All about the Braves and baseball events.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Braves Set 25-man Roster, Prado Noticeably Absent

C Brian McCann
C Brayan Pena
1B Scott Thorman
1B/LF Craig Wilson
2B Kelly Johnson
SS Edgar Renteria
3B Chipper Jones
IF Pete Orr
IF Chris Woodward
LF Matt Diaz
OF Ryan Langerhans
CF Andruw Jones
RF Jeff Francoeur

SP John Smoltz
SP Tim Hudson
SP Chuck James
SP Mark Redman
SP Kyle Davies
SP/RP Lance Cormier
RP Macay McBride
RP Chad Paronto
RP Tyler Yates
RP Rafael Soriano
RP Mike Gonzalez
RP Bob Wickman

Why the heck is Chris Woodward on there? Martin Prado hit much better, plus he actually looks like he can play some defense. Oh well.
Few Runs, but White Sox Have Most

The Braves managed to make it exciting in the ninth inning, but the White Sox pulled out the win 3-2, getting a run off of Buddy Carlyle in the fifth and making it stand up. Chipper Jones and Paul Konerko traded homers and Mark Buehrle pitched seven innings and allowed just two runs.

The final exhibition game is tmorrow.

W - Mark Buehrle (1-2)
L - Buddy Carlyle (1-1)
S - Matt Thornton (1)
HR - CWS - Paul Konerko (4)
ATL - Chipper Jones (4)

Three Stars
P Mark Buehrle - 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO
1B Paul Konerko - 3-4, HR, 2 R, RBI
3B Chipper Jones - 2-2, HR, R, BB, 2 RBI

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Not Braves' day, Pounded By Indians

Tim Hudson allowed three runs in his last inning of work and Rafael Soriano got pounded for five runs and the Braves lost to the Indians 8-2. Also, the Braves were held without a hit for seven innings before breaking out in the eighth for two runs. Every team has one of these days, where they can't seem to do anything right, so no biggie. :)

And I also have a special announcement... *ahem*...


W - Fausto Carmona (3-1)
L - Tim Hudson (1-1)
HR - Trot Nixon (1)
Casey Blake (4)

Three Stars
P Fausto Carmona - 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 SO
1B Casey Blake - 2-3, HR, R, 4 RBI
RF Trot Nixon - 2-4, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI

Honorary Star
RF Jeff Francoeur - 0-1, BB

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Francoeur Slams, Braves Roll Against Mets

Jeff Francoeur belted a grand slam in the first inning and the bullpen held the Mets off the board after Kyle Davies allowed three runs in five innings as the Braves beat the Mets 8-3. Steve Coyler, Tyler Yates, Macay McBride and Peter Moylan all had scoreless innings pitched.

W - Kyle Davies (2-0)
L - Jon Adkins (0-3)
HR - Jeff Francoeur (GS, 4)

Three Stars
RF Jeff Francoeur - 1-2, GS, R, 4 RBI
C Brayan Pena - 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI
P Ambotrix Burgos - 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Smoltz Pounded, Braves Lose to Tigers

Smoltzie was pounded in his final start before Braves' Opening Day, but the bullpen allowed just one run in five innings; the Tigers winning 7-5. The Braves did have 11 hits and three homers.

W - Jeremy Bonderman (3-0)
L - John Smoltz (1-1)
S - Jose Mesa (1)
HR - DET - Marcus Thames (3)
ATL - Edgar Renteria (1)
Andruw Jones (3)
Brian McCann (3)

Three Stars
RF Magglio Ordonez - 2-2, 2B, BB, 2 R, 2 RBI
LF Matt Diaz - 3-4, 3 2B, 2 R
P Chad Paronto - 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO

Monday, March 26, 2007

Cormier Leaves With Stiff Shoulder, but Braves Still Win

Lance Cormier left the game in the second after reporting a stiff shoulder , but the Braves still won against the Astros 6-4. The Braves had five doubles, including reliever Peter Moylan's one off of Woody Williams. Chris Woodward and Doug Clark had two hits for the Braves. Steve Coyler had a shutout sixth and seventh.

W - Rich Scalamandre (1-0)
L - Woody Williams (0-3)
S - J. B. Miadich (1)
HR - Eric Bruntlett (1)

Three Stars
P Steve Colyer - 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO
P Dave Borkowski - 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO
2B Martin Prado - 1-3, R, 3 RBI

EDIT: Added a link I forgot.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

James Good Again As Braves Shut Down Nats

Chuck James shut out the Nationals for six innings on two hits and four walks, and also drove in two runs with a single. The Braves had a two-run shot from Chipper Jones as well and the Bravos shut out the Nats 6-0.

Scott Thorman and Edgar Renteria had two singles and Matt Diaz had three singles. Rafael Soriano struck out the side in his inning of work.

W - Chuck James (3-1)
L - Matt Chico (2-2)
HR - Chipper Jones (2)

Three Stars
P Chuck James - 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 4 SO, W; 1-3, 2 RBI
1B Scott Thorman - 2-3, 2 R, BB, 1 RBI
P Rafael Soriano - 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO

Saturday, March 24, 2007

RP Tyler Yates

The final preview post!

This guy's middle name is Kali, the name of the Hindu goddess of chaos and death (remember Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom?). That's really all you need to know.

... oh, about how he pitches? Yates is very inconsistent, and just today, he blew the lead in the fifth inning against Cleveland and that lost the game. He had a lot of situations like that last season as well. If he has a spot waiting for him (and he does), just hold your breath when he comes in the game.

BP: 2-2, 46 2/3 IP, 46 H, 27 BB, 40 SO, 4.48 ERA, 1.564 WHIP
BJH: 3-4, 62 IP, 62 H, 37 BB, 54 SO, 4.79 ERA, 1.597 WHIP
RW: None
SN: None

Sam's Projection: 2-3, 58 2/3 IP, 56 H, 36 BB, 50 SO, 4.69 ERA, 1.568 WHIP
IF Chris Woodward

Woodward can play all the infield positions all right. That's the only asset he has, since he left his bat in Toronto. It's quite possible that he could start the season in Richmond.

BP: .242, 5 HR, 27 RBI, .667 OPS
BJH: .247, 4 HR, 26 RBI, .676 OPS
RW: .250, 3 HR, 23 RBI, .672
SN: None

Sam's Projection: .240, 3 HR, 12 RBI, .670 OPS
IB-OF Craig Wilson

Wilson was originally signed to help out in left field, but is also projected to help Scott Thorman at first base. He should be doing that this year. He should provide some slugging prowess to help out.

BP: .242, 15 HR, 49 RBI, .759 OPS
BJH: .258, 18 HR, 55 RBI, .807 OPS
RW: .271, 15 HR, 46 RBI, .796 OPS
SN: None

Sam's Projection: .265, 15 HR, 47 RBI, .795 OPS
RP Bob Wickman

The stabilizer of last year's bullpen will continue to use his veteran presence (read: girth) to pitch in the closer's role for the Braves. Bobby Cox, however, doesn't have to rely on Wickman to close; he could turn that duty over to Gonzalez or Soriano to give Wickman a rest. It's probably safe to say that Wickman doesn't have to worry about being the closer: it's his job until he tires.

BP: 2-3, 41 1/3 IP, 45 H, 15 BB, 29 SO, 4.28 ERA, 1.451 WHIP
BJH: 4-3, 62 IP, 61 H, 21 BB, 50 SO, 3.77 ERA, 1.322 WHIP
RW: 1-3, 53 IP, 51 H, 15 BB, 39 SO, 3.40 ERA, 1.245 WHIP
SN: 1 W, 59 IP, 56 H, 19 BB, 43 SO, 2.75 ERA, 1.271 WHIP

Sam's Projection: 2-3, 58 IP, 59 H, 16 BB, 49 SO, 3.05 ERA, 1.293 WHIP
RP-SP Oscar Villarreal

A valuable spot starter last season when the Braves really needed him last season; he could do the same thing again this season. However, he has been very streaky this year in spring. He'll probably have a spot waiting for him, though.

BP: 4-4, 77 1/3 IP, 83 H, 26 BB, 49 SO, 4.57 ERA, 1.409 WHIP
BJH: 6-5, 105 IP, 106 H, 37 BB, 70 SO, 4.20 ERA, 1.362 WHIP
RW: 4-4, 54 IP, 55 H, 17 BB, 32 SO, 4.00 ERA, 1.333 WHIP
SN: None

Sam's Projection: 6-4, 107 IP, 99 H, 40 BB, 78 SO, 4.16 ERA, 1.299 WHIP
Braves Split Pair with Indians and Tigers

The Braves beat the Tigers 3-1 and lost to the Indians 4-3.

W - Rafael Soriano (1-0)
L - Preston Larrison (1-1)
S - Macay McBride (2)

Three Stars
P Tim Hudson - 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO
P Kenny Rogers - 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 SO
2B Kelly Johnson - 2-2, 2 BB, RBI

W - Fernando Cabrera (1-0)
L - Tyler Yates (0-1) <- gave up two runs in the fifth
S - Sean Smith (1)
HR - CLE - Ryan Garko (2)
ATL - Chipper Jones (2)

Three Stars
DH Ryan Garko - 2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI
P Juan Lara - 3 IP, 4 H. 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO
3B Chipper Jones - 2-3, HR, R, 2 RBI

Friday, March 23, 2007

SP-RP Lance Cormier

Cormier did an okay job relieving last season, and a so-so job in the starter's role last season, turning in a couple of good starts (and a few bad ones). However, this spring, he has emereged as a candidate for Mike Hampton's vacant starting spot. Is it possible that he has turned the corner? Maybe.

BP: 4-5, 87 2/3 IP, 100 H, 39 BB, 55 SO, 5.01 ERA, 1.586 WHIP
BJH: 5-6, 99 IP, 117 H, 44 BB, 65 SO, 5.45 ERA, 1.626 WHIP
RW: 5-5, 77 IP, 79 H, 29 BB, 47 SO, 4.56 ERA, 1.403 WHIP
SN: None

Sam's Projection: 11-9, 165 IP, 176 H, 52 BB, 105 SO, 4.32 ERA, 1.382 WHIP
1B Scott Thorman

The heir apparent to the first base job after Adam LaRoche was traded to Pittsburgh, Thorman got a vote of no confidence when Craig Wilson was signed. At first, Wilson was to play in left field, but then Thorman started poorly in spring and now it looks as if Wilson and Thorman will share time at first. Thorman has done all right this spring so far, batting .265 with a .716 OPS. Once we get going in the season, we'll all see how well Thorman will do.

BP: .273, 16 HR, 66 RBI, .779 OPS
BJH: .297, 8 HR, 28 RBI, .829 OPS
RW: .253, 6 HR, 15 RBI, .758 OPS
SN: None

Sam's Projection: .280, 18 HR, 58 RBI, .804 OPS
RP Rafael Soriano

In what was possibly the biggest steal the Braves have done in recent trades, Rafael Soriano was copped from the Mariners for Horacio Ramirez. At the worst (best?), the teams came out even. Soriano had a WHIP of 1.083 last season, and doesn't seem to have any ill effects from that concussion he had. He'll make a great setup man and sometime closer.

BP: 3-3, 56 2/3 IP, 51 H, 22 BB, 57 SO, 3.66 ERA, 1.288 WHIP
BJH: 3-2, 43 IP, 35 H, 13 BB, 46 SO, 3.14 ERA, 1.116 WHIP
RW: 4-3, 68 IP, 51 H, 18 BB, 81 SO, 2.51 ERA, 1.103 WHIP
SN: 2 W, 62 IP, 47 H, 19 BB, 68 SO, 2.47 ERA, 1.065 WHIP

Sam's Projection: 3-2, 65 IP, 53 H, 17 BB, 82 SO, 2.69 ERA, 1.077 WHIP
Pena, Jr. Swapped For Minor League Pitcher Erik Cordier

Looks like the Braves got someone for Pena, Jr. after all. Li'l Tony (Mac's name for him) was traded to Kansas City for A-ball hurler Erik Cordier. This could turn out to be a steal, because Pena has never been that good a hitter. Cordier had a 1.044 WHIP in 52 2/3 innings between Rookie and A-ball, so I would guess that he'll be very nice. I wish all the best for Pena, Jr., but I really don't think he'll amount to much.
SP Mark Redman

Redman was once an All-Star in 2005; an All-Star with the Kansas City Royals. Enough said. I remember praying for him to get into the game so that the National League could pound him.

Obviously, I've had a change of heart. If he can be good as an emergency or fifth starter, as I'm sure he can, he'll be an asset, because that's one of the things the Braves lacked last season. I look forward to seeing what he can do if he does make the team, even if he's just like Shane Reynolds.

BP: 7-11, 148 IP, 183 H, 54 BB, 73 SO, 5.68 ERA, 1.601 WHIP
BJH: 9-11, 176 IP, 192 H, 58 BB, 102 SO, 4.40 ERA, 1.420 WHIP
RW: 12-13, 186 IP, 204 H, 69 BB, 88 SO, 4.69 ERA, 1.468 WHIP
SN: 10-9, 175 IP, 192 H, 64 BB, 89 SO, 5.04 ERA, 1.463 WHIP

Sam's Projection: 11-11, 183 IP, 199 H, 60 BB, 105 SO, 4.72 ERA, 1.415 WHIP
Davies Another Strong Start, Braves Best Phillies

Not only did Kyle Davies pitched six innings of three-hit, one-run ball, he also had an RBI double. The Braves pulled the game out at the end 7-4. Brayan Pena had a pinch-hit two run homer, Chipper Jones had a double and Corky Miller had two singles in three trips.

W - Kyle Davies (1-0)
L - J. A. Happ (0-2)
HR - ATL - Brayan Pena (1)
PHI - Greg Dobbs (4)

Three Stars
P Kyle Davies - 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, W; 1-2, 2B, RBI
P J. A. Happ - 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO, L
PH Brayan Pena - 1-1, HR, R, 2 RBI

Thursday, March 22, 2007

SP John Smoltz

The longest-tenured Brave since Phil Niekro, Smoltz is, of course, the last member of the 1991 Miracle Braves still on the team. What is incredible is that he is still pitching at the top of his game. If the Braves' bullpen was better in 2006, he could have won the Cy Young Award. As it is, he'll be prepared to anchor the Braves' rotation once again. I don't know how many more years that he'll do this for the Braves; I don't think anyone knows. But I'm sure going to enjoy it. When it's all said and done, Smoltzie should be a Hall of Famer.

BP: 14-10, 212 IP, 207 H, 54 BB, 166 SO, 3.68 ERA, 1.231 WHIP
BJH: 18-7, 227 IP, 209 H, 50 BB, 200 SO, 3.17 ERA, 1.141 WHIP
RW: 15-10, 231 IP, 222 H, 57 BB, 191 SO, 3.58 ERA, 1.208 WHIP
SN: 14-9, 222 IP, 216 H, 55 BB, 184 SO, 3.57 ERA, 1.221 WHIP

Sam's Projection: 20-10, 242 IP, 228 H, 55 BB, 228 SO, 3.20 ERA, 1.169 WHIP

Yeah, that's right. Smoltz will pitch at the level he did last season and now that the bullpen doesn't stink, he'll get his wins. He'll get the Cy Young Award.
SS Edgar Renteria

It could be possible that Renteria will be remembered as "the veteran shortstop who was once traded for superstar Andy Marte", or he'll be remembered as "the veteran shortstop who was traded to Atlanta and had a few more good years with them." The latter will be true for a while. Renteria will continue to do what he does best: hit and do his damnedest to field the shortstop position well.

BP: .284, 10 HR, 59 RBI, .756 OPS, 16 SB
BJH: .284, 12 HR, 78 RBI, .759 OPS, 17 SB
RW: .284, 13 HR, 71 RBI, .767 OPS, 18 SB
SN: .289, 12 HR, 72 RBI, .773 OPS, 18 SB

If this isn't a cosensus, I don't know what is. :)

Sam's Projection: .285, 12 HR, 70 RBI, .765 OPS, 17 SB
IF Martin Prado

Prado, who was brought up last season to help out Marcus Giles at second base, has had a very strong spring so far. He doesn't have much power, but his defense is all right. It's possible that he could be one of the other benchies on the final roster, taking the "resevered" spot for Chris Woodward, who has been having injury problems this spring.

BP: .276, 5 HR, 43 RBI, .696 OPS
BJH: None
RW: None
SN: None

Sam's Projection: .275, 3 HR, 38 RBI, .684 OPS
2B Willy Aybar

When we traded for him and Danys Baez, he was supposed to be the heir apparent to second base since it was an open secret that Marcus Giles was going to be traded or released. Then, Kelly Johnson came onto the scene. Combined with the fact that Aybar somehow got the "supersub" tag on him, he'll start the season on the bench. Aybar will get some starts due to Chipper's inevitable trip to the DL.

BP: .273, 13 HR, 39 RBI, .764 OPS
BJH: .276, 6 HR, 35 RBI, .769 OPS
RW: .282, 10 HR, 50 RBI, .798 OPS
SN: None

Sam's Projection: .275, 10 HR, 43 RBI, .770 OPS
SS Tony Pena, Jr.

There was a lot of fretting earlier in the week about whether or not that the Braves would be able to keep Tony Pena, Jr. after they optioned him to Richomond, which means he would be put on waivers. Yes, that's right. All the other teams in baseball are just lining up to take the light-hitting, semi-good glove benchie Tony Pena, Jr.

Take a number, everyone!!

BP: .247, 4 HR, 31 RBI, .624 OPS, 12 SB
BJH: .263, 1 HR, 9 RBI, .645 OPS, 4 SB
RW: None
SN: None

Sam's Projection: .250, 2 HR, 5 RBI, .630 OPS, 2 SB
C Brayan Pena

It's not a good time to be a backup catcher in Atlanta right now with Brian McCann breaking out. But Pena will get some playing time, because Brian McCann will have to sit every now and then if he has ankle problems like last season. We'll see if Pena thrives in his bench role. I would guess that he'll hit better than Todd Pratt did last season.

BP: .281, 2 HR, 37 RBI, .687 OPS
BJH: None
RW: .289, 1 HR, 14 RBI, .682 OPS
SN: None

Sam's Projection: .285, 1 HR, 24 RBI, .685 OPS
IF Pete Orr

One of the famed "Baby Braves" of 2005, Orr regressed in 2006, probably because he was lucky in 2005 and he never really had much power in the first place. But he is useful. He's probably the best choice for an infielder benchie.

BP: .278, 2 HR, 18 RBI, .680 OPS, 6 SB
BJH: None
RW: .264, 0 HR, 9 RBI, .620 OPS, 4 SB
SN: None

Sam's Projection: .275, 2 HR, 15 RBI, .650, 5 SB
Braves Down Mets With Help From Pena, Jr.

The Braves hung around with the Mets, powered by John Smoltz's six innings of one-run ball, before blowing the game open off of Billy Wagner, of all people. Tony Pena, Jr., of all people, blasted a three-run homer off of Wagner for the big blow in the seventh. The Braves took the game 7-1.

W - John Smoltz (1-0)
L - Scott Schoeneweis (1-1)
HR - Tony Pena, Jr. (1)

Three Stars
P John Smoltz - 6 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO
P Aaron Sele - 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO
PR-3B Tony Pena, Jr. - 1-1, HR, R, 3 RBI
Braves Sign McCann to $27.8 Million Extension

That's right. Brian McCann, who finished second to Joe Mauer in VORP in 2006, signed an extension through 2012.

EDIT: Here's the progression for the salary:

2007: $500,000
2008: $800,000
2009: $3,500,000
2010: $5,500,000
2011: $6,500,000
2012: $8,500,000

There's a club option for $12 million and a $500,000 buyout clause for the 2013 season.

This is an absolute steal, maybe the best steal in the era of these kinds of contracts. :D

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Braves Lead Throughout, but Johnson Blows It In Ninth

The story of the game is Johnathan Johnson, who gave up three runs in the 9th to blow the lead and the game to the Nationals 6-5. Andruw Jones had a two-run homer in the first and eleven different Braves had hits.

W - Mike Bacsik (1-1)
L - Johnathan Johnson (0-3)
HR - ATL - Andruw Jones (2)
WAS - Felipe Lopez (1)

Three Stars
P Mike Bacsik - 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, W
2B D'Angelo Jimenez - 2-2, 2B, 2 R
CF Andruw Jones - 1-2, HR, BB, R, 2 RBI

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

RP Chad Paronto

Paronto benifitted from the chaos of the Braves' 2006 bullpen in order to land himself a bullpen role. He did a decent job, but not spectacular. He seemed to have a problem with letting inherited runners score. Maybe he can change that, because he'll still have his job in 2007. He'll do about the same job that he did last season.

BP: 2-2, 49 1/3 IP, 52 H, 20 BB, 34 SO, 4.42 ERA, 1.459 WHIP
BJH: 4-3, 64 IP, 68 H, 26 BB, 46 SO, 4.36 ERA, 1.469 WHIP
RW: None
SN: None

Sam's Projection: 58 2/3 IP, 62 H, 24 BB, 48 SO, 4.26 ERA, 1.466 WHIP

Monday, March 19, 2007

Duel of Zeros, then Braves are Heroes

Adam Miller and Chuck James threw zeroes at each other for five innings, and then Brian McCann, of all people, got an RBI triple, to jumpstart the scoring, and Scott Thorman capped it with a two-run homer in the eighth and the Braves won 6-0.

W - Bob Wickman (1-0)
L - Aaron Fultz (0-1)
HR - Scott Thorman (1)

Three Stars
P Adam Miller - 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO
P Chuck James - 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 SO
1B Scott Thorman - 2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI
Yesterday's games

Braves tame Tigers

Tim Hudson had a very strong five innings and Brian McCann and Brandon Jones went deep for three of the Braves' four runs. However, Peter Moylan barely held on in the final inning as the Braves won 4-3.

W - Tim Hudson (1-0)
L - Zach Miner (1-1)
S - Peter Moylan (1)
HR - Brian McCann (2)
Brandon Jones (1)

Three Stars
P Tim Hudson - 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO
RF Brandon Jones - 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI
2B Martin Prado - 2-3, 2B, BB

Braves squeeze out win versus Reds

Jeff Francoeur had a two-run homer in the first inning, Kelly Johnson led off the third inning with a homer, and Buddy Carlyle had a four-inning shutout start and the Braves won 6-5. Will Startup made it difficult in the ninth, but he managed to finish the game despite giving up two runs.

Nice to see Jeff can still hit easy pitches. ;)

W - Buddy Carlyle (1-0)
L - Aaron Harang (2-2)
S - Will Startup (2)
HR - Jeff Francoeur (3)
Kelly Johnson (2)

Three Stars
P Buddy Carlyle - 4 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO
C David Ross - 3-3, 2B, R, RBI
SS Tony Pena, Jr. - 2-3, 2B, R

Saturday, March 17, 2007

C Brian McCann

Believe it or not, McCann was the best offensive catcher in the National League, and arguably the second-best offensive catcher in all of baseball (Joe Mauer). There is no reason to believe that he'll stop hitting. But there are reeasons to believe that he'll have to sit a couple of games with injuries. So, that means that whoever backs him up (Pena? Miller?) will have to pick up the slack on offense.

BP: .303, 24 HR, 85 RBI, .893 OPS, 2 SB
BJH: .315, 23 HR, 87 RBI, .928 OPS, 2 SB
RW: .308, 23 HR, 88 RBI, .899 OPS, 1 SB
SN: .308, 23 HR, 84 RBI, .914 OPS, 1 SB

Wow, look at RW and SN's predictions, they're almost identical except for the OPS. Nice.

Sam's Projections: .309, 25 HR, 86 RBI, .922 OPS, 1 SB
RP Macay McBride

McBride may be a LOOGY specialist this time around. Last season, lefties batted .181 against him in 116 plate appearances. That could help him be more effective. If not, hope he doesn't go up against too many righties.

BP: 3-3, 56 IP, 57 H, 29 BB, 45 SO, 4.52 ERA, 1.535 WHIP
BJH: 3-4, 63 IP, 65 H, 34 BB, 59 SO, 4.71 ERA, 1.571 WHIP
RW: 3-2, 42 IP, 41 H, 24 BB, 38 SO, 3.86 ERA, 1.548 WHIP
SN: None

Sam's Projection: 3-3, 58 IP, 57 H, 28 BB, 52 SO, 4.07 ERA, 1.466 WHIP
LF Ryan Langerhans

Ryan Langerhans is still in line to have his left-field platoon with Matt Diaz, now that it seems that Craig Wilson is going to be splitting time with Scott Thorman at first base. He should do about what he did last season. I think he was lucky that he got better in spring training. That might have saved his job.

BP: .265, 13 HR, 49 RBI, .811 OPS, 3 SB
BJH: .260, 9 HR, 37 RBI, .781 OPS, 1 SB
RW: .251, 9 HR, 40 RBI, .748 OPS, 1 SB
SN: None

Sam's Projection: .260, 10 HR, 38 RBI, .798 OPS, 2 SB
3B Chipper Jones

"How healthy is he going to be this season?" is now the sentence that is always connected to Chipper Jones, ever since he had that catastrophic injury in 2002 in left field. Some people blame is current problems on that, but Jones has also decided that he's not going to have surgery on his problematic feet. So this means that Chipper will be injured the rest of his career. We have to hope that he'll be healthy enough to play. When he plays, he produces, there's no question about that. I wouldn't bet money on him playing more than 140 games, though, especially now that he has an injured right oblique muscle right now.

BP: .291, 22 HR, 73 RBI, .920 OPS, 6 SB
BJH: .293, 27 HR, 90 RBI, .925 OPS, 6 SB
RW: .300, 25 HR, 83 RBI, .960 OPS, 4 SB
SN: .300, 25 HR, 82 RBI, .955 OPS, 4 SB

Sam's Projection: .304, 28 HR, 89 RBI, .950 OPS, 5 SB

I would love to see Chipper stay well enough to hit more than that.
Braves downed by Cards

It wasn't a good effort after the Braves took the lead 4-1, aided by a Craig Wilson home run. The Cards scored eight more, especially off of Johnathan Johnson in the 9th, and they won 9-5. I'm afraid that I can't say much about this one today. Don't really feel like it.

W - Brian Falkenborg (1-0)
L - Johnathan Joesph (0-2)
HR - STL - Scott Spiezio (2)
ATL - Craig Wilson (2)

Three Stars
P Brian Falkenborg - 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, W
1B Craig Wilson - 2-3, HR, R, 3 RBI
3B Martin Prado - 2-3, 2 2B, BB, R

Friday, March 16, 2007

Braves, Cards, seesaw to tie

The Braves and Cards settled to a 6-6 tie at the Wide World Of Sports. Edgar Rodriguez and Chris Duncan drove in three of the Cards' runs via the long ball. Mark Redman gave up three runs in his fourth inning of work and Cris Carpenter gave up four in his four innings.

Pete Orr had three hits for the Braves and three RBIs while in the lineup for Chipper Jones, who injured his right oblique muscle during batting pratice. It is not known how long he'll be out.

HR - Chris Duncan (4)
Edgar V. Gonzalez (3)

Three Stars
3B Pete Orr - 3-5, 2B, R, 3 RBI
C Yadier Molina - 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI
PH-C Edgar V. Gonzalez - 1-2, HR, R, 2 RBI
CF Andruw Jones

One of the greatest centerfielders in Braves franchise history is also about to finish his career with some other team. Face it, the Bravers just don't have any extra money to give Andruw what he is probably going to demand ($18-$20 million per year). Besides that, why would any team, much less the Braves, want to sign a .270 hitter with declining defensive skills for that kind of dough? Plus, the Bill James Handbook rates Andruw at a "high" injury risk. With all those balls he dives for, he's bound to injure himself badly sooner or later.

Just thought I'd get that off my chest.

My bet is that Andruw will continue to produce like he has lately. There's no reason for me to believe that he won't. He'll get his payday after the season, and the Braves will lose their best center fielder since Dale Murphy. The best courses of action depend on how the team does in 2007:

If the Braves are in contention by July: Andruw stays with the team to help them get to the playoffs, because he'll be concentrating more to get better stats and a big payday (or so they say), and the Braves won't get anything in return.
If the Braves are way out of contention by July: Find a team who will take Andruw for one or two blue-chip prospects so that the Braves get something for Jones in order to reload for 2008.

BP: .277, 35 HR, 103 RBI, .899 OPS, 5 SB
BJH: .264, 40 HR, 113 RBI, .882 OPS, 5 SB
RW: .266, 43 HR, 122 RBI, .912 OPS, 6 SB
SN: .263, 43 HR, 126 RBI, .894 OPS, 5 SB

Sam's Projection: .265, 38 HR, 115 RBI, .904 OPS, 5 SB
2B Kelly Johnson

Have to let Marcus Giles go because of budget concerns? That's okay; just stick a guy there who has played in the infield before and one of the best second basemen the Braves have ever had can teach him how to play second! That is what's happening with Johnson. He'll be fine at second. In fact, I would go so far as to say the Braves and their fans would not miss Giles because Johnson is better equipped to be a leadoff hitter. My guess is that Johnson will be as good as Giles was last season, which is fine.

BP: .291, 13 HR, 50 RBI, .871 OPS
BJH: .276, 7 HR, 32 RBI, .823 OPS
RW: .254, 6 HR, 28 RBI, .746 OPS
SN: None

My take is more near the BP one; with major league playing time at second, Kelly should flourish in the leadoff role.

Sam's Projection: .287, 10 HR, 48 RBI, .860 OPS

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Braves lose lead to Yanks and game

Oscar Villareal allowed a game-tying homer to Raul Chavez and a go-ahead squeeze by Kevin Reese and the Braves lost to the Yankees 3-2. That was about the only thing that went wrong for Atlanta. Chipper Jones had a solo homer to put the Braves up 2-0. Lance Cormier had an excellent five innings where he allowed just three singles. Kei Igawa pitched three innings and got five strikeouts, but he walked four.

W - Sean Henn (1-0)
L - Oscar Villarreal (0-1)
S - Brian Bruney (1)
HR - ATL - Chipper Jones (1)
NYY - Raul Chavez (1)

Three Stars
P Lance Cormier - 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO
C Raul Chavez - 1-2, HR, R, 2 RBI
P Kei Igawa - 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 5 SO

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

SP Tim Hudson

Another one of those love-hate relationships. Since coming to Atlanta in the lopsided trade. (admit it, it was VERY lopsided), Hudson has just gotten worse. Last season, he made a career-high 35 starts, but he also had his worst season since his rookie year in 2000. He allowed a huge amount of runs last season. Some would say that was due to the fact the Braves had a bad defense, but I'm not entirely sure.

I realize what I said before, but I still think that Huddy will improve. In fact, I'd look for a markedly improved Hudson this season; he can't be that bad forever. If he does improve, and the Braves are out of contention by July, look for him to be moved, along with Andruw Jones.

BP: 12-10, 198 IP, 209 H, 62 BB, 126 K, 4.14 ERA, 1.369 WHIP
BJH: 15-10, 223 IP, 220 H, 71 BB, 147 K, 3.75 ERA, 1.305 WHIP
RW: 13-10, 204 IP, 215 H, 69 BB, 126 K, 4.24 ERA, 1.392 WHIP
SN: 13-9, 225 IP, 231 H, 71 BB, 145 K, 3.84 ERA, 1.342 WHIP

Sam's Projection: 16-9, 230 1/3 H, 202 H, 65 BB, 158 K, 3.90 ERA, 1.160 WHIP
James doesn't have good outing, Braves fall to Astros again

Chuck James allowed three runs in four innings, including a solo shot to Chris Burke, as the Astros won 4-2. Bob Wickman also gave up a solo homer in the fifth, that one to Lance Berkman. Blaine Boyer pitched two scorless innings to finish the game's pitching for the Braves.

Scott Thorman had two doubles for the Braves and Jeff Francoeur added two more hits, raising his spring batting average, thanks to fat pitches, to .414. Yunel Escobar and Ryan Langerhans also had two hits each.

In other news, the Braves have reached a crossroads with Tony Pena, Jr. Either he makes the team or he's waived. Quite frankly, it makes no difference to me whether he is waived or not. He's valuable as a late-inning defensive replacement and pinch-hitter. Besides that, he's pretty much the second coming of Rafael Belliard. Don't forget that the Braves also have Yunel Escobar, who could easily step into that role if need be. Let someone else take the role of that kind of benchie. ;)

W - Jason Jennings (1-1)
L - Chuck James (2-1)
S - Ezequiel Astacio (1)
HR - Chris Burke (1)
Lance Berkman (1)

Three Stars
CF-2B Chris Burke - 2-2, HR, R, RBI
1B Scott Thorman - 2-4, 2 2B, R, RBI
P Blaine Boyer - 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Manny Acosta Stamps A Ticket to the Minors

Ascota came into the ninth inning and had a 3-2 lead. He didn't record an out. The Braves lost 11-3. That's the story, pretty much. :)

Chipper did take the field and get two singles in four trips. So maybe that ankle wasn't as bad as we thought.

W - Trever Miller (1-0)
L - Manny Acosta (0-1)

Three Stars
P Dave Borkowski - 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO
1B Eric Munson - 2-2, R, 3 RBI
LF Hunter Pence - 1-1, 2 R, BB, RBI
IF/OF Willie Harris

Willie Harris, who has been bouncing around the majors, is a versatile player, who can play a few positions, but doesn't hit very well at all. His real asset is stealing bases, but his carrer high is only nineteen. That is pretty much it with him. He will probably start the season in Richmond.

BP: None
BJH: .242, 3 HR, 12 RBI, .676 OPS, 11 SB
RW: None
SN: None

Sam's Projection: .238, 2 HR, 8 RBI, .690 OPS, 8 SB

Monday, March 12, 2007

Deja vu: Braves lose, Chipper hurt

Chipper Jones sprained his ankle and the Braves lost to the Cardinals 3-1. John Smoltz had four scoreless frames and Braden Looper had 4 2/3 innings of shutout ball. Tyler Yates gave up a home run by Rick Ankiel in the sixth. Yes, that Rick Ankiel. Peter Moylan took the loss, giving up two runs in the ninth.

W - Ryan Frankin (1-0)
L - Peter Moylan (1-1)
S - Dennis Dove (1)
HR - Rick Ankiel (1)

Three Stars
P John Smoltz - 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO
P Braden Looper - 4 2/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO
RF Rick Ankiel - 2-2, 2B, HR, 2 R, 1 RBI

Sunday, March 11, 2007

SP Mike Hampton

As we all know, Mike Hampton is once again injured. It's a shame, because he seemed to be ready to come back and give it another go. He is projected to come back in May. It is hopeful that he can be league-average. Mark Redman was signed to take his place.

No offense to Mike, who has put a lot of hard work into coming back, but things will be a lot better for the Braves once his contract runs out.

BP: 4-6, 84 1/3 IP, 101 H, 32 BB, 43 K, 5.15 ERA, 1.577 WHIP
BJH: 7-7, 130 IP, 141 H, 54 BB, 71 K, 4.50 ERA, 1.500 WHIP
RW: 4-3, 52 IP, 54 H, 17 BB, 24 K, 3.98 ERA, 1.365 WHIP
SN: None

Sam's Projection: 5-4, 78 2/3 IP, 90 H, 31 BB, 69 K, 4.30 ERA, 1.538 WHIP
Braves turn bad outing by Gonzalez into victory

After a hiccup by Mike Gonzalez in the sixth inning, giving the Cardinals a 3-0 lead and ruining Kyle Davies' excellent outing. Fortunately, the Braves rode a five-run eighth, capped by a two-run double by T. J. Bohn, to a 6-3 victory. Davies had four scorless innings and Cris Carpenter had 4 2/3 scoreless as well.

W - Blaine Boyer (1-0)
L - Tyler Johnson (0-1)
S - Johnathan Johnson (1)

Three Stars
Cris Carpenter - 4 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO
Kyle Davies - 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 0 SO
T. J. Bohn - 1-1, 2B, 2 RBI

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Redman with decent debut, Braves win against Blue Jays

Mark Redman pitched three innings and gave up a run on four hits, but Lance Cormier bailed him out with four scorless innings and the Braves took the lead on back-to-back homers courtesy of Andruw Jones and Brian McCann as the Braves took the game 4-1. Rafael Soriano had a shutout inning and Macay McBride finished the game going 1-2-3 and getting two strikeouts. Scott Thorman had two singles.

W - Lance Cormier (3-0)
L - Dustin McGowan (0-1)
S - Macay McBride (1)
HR - Andruw Jones (2)
Brian McCann (1)

Three Stars:
Lance Cormier - 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 SO, W
Andruw Jones - 2-3, HR, R, 2 RBI
Josh Towers - 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO

Friday, March 09, 2007

Braves down Pirates with three dingers, James and Carlyle

Chuck James allowed four singles in three innings and no runs. Buddy Carlyle shut out the Pirates for two more innings on just a single. Willy Aybar and Kelly Johnson hit their first homers of the spring as the Braves won 8-5. Matt Harrison unfortunately allowed two runs in an inning of work. I would guess that he's going to get more seasoning in the minors, and he'll be a true emergency starter.

Ryan Langerhans also hit a home run.

W - Chuck James (2-0)
L - Zach Duke (0-1)
HR - ATL - Willy Aybar (1)
Kelly Johnson (1)
Ryan Langerhans (2)
PIT - Ronny Paulino (1)

Three Stars
P Chuck James - 3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO
3B Willy Aybar - 3-5, HR, R, RBI
2B Kelly Johnson - 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI
RP Mike Gonzalez

Was it a high price to trade Adam LaRoche to get Gonzalez? Well, we got Brent Lillibridge as well, so it'll probably be worth it. :) He will be the closer soon, especially if Bob Wickman starts to falter. The Braes are set in the closer's role, something they really couldn't say in 2005 and 2006.

BP: 4-4, 54 2/3 IP, 47 H, 29 BB, 61 K, 28 SV, 3.22 ERA, 1.390 WHIP
BJH: 4-2, 50 IP, 39 H, 25 BB, 59 K, 40 SV, 3.24 ERA, 1.280 WHIP
RW: 3-3, 51 IP, 38 H, 27 BB, 61 K, 26 SV, 2.29 ERA, 1.275 WHIP
SN: 3 W, 65 IP, 57 H, 22 BB, 68 K, 27 SV, 2.77 ERA, 1.215 WHIP

Sam's Projection: 1-2, 68 1/3 IP, 52 H, 28 BB, 70 K, 25 SV, 2.32 ERA, 1.171 ERA

Mike Gonzalez is still dynamite when healthy, and when put into the game in the late innings, he is NOT giving up the lead very often, that's for sure.
Three New Players to Add to The List

P Mark Redman
2B Willy Aybar
INF Chris Woodward

EDIT: Plus two - IF Pete Orr and SS Tony Pena, Jr. That's everyone, I guess. :)

I'll add them at the end and keep going like I am here.
Braves sign Mark Redman to minor-league deal

Former All-Star Mark Redman, who got there in 2005 because the Royals needed someone to be there, signed with the Braves and was invited to spring training. If he does well, he'll be the replacement starter for Mike Hampton.

I like this signing because it gives the Braves a little more pitching depth in an emergency, and Redman has had some success at the major league level. But according to his recent major league experiences, he may not be any better than Shane Reynolds was in 2003 with Atlanta, and he hasn't had an ERA+ over 100 since 2003. Oh well. Good signing, JS. :)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

RF Jeff Francoeur

The subject of many a discussion in the baseball world. You either love him or hate him. You either think he'll improve or he'll flame out. I love him and I think he'll improve.

From what I've seen and read, the people who think that Francoeur will flame out rely heavily on sabermetrics and cite his low slugging percentage, his impatience at the plate and the sheer number of outs he made in 2006 (507, 3rd in the NL). However, sabermetrics also relies on a traditional method of player progression of talent and output:

1. The player improves steadily until age 28.
2. The player peaks from age 28 to 30.
3. The player steadily declines after age 30.

Those who criticize him seem to toss this progression out for Frenchy, and he's only 23 years old!

BP: .284, 26 HR, 81 RBI, .825 OPS, 6 SB
BJH: .276, 31 HR, 111 RBI, .803 OPS, 4 SB
RW: .278, 28 HR, 97 RBI, .810 OPS, 3 SB
SN: .277, 31 HR, 107 RBI, .788 OPS, 1 SB

Look at all these pretty projections. Everyone would kill to have this kind of stuff out of a 23-year old kid. But I'm going to add something to it:

Sam's Projection: .287, 35 HR, 120 RBI, .852 OPS, 15 SB

Yes, fifteen stolen bases. Francoeur is a better base-runner than people think he is. That will become an asset for him. I can gaurantee that y'all will see a new and improved Frenchy this season.
Yanks top Braves in extras, and Hampton out

Not only did the Yankees beat the Braves 5-4, but Mike Hampton got injured in batting practice!

I suggest we get used to the idea that Oscar Villarreal, Lance Cormier, or even Rafael Soriano, will be starting full-time. Oh, and Frenchy homered today. Huddy pitched four innings and allowed two runs on a Giambi homer.

W - Chris Britton (1-0)
L - Steve Colyer (0-1)
S - Ron Villone (1)

Three Stars
P Tim Hudson - 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO
P Colter Bean - 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO
RF Jeff Francoeur - 2-4, HR, R, RBI

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

LF Matt Diaz

Matt Diaz had problems hitting with the Royals and Devil Rays. The Braves then picked him up and their doctors saw that he had vision problems and gave him corrective lenses. He only gave Atlanta fans a .327 season in 322 plate appearances. However, his defensive prowess is weird. He runs around like a chicken with his head cut off out there, but his fielding stats of FRAR and FRAA indicate that he's a better fielder than Ryan Langerhans, mostly because of his range:

Diaz: 16/11
Langy: 10/3

As you can see, that doesn't really make sense, as it's obvious that Langerhans is the better fielder. But it doesn't really matter. You can do it ugly, just as long as you do it right.

BP: 375 PA, .302 AVG, 53 R, 12 HR, 50 RBI, .830 OPS, 6 SB
BJH: 348 AB, .316 AVG, 46 R, 10 HR, 46 RBI, .846 OPS, 7 SB
RW: 223 AB, .314 AVG, 29 R, 6 HR, 29 RBI, .837 OPS, 6 SB
SN: None

Sam's Projection: 402 PA, .308 AVG, 60 R, 16 HR, 55 RBI, .842 OPS, 6 SB
Braves tie with Tiggers, Smoltz getes nice start

John Smoltz allowed just three hits in three innings and the Braves tied the Tigers 4-4. Johnathan Johnson was the only one who had a bad day flinging the cowhide for Atlanta.

Craig Wilson went 2-5 and scored a couple of runs, driving in himself with a second inning homer. The immortal Trey Hodges finished the game for the Braves, pitching two innings, walking one and striking out two.

HR - Craig Wilson (1)

Three Stars
P John Smoltz - 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO
1B Craig Wilson - 2-5, 3B, HR, 2 R, RBI
P Trey Hodges - 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

SP Kyle Davies

Kyle Davies, a young starter for the Braves, missed a lot of time last season due to a groin injury. When he was pitching for the Braves, he didn't do well at all. Some of it could be a function of pitching while injured or coming back too soon from injury because the Braves were in such dire need for starters last season.

BP: 6-8, 119 2/3 IP, 125 H, 55 BB, 95 K, 5.02 ERA, 1.504 WHIP
BJH: 3-4, 63 IP, 66 H, 8 HR, 31 BB, 51 K, 4.86 ERA, 1.540 WHIP
RW: 5-6, 73 IP, 81 H, 9 HR, 35 BB, 57 K, 5.05 ERA, 1.589 WHIP
SN: None

Davies has the fifth starter spot here in the spring and I doubt he'll pitch himself out of it. Because the little data that we had to go on when it came to Davies wasn't good at all, no one seems to project that Davies will do that well. I don't exactly think that he'll tear the National League a new hole, but I do think that he'll stay healthy enough and pitch well enough to win 10 games. I have a little more confidence in him than they do.

Sam's Forecast: 10-9, 151 1/3 IP, 160 H, 65 BB, 102 K, 4.73 ERA, 1.487 WHIP
Stat Projections!

I've decided to show some stat projections from several sources and come up with some kind of a cosensus for my own. :)

The Sources:

* Baseball Prospectus 2007
* The Bill James Handbook 2007
* Tuff Stuff Rotowire Fantasy Baseball 2007
* The Sporting News Fantasy Baseball 2007

Our candidates for comparisons:

P Kyle Davies
LF Matt Diaz
RF Jeff Francoeur
P Mike Gonzalez
P Mike Hampton
IF/OF Willie Harris
P Tim Hudson
P Chuck James
2B Kelly Johnson
CF Andruw Jones
3B Chipper Jones
LF Ryan Langerhans
P Macay McBride
C Brian McCann
P Chad Paronto
C Brayan Pena
IF Martin Prado
SS Edgar Renteria
P John Smoltz
P Rafael Soriano
1B Scott Thorman
P Oscar Villarreal
P Bob Wickman
1B/LF Craig Wilson
P Tyler Yates

I'll do some predictions myself, even though it is proven that it's notoriously hard to predict batters and pitchers off-hand. ;)
Braves put up double digits on Nats again, win see-saw battle

Today, the Nationals jumped out to a 6-4 lead in the third inning, thanks to a two-run shot by Brian Schneider. However, the Braves took the lead back 7-6 in the fifth inning and tacked on a few more, winning 10-6. Two solo shots were belted by Yunel Escobar, Ryan Langerhans and Corky Miller launched a two-run homer. Kevin Barry and Joey Devine both had two shutout innings apiece.

W - Macay McBride (1-0) <- gave up four runs in two innings
L - Emiliano Fruto (0-1)
HR - ATL - Yunel Escobar (1)
Ryan Langerhans (1)
Corky Miller (1)
WAS - Brian Schneider (1)

Three Stars
LF Willie Harris - 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 SB
2B Kelly Johnson - 2-4, 2B, 3 R
C Brian Schneider - 2-2, HR, R, 4 RBI

Monday, March 05, 2007

Braves swat Nats big time

Pounding seventeen hits, the Braves treated the fans to a 14-5 drubbing of the Nationals. Lance Cormier and Chad Paronto combined for 5 shutout innings and ten different Braves drove in runs. Craig Wilson drove in three and Chipper Jones drove in two.

W - Lance Cormier (2-0)
L - Jerome Williams (0-1)
HR - Robert Fick (1)

Three Stars
P Lance Cormier - 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, W
1B Craig Wilson - 2-3, 2B, R, 3 RBIs
P Chad Paronto - 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Bravos' pitching does it again

Chuck James gave up a first-inning, two-out RBI single to Jeff Kent and that's the only run the Braves gave up, winning 4-1. The Braves staff turned in a very nice performance, not even allowing a double by the Dodgers. Buddy Carlyle turned in another scoreless two-inning stint and Manny Acosta had two shutout innings as well. Tyler Yates, Steve Colyer and Will Startup finished the game with a goose-egg inning each.

Martin Prado went 3-4 with a double and drove in a run and scored one. Yunel Escobar had two singles in five trips and scored a run.

Three Stars
3B-2B Martin Prado - 3-4, 2B, R, RBI
P Buddy Carlyle - 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO
P Joe Mays - 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Astros bat around the Braves

Houston used a 14-hit attack, mostly on Johnathan Johnson, and won 6-1. The Braves had just four singles, Andruw Jones' being an RBI single. Tim Hudson started the game for Atlanta and pitched two scoreless innings. Jason Jennings and Paul Estrada had two-inning stints of scorelessness for the Astros.

W - Dave Borkowski (1-0)
L - Johnathan Johnson (0-1)
HR - Jason Lane (2)

Three Stars
P Paul Estrada - 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO
P Jason Jennings - 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 SO
P Tim Hudson - 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO

Friday, March 02, 2007

Atlanta pulls out win against Pittsburgh in 10

Willie Harris scored the winning run on a Martin Prado chopper to third and the Braves pulled out a see-saw game against the Pirates in extra innings 5-4. Peter Moylan, who pitched two scoreless frames in the 9th and 10th, got the win.

John Smoltz pitched two scoreless innings to start the game and Ian Snell matched him with two goose eggs. Tony Armas, Jr. pitched another two scoreless frames.

Down 1-0, the Braves tied the game on a solo shot by Jeff Francoeur, his first of the spring.

Mike Gonzalez, in his first appearance against his new team, gave up a two-run homer to Brad Eldred and the Pirates took a 3-1 lead with that in the sixth.

The Braves retook the lead with three runs in the sixth, on the strength of two doubles by James Jurries and Iker Franco. Oscar Villarreal then gave up a solo shot to tie the game.

W - Peter Moylan (1-0)
L - Romulo Sanchez (0-1)
HR - PIT - Brad Eldred (1)
Brad Bixler (1)
ATL - Jeff Francoeur (1)

Three Stars:
P John Smoltz - 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO
1B Brad Eldred - 2-3, HR, R, 2 RBI
P Peter Moylan - 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, W

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Braves open spring with win; beat Dodgers

Following the easy pasting of the Yellow Jackets, the Braves continued to score, beating the Dodgers 7-2 in their Grapefruit League opening game.

Yunel Escobar turned in a perfect day with three singles and an RBI, and Kelly Johnson singled and had an RBI. Jarrod Saltalamacchia had a pinch-hit single, driving in two. Brent Lillibridge scored two runs.

On the pitching side, Kyle Davies had an encouraging two-inning start where he gave up no hits and struck out one. Lance Cormier vultured the win when he gave up two runs in two innings after Davies. Buddy Carlyle pitched two scoreless innings and three other pitchers had one scoreless inning each.

W - Lance Cormier (1-0)
L - Chad Billingsley (0-1)
HR - None

Three Stars:
P Kyle Davies - 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO
SS Yunel Escobar - 3-3, RBI
P Buddy Carlyle - 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO

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