ESPN.com – Chicago Cubs – PitStatistics
Just looking over the Cubs’ pitchers… The Braves shelled Prior (the Collision Game) and Zambrano in single appearances. They also beat up on Estes (who will be a reliever at most) and Sergio Mitre (who won’t be on the roster, I’m sure) to get their other wins. Estes also started a game won by the Cubs’ bullpen. The only Cubs starter to pitch well against the Braves this year was Matt Clement, who went eight, giving up two runs on five hits in a win. Kerry Wood didn’t face the Braves this year.
The Braves beat on Kyle Farnsworth pretty good, while Remlinger handled his old mates with no difficulty. Dave Veres, who shouldn’t be a key member of the pen, had three scoreless outings and a win.
What does this mean? Probably not a whole lot. I don’t know how much to take away from Prior for the Collision Game, but the Braves were leading 2-1 on Vinny’s homer in the second inning of that game, and Prior got the Braves 1-2-3 after knocking Marcus out. My feeling was that Zambrano — a good pitcher but not as overpowering as the others — was someone the Braves could handle, and in his one start this year that was the case.
This just in … the Braves’ postseason roster DOES NOT include Henry Blanco or Shane Reynolds, although Jaret Wright is aboard instead of Trey Hodges (and there’s only 11 pitchers!). Jesse Garcia is on the roster as insurance for DeRosa’s sore hand.
Here’s the AP Wire story…
Braves set roster for division series
By PAUL NEWBERRY
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) ? The Braves will carry 11 pitchers in the opening-round playoff series against the Chicago Cubs, dropping Shane Reynolds and Trey Hodges and keeping Jaret Wright.
The Braves also decided not to keep Henry Blanco, their No. 2 catcher all season, for the best-of-five series that was opening Tuesday night at Turner Field.
Reynolds, who was cut by the Houston Astros at the end of spring training, signed with the Braves and went 11-9 as the No. 5 starter. But his ERA (5.43) was among the highest on the staff and he had not pitched out of the bullpen since 1994 until making a relief appearance at Philadelphia last weekend.
?It?s very disappointing,? Reynolds said, ?but I want the team to win.?
Hodges (3-3, 4.66 ERA) was one of the most effective members of the bullpen early in the season, but he struggled over the second half.
Meanwhile, Wright impressed the Braves after being claimed on waivers from San Diego on Aug. 29. While his overall numbers are poor (2-5, 7.35 ERA, two saves), he has allowed just two runs in nine innings for the Braves, striking out nine and impressing the coaching staff with his velocity.
?A big part was just trying to simplify things,? Wright said. ?Go with the location of the fastball and try to get more movement on it.?
Wright was a rookie when he started Game 7 of the 1997 World Series for Cleveland, but shoulder problems derailed his early promise.
?To go out there and see all the banners on the wall, that?s what I remember,? he said. ?You know you?re in some place special. It?s good to be here playing for something again.?
Johnny Estrada, who played at Triple-A Richmond most of the year, will be the backup catcher. He batted .328 in the minors, was named MVP of the all-star game and is expected to take over as the Braves? starter next season. Javy Lopez is set to become a free agent and will likely be playing elsewhere in 2004.
Blanco batted only .199 and had a poor year defensively.
Atlanta also decided to keep infielder Jesse Garcia, another player who spent nearly all season at Richmond. He was 4-of-10 (.400) in 13 games after being recalled from the minors on Aug. 31.
Garcia provides flexibility off the bench and insurance for utility infielder Mark DeRosa, who has a sore hand.
This postseason roster has to be among the most rational the team has ever fielded. Blanco out, Lopez catching Maddux. I even don’t mind Garcia in there, as a pinch runner is a useful guy to have around.
My game one optimistic prediction? Braves score in the first off of wood because of the yips inducing walks (alternate universe? he blows the first three braves out with three straight k’s…). 3-0 going into the bottom of the fifth. Braves and Cubs rack up a few runs off of the pens and/or ortiz late and the Braves win game one 5-3. Yeah, that’s probably exactly how it won’t happen.