Reasons to watch the last 19 games

1. Tommy Hanson. Always fun to watch The Future at work.

2. Will Chipper finish with a flourish? It’d be some comfort to see his bat show some life heading into the offseason.

3. Huddy’s last few starts. Maybe his performance will help shape Wren’s offseason plans.

4. Will three Braves starters reach 200 innings? Vazquez (197 IP) and JJ (186) will. Lowe is at 177, so he should. No Brave threw 200 innings last year, and the last time three did it was 2001 — Maddux, Glavine and Burkett.

5. Will a Brave hit 20 homers (as a Brave)? McCann has 18, Chipper 16. No Brave will steal close to 20 bases in a home team uni. McLouth has 17 thefts, but just 10 as a Bravo. No Brave will approach 100 RBI. McCann leads the club with 79.

6. Will Greg Norton’s torrid September continue — he’s 1-for-3, raising his average nine points, to .145? Can he hit .150?

Random thoughts:

The Braves are sixth in the NL in team batting average, but only one of the top six — the Dodgers, who are first — will make the playoffs. The Bravos are third in team ERA. Three, maybe four of the top six in that category will play in October.

–CD

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12 Comments on Reasons to watch the last 19 games

  1. What about the 17-2 finish we’ll make to squeak out the NL East title?

  2. Sharon Egan // September 15, 2009 at 5:00 pm //

    If this team can get to 86 wins, in spite of the lack of power and speed, that will be a helluva improvement over last season and cause for considerable optimism heading into the winter. And even though I fear the Bravos need to add not just one power bat but two, given the prospects of further erosion in Chipper’s production and health, I would still be pretty upbeat as hot stove league approaches.

  3. I’m sure ESPN or any other website could just paste in the headline, “Hampton to miss next season.” Makes JD Drew look like Cal Ripken Jr. Retire, already, dude.

  4. According to Bowman, Wren’s making noises like he wants to keep Hudson. Wren’s word isn’t exactly sterling, but I still take some heat from that fact.

  5. “Heart”

    I take some heaRt from that.

  6. Hanson is an absolute badass. If you take away his major league debut, in which he pitched 6 innings and gave up 6 earned runs, his ERA would be 2.27. Eat it, J(A) Happ. Hanson is easily the best rookie pitcher in the league, and the best we’ve seen in Atlanta in quite some time.

  7. Yeah, there is no way JA Happ or Chris Coghlan should beat out Hanson for rookie of the year. The dude has been unhitable lately. Having him and Jair around for the next few years is extremely comforting.

  8. Hanson and JJ are the best young pitchers in Atlanta since Glavine and Smoltz, and their performance thus far in their young careers makes Glavine and Smoltz’s early work look pretty ordinary. The crazy thing is that with Hanson, his filthy stuff is apparent, but with JJ, it’s hard to pinpoint why he’s as good as he is. He just beats you, with stuff, with location, with intelligence, etc. I look forward to many, many starts in the years to come.

  9. Hanson can’t hit. That’s the only fault I have found.

    JJ amazed me last year; he did not look his age. I continue to be impressed whenever I see him pitch. He knows what he is doing out there, which is rare for a young pitcher. He also has incredible focus, which is not always the case with Caribbean players. Every year some pitcher seems to pitch without any offensive or defensive support. That has been JJ’s fate this year, but I haven’t heard him whine or bitch. He just goes out every fifth day and gives you a quality start. I am already taking him for granted; shame on me.

  10. charlesad, Hampton’s 37 and not only coming off a torn rotator cuff, but a season in which he posted a 5.30 ERA. He’s a free agent in a couple of weeks and is already due to miss the 2010 season. I seriously doubt any team will give him a shot in 2011.

  11. Viva Rufino Linares // September 16, 2009 at 6:54 pm //

    Hanson is downright filthy. JJ is successful because he consistently attacks the strike zone. He shows no fear to any hitter. His stuff isn’t as a nasty as Hanson’s and doesn’t look like it will be. But, he can crank it up when he has to and he is never really in the heart of the plate. I look forward to the next few years w/ them.

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