant then its another gaping hole in the rotation.Hanson& Hudson have been decent but not shut down. Minor & Delgado have been exactly what I thought- worthless. Jurrjens showed signs of being the old Jurrjens in June but in July he has gone back to his self since July 2011. He may well indeed have pitched his last game in a Braves uniform sunday. I do believe the braves will make a move for a starting pitcher by  the trade deadline but even with one more legit starter I still dont see this team making playoffs unless Hanson or Hudson can pitch like a top starter from here on out.

2. The offense is too inconsistant - it can score 20 runs in 3 games and then not score 10 runs in the next 4 games.The only 2 consistant hitters have been Prado & Bourn. Everyone else has been on and off. That wont get it done in Sept/ Oct. this offense has potential to be potent but it just doesnt do it often enough. You can split the MVP of the team between Bourn/ Prado but they are the only ones who have been life savers for the offense.If this team could get hott offensively then they are a team to watch out for but I dont see us ever gettoing steady support day in and day out especialy when the games will only come with more pressure the next 2 months. They beat up on teams with Bad pitching and struggle vs the good pitching. that wont bode will in the stretch run.

3.The braves have not played well at home. If you cant take care of buisness at home then you normally dont make the playoffs.Nor have they played very well vs the divison opponets. True they are 8-2 in the last 10 vs the division which closes the gap recordwise vs the divison but they are 4-8 vs the nationals this year. That wont get it done if you want to make it to october.They have been straight up outplayed vs the nats this year. After the huge come back vs the nats on friday when they came backfrom a 9-0 deficit most Braves fans expected it would take the braves off and we would reel off a big winning streak. it didnt happen. The braves lost the next 2 games after that and went to washington 3.5 games back and will leave Washington 3.5 games back so in 4 games they accomplished no gaining ground.

4. I dont think Fredi G. is the man for this job. The braves team is so talented but they just havent responded well with Fredi leading them. His lack of passion and intensity seems to be lacking big time. where is the fire in this team? He is way to laid back and it seems to carry over alot to the team. Goin back to last seasons collapse  down the stretch he had no emotion when his team was crumbling and neither did the players. A team is dictated alot by the man that leads it and in this case Fredi G isnt very good for this team. I wonder how the team would respond to someone with more fire and intensity. I just cant see the braves getting to playoffs and winning with Fredi G at the helm.

5. The bullpen hasnt been reliable. Minus Kimbrel and the good work from Medlen this bullpen hasnt done work very well. Venters has been horrible. He has been lit up time and time again. The workload for Venters and Kimbrel has been reduced this year and  Kimbrels stats has improved but Venters has gone way up. Last season the braves were carried by there elite Bullpen this year the bullpen isnt close to top form like it was to last year. They need Venters to return to form to have any chance of being that good bullpen from a year ago. Kimbrel is one of the best closers in the game and will rack up incredible strikeout numbers- but I personally feel like in the intense stakes of the playoff run in september he will crumble. He has blown some big games in his 1.5 years  so far in the bigs. Yes he has alot of saves but the ones he has blown stick out in my mind more then any of his career numbers so far. If you dont understand where Im coming from then look at his work during the 2010 playoff series vs Giants. Look at his stats from September 2011. He was abig reason why the braves folded during the stretch last year. More then anything when the braves needed him most in game #162 vs Philly he really struggled. he was walking up a storm and he gave up the tying runs in a game the Braves needed to win.  there is a big difference saving games in April thru August and then saving games in September. Yes he is young and that gives me hope- but right now hes a head scratcher to me coming down the stretch of importance for the Braves bullpen.

 I know many Braves fans will think Im crazy and think this team will make the playoffs and I respect that but personally I cant see it happening unless our rotation takes a major turn for the better, our offense becomes more consistant and the bullpen shows more of the 2011 Braves then 2012. There is still 2 months to go but  these games are growing more and more imporant and the braves rotation more then anything isnt showing any signs of carrying the Braves into the playoffs.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The  biggest news is Brandon Beachy

Its sad that something like this  has happened to such a good guy like Beachy. The Braves rotation is taking a massive blow with Beachys injury. Minor & Delgado seem to be too young to really contribute to the team. Though there last 3 starts havent been horrible.  But how do you replace Beachy? Mlbs  leader in ERA?  The Braves best wish would be Jurrjens steps up and can be a top starter again. If he can figure it out then the Beachy loss wont be as bad. But if Jurrjens  continues to get lit up the Braves are in serious trouble. They   need Jurrjens more then ever now. This is his second and final chance with the Braves. Even if he comes back and pitches well the Braves still lack another good starter that could help them get into the playoffs- Jurrjens, Hanson, Hudson, Delgado, Minor isnt enough . Im very intrested in seeing what will Frank Wren do  to replace Beachy.

 Another concern of mine is Eric Hinkse. What has happened to him? He was HUGE for the braves in 2010 but since the second half of 2011 he hasnt done anything.In 2010 he had clutch hit after clutch hit even in the playoffs. He hit .256 that year with 11 home runs and 51 rbis. Last year he fell to .233 with 10 hrs and 28 rbis and most of that production came in the first half of the season. This year hes hit .205 1 hr & 8 rbi. Hes lacked the production and power he showed his first 1.5 years with the Braves. I like Hinske alot but I dont know how much longer the Braves can continue to have him be there top guy off the bench when hes not hitting a lick. I cant rememeber the last time he had a good at bat, a big hit, or even a home run. Hes become an automatic out. The thing that may keep him on the team longer is the fact he can play both corner outfield positions and first base- right now all hes doing is defense because his hitting has dissappointed since last year.

Monday, June 11, 2012


I went to the Braves game friday- I had to be there for my favorite brave of all time John  Smoltz. There really is just not enough words you can say about what Smoltz meant to the braves for 20 years. While we saw Maddux, and Glavine & other guys come and go and leave for more money smoltz contract after contract took less money to stay with the braves. He was more loyal then any braves player ever. He had a career postseason record of 15-4. Thats the best mark in National League history. He was a elite big game pitcher as there is. Countless times he took the ball with a hurt shoulder or elbow and shouldnt have pitched- but did and pitched his butt off. Maddux was great, glavine was great but year after year in postseason you couldnt count on them to win the big game that you knew Smoltz would win you. There is a reason why Chipper Jones said "if theres a game we have to win theres nobody more I want pitching then  John Smoltz"

 I have a couple favorite memories of Smoltz-one is in game 2 of 2004  divison series playoffs vs Astros. The braves were losing in the 8th inning and Smoltz came to hit and he walked.He had a great at bat and got on base, once on base he stole second. he eventually scored the tying run. here it is a pitcher giving you a hell of an at bat to get on base and then stealing second. Smoltz was a great athlete. He often would beg Bobby Cox to let him play center field for an inning. There was nothing Smoltz couldnt do. Menatally you wont find a stronger pitcher. Another memory of his that comes to mind is game 2 of the 2005 divison series vs Astros- He had an elbow that was in horrible pain and shouldnt have pitched but went out and willed his way to 8 innings and won the only braves would win in that series. He was matched up  vs. Roger Clemens and outpitched him highlighted by Brian MCcans 3 run home run off Clemens. Games like these made Smoltz the pitcher he was. I dont think the Braves will ever see another big game pitcher like the one smoltz was.

As for the current Braves we had a good week- 6 wins in a row. Fridays game was one of the weirdest games you will see this year. scoring on balks, and bad throw on a steal. The pitching has been good over the last 10 games minus the bad performance Sunday. We will need the pitching to step up with the yankees coming to town starting monday. Offense needs to step it up some too. Jason Heyward is showing signs of 2011 &that defiently is discouraging to any Braves fan.  The rookie Simmons looks really good though. we know his defense is great and  its been nice to see him contribute offensively in his first 2 weeks in the majors. I  hope he keeps it up.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

8 game losing  streak

 Most Braves fans should be fed up with this 8 game losing streak. The offense has been good this entire season but the last 8 games the offense has disappeared. The pitching has been mediocore so this is nothing new but when you dont have the offense to bail out the pitching it makes it worse. Add on that the defense has  hurt and you can see easily why we have lost 8 games in a row.

Changes have got to be made. Mccann hasnt hit well this season, Heyward is showing signs of the 2011 season. and Chipper Jones sitting out with injury is becoming a once again familar site. I  firmly believe he will be on the bench a good part of the second half. I cant see him staying healthy. I can see Juan F. getting alot of playing time due to Chippers injuries. Its been a special season so far for chipper- but the last 3 weeks Chipper hasnt done much but stay on the bench hurt.  I said before the season I would be shocked if Chipper played 100games this year. my estimate was 80-90. seems like that could be legit now.

Something has got to be done with the rotation- Delgado and Minor are just flat out not cutting it- I knew they wouldnt though this doesnt suprise me. It has truly hurt the braves with Jurrjens  failures this year. Overcoming his struggles have been  hard. Any Braves fan that was confident in Minor and Delgado to me was out of the loop from jump.From spring training I felt we relied too much on inexperienced rookies and needed a Veteran to take some pressure off our young arms. Beachy has been better then expected but besides him everyone else hasnt held up there end of the bargain.  If the Braves dont make a move for a starter then they could fall out of  position. It seems growing speculation is moving Medlen into the rotation. He defiently is a starters but as I stated last week- moving him from bullpen creates huge hole. You fill a starters roll and lose a big asset in the bullpen. Say Medlen does move to starter then you have Hudson, Hanson, Beachy, Medlen and Delgado/ Minor and Ive said a hundred times those guys dont cut it. The rotation is a mess. It is a big weakspot for us. Things have gotten even worse now that the bullpen is getting  beat up. I dont know whats wrong with Venters but he seems to  give up runs on a nightly basis and Eric O has struggled  this year. I can admit that Livan Hernandez has been better then I expected. hes one of the few who haev done there  job well  out of the pen.

The issue that bugs me most is the Braves seem to have the EXACT ATTITUDE they had during there September collapse last year. Can you imagine the story lines on Baseball tonight if the yankees, or Red sox, or phillies had an 8 game losing streak? but with the Braves its nothing. what will it take for the Braves to wake up? When will they get sick of losing and show emotion? The braves always talk about having a "great clubhouse" well whose standing up and holding these guys accountable? whose lighting that fire and holding the guys accountable? To me the Braves havent had a vocal leader since the day they  traded  Dave Justice. Teams need that mean streak guy to light a fire when things are dull. Things got dull last September and May 2012 they are dull again. This team is too talented to lose 8 games in  a row. I dont use injuries as an excuse either because alot of teams have injuries right now. The Braves have no life right now. Everyones walking around in the clubhouse with the "We will whether this storm" mentality  Just like they did last September. It frustrates the life out of me.  It starts from uptop- GM Frank Wren seems to have alot of patience with the players and with Fredi G. Its a big head scratcher that Fredi G didnt lose his job after collapse last year. He shows no emotion and fire in him and the players follow suite. I often wonder- what gets under Fredis skin? what makes him angry? this lack of passion and energy is killing the Braves. They need a strong voice in that clubhouse because its obvious management wont step up to the plate and do it. Its a long season I Admit but right now there is atleast2 better teams in the braves divison them then. when will the Braves wake up and act like they care? or is it still September 2011 to them??

Monday, May 21, 2012


I Know Braves fans are crying for the change in rotation- put in Medlen and take out  Minor. I disagree. I posted a blog in spring training of 2011 stating that I felt Medlen was huge loss during 2010 -he is proving me 100% correct in that standpoint. I have always liked Medlen and what he can do. I know he can be a starter in the majors and am sure he would contribute well to the  Braves rotation. That being said I think he is more valuable right now as a reliever. It may be tempting to  bump him into the rotation with Jurrjens being sent down, Minor struggling and Delgago still showing rookie problems but he is best where is is right now- in the bullpen

Mike Minor has given up 12 home runs and has straight up looked lost and overmatched. I personally have never been a fan of him. I felt the braves should have traded him at the deadline last year. Iam not suprised at all of his struggles. he was 2-3 with a 7.09 era before he got hit up hard tonight. Medlen on the other hand  has been great with a 1-0 record. 22 innings giving up 18 hits with a 2.38 era. what makes him great where he is in the bullpen is he is a guy that can get out BOTH rightys AND leftys. Not many managers can say that out of a guy from there pen. Medlen is so valuable to our pen for that very reason. If you moved him into the rotation who would replace him in the bullpen? Livan Hernadez? No. hes done good in his spot. You move Medlen into a starters role and that bullpen is alot more sketchy. Medlen can pitch multiple innings and  get out any batter he faces from any side. The Braves need that- its worked out great so far. I know Medlen would prefer to start because he knows he can. But right now he realizes his role is so valuable coming out of the pen.  A

 Another fixture is Minor is our lone lefty in the rotation you replace him with Medlen then our entire rotation is right handed.. that is not a good look.. Also people need to remember Medlen returned at the end of the season last year form Tommy John surgery. so if Braves moved him into rotation you would have to monitor closely his innings pitched. You dont want Medlen to pitch more then 200 innings his first year coming off major elbow surgery- after that you would have to shut him down as a starter. As a reliever you know hes not going to throw 200 innings therefore you dont have worry about shutting him down at anypoint this season. and that lies another major reason why hes more effective this year coming out of the bullpen. It sounds great and easy to move Medlen to the rotation but it would benefit Medlen and the bullpen and team overall to leave him right where he is.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


I loved the Bourn trade when it happened last year. I felt like it was the perfect fit for the offense. I think Braves fans are beginning to see how much he changes this offense. Yes Heyward has done better.Yes Uggla hasnt gotten off to a bad start like last year.. but this offense is going because of Bourn. I dont know why but in my opinion he doesnt get enough love from Braves fans because he is straight killing it right now and no one really talks about  him.

He has been caught stealing 5 times this year but 3 of those were horrible calls where he was safe. He is getting on base for the big guys- Mccann,Freeman,Uggla,Chipper,Heyward to do there damage. Bourn getting on base so much is a big reason why Freeman is third in the league in Rbis.Over his last 10 games Bourn is hitting .340 with 16 runs scored. if you go further then that hes hitting almost .390 over the last 20 games. Its safe to say that the Braves offense took off once Bourne started hitting. This guy is the real deal.For the season hes hitting .333 with 24 runs scored,49 hits, 11 stolen bases, OBP of .399 and great defense in center field.

I wish the the Braves would make signing him in the offeseason a priority. I cant see anyone to take his place in the organization.They need to pay him.Yes I know he is 30 years old but we can offer him a 3-5 year deal and keep him here. hes a  offense igniter, a  .300 hitter, will steal 60 bases, and is a gold glover in center. thats hard to come guy. Braves need to keep this guy  in Atlanta beyong next year. he is the #1 reason if you ask me why the offense is doing so much better this season.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


I have said since spring training I believe the starting rotation is going to be the weak link of the team, which is hard to think because the past  couple years its been huge for the braves.I didnt see the struggles of Jair Jurrjens coming. Its very suprising. Mike Minors success has been suprising too. I will say Im not a big fan of Minor but I have to tip my cap to what hes done in April. That being said I dont trust him to win big games in September and down the stretch. The same goes for Randal Delgado. They are just too young and inexperienced to rely on in a big pennant race and in the playoffs. Brandon Beachy has been the staffs best pitcher. I trust in him, though I still think he needs to lower his pitch count to pitch deeper into games.

The Braves rotation will have Hanson,Hudson,Beachy,Minor, and Delgado coming up. Tim Hudson has been good for us for many years but how much do you trust a 36 year old coming off back surgery? Im skeptical of how well Hudson will be this season. Tommy Hanson is great when hes healthy. but how long before that shoulder starts acting up again? Do you trust him for entire season? do you trust him long term? I just cant see him staying healthy to win games like the braves need him to. When I take everything into consideration Brandon Beachy is our best starting  pitcher- he has shown he can compete and hold his own down the stretch and against good teams.(how many times has he pitched against the phillies?) I like him alot... but everyone after that is a head scratcher. The offense seems to finally have an idea on how to score and manufacture runs- but now I worry about our starters.YES, we have the best bullpen in baseball  BUT we dont need to over work them. and I dont believe Minor/ Delgado are going to give us 6 innings on a regular.

I dont believe the Braves are confident Jurrjens will ever bounce back and pitch big for them. he may or may not be back in Atlanta. He seems to have lost all confidence in himself and forgotten who he was.. I think if the Braves  want to be serious contenders they NEED to trade for a VETERAN starter who can be insurance for us. I do not believe the Braves can go deep in the playoffs with this current rotation. I hope Frank Wren is beginning to look at veteran pitchers who could bring some missing muscle to this rotation because as of right now- theres too many question marks.