The good news: Justin is back in the line-up; his brother and Uggla are not.
The bad news: Paul Maholm is set to undergo an MRI on his sore elbow. So we can expect Alex Wood to start a postseason game. The Braves are giving him a breather tomorrow, with Freddy Garcia getting the nod. On Friday, David Hale will pitch for Maholm.
1. Schafer CF 2. J Upton RF 3. Freeman 1B 4. Gattis LF 5. McCann C 6. C. Johnson 3B 7. Simmons SS 8. E. Johnson 2B 9 Minor P
UPDATE: Good news on the injury front — Reed Johnson has been activated off the DL and Jordan Walden is expected to be available on Thursday. And Jay Hey is on schedule to get some AB’s in the Instructional League.
No flip-flopping on the line-up tonight from Fredi, a la Florida’s closeted former Republican governor turned closeted Democratic candidate for governor. I like the stability — more specifically, I like the absence of BJ and Uggla.
1. Schafer CF 2. J Upton RF 3 Freeman 1B 4. Gattis LF 5. McCann C 6. C. Johnson 3B 7. Simmons SS 8. E. Johnson 2B 9 Teheran p
It’ll be interesting to see if Julio benefits from the extra rest. I wouldn’t mind seeing him skipped over one more time, because, of all the Braves hurlers, he’s the most likely to dominate.
A sub-.200 hitter with two 4-hit games is probably unprecedented, but a big September from B.J. Upton wouldn’t be. Last year he hit 12 homers in the season’s final month. A repeat sure would bolster my confidence about this team’s chances in the playoffs.
Don’t know the line-ups yet, but DOB sez Freddy Garcia has been called up. I hope we see a lot of him.
Would it surprise you to learn that melon-smashing “comic” Gallagher hails from northern Florida? Didn’t think so. (I conducted a memorable interview with Gallagher about 10 years ago. He is not a pleasant man.)
All smiles on the Braves front as they attempt to tie their biggest winning streak since moving south. CD and I were at the game last night and when I got home I turned on ESPN expecting to see Braves highlights leading the show. How silly of me — there were NFL exhibition games to dissect, with analysis from humorless turd Mark Schelreth. Sometimes I fucking hate the NFL.
Brandon Beachy deserved top billing last night, coasting through 8 innings without breaking a sweat. Granted, the Marlins line-up doesn’t offer much challenge, but Beachy’s dominance was just the latest positive sign for a team that now boasts baseball’s best record.
The bench gets a boost tonight, with Schafer coming up and Constanza going down. Laird will be back Sunday.
McCann gets the night off due to sore knees but DOB says it’s not a concern. The line-up:
Heyward 9, JUpton 7, Freeman 3, Gattis 2, CJohnson 5, Uggla 4, BUpton 8, Simmons 6, Wood 1
No need to post the line-up — it’s the same one Fredi’s run out there for the last two months. Someone tell him it’s not working.
Last night’s win was nice but hardly inspiring, considering the Braves couldn’t buy a hit off the likes of Kevin Slowey, Chad Qualls and Mike Dunn.
Let’s see if they can handle Henderson Alvarez, who has allowed 285 hits in 256 career IP.
The Terd is the Word!
Naha Gomez reminded us of another July 4th game, 20 years ago, when the Braves beat the Marlins 4-3 on a balk-off that scored Deion Sanders. The Braves ended the day 7 games out of first.
Let’s hope that’s not a omen.
On the injury front, Jordan Schafer was placed on the DL today. Taking his place: switch-hitting corner OF Joey Terdoslavich, who has rebounded nicely at Gwinnett, .318-18-58. Meanwhile, DOB reports Evan Gattis was spotted heading to the indoor cages this afternoon, so we should see him back in Atlanta by the start of the second half, if not sooner.
It’s been dry in Atlanta for a couple of hours now, so it looks like they’ll get this one in.
1. Simmons SS 2. Heyward RF 3. J. Upton LF 4. Freeman 1B, 5. McCann C 6. Uggla 2B 7. B. Upton CF 8. C Johnson 3B 9 Teheran P
Happy 74th to the legendary Braves usher, whose trivia questions between innings are sorely missed.
(excerpted from a 2010 AJC article on Banks)
Chatting recently with a family of five from Cincinnati, Banks suddenly noticed that the stadium clock read 7:14. He pondered this for maybe a millisecond before saying, “Babe Ruth hit 714 home runs, which you probably knew. But did you know that Jack Webb’s badge number on “Dragnet” was 714. Matter of fact, Tim Hudson was born on 7/14.”
He let this sink in before adding, “Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews both hit their 500th home runs on 7/14, although one year apart, both against the Giants, incidentally, Mathews on 7/14/67, Aaron on 7/14/68.
No doubt Walter is pleased with the Braves’ 6-game lead over the Nats, but I bet he isn’t overconfident like too many fans of the local nine seem to be. Six games is nothing, not with half the season left to play and Bryce Harper back in the Nats’ line-up.
Though my heart picks the Braves to win the division, my head still isn’t going there. Hope I’m wrong.
Tonight’s opponent, the Marlins, winners of 14 of 21, are no longer pushovers. The Braves do catch a break, however, missing pitching phenom Jose Fernandez in this series and the one next week.
1. Simmons SS 2. Heyward RF 3. J Upton LF 4. Freeman 1B 5. McCann C 6. Uggla 2B 7. B Upton CF 8. C. Johnson 3B 9. Medlen P
Just a reminder: Jeffrey Loria wouldn’t be owning the Marlins if not for the Worst Commissioner in the History of Sports.
In other words, as the Herald reported, 0.8 percent of all TV households in Miami-Dade County and Broward County were watching the Marlins get shutout by the Atlanta Braves. Nielsen, which handles television ratings, lists a total of 1,621,130 TV households in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale market.
That means, based on Nielsen’s total available households in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale market, roughly 12,969 homes were watching the Marlins game on Wednesday night. For comparison, the Marlins announced attendance at Wednesday night’s game was 13,810.
No team in baseball recorded a rating below 1.0 all last season. It took the Marlins less than two weeks.
Barack Obama killed my mother.
I’d remind those few Marlins fans remaining to save some venom for Bud Selig, without whom Jeffrey Loria’s ownership wouldn’t have been possible.
The Fish have nothing to play for this season except maybe avoiding the distinction as the worst team in baseball. The Astros will certainly give them a good fight.
One of Miami’s more annoying native sons
There are only so many old Marlins to choose from, and by now we’ve run through virtually all of them. Instead we’ll pick on Miami native Wilmer Valderrama, whose character Fez was the most annoying character on a very annoying show.
The local nine appear poised to improve to 7-1, though they haven’t been as impressive as their record indicates. I expect Meds to improve on his debut, if for no other reason than he’s pitching against a truly feeble line-up.
The Braves are fortunate to be facing the dregs of the league as the bats — outside of Justin Upton, Freddie, the third basemen and catchers — have been anemic. Jay Hey, replaced by Reed Johnson in tonight’s line-up, has just two hits all year. Andrelton has three, while Uggla has twice as many K’s (8) as hits. B.J., meanwhile, has a 3:1 strikeout to hit ratio.
Take away J-Up and how many wins would the Braves have? Three? Four?
Andrelton is back in the line-up, hitting 8th. B.J. bats first while Evan Gattis gets the start at catcher.
Sit on it, Philly!
Mets fans should be thrilled by the proposed R.A. Dickey to Toronto trade. New York will reportedly receive two former first round draft picks: catcher Travis d’Arnaud (.286 BA and .816 OPS in the minors) and pitcher Noah Snydergaard (13-8, 2.35 ERA, 1.085 WHIP) – an impressive haul for a 38-year-old pitcher.
New York also kept its franchise player, David Wright, for $138 million over 8 years. It’s a risky deal, as Wright will be 37 when his contract expires, but considering some of the deals handed out this winter it’s not unreasonable.
They still have a LONG way to go, as evidenced by their projected Opening Day outfield of Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Jordany Valdespin and Lucas Duda.
The Nats imported Denard Span and Dan Haren, discarding Edwin Jackson and either Rochey or Michael Morse. Call it even.
The Bravos hope to draw even before the season starts but as of now they’re on the wrong end of the Chipper and Bourn for B.J. Upton swap.
Philly is the NL version of the Yanks, aging and fading. They were able to snag a player the Braves wanted, Ben Revere, but he didn’t come cheap. Their new third baseman, Michael Young, is a middle class man’s Placido Polanco, which is another way of saying I’ll take my chances on Juan Francisco. They’re reportedly hot for Cody Ross, which is sort of like being hot for Marion Ross.
Then there’s Miami. Unfortunately for the 38 remaining Marlins fans, Jeffrey Loria did not trade himself. They have Giancarlo Stanton — for now, but don’t be surprised if Texas rescues him from south Florida.
UPDATE: It’s official, reports Buster Olney.
How many franchises can I destroy?
The Marlins have surrendered, for next year and beyond.
They have reportedly shipped Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio, and John Buck to the Blue Jays for Yesco, infielder Adeiny Hechavarria, RHP Henderson Alvarez, LHP Justin Nicolino, OF Jake Marisnick, C Jeff Mathis, and RHP Anthony DeSclafani.
Three of those players rank among Toronto’s Top 10 prospects, but that’s a helluva bounty. Miami now has just $16 million committed to next year’s payroll.
Perhaps FW should inquire about Giancarlo Stanton.