Tonight’s Game: RH Brandon Beachy(5-2, 3.49 ERA) vs Marlins RH Clay Hensley at 7:10 on SportSouth.
Injury update: Yesterday, Brian McCann took some light batting practice prior to the game. He felt good and plans to do some catching drills today including throwing. If he is cleared to do so, he plans to play in rehab games on Wednesday and Thursday then possibly rejoin the Braves on Friday. Gonzalez is wary of bringing him back too quickly and risking re-injuring his oblique.
Reliever Peter Moylan is feeling good about his recovery from back surgery. He is rebuilding arm strength and is up to throwing 60 pitches at about 50 percent. The plan is to return late August or early September.
Nate McClouth is out after having sports hernia surgery.
Now the Braves are considering having Tommy Hanson skip his turn in the rotation on Friday and have Minor Minor pitch if Hanson is indeed experiencing shoulder issues. We’ll see–something is definitely wrong either physically or mentally.
I know I said that Chipper would not be back from the DL in the 2 weeks that he was shooting for and then he did. But then in his first game back, he strained his quad and was out for another week so I think my 3 week prediction turned out to be right after all. How’s that for rationalizing?
New Guys: I really hated to see Jordan Schafer go but I have to admit I’m loving Michael Bourn. Bourn is batting .305, leads the league with 42 stolen bases, is third in the league with 140 hits and has 7 triples.
I’m also loving Jose Constanza. The rookie has been here for ten games and has an eight game hitting streak while hitting .421. Plus he’s fast! I know NL pitchers will figure him out but until they do I say ride the hot bat–sorry Jason Heyward.
I have to admit I don’t know where pitcher Varvaro came from, whether as a call-up or part of a trade, but if it means we’ll see less of Scott Proctor then I’m all for it.
Starting Pitching woes: Our recent losses can’t be blamed on a lack of hitting. It’s been poor starting pitching. It seems that every single game we give up runs in the first or second inning and usually via home runs. Hanson’s last start he went 3.1 and gave up 4 homers! Jurrjens, Beachy, Lowe, and even Hudson have not been immune. Another strange problem has been allowing crucial hits to the opposing pitcher. I don’t know what that’s about but it needs to stop.
Standings: The Braves are 8 1/2 games behind the Phillies in the NL East. I’m about to wave the white flag on the division and focus solely on the wild card. We lead the wild card by 4 1/2 games over the D-Backs and Cardinals, and by 9 games over the Mets. We need to get back to winning series one at a time to put some distance between us and the wild card challengers. Go Braves!