Standings: Braves are 4 games behind Phillies in NL East. Right now we are the Wildcard leader over Arizona,Milwaukee & St.Louis(Brewers & Cards are tied for Central Division lead) by 3 games. Pittsburgh(!) and Cincinnati are 5 games back and the Mets are 5 1/2 back. The Braves are 12 games over .500 at 47-35.
Tonight’s game: Braves take on the Orioles tonight at home at 7:35 on Sportsouth. RH Jair Jurrjens(10-3, 2.07 ERA) vs RH Jeremy Guthrie (3-9, 3.93 ERA). It’s time for the Braves to start winning games at home consistently especially against subpar teams (like the Orioles).
Brian McCann is an all-star but is he also the NL MVP? He should definitely be in the conversation. He’s got the stats plus he plays the toughest position in baseball and he has helped make our pitching staff into one of the best. Where would we be without him? Other candidates: Jose Reyes,Mets; Prince Fielder,Brewers; Matt Kemp, Dodgers. I’m sure these names will change through out the year but McCann’s hopefully will remain.
Braves have 4 Gwinnett Braves named to International League All-Star team: Pitcher Julio Teheran, CF Jose Constanza, 1B Mauro Gomez, DH Stefan Gartrell. Why does a NL AAA team have a DH? What position would Gartrell be vying for on the Braves’ roster? Pinch-hitter? No wonder our young pitchers are such poor bunters–they don’t get any at-bats.
Former Brave report: Jeff Francoeur is batting .261 with 11 HR, 47 RBIs, and 13 SB for the Royals. Jeff looks completely different now; he has a very very lean look this year, not bulky at all. Another Royal that has lost alot of weight is Melky Cabrera–he’s batting .277 with 18 doubles. Mark Teixeira is hitting .243 with 25 HR and 63 RBIs for the Yankees. Yunel Escobar is hitting .289 with 9 HR, 29 RBIs and 8 errors for the Blue Jays. Matt Diaz is hitting .268 with 12 RBIs coming off the bench for the Pirates. Speaking of these two, last night Diaz took Escobar out at second base with a hard slide, preventing Yunel from getting a throw off to complete a double play. Afterwards, Yunel threw a mini fit in the dugout, slinging gatorade. Good times. Kelly Johnson is hitting .210 (oof!) with 13 HR and 34 RBIs. Did you ever think you’d look at those numbers and go “Gee, I wish the Braves’ 2nd baseman could hit that well”? I know you’d never say “gee”, right?
I can’t wait until the Braves get Martin Prado back from the DL(staph infection). It will almost be like we made a trade; he should really improve our hitting, especially vs lefties.