All about the Braves and baseball events.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Braves Take Two Of Three From Reds

I decided since I fell behind that I'm just going to give the scores, basics and Three Stars for this series.


W - Javier Vazquez (2-1)
L - Edinson Volquez (2-2)
S - Mike Gonzalez (2)
HR - Jeff Francoeur (2)


P Javier Vazquez, Atlanta - 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO

RF Jeff Francoeur, Atlanta - 1-3, GA HR, R, 2 BB, RBI

P Mike Gonzalez, Atlanta - 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, SV


W - Derek Lowe (2-1)
L - Bronson Arroyo (3-1)
HR - ATL - Chipper Jones (2)
Yunel Escobar (2)
CIN - Alex Gonzalez (1)


SS Yunel Escobar, Atlanta - 3-4, 2B, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI

P Derek Lowe, Atlanta - 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 SO

3B Chipper Jones, Atlanta - 2-4, HR, R, 4 RBI


W - Micah Owings (1-2)
L - Kenshin Kawakami (1-3)
HR - ATL - David Ross (2)
CIN - Jay Bruce 2 (5)


RF Jay Bruce, Cincinnati - 3-3, 2 HR, 3 R, BB, 4 RBI

P Micah Owings, Cincinnati - 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO; 2-3, 2B, R

1B Joey Votto, Cincinnati - 2-3, 2 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI

The link to the third game will be changed to the Baseball-Reference link once that box score and play-by-play is posted by the website.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Braves Come Out On Top In Pitcher's Duel


With a final swing and a miss by Ronnie Belliard, Rafael Soriano capped a wild pitching duel as the Braves squeaked by the Nationals, winning 1-0.

Jair Jurrjens and John Lannan locked horns for a long pitching duel. They both walked two and struck out four. Jurrjens allowed six hits in his 7 2/3 inning stint and was removed after his two walks in the eighth. Mike Gonzalez struck out Adam Dunn to keep it a scoreless game.

In the top of the ninth, Matt Diaz singled off of Garrett Mock with one out. After Casey Kotchman grounded into a force out at second base, Jordan Schafer worked a walk. Manny Acta then decided to bring in lefty Mike Hinckley to face a pinch-hitter, righty Martin Prado. The Atlanta pinch-hitter worked a walk to load the bases and then Hinckley was left in to face Kelly Johnson. He seemed to labor and Johnson coaxed a five-pitch walk out of him as well, forcing in the run.

Rafael Soriano struck out Elijah Dukes and Ronnie Belliard in the final frame to end the game and give the Braves their second win in six games on the road trip. It's a shame that Jurrjens didn't get the win; he pitched wonderfully and very efficiently. It was a sight to see.

W - Mike Gonzalez (1-0)
L - Mike Hinckley (1-1)
S - Rafael Soriano (2)


P Jair Jurrjens, Atlanta - 7 2/3 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO

P John Lannan, Washington - 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO

P Rafael Soriano, Atlanta - 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 2-2 SV

AP Photo by Alex Brandon

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Nationals Pull Out Second One-Run Victory Over Reeling Braves


Joel Hanrahan pitched out of a major jam in the ninth inning and the Washington Nationals won their second straight one-run decision against Atlanta by a 4-3 score.

The Braves scored three in the top of the first inning off of Washington starter Shairon Martis. Casey Kotchman drove in Chipper Jones with a two-out double and Jeff Francoeur hit a ball to shortstop that scored two runs. Brian McCann scored on the infield hit and Casey Kotchman scored on the throwing error by shortstop Alberto Gonzalez.

The Nationals scored a run with a Jesus Flores double off of Braves starter Kenshin Kawakami. They continued the scoring in the sixth inning after Martis held the Braves off the board since then.

Adam Dunn led off the inning with a solo homer. After Elijah Dukes reached on an error by Chipper Jones, Austin Kearns hit a liner to left that Matt Diaz lost in the stadium lights. Kearns got a triple out of that. Jeff Bennett relieved Kawakami and struck out Jesus Flores. Alberto Gonzalez attempted a bunt next, but McCann threw him out. Pinch-hitter Josh Willingham then lined the second pitch he saw into left, scoring Kearns.

The bullpens of both teams held each other scoreless. In the top of the ninth, Joel Hanrahan came on to close the game. He led off the inning by walking Diaz on four pitches. The next batter, Jordan Schafer, slapped a hit into right field that he stretched into a double and Diaz reached third. Pinch-hitter Greg Norton then bounced back to Hanrahan for the first out. Kelly Johnson then attempted to swing at a changeup and got out in front of it, popping it up behind second base. With two out, Yunel Escobar hit a hard grounder on the first pitch, but it bounced right to Anderson Hernandez for the game-ending groundout.

I saw that ninth inning. Two words: incredibly frustrating.

W - Shairon Martis (2-0)
L - Kenshin Kawakami (1-2)
S - Joel Hanrahan (2)
HR - Adam Dunn (4)


RF Austin Kearns, Washington - 1-2, 3B, 2 R, 2 BB, RBI

PH Josh Willingham, Washington - 1-1, GA 1B, RBI

CF Jordan Schafer, Atlanta - 2-3, 2 2B, BB

AP Photo By Alex Brandon

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Two Rain Delays Don't Spoil Debut For Zimmerman


The Braves and Nationals played through two long rain delays, but Jordan Zimmerman was able to seize the moment and pitch six effective innings as the Nationals came from behind to win 3-2.

Zimmerman pitched six innings and allowed six hits and two runs. His only mistake was giving up a two-run shot to Matt Diaz in the fourth inning, giving the Braves a 2-0 lead. The Nationals tied the game in the bottom of the frame off of Braves starter Derek Lowe with an RBI single by Elijah Dukes and a deep bases-loaded sac fly to left by Jesus Flores that was very nearly a grand slam.

Washington scored the go-ahead run in the sixth with three straight one-out singles, the last coming off the bat of Flores. Lowe managed to get out of the inning avoiding further damage.

Both bullpens pitched scoreless ball the rest of the way. Rafael Soriano had the most trouble, having to work with the bases loaded and one out, but he got the last two batters out with strikeouts. Eric O'Flaherty also had a scoreless inning. Kip Wells, Garret Mock and Joe Beimel held the Braves off and Joel Hanrahan picked up his first save of the year in the ninth, pitching around a walk.

W - Jordan Zimmerman (1-0)
L - Derek Lowe (1-1)
S - Joel Hanrahan (1)
HR - Matt Diaz (2)


P Jordan Zimmerman, Washington - 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO - Major League Debut

LF Matt Diaz, Atlanta - 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI

C Jesus Flores, Washington - 2-2, BB, 2 RBI

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Braves Bring Their Bats, Bash The Bucs


Javier Vazquez pitched a third straight quality start and his offense backed him up on the strength of two three-run homers as Atlanta snapped their five-game losing streak, defeating the Pirates 11-1.

Pirates starter Zach Duke wasn't particularly sharp from the start. Jeff Francoeur hit a two-out, two-run single off of him in the first, took second on the throw and Casey Kotchman chased him home with a single. Martin Prado piled on three more runs with his first home run of the year. The line drive cleared the wall in left and gave the Braves a 6-0 lead.

David Ross extended the lead to 11-0 by lining a shot off of Pirate reliever Craig Hansen to the same part of the park. His three-run shot scored Francoeur and Kotchman. Francoeur had doubled Chipper Jones home earlier to score the first run of the inning.

Vazquez took full advantage of the support. His six inning stint featured just one walk and eight punchouts. He has pitched his third straight quality start and is the only Braves starter to do that this season. Peter Moylan and Jeff Bennett threw scoreless innings and James Parr lost some control in the ninth, allowing two singles and walking a batter after getting two outs on two pitches. He plunked Ramon Vazquez, who subbed for Jack Wilson in the eighth inning, and that forced in a run. He got Nyjer Morgan to line out to left-center to end the game, though.

It's nice to have the Braves pound an opponent every now and then. It's even nicer that they snapped their skid. Hopefully, the trend continues against the Nationals.

W - Javier Vazquez (1-1)
L - Zach Duke (2-1)
HR - Martin Prado (1)
David Ross (1)


P Javier Vazquez, Atlanta - 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO

2B Martin Prado, Atlanta - 2-4, 2B, HR, R, BB, 3 RBI

C David Ross, Atlanta - 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, BB, 3 RBI

RF Jeff Francoeur, Atlanta - 2-5, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI

AP Photo by Gene J. Puskar

Craig Monroe Single-Handedly Dispatches Braves


Outfielder Craig Monroe, playing in his sixth game as a Pirate, smacked two home runs and drove in six as the Pirates jumped on Jo-Jo Reyes late and tacked on more for a 10-0 win.

The loss marked the first time since 1974 that the Braves were shut out by the Pirates in two consecutive games:

  • July 18, 1974: 4-0
    July 19, 1974: 2-0
  • Atlanta starter Jo-Jo Reyes, called up to take the start for the injured Tom Glavine, allowed just one run on three hits through five innings. The sixth inning, however, was the decisive one. After allowing on a triple and a comebacker with one out, Reyes got Adam LaRoche to strike out. However, Craig Monroe launched a ball to center field for a three-run shot to increase the lead to 5-0. He added another three-run shot off of Buddy Carlyle in the seventh and the Pirates tacked on another run in the eighth.

    The Braves had only one runner in scoring position the entire game: Casey Kotchman got to second with a two-out double in the fourth inning off of Ian Snell.

    I didn't see most of this game myself, and I'm glad I didn't. The Braves are playing the finale right now and it's looking good: they're up 6-0 on a rainy day in the bottom of the fourth, thanks to a three-run first and Martin Prado's three-run homer in the top of the fourth.

    W - Ian Snell (1-2)
    L - Jo-Jo Reyes (0-1)
    HR - Craig Monroe 2 (2)


    RF Craig Monroe, Pittsburgh - 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 6 RBI

    C Ryan Doumit, Pittsburgh - 3-4, 3 2B, 3 R, BB, RBI

    P Ian Snell, Pittsburgh - 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO

    AP Photo by Gene J. Puskar

    Friday, April 17, 2009

    Pirates Frustrate Braves Bats, Hand Them Fourth Straight Loss


    Starter Paul Maholm and the Pirates continued the trend of Atlanta's ineptitude against left-handed pitching, dealing Jair Jurrjens a hard-luck 3-0 loss. Wasted scoring chances plagued the Braves the entire game as they left six runners in scoring position, four against starting pitcher Paul Maholm and one against reliever John Grabow.

    The only run of the game was scored in the second inning. After Brandon Moss had a leadoff triple (the second of the game, probably caused by Jordan Schafer's inexperience in attempting to catch each ball), he scored on a one-out groundout to Kelly Johnson up the middle, who made a nice play on the ball. The Braves had the bases loaded with no one out in the ninth, but Casey Kotchman popped up to the catcher for a rare infield fly rule call. Jordan Schafer then bounced out into a double play to end the inning.

    Pittsburgh's 1-0 lead held up the entire game as the Braves continued to leave men on base (nine in total). Jair Jurrjens pitched 6 2/3 innings, giving up just the one run and striking out seven batters. He left the game in the seventh inning after walking two straight Pirate batters. Peter Moylan finished the inning by getting pinch-hitter Delmon Young to pop up in foul ground.

    Nate McLouth gave Pittsburgh some insurance with a two-run home run off of Braves closer Mike Gonzalez in the eighth. Matt Capps pitched the ninth for his third save.

    It seemed all night that in scoring chances, the Braves hit balls right at Pirate fielders. Quite frankly, it was a particularly frustrating loss. Hopefully, the Braves bats decide to wake up tomorrow against Ian Snell.

    W - Paul Maholm (2-0)
    L - Jair Jurrjens (2-1)
    S - Matt Capps (3)
    HR - Nate McLouth (3)


    P Paul Maholm, Pittsburgh - 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO, W

    P Jair Jurrjens, Atlanta - 6 2/3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO, L; 1-1, BB

    CF Nate McLouth, Pittsburgh - 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI

    AP Photo by John Heller

    Thursday, April 16, 2009

    Marlins Complete Sweep In Convincing Fashion


    Kenshin Kawakami's second start in a Braves uniform didn't go as well as his first. The Japanese pitcher allowed five runs in six innings, including a three-run shot by the previously-slumping Cody Ross in the Braves' 6-2 loss to the Marlins.

    Ross's home run to left field gave the Marlins an early 3-0 lead. It may have been averted if Kelly Johnson hadn't dropped a throw from Yunel Escobar in an attempt to start a double play. Jeff Francoeur had two-out RBI singles in the third and the fifth innings, but the Braves stranded two runners on base in four of the first five innings.

    The Marlins added two runs in the fifth with Jeremy Hermida's triple to right-center and Ross's sacrifice fly, his fourth RBI of the game. Florida added a final run off of Jorge Campillo with a triple by Ross Gload and a one-out RBI single by Alfredo Amezaga. The Braves bullpen in total allowed nine runs in ten innings of work in the series. For the Marlins, Anibal Sanchez pitched six innings for the win.

    After the game, Campillo was placed on the 15-day DL with shoulder tendinitis. His replacement will be James Parr.

    W - Anibal Sanchez (1-0)
    L - Kenshin Kawakami (1-1)
    HR - Cody Ross (1)


    RF Cody Ross, Florida - 3-3, HR, R, SF, 4 RBI

    2B Dan Uggla, Florida - 2-3, 2B, 2 R, BB

    P Anibal Sanchez, Florida - 6 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO

    Photo By John Bazemore

    Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    Bullpen Woes Continue As Marlins Smack Around Braves


    The Braves managed to get a not-so-sharp Derek Lowe off the hook, but the bullpen was unable to hold off the Marlins as the Fish scored six runs in four innings of Braves bullpen work in the 10-4 win.

    The Marlins scored four runs off of Derek Lowe, courtesy of seven hits and five walks. They scored in the first inning with a Dan Uggla single. The Braves responded in the bottom of the inning with Omar Infante's sac fly after Kelly Johnson tripled to lead off the frame.

    Florida then tacked on three in the top of the fifth with an RBI single by Cantu and a two-run double by Uggla. The Braves got the runs back with a Casey Kotchman double, Martin Prado's fielder's choice groundout to the pitcher and Omar Infante's bloop hit that dropped into the Bermuda Triangle in center. This took Lowe off the hook for the loss.

    Buddy Carlyle held the Marlins off the board and Hayden Penn was able to do the same for the Fish against Atlanta. Peter Moylan came on in the seventh for his first back-to-back outing of the year. He allowed a single to Jorge Cantu then struck out Dan Uggla for the first out. Jeremy Hermida was intentionally walked to get to Cody Ross, but the slumping outfielder was plunked on the backside on the first pitch to load the bases. Moylan got Cameron Maybin to strike out swinging, but he walked Ross Gload, forcing in a run. Eric O'Flaherty came on and got Emilio Bonaficio swinging to limit the damage.

    That didn't last long, though.

    After Rafael Soriano had a perfect eighth, Blaine Boyer started the inning for the Braves. Five batters later, he had allowed two runs and only recorded one out. Jorge Campillo attempted to put out the fire, but he was tagged for two RBI singles after a strikeout. He was able to escape further damage, but the damage had already been done, so to speak.

    W - Hayden Penn (1-0)
    L - Peter Moylan (0-1)


    2B Dan Uggla, Florida - 2-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI

    C John Baker, Florida - 2-6, 2 R, 2 RBI

    1B Jorge Cantu, Florida - 2-5, 2 R, BB, RBI

    Photo by John Amis

    EDIT: Changed link to boxscore

    Braves Hooked By Fish; Volstad Wins Pitching Duel


    Marlins starter Chris Volstad, making his sixteenth career start, stymied the Braves for seven innings, and the Marlins produced runs off of Braves starter Javier Vazquez and reliever Jeff Bennett to earn a 5-1 win.

    Volstad allowed just three hits, the biggest one being a home run by Kelly Johnson on a first-pitch fastball leading off the fourth inning. That was the first hit the Braves got in the game. Atlanta's only other scoring opportunity came in the bottom of the sixth inning. After pinch-hitter Martin Prado doubled to left-center and Kelly Johnson flied to left, Escobar drew a walk. Chipper Jones was barely thrown out at first base on a tapper to the right of the mound; that moved the runners up. Brian McCann then smoked a liner to first base that Ross Gload got his glove on and was able to keep from going to right field.

    The Marlins scored three off of Javier Vazquez in the third inning and two runs off of reliever Jeff Bennett in the eighth. Third baseman Emiliano Bonaficio and catcher John Baker scored two runs. Both were driven by Dan Uggla on separate occasions. The second baseman drove in three runs on the day.

    Javier Vazquez pitched his second straight quality start in a losing effort. His 12-strikeout effort was the sixth such game of his career and the 38th game where he struck out 10 batters or more.

    Vazquez had a typical game tonight. He allowed hits all at the same time and he struck out a lot of batters. As long as he keeps doing that, he should be able to win ball games. Even Braves fans had to tip their caps to Volstad in this one. He made few mistakes and was able to pitch out of the few jams that he got in. Hopefully, the Braves will do better against Andrew Miller tonight.

    W - Chris Volstad (2-0)
    L - Javier Vazquez (0-1)
    HR - Kelly Johnson (3)


    P Chris Volstad, Florida - 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO

    P Javier Vazquez, Atlanta - 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 12 SO

    2B Dan Uggla, Florida - 2-4, 3 RBI

    Photo by John Amis

    EDIT: Added tags. W-L-S-HR tally

    Sunday, April 12, 2009

    Braves Don't Give Nationals A Bailout


    With solid bullpen work and timely two-out hitting, the Braves completed their first sweep of the Washington Nationals since June 25-27, 2007, banging out an 8-5 victory.

    The Braves scored three in the bottom of the fourth, all with two outs. Brian McCann walked and stole second. Matt Diaz doubled him home, Jeff Francoeur chased Diaz home with a triple and Martin Prado drove in Francoeur with a single.

    Elijah Dukes returned the favor with a two-out, two-run double in the fourth. A bad hop that ate up Martin Prado at first allowed Dukes to score to tie the game.

    The Braves didn't stay behind for long. With Omar Infante on first with two out, he went to second on a passed ball and scored on Chipper Jones' single to give the Braves the lead again. Jones went to second on the throw. McCann drove him home with a single to up the lead to two.

    Jeff Bennett relieved starter Jair Jurrjens in the sixth inning after Jurrjens' fifth walk of the day. That walk, given to Alex Gonzalez, came back to bite the Braves as he came around to score on a single by Lastings Milledge and a two-out single by Elijah Dukes.

    Atlanta scored two more in the seventh on a Yunel Escobar double off the right field wall and a second RBI single by Jones. The Nationals eked out a run off of Buddy Carlyle and Eric O'Flaherty, but the righty Carlyle struck out Adam Dunn with two men on to preserve the lead.

    Casey Kotchman added another insurance run with a pinch-hit RBI single after Francoeur's second triple (aided by right fielder Austin Kearns losing the ball in the sun). Rafael Soriano finished off the game in the ninth by getting two strikeouts. It gave the Braves a sweep of the Nationals for the first time in nearly two years.

    I was glad to see the timely hitting by the offense and the bullpen hold together after the rain delay sort of messed up the plans. The fast start is very encouraging, and I hope the Braves are able to keep it up.

    W - Jair Jurrjens (2-0)
    L - Scott Olsen (0-2)
    S - Rafael Soriano (1)


    3B Chipper Jones, Atlanta - 2-3, R, BB, 2 RBI

    2B Omar Infante, Atlanta - 2-3, 2B, BB, 2 R

    RF Jeff Francoeur - 2-4, 2 3B, 2 R, RBI

    AP Photo by John Amis

    EDIT: Changed boxscore link to

    Kawakami Shouritoushu!: Kenshin Wins In Major League Debut


    Kenshin Kawakami had a successful major league debut and the Atlanta Braves came from behind to beat the Washington Nationals 5-3.

    The Braves' first Japanese player in the major leagues, Kawakami logged six innings, allowing three runs on an RBI single by Nick Johnson in the first and a two-run homer by Ryan Zimmerman in the third. He didn't allow any hits after the third inning and he struck out eight Washington batters. He also walked four batters.

    Kelly Johnson led off the bottom of the third with a solo shot to center off Nationals starter John Lannan to cut the gap to 3-1. In the bottom of the fourth, Matt Diaz singled, then Casey Kotchman grounded into a fielder's choice to erase Diaz. Jordan Schafer doubled into the right field corner to move Kotchman to third. After Kawakami grounded out to short, Kelly Johnson rapped a single to center and stretched it into a double when Willie Harris didn't cover second base. Both Kotchman and Schafer scored on the play.

    Yunel Escobar hit a hard grounder that Harris knocked down, but couldn't make any play, and then Chipper Jones knocked in Johnson with a single to give the Braves the lead.

    Kawakami kept the lead through the sixth inning, retiring the last eight Washington batters he faced. Peter Moylan entered in the seventh inning and struck out the side, lowering his ERA from infinity to 45.00. Rafael Soriano allowed a leadoff double to Cristian Guzman, but he then struck out Ryan Zimmerman. Adam Dunn then walked, but Nick Johnson hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.

    The Braves added an insurance run in the eighth with a two-out single by Yunel Escobar. Yunel also had two walks in the game. Jordan Schafer had two doubles and a single.

    Mike Gonzalez came on in the ninth for the save. He got Austin Kearns to ground out to short and Jesus Flores to strike out swinging. Josh Willingham pinch-hit for Harris and he was rung up with a check swing to end the game.

    W - Kenshin Kawakami (1-0)
    L - John Lannan (0-2)
    S - Mike Gonzalez (1)
    HR - WAS - Ryan Zimmerman (1)
    ATL - Kelly Johnson (2)


    2B Kelly Johnson, Atlanta - 3-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI

    P Kenshin Kawakami, Atlanta - 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 8 SO

    CF Jordan Schafer, Atlanta - 3-4, 2 2B, 2 R

    AP Photo by John Amis

    EDIT: Changed boxscore link to

    Saturday, April 11, 2009

    Seesaw Battle With Nats Ends With Braves Up


    A game that saw a two-hour rain delay and three blown leads total by both teams ended with the Braves winning in ten by a score of 6-5.

    Derek Lowe started for Atlanta and allowed one run through three innings, striking out six. Shairon Martis made his sixth career start for Washington, going three innings. He allowed a three-run shot to Yunel Escobar in the third inning to give the Braves a 3-1 lead.

    A rain delay of two hours and two minutes stopped the game in the top of the fourth. Buddy Carlyle took Lowe's place after the delay and Wil Ledezma pitched for the Nationals.

    The Braves added another run with Brian McCann's sacrifice fly in the fifth, bringing the score to 4-1. However, the Nationals rocked Buddy Carlyle, Peter Moylan and Eric O'Flaherty for three runs to tie the game. Moylan gave up an RBI double to Ryan Zimmerman and O'Flaherty gave up a single to Adam Dunn that tied the game.

    The Braves went back ahead on an RBI single by Jeff Francoeur in the 7th and Rafael Soriano had a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth. The Braves didn't score in the eighth, so Mike Gonzalez came in to attempt his first save of the year. Nick Johnson led off with a liner that Matt Diaz lost in the lights for a double. Elijah Dukes singled and that moved Johnson to third. Jesus Flores flied out to shallow right for the first out and Alex Gonzalez walked to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Wil Nieves struck out, then Lastings Milledge hit a liner that Gonzalez tried to spear, but it bounced off of his glove into foul territory, scoring a run. Braves announcer Jim Powell said in the radio broadcast that if Gonzalez had never touched the ball, the game would have more than likely been over because Escobar was in position to make a play. Cristian Guzman struck out, but the Nationals had successfully made Gonzalez blow his first save chance of the year.

    The Braves didn't score in the bottom of the ninth, so the game went into extra innings. Jorge Campillo did a better job in his second outing, giving up only one walk to Adam Dunn. In the bottom of the tenth, Jordan Schafer led off with a single, then went to second on a groundout to third by Omar Infante. Infante had tried to bunt, but couldn't get one down so he had to swing with two strikes. Kelly Johnson then lofted a 1-2 pitch into right field and the speedy Schafer slid home well in front of the throw, giving Atlanta the victory.

    W - Jorge Campillo (1-0)
    L - Joe Beimel (0-1)
    HR - Yunel Escobar (1)


    2B Kelly Johnson, Atlanta - 3-5, 2B, GW 1B, R, RBI

    SS Yunel Escobar, Atlanta - 3-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI

    LF Adam Dunn, Washington - 1-3, GT 1B, 3 BB, RBI

    C Brian McCann - 3-4, 3 2B, R, RBI

    AP Photo by John Amis

    EDIT: Added photo credit, W-L-S-HR tally, and changed boxscore link to's boxscore.

    Wednesday, April 08, 2009

    Braves Bullpen Implosion Hands Phillies Victory


    The game was very rosy at first. The Braves knocked around Phillie starter Joe Blanton and Javier Vazquez pitched a quality start. However, the Braves bullpen suffered a catastrophic meltdown as the Phillies stormed back to take a 12-11 victory.

    Starting the seventh, Eric O'Flaherty got an out and gave up a single to Chase Utley and hit Ryan Howard with a pitch. The Braves didn't record a single out until Ryan Howard grounded to first, driving in the go-ahead run. The Braves walked four batters with the bases loaded and gave up three bases-loaded singles.

    Peter Moylan, in his first major league appearance since his Tommy John surgery, walked in two and allowed two of the bases loaded singles. Blaine Boyer walked in two batters as well, and Jorge Campillo allowed another single and walked in the tying run on a pitch he wanted called a strike. He got Ryan Howard to ground out to first, but that drove in the Phillies' eighth run of the inning.

    It wasn't over after that. Campillo walked Pedro Feliz and then Carlos Ruiz doubled to left. Eric Bruntlett hit a sacrifice fly to center field off of new reliever Jeff Bennett, scoring another run. Bennett was able to hold the damage down after that, but the meltdown was complete.

    Matt Diaz hit a one-out solo shot off of of Phillies closer Brad Lidge to make it 12-11, but Lidge got Jordan Schafer to ground out to second and struck out Garret Anderson to end it.

    In all, the five Braves relievers, in just two innings of work, gave up nine runs on six hits and six walks.

    Four Braves players had two hits apiece. Brian McCann and Schafer both had two-run homers for the Braves.

    Four Phillies players had two hits apiece as well. Raul Ibanez went 2-3, tied the game early with a two-run homer and also had a run-scoring single in the eight-run eighth.

    The Braves have an off-day before their home opener against the Nationals, who were swept by the Marlins.

    W - Clay Condrey (1-0)
    L - Blaine Boyer (0-1)
    S - Brad Lidge (1)
    HR - ATL - Brian McCann (2)
    Jordan Schafer (2)
    Matt Diaz (1)
    PHI - Raul Ibanez (1)


    2B Chase Utley, Philadelphia - 2-4, 2B, R, BB, 2 RBI

    LF Raul Ibanez, Philadelphia - 2-3, HR, 3 R, 2 BB, 3 RBI

    LF Matt Diaz, Atlanta - 2-4, HR, 2 R, BB, 3 RBI

    Photo by John Amis

    EDIT: Changed box score link to, added photo

    Tuesday, April 07, 2009

    Braves Staff Holds Phillies Off The Board, Hit Two Homers In Win


    Jair Jurrjens pitched 5 2/3 innings of shutout ball and the Braves pen finished putting up the zeroes in the 4-0 victory.

    Kelly Johnson hit the first pitch into the right field seats for the Braves' first score. After Yunel Escobar grounded out, Chipper Jones hit a long double that hit off the center field wall. He came around to score on a rare error by Chase Utley. Brian McCann's grounder went under Utley's glove and into right field. Jones came around to score on that.

    The Braves added another run in the fourth. Jeff Francoeur led off with a single and Casey Kotchman's single moved him to third. After Jordan Schafer popped up to short and Jair Jurrjens struck out, Kelly Johnson hit a slow bouncer to short and beat Rollins's throw to the bag, scoring Francoeur.

    Jones led off the fifth inning with a solo home run to cap the Braves' scoring off of Phillie starter Jamie Moyer. After the fifth inning, four Phillies relievers, including fifth starter Chan Ho Park, combined to retire twelve straight Braves batters.

    The Braves bullpen was similarly effective. Jurrjens left the game after walking Pedro Feliz with two out in the inning. Jeff Bennett came on to face Carlos Ruiz, but gave up a single to left. Matt Stairs was called on to pinch-hit, so Bobby Cox went with new lefty Eric O'Flaherty. Stairs launched a full-count pitch to right-center, but the hard wind, blowing out to right field, held it in the park for Jordan Schafer.

    O'Flaherty pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball and Rafael Soriano pitched around a two-out walk to Feliz. Mike Gonzalez, who pitched in the opener, got Eric Bruntlett to line out to left field, where Garret Anderson made up for a misplay in the second inning (a liner by Raul Ibanez popped out of his glove and he couldn't corral it) by tracking down deep liners from Eric Bruntlett and Jimmy Rollins. Shane Victorino hit a fly ball to center that Schafer caught easily, completing the shutout.

    W - Jair Jurrjens (1-0)
    L - Jamie Moyer (0-1)
    HR - Kelly Johnson (1)
    Chipper Jones (1)


    P Jair Jurrjens, Atlanta - 5 2/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 K

    2B Kelly Johnson, Atlanta - 2-5, HR, R, 2 RBI

    3B Chipper Jones, Atlanta - 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI

    AP Photo By John Amis

    EDIT: Added photo credit and changed boxscore to's boxscore and play-by-play.

    Sunday, April 05, 2009

    Opening Day Thrills For Braves, Lukewarm For Phillies


    After the Phillies and their fans celebrated their 2008 World Series championship, the Braves quickly reminded them that there is a lot of work to do if they're to celebrate like that again.

    Derek Lowe was masterful in his first start for Atlanta and the Braves launched three home runs off of Phillie starter Brett Myers to pace the team early. The visitors held off a ninth-inning rally by the Phillies to earn a 4-1 victory.

    Lowe, a sinker ball specialist, limited the Phillies to just two hits, a double and single, in eight innings. He induced 13 ground balls and the . His outing is rare for Braves' Opening Day starters. Since 1954, only five other Braves pitchers have allowed no runs on Opening Day for the Braves:

  • Lew Burdette, 1956
  • Warren Spahn, 1959
  • Rick Mahler, 1982, 1986, 1987
  • Tom Glavine, 1992
  • Greg Maddux, 1993, 1994

  • Lowe joins Maddux in that they didn't pitch complete-game shutouts in their stints.

    Catcher Brian McCann got the Braves on the board in the first inning. After Chipper Jones singled to left-center with two out, McCann launched a Brett Myers change-up into the second deck in right to give Atlanta a 2-0 lead.

    The second inning wasn't much better for Myers. Jeff Francoeur led off the inning with a lined shot into the left field stands. After Casey Kotchman struck out, Jordan Schafer made his major league debut. Schafer worked the count to 3-1, and then nailed a two-seamer to the left-center bleachers. He became the 99th major league player to hit a home run in his first at bat and the first Brave to do it since Jermaine Dye did it 13 years ago.

    Myers limited any further damage, going six innings in his stint, and four Phillies relievers held the Braves off of the scoreboard.

    Bobby Cox, the Braves manager, opted to go with closer Mike Gonzalez in the ninth inning. This move was most likely due to two things: Lowe is going to pitch the Braves' home opener on the 10th against the Nationals and he was at 97 pitches.

    Gonzalez faced pinch-hitter Eric Bruntlett and gave up a double to left that was just fair. After a fly ball by Jimmy Rollins moved Bruntlett over to third, Jayson Werth singled him home to give the Phillies their first run. A walk given to Chase Utley set up the chance for the Phillies to be able to tie the game with one swing of the bat. Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez were two prime candidates to launch a tater. But Gonzalez got Howard looking on a full-count fastball right down the heart of the plate and he blew away Ibanez with a fastball for the final out.

    The teams will have an early off-day before resuming the series on Tuesday.

    W - Derek Lowe (1-0)
    L - Brett Myers (0-1)
    HR - Brian McCann (1)
    Jeff Francoeur (1)
    Jordan Schafer (1)


    SP Derek Lowe, Atlanta - W, 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO

    CF Jordan Schafer, Atlanta - 2-3, HR, R, BB, RBI

    C Brian McCann - 1-4, HR, R, 2 RBI

    AP Photo by John Amis

    EDIT: I updated the reference to Braves pitchers allowing no runs in their Opening Day starts of eight innings or more, adding Maddux, Spahn, and two of Rick Mahler's years. Also added photo credit and changed link to's boxscore and play-by-play.

    Saturday, April 04, 2009

    2009 Atlanta Braves Opening Day Roster

    32 Derek Lowe
    33 Javier Vazquez
    49 Jair Jurrjens
    11 Kenshin Kawakami
    (47 Tom Glavine on 15-day DL - left shoulder)

    57 Jorge Campillo
    30 Jeff Bennett
    38 Buddy Carlyle
    34 Eric O'Flaherty
    56 Blaine Boyer
    58 Peter Moylan
    39 Rafael Soriano
    51 Mike Gonzalez

    16 Brian McCann
    5 Clint Sammons
    (8 David Ross in 15-day DL - right quad)

    20 Casey Kotchman
    2 Kelly Johnson
    10 Chipper Jones
    19 Yunel Escobar
    4 Omar Infante
    14 Martin Prado

    18 Garret Anderson
    23 Matt Diaz
    24 Jordan Schafer
    7 Jeff Francoeur
    20 Greg Norton

    The Braves will take this group up to Philadelphia to open the 2009 season. It's time to shelve all the speculation. It's time to shelve all the frustrations of last year. It's time to shelve all the hurt. It's a fresh, new season. It's a fresh, new team. It's time for Braves baseball once again!

    Tigers Patiently Pound Braves In Final Spring Game

    The Tigers waited out Kenshin Kawakami's control problems and got to Tommy Hanson as they churned out run after run, winning 8-4.

    Kawakami, making his final spring start, walked seven batters, two with the bases loaded, and allowed five runs in 2 2/3 innings. He wasn't locating any of his pitches for strikes at all. Tommy Hanson pitched the next three innings and allowed three runs. Kris Medlen allowed no runs in 3 1/3 innings to finish the pitching work for the Braves.

    Jeff Francoeur hit a solo home run for Atlanta to get them their first run and Matt Diaz scored the second with a double and scored on a throwing error caused by his attempt to steal third base. The Braves scored two in the ninth.

    Miguel Cabrera, Brandon Inge and Gerald Laird all had two hits for the Tigers.

    W - Armando Galarraga (2-0)
    L - Kenshin Kawakami (2-2)
    HR - DET - Carlos Guillen (1)
    ATL - Jeff Francoeur (2)

    Braves Begin Final Spring "Series" With Win

    Javier Vazquez pitched four scoreless innings in his last start and the Braves began their final series of exhibition games with a 9-3 victory over the Tigers.

    The Braves' #2 starter pitched four scorless innings and only Buddy Carlyle gave up a run out of all the Braves' relievers. Omar Infante hit a two-run home run and Casey Kotchman drove in a run in the third. For the Tigers, Zach Miner gave up all three Braves runs in 4 2/3 innings.

    The Braves face the Tigers today and then fly to Philadelphia to begin the regular season.

    W - Javier Vazquez (2-1)
    L - Zach Miner (1-2)
    S - Francisely Bueno (1)
    HR - Omar Infante (2)

    Friday, April 03, 2009

    Jurrjens Impressive In Final Spring Start, Braves Pull Out Win

    Braves starter Jair Jurrjens allowed one unearned run and five hits in four innings. The Braves scored two runs to overcome the small deficit and hold on for a2-1 win.

    Kelly Johnson erased the Astros' one-run lead with a solo shot in the fourth inning and current back-up catcher Clint Sammons drove in Martin Prado with an RBI single. Five Braves relievers had scoreless innings.

    The Braves play Detroit tonight in the first of two exhibition games at Turner Field.

    W - Jair Jurrjens (2-1)
    L - Sergio Perez (0-2)
    S - Manny Acosta (1)
    HR - Kelly Johnson (1)

    Wednesday, April 01, 2009

    Braves Pick Glavine Up With Homers, Beat Tigers

    Braves starter Tom Glavine allowed seven hits and three runs in five innings, but by then, the Braves had scored seven runs. Atlanta cruised on to the 9-3 victory.

    Through five innings, Tigers starter Justin Verlander allowed seven runs on nine hits, including giving up home runs to Casey Kotchman and Chipper Jones. The biggest blow was a five-run second, where Kotchman had a two-run shot.

    Yunel Escobar and Gregor Blanco drove in two runs apiece. Clint Sammons drove in a run in the sixth with a solo shot and Matt Diaz added an RBI.

    Curtis Granderson hit a two-run shot for the Tigers and Josh Anderson, freshly traded from the Braves, added an RBI single for his new team.

    W - Tom Glavine (2-0)
    L - Justin Verlander (1-2)
    HR - ATL - Casey Kotchman (3)
    Chipper Jones (4)
    Clint Sammons (3)
    DET - Curtis Granderson (3)

    Astros Batter Braves, Chipper Homers After Extension

    The Braves pitchers took a bit of a beating as the Astros smacked six extra base hits in an 8-3 win.

    Darin Erstad and Carlos Lee hit doubles off of Braves starter Derek Lowe and Michael Bourn hit a triple. Jason Smith doubled off of Mike Gonzalez and Kris Medlen gave up a double to Geoff Blum and a two-run homer to Lee.

    Chipper Jones provided the only runs for the Braves when he launched a three-run homer off of former Brave Russ Ortiz. Garret Anderson had Atlanta's other extra-base hit: a triple off of Ortiz.

    W - Russ Ortiz (2-1)
    L - Derek Lowe (2-1)
    HR - ATL - Chipper Jones (3)
    HOU - Carlos Lee (1)

    Blog Archive