From the Dept. of Irrational Exuberance …

The Bravos are now 6-1 5-1 vs. first place opponents, with all seven games on the road — 2 out of 3 vs. the Dodgers, a sweep of the Cards and tonight’s win over the Rays. CORRECTION: No disrespect, O’s fans. Baltimore, not Tampa, occupies first in the AL East.

Two days in May

#Braves wins Wed. and Fri: Each 11 innings, each lasted exactly 4 hrs, each won by Durbin, each had 19 hits by Braves — David O’Brien (@ajcbraves) May 5, 2012

All that was missing was a Rick Camp homer

#Braves Chipper Jones: “That was the most psychotic game I’ve ever been a part of.” — David O’Brien (@ajcbraves) May 3, 2012 Tough to argue with that one: Roy Halladay gave up eight runs. The Braves bullpen allowed seven. Durbin and Livan didn’t allow any. Carlos Ruiz drove in 7 (two more than Albert Pujols…

The Braves at 20

The ’82 team won its first 13. This year’s version dropped its first four. After 20, the ’82 Braves had just two more wins than the current squad. In the ’82 team’s 20th game, Joe Cowley pitched 7 shutout innings to secure win No. 15, aided by homers from Murph and Horner. Biff Pocoroba slugged…

The last 0-3 start

In 2003 the Braves were swept at home in their opening series vs. the Expos, who outscored the local nine 17-2. They won their fourth game, 12-7, then lost 17-1 to the Fish (with Mad Dog on the mound). The Bravos lost the Hall of Famer-to-be’s next start, 16-2. Three days later Florida beat the…

Offensive keys to the season: Heyward, Chipper

Heyward is obviously pivotal. He is one of the few real question marks in the lineup. Bourn will be solid. No way Prado doesn’t rebound. McCann will be McCann, and won’t fade late. Freeman could take a step back in year 2, ala J-Hey, but I don’t see it happening. Uggla will be Uggla. That…

Musings on a summer afternoon

You mean it’s still winter? At 7:40 p.m. it’s 81 degrees and the pollen count is higher than at any point in 2011 (channeling Doyle Harcavy …) The biggest story out of camp so far has been the Oz-like glove work of Andrelton Simmons, who may well get the nod over the Rev. Pastornicky. For…

Starters must step up

JP Morosi raises some reasonable doubts about the Bravos: So it will be harder to generate offense in divisional games — something the Braves found challenging enough in 2011, when they ranked in the bottom half of the NL in runs scored. The low output contributed to their appearance in a major-league-leading 26 extra-inning games….

Ranking the NL East: Defense

None of the NL East teams will be mistaken for the early-to-mid-1980s Cardinals teams. First, the infields: The Phils are competent but aging. The Braves are a shade worse and have an untested shortstop who doesn’t project as a superior defenders. The Fish have a crappy SS moving to third but are more solid up…

One good thing about 2012: Boston won’t make the playoffs

The final two spots in Boston’s rotation are expected to be filled by converted relievers. Their projected third starter missed more than half of the 2011 season with back issues. Josh Beckett is a injury waiting to happen. And new closer Andrew Bailey has also missed significant time to arm ailments. As for the offense, Kevin…

Ranking the NL East Rotations

No. 5: Easy. The Mets. Their ace has had a hell of a career. Makes a mountain of money. But he hasn’t pitched in two years. He has not made 30 starts since 2008. Chances of him doing so this year are about the same as Duane from Forest Park being the next Fed chairman….

Braves better have a good April

Sluggish starts have become the norm for the Bravos but a winning April is key in 2012.  The Braves play the Mets in six of their first 12 games. In between they face Houston and a Brewers team likely without Fielder and Braun. They end the month with four at home against the Pirates.  May will…

If Fredi and Parrish don’t screw it up….

I can go optimistic or pessimistic in thinking about next season. For now I’ll focus on the promise, and I think it is considerable. That is, if Fredi and Parrish don’t screw it up. Look at the regular eight: McCann could certainly rebound and have a better season; Freeman was great as a rookie and, assuming…

Next year could be tougher

At least in the NL East. The Phils will still be the Phils and the Nats are already talking about bolstering their rotation. The Nationals have sent a scout to Oakland to watch Rangers left-hander C.J. Wilson pitch against the Athletics on Wednesday, according to two baseball sources. It more than likely means that the…

If the Braves are going to add, they’ll have to subtract

According to MLBTradeRumors, raises for arbitration-eligible players Jair Jurrjens, Martin Prado, Eric O’Flaherty, Michael Bourn and Peter Moylan will add up to roughly $21 million against next year’s payroll. Combine that with their other contractual agreements and you get around $88 million, not including minimum salary players. So you’re pretty much at this year’s $91…