Shades of a May weekend in Denver, circa ’93

On May 6, 1993, the Braves staggered into old Mile HIgh Stadium 13-15, having been held to one run the night before by Bob Walk, who sucked.

The Braves went on to sweep the four-game series, outscoring the Rockies 46-22. Jeff Blauser and David Justice homered three times; Sid Bream and Mark Lemke, twice. The Bravos  never flirted with .500 again.

The 2013 Braves topped that run differential by three runs, destroying the Rox 40-13. I won’t compare this Braves team to that one — I’m not dumb.

But sometimes it’s fun when history repeats.

Open thread, 8/1, Braves vs. Jerome Bettises

Shares a name w/ my cat

Actually, tonight’s opponent is Chad Bettis, just promoted from Double-A Tulsa, where he was 3-4 with a 3.71 ERA. That’s just the kind of pitcher the Braves typically struggle against, and the bats are due a slumber, but I ain’t doing pessimism this week.

The line-up is the same, which is something I hated typing a week ago but now relish it.

1. Heyward CF 2. J. Upton RF 3. Freeman 1B 4. Gattis LF 5. McCann C 6. C Johnson 3B 7. Uggla 2B 8. Simmons SS 9. Teheran P

Today’s question: Is Jay Hey a better defensive CF than B.J. I vote “yea”.

Open thread, 7/30, Braves vs. the Curse of Chief Noc-a-Homa

On this date in 1982, Braves management made the fateful decision to remove the chief’s teepee from left field to make room for more seats. The local nine would blow a 10.5 game lead, losing 15 of their next 16 and 19 of 21 before recovering in time to win their second NL West division title.

A week ago I would’ve believed this team capable of such a slide, but no more. If Alex Wood pitches well tonight, my confidence will know no bounds. The Nats, meanwhile, face Annibal Sanchez in Detroit.

A double-digit lead sure sounds nice.

B-Mac is back in the line-up, hitting 5th. Chris Johnson, with a BA .140 points higher than Fan Uggla’s, follows in the 6-hole. That move, combined with the decision not to bunt Andrelton last night in the 10th, makes me wonder if Fredi has decided to be sensible for a change.

The bench, meanwhile, suffered another blow when Reed Johnson was placed on the 15-day DL with achillies tendinitis. I hope that’s not as bad as it sounds. Todd Cunningham has been called up in his place. Gerald Laird is also on the shelf as he tries to pass kidney stones. He’s day-to-day.

Open thread, 7/29, Braves vs. David Nieds

Did you know the inaugural Rockies team had 10 once or future Braves, including Murph and the scrub reliever he was traded for, Jeff Parrett? The others: Nied, Vinny Castilla, the Big Cat, Armando Reynoso, Andy Ashby, Steve Reed, Mark Grant and Darren Holmes.

Back to the present, where the Braves’ rollercoaster of a season hit rock bottom last week, when Huddy broke his ankle, only to reach its zenith with the sweep of the Cards. I feared the Braves would be the ones swept, and had that happened the Nats, winners of their last three, would’ve been 5-/12 games back.

Comeback kid Brandon Beachy need only look at tonight’s mound opponent for inspiration. Jorge De La Rosa missed much of the last two seasons to injury but has been better than ever in 2013, winning 10 with a 2.97 ERA. Surprisingly, he’s pitched better at Coors Field than on the road.

In another surprise, Fredi is batting Chris Johnson fifth, ahead of Fan Uggla, who now has 129 strikeouts, more than any Brave racked up in 2003. Andruw, with 125 K’s, was the only Brave hitter that year to top the century mark in strikeouts.

B-Mac gets the night off, with Gattis catching and the Terd hitting 8th and playing LF:

Jay Hey, Upton, Freddie, Gattis, Johnson, Uggla, Simmons, Terdo, Beachy

Open thread, 4/23, Braves vs. John Thomsons

‘I don’t like books’

It’s 29 degrees at Coors, according to DOB. Here’s the Game 1 line-up:

Simmons 6, BUpton 8, JUpton 7, Freeman 3, CJohnson 5, Gattis 2, Uggla 4, RJohnson 9

As you’ve no doubt heard Jay Hey underwent an emergency appendectomy last night and will miss the next two weeks. Tyler Pastornicky, batting .351 with 6 doubles in 74 AB’s at Gwinnett, takes his place on the active roster.


Why are the Rockies so stubborn?

The Braves have what they need, and Colorado has Dexter Fowler, the lead-off hitting outfielder who would complete a formidable line-up.

The Rockies are desperate for pitching and could use a corner infielder. How many homers do you think Juan Francisco would hit playing half his games in Coors? More than Colorado’s projected corner infielders — Todd Helton and Jordan Pacheco — combined, I’d bet.

Pacheco, a converted catcher who hit .309 last year with little power, would also be a nice fit in Atlanta as jack of all trades backing up at first, third and behind the plate. Here’s my proposed deal, which should be more than enough but is unlikely to satisfy Colorado, which tends to over-value their talent:

Fowler and Pacheco 


Randall Delgado, Sean Gilmartin, hard-throwing reliever Juan Jaime and Juan Francisco. 

Fowler, an Alpharetta native, finally fulfilled his potential last year, posting a .389 OBP — more than 40 points better than Michael Bourn — and .474 slugging percentage. Sure, his home/road splits are troubling, but an OF of Fowler, B.J. and Jay Hey — all 28 and under — excites the hell out of me.

If only the Rockies would cooperate.