No matter how depressing this offseason has been, it could be worse, as this walk down memory lane reminds us.
The Braves. losers of three straight, were 38-74 entering play on Aug. 10, 1988. A crowd of 6,070 turned out on one crazy summer night to watch Rick Mahler battle Andy Hawkins.
A three-run homer by Murph gave the Braves a 3-1 advantage in the 3rd. The lead held until the 9th when, as you’d expect, the roof caved in. After a Tony Gwynn single, Andres Thomas booted a grounder by Keith Moreland to put the tying runner on base. Marvell Wynne bunted the runners over to 2nd and 3rd with one out. Mahler then coaxed a grounder from Benito Santiago but unfortunately it was hit to Thomas, who committed his second error of the inning.
The Braves still led by 1 and, following a strikeout of Randy Ready, were just one out away from victory. Mahler did his part, getting Garry Templeton to ground softly to first. Guess what happened next.
The third error of the inning, by Gerald Perry, tied the game at three.
It would stay that way for six innings. German Jimenez allowed two runs in the top of the 16th but the Braves battled back, scoring one and putting the tying run on third with Thomas coming to bat. Appropriately, he recorded the final out, dropping the Braves 25.5 games out of first.
Amid all the injuries and slumps, Kris Medlen’s resurgence has been a bright spot. Medlen is pitching like Med Dog again, winning his last four starts with a 0.98 ERA, 26 K’s and 4 BB in 27-2/3 IP.
It’ll be interesting to see how Fredi aligns the rotation come October. Match-ups will certainly play a role — if the Braves draw the Reds, whose three best hitters (Votto, Choo and Bruce) are left-handed, you can bet Minor gets the Game 1 nod. I’d go with Minor regardless, though it’s worth noting that, since the first of August, he’s allowed more than a hit per inning with an ERA well above 4.
I doubt Julio T., who starts today, gets the nod, but he’s been the team’s most consistent starter since April, the only month he posted an ERA above 3.
I1. Schafer RF 2. J Upton LF 3 Freeman 1B 4. Gattis C’5. C.Johnson 3B 6. Simmons SS 7. EJohnson 2B 8. B Upton CF 9. Teheran p
Last night was a positive loss, if there is such a thing. Jay Hey clubbed two homers, while the Uptons had two hits apiece (including a near-miss HR by B.J., who has a .937 OPS in his last nine games). Heyward is now hitting above .200 and Fan Uggla is up to .195.
Simmons 6, Heyward 9, JUpton 7, Freeman 3, McCann 2, Uggla 4 BUpton 8, Pena 5, Hudson 1
Julio T. will attempt to maintain a pretty amazing streak tonight, as Braves starters have allowed 2 ER or fewer in 9 consecutive games. The last time that happened: 2001, when the team’s three best starters (Maddux, Glavine and John Burkett) were each 35 or older.
A member of that Braves squad, Jason Marquis, toils for the Friars tonight. In 9 starts against his former team the Staten Island native has a 7.69 ERA and 1.792 WHIP.
1. Simmons SS 2. Heyward RF 3. J Upton LF 4. Freeman 1B 5. McCann C 6. Uggla 2B 7. C. Johnson 3B 8. B. Upton CF 9. Teheran
(Go here for the rest of our list)
This 17-2 thumping by the Padres was a sign of things to come, in April, at least. The Braves were 9-14 that month and looked even worse than their record.
This game marked Jo-Jo Reyes‘ final appearance as a Brave. It was a fitting send-off for Reyes, who walked three and allowed 10 hits in 3-1/3 IP, good for 9 ER. As a Brave, Jo-Jo was 5-15 with a 6.40 ERA and 1.670 WHIP.
He was sent to Toronto along with Yesco for Alex Gonzalez, so thanks to the Blue Jays for taking two albatrosses off our hands.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
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Braves 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 4 1
Padres 0 1 0 10 3 0 3 0 X 17 19 0