Last night’s game against the Giants was a total stinkfest from beginning to end. The Braves were bad on the mound, at the plate, and in the field. The final was 9-0 Giants, but it felt even worse than that. I could only come up with three positives about last night: The weather was beautiful, Two-Bit won the tool race (!), and the Kevin Rathbun steak sandwich I had for dinner at the game was awesome.
The most worrisome aspect of the game was yet another poor performance from our starting pitcher, this time it was Jair Jurrjens. It underscored the fact that the Braves have to be in the market for a starting pitcher prior to the upcoming trade deadline. There was a report yesterday that said the Cubs’ Ryan Dempster would prefer to be traded to either the Braves or Dodgers. So that’s a positive, at least we know we are in the running for him. I also saw that the Royals released former Giants pitcher Jonathan Sanchez. I could see the Braves signing him and sending him to triple A in hopes that he could return to form. Hopefully, the Braves will be serious about acquiring a frontline starter like Dempster or Zach Greinke.
Tonight Mike Minor will be starting for the Braves. Obviously, we need to see something good from him. It’s almost like he will be auditioning to remain on the staff during each of his starts from now on. I think I can include Jair Jurrjens and Ben Sheets in that statement too. Sheets had a really good outing the other day, but can he do it again? Jair had been looking better but he really stunk last night.
Jonny Venters is close to returning from the 15 day DL. He says his elbow feels good and he thinks he has his problems figured out. Peter Moylan is getting closer to returning also. Rookie left-hander Luis Avilan did a pretty good job last night in long relief.
Standings: The Braves are 3 1/2 games behind the Nationals in the NL East. The Pirates and Braves are the Wildcard leaders followed by the Dodgers (2 1/2 back), Cardinals (3 back), and Mets (3 1/2 back). The Mets have lost 5 in a row, the Dodgers have lost 4 in a row, while the Giants and Phillies have won 4 in a row.
Tonight’s Game: Giants RH Ryan Vogelsong (7-4, 2.36 ERA) vs LH Mike Minor (5-6, 5.97 ERA) at 7:10 on SportSouth.