Braves 6, Dodgers 1

ESPN – Dodgers vs. Braves – Box Score – April 20, 2008

I hate the Dodgers, so I love it when the Braves humilate the Dodgers. The Braves’ third straight not-as-easy-as-the-score-indicates win brought them back to .500 and completed a sweep.

Jair Jurrjens looked great, striking out eight in seven innings of work (getting seven innings was nice, too) and allowing but three hits and walking three. He allowed one run, on an arching solo homer in the fourth, which tied the game at one. As usual, the Dodgers couldn’t do anything with men on base. May it continue.

The Braves got a single run in the first, KJ walking, going to second on a Chipper single, and Teixeira singling him home. Kelly did it all by himself in the fifth, leading off with a solo homer. Chipper had to leave the game after doubling with one out, reaggravating his quadriceps injury; he played through it in Washington and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him play tomorrow. Prado, in his place, almost broke the game open in the seventh with a bases-loaded two-out gapper, but the Dodgers got a great play from Ethier to save the day for the moment.

Boyer pitched the eighth and got in a little trouble, but got out of it. Then Prado got the two-out hit, a triple to score KJ again, making it 3-1. Teixeira followed with a two-run homer, then Francoeur doubled and was singled home by Kotsay. Ohman pitched the ninth and looked terrible as usual, but the outfielders were able to run down his mistakes.

106 thoughts on “Braves 6, Dodgers 1”

  1. Great win today. Jair looked great, the defense looked good, Teixera and KJ are heating up, and they hit well with RISP in the late innings to put the game out of reach. If we play more games like that, we can beat just about anybody.

  2. Attention Shoppers, that flashing red light is a Kelly Johnson Hot Streak Alert..

    ..and jello shots are $1 for the duration.

  3. Mac, still “hate” Kotsay. See Chop-n-Change up beat article just released. Likes bat and glove.

  4. Dunno if anyone posted this already, but it’s an interesting idea from DOB.

    He’s in favor of signing Furcal, moving Yunel to 2B, moving KJ to first (Tex being gone, of course), and using leftover Glavine money to sign a pitcher.

  5. By interesting you mean asinine, right?

    The most disturbing part of that piece is the reveal that someone connected to the Braves actually suggested it.

  6. It doesn’t sound asinine to me, although his contention that Furcal will command $16 mil per season is more than a little daunting. He’s off to a great start, sure, but he’s got a lot of miles on him.

    That’s definitely a DP combo I’d pay to see, though.

  7. Any suggestion that we sign anybody is a non starter. We are always broke.

    Thanks to the Dodgers for making us look good. Wish we could keep that anemic offense around for next week.

  8. I’d hate to see KJ have to adjust to yet another position to accommodate Furcal. Will Lillibridge be ready and eligible for an infield position next year?

  9. Interesting means interesting.

    I’d rather keep Tex, but that ain’t happening. We’ll need to add at least one starting pitcher, for sure.

    I don’t think adding Furcal will help the lineup that dramatically, but he won’t hurt it. He’s not worth that kind of money, of course, but his addition would be intriguing. He’s still a bad-ass shortstop.

    And I share DOB’s assertion that KJ is never going to anything more than a serviceable 2B. Hope I’m wrong about that, but KJ to 1B isn’t necessarily a bad idea, IMO.

  10. I don’t think it’s a bad idea. However, I think going from Tex to Furcal would indeed hurt our offense. Our defense would get better, though.

    KJ wouldn’t be a bad 1B, IMO. I could see him as a Nick Johnson/Lyle Overbay/Dimitri Young type providing high BA, high OBP, 20-25 HR power and decent defense.

    Of course, we’d have to find power at somewhere else on the diamond. We have average power in CF currently, but if Schafer is ready in 2009, he could increase power. I’d say we have below average power in LF, so the money saved could go to a power-hitting LF, wherever he may come from.

  11. I actually got to go to the game today (a friend’s family got sick and they had nice tickets to the game they just gave us). I went with my two sons and my mom (my wife doesn’t enjoy baseball anyway, and really doesn’t enjoy it if she’s chasing the two little ones). It was a good baseball experience, I’d have been glad to see all the game, but seeing Jair pitch (before the 4 year old son lost patience with baseball and wanted to go play at Tooner Field), and both of my boys having fun, AND a win was pretty nice.

    The 10-year-old actually got to watch the fun with my mom when the Braves scored most of their runs late in the game (though I think his favorite part was the OCD Nomar routine). The little guy sat through a few innings, got to play, and ran the bases after the game (I was waiting in line with him when all the hitting was going on, because we learned the last time not to wait till the end of the game to go get in line).

    I’ll post a link once I get some of my pictures up on flickr (we’ll see how bad my eye is these days, as the 300mm lens autofocus wasn’t working right so I had to rely on my half-blind left eye to be sure my manual focusing was working).

  12. I like KJ, but he seems to play “tight” most of the time. He makes great plays ranging to his left, but then he commits errors on plays that should be routine. Seriously, you never see any expression on his face. Sometimes I wonder how well he’s handling the pressure of playing in the big leagues.

  13. “signing Furcal, moving Yunel to 2B, moving KJ to first”

    Here are (some of) the reasons that’d a bad idea:

    KJ would hit poorly for a 1B. He hits very well for a 2B, and that’s where his value is. Move him to 1B and he’s worse than league-average.

    Escobar’s best attribute defensively is his arm. Moving him to 2B effectively renders that useless.

    Why would we spend money on a SS when doing so means we have to move two of our players to positions where they’re less valuable? Why not just spend that money on a 1B or a really good starting pitcher? Or (gads!) a CF, considering there’s now a very good chance that Schafer won’t be around next year?

    No, as nice as it would be to bring back Furcal, the only way that adds up is if we then trade Escobar for a pitcher or something. And even then, what happens to Lillibridge? Many still think he’ll hit enough to be a league-average SS. It makes no sense to bring in a FA SS when you’ve got two cheaper options already on your 40-man.

  14. Remy-

    Did you see his line from last year? He’s handling the pressure just fine judging by the results. And FWIW, he made an excellent play to his right (backhand) side today.

  15. Great game. Even though it ended up not being a one-run game, this is really what a close game is all about and breaking it open late was really good to see. Jurrjens is really good and Andruw is pathetic.

  16. mraver,

    I know what KJ’s capable of, but his inconsistencies bother me. Am I correct in saying that he was charged with three errors in this series? Is it a loss of concentration? I can live with his being a streaky hitter. Johnson’s come a long way on improving his defense, I know, but I think he should be more consistent by now.

    BTW, I agree that there’s no point in having two players shift positions to accommodate a new SS.

  17. Great sweep. Instead of focusing on bringing Furcal back to Atlanta (not happening), let’s be happy that we suddenly won 4 straight (even if the Dodgers stink right now). Rather amazing that so many picked the Dodgers and they’re in last.

    My Arizona pick in the west looks pretty darn good; of course, my Tigers pick in the AL Central balances that out ;-)

    I want to also give some mini props to a guy we normally bash, Martin Prado. The ball he hit in his first at bat should have been a 3 run double, and it took an amazing Ethier catch to make it an out. Prado looked very good today at the plate (or sounded good since I was listening on XM driving back with my wife from my parents in Cary, NC).

  18. This point is moot. We have no #4 hitter if this were to come to frution. Horrible idea really. Pay Furcal wayyyy too much, then have to fork out wayyy too much just to find someone to bat cleanup. I’d rather spend my money on a pitcher – oh, and we’ll still have to find a cleanup hitter. (Just doesn’t make sense to get Furcal then have to add another bat.

  19. A Gotay/Prado platoon at second would give you just about the same production as Furcal for about 1/15 the cost, though it might be pretty ugly defensively. It’s a silly idea. And yes, KJ would be substandard at first base, unless he can do something about these slumps. If he could hit .250 when he’s not on a hot streak, he’d be a 1B quality hitter.

  20. When was the last time the Braves complete a three game series sweep? I love it, keep it going boys.

    I don’t understand why so many of us don’t believe the Braves can sign back Tex. All the team needs to do is to add the $8.5m average salary of Hampton to Tex’s current $12.5m salary, and the Braves have a competitive offer already. The salary of Glavine can still be used on pitching. However, I think the rotation next season will likely be Hudson, Smoltz, Jair, Chucky, and JoJo/Bennett with Hanson standing by at AA or AAA.

    I don’t think signing Furcal is such a good idea because he will not come cheap either. It’s an idea, but I hope the Braves will continue to keep it as an idea only.

  21. I’ll add that the whole idea is basically similar to the plans media people kept making a few years ago where the Braves would get a shortstop and move Furcal to second base, thereby taking away his defensive strength, his arm, and also blocking/moving Marcus Giles. It’s all very foolish, and good teams don’t do things like sign $15 million a year shortstops to do the job a $1 million a year player is already doing well.

  22. Oh, and there’s a circle in Hell reserved for people who think that getting a leadoff hitter is more important than getting a cleanup hitter.

  23. It’s not so much that we can’t sign Tex, rather that signing him would cost us too much to improve other areas of the team which will be more of a need during the term of his contract.

    Look, Tex is great and I would love to keep him, but I think we will need starting pitching more over the next 3-5 years. If we have to win a bidding war with the Yankees to keep Tex, we would not be able to augment the starting rotation from outside the organization the way we will need to.

  24. BTW: Kotsay went up in my estimation today… not for play (duh), but while he was on the on-deck circle he called a bat boy over to hand him a ball so he could drop it over the net to a little kid (about 4) sitting in the front row. Now granted, this kid is getting to watch the game from the front row, but still… heck of a nice thing to do.

  25. It’s no coincidence that the Braves’ win streak coincides with Tex raising his BA 50 points. I have a feeling that he’ll get MVP if the Braves win their division.

    The pitching looked good a/g the Dodgers, but we’ll need to wait a few more series to see how good the pitching really is. Not to take anything away from our guys, but LA’s hitting is in the tank right now.

  26. Parish, where else do you want to improve which can overcome the loss of Tex? If the team doesn’t resign Tex, the season is pretty much over whenever Chipper gets hurt.

  27. Dodgers fans must be frustrated. (That’s a good thing.) The Dodgers are getting on base (sixth in the league, just one point behind the Braves) and hitting for some power (seventh in slugging) but they’re not scoring runs (tenth in R/G).

    BTW, the Braves are second in the league in slugging, behind the awe-inspring in all respects so far D-Backs.

  28. Regarding the Furcal thing, I really thought DOB had more baseball sense than that. The move makes no sense. Furcal’s range, speed and arm will probably start a slow decline in the next few years and I think KJ and Yunel will both improve defensively in the next few years.

    If we can’t re-sign Tex and we’re going to spend the kind of money that Furcal would demand, why not leave things as is and get a very good first baseman?

  29. Or a kick-arse SP.

    Great game today, though. And a great series, overall. Let’s keep up the Mo and get something going.

    Alex R., it’s a fun coincidence your folks live in Cary. My parents lived there up until a few years ago and my sister just moved from there. Small world, etc, etc.

  30. 28–I wouldn’t assume Smoltz will play one more year after this one. He’s a stud but ongoing arm soreness will likely make him throw in the towel soon.

  31. It would probably cost the same amount of money to bring in a “kick-arse” SP such as Sathathia as to sign back Tex. If that’s the case, I would much rather spend the money on Tex as the injury risk to a pitcher is too great.

  32. Mets lose. Trailing 5-4 entering the ninth, they got the first two on with Castillo, Wright, and Beltran due up, and then couldn’t advance the runners. Sad, really.

  33. @36

    I kinda agree. I definitely wouldn’t be surprised if it were both Smoltz and Glavine’s last year.

    He’s kind of reminding me of Koufax toward the end of his career when he was still dominating, but the pain is his arm made it not worth it. I know Smoltz wants a shot at the postseason, but at what point is it not worth it? Its not like he has anything left to prove.

    Normally, I wouldn’t say to break the bank on a player, but players like Teixeira do not come around very often. They need to do whatever it takes to resign him.

    Oh, and the Furcal idea is one of the stupidest ones I’ve ever heard.

  34. Sabbathia would not be on my list of SP’s to sign.

    I almost mentioned the weak free agent SP market coming up next year but I figured why bother? It’s not like we know what is likely to happen 8 months from now. That said, if we don’t resign Tex, which is obviously the best option, I would rather spend our money on a SP.

  35. During the game today TBS showed a graphic of the various birthdates that have been listed for Furcal. I figured the years would change (and there were three different years up there), but it astounded me that the months and days changed too. One showed he was born in August, one said he was born in December, the last one said April (I think). Is there really that much question about it? He could be 33 for all we know, and signing him to a three or four year deal could be pretty stupid if his speed and arm strength begins to decline around 35. That said, it was sure great to see him play again today.

  36. What happened to Marcus Giles? Didn’t the Dodgers pick him up? Did he sit on the bench, or is he playing at AAA?

  37. Props to Blaine Boyer, who has basically shut down the opposition for four straight days.

  38. Mets lose. Trailing 5-4 entering the ninth, they got the first two on with Castillo, Wright, and Beltran due up, and then couldn’t advance the runners. Sad, really.

    How very Bravesian of them.

  39. agree mac….castillo’s at-bat was just plain terrible…and morgan was still trying to talk up how great a “hitter” he is…lidge was leaving quite a few pitches up and both wright and beltran hit weak pops…sad is a good way to describe it

  40. Bucky Boyer is looking better, although he has gotten lucky on a few pitches that have missed the mark. He’s gonna have a ball or two get out of the park on him but he seems to have come back healthy with a sense of purpose and focus. I’ll take it, all day

    I still think he should go with the full beard. It would make him look a lot meaner on the mound.

  41. Marcus was picked up by the Rockies and lost the 2B job to Jayson Nix. He doesn’t appear to be playing anywhere at the moment, majors or minors.

  42. kc –

    We are going to have to replace several excellent starting pitchers in the next year or two and we do not have a bona fide ace in the system (maybe, Teheran). We need a Hudson-type acquisition to join the young crew coming up through the system.

    We can conceivably come close to replacing Tex through our farm, but we will not have the starting pitching to stay competitive when we have to replace Smoltz, Glavine, Hampton, and possibly Hudson over the next 1-3 years.

  43. “We can conceivably come close to replacing Tex through our farm”

    I guess that’s the statement I can not agree with you. Some of you may think Heyward as a replacement of Tex, but the timetable of Heyward seems to imply he is a replacement of Frenchy instead.

    Just like you are concerning about the future of our rotation, who is replacing Chipper as the anchor of our lineup? Just like Smoltzie, Chipper can’t play forever and he is showing signs of age just like Smoltz. If this lineup does not have Chipper or Tex, there will not be enough offense no matter how much pitching we have. Can we rely on Frenchy, McCann, KJ, and Yunel to carry the offense? I personally don’t think so.

    Besides, when Smoltz, Hudson, Glavine are gone, there will be enough money to sign replacement as the three accounts for about the $35M of the payroll I believe. I have high hope on Hanson and Rohrbough. I actually believe we have more pitching talents in the minor than offense talents.

  44. I don’t remember where I read it, but Marcus was on the way to report to (I think) AAA-Las Vegas. Driving there, he changed his mind. He was going to prove he could play third for 10 days, then get called up to either platoon or start at third. So, LA is screwed.

  45. Hanson might end up an ace (Cole too) but I have little confidence in the ability of our farm system to produce pitchers with that killer instinct.

    Honestly, the best thing we could do to ensure the future success of our pitching staff would be to make the Maddog an offer he can’t refuse when he retires. Make him the highest paid pitching coach in history and give him a multi-year guaranteed contract.

  46. Heyward is 2-3 years away. I will go out on a limb to say he will be a top-20 prospect by year-end and will be the best pure hitter to come through the Braves’ system since Chipper. He will be a better hitter than Francoeur and will likely be in Atlanta with Francoeur for several years (and McCann, and Escobar, and KJ).

    Look, we have a lot of young hitters that are already ML tested. We have more knocking on the door. Our pitching is much older and our best starting prospects have not pitched above A-ball. There is much more uncertainty on the mound in the future for Atlanta and we will probably need help there sooner.

  47. Parish, as you said, Heyward is still 2-3 years away. So, what’s happenning in those two to three years? Ready to hang the white flag whenever Chipper gets hurt?

  48. Part of DOB’s article that is being overlooked is KJ’s trade value as a cheap, good 2B. While he’s not going to go straight up, what’s to stop a deal with the Natspos centering around KJ and Nick Johnson? The Natspos middle infield is still debating starting Christian Guzman (hot start aside) which is not going to go anywhere, and Dmitri Young has proven that he can still hit. Obviously there are problems that arise with this, and I’d rather have Tex/KJ/Yunel than Johnson/Yunel/Furcal, but I’d rather have the latter than Yunel/KJ/Thorman, which is very possibly what we’d end up with.

  49. #28

    Couldn’t agree more, Mac. You have to have power in the middle of the order, otherwise, you are the 2007 and 2008 DODGERS.

    Since I was listening in the car to Skip & Pete (made the long drive home from NC with a baby in the back, screaming for some of the time, more palatable) they talked pretty strongly about the lack of pop in the Dodgers lineup.

    The most interesting Pete said was that if Andruw continues on his current strikeout pace, he will far outpace 2007’s total (138) and end up with about 208. Now that seems insane, but well, it’s not so far fetched to me that Andruw could do this.

    re: signing Tex

    I am completely with KC, as I have stated in here many times.

    First, the Hampton contract goes away.

    Second, the Glavine contract goes away.

    If Smoltz holds up, they will likely keep him to anchor the staff for one more year (allowing Hanson another valuable year in the farm), but my assumption is next year’s rotation would be Smoltz, Hudson, Jurrgjens, James and Jo Jo. That’s a good staff, especially since I think Jo Jo will be mature enough and I am VERY impressed with Jair.

    Also, regarding the comment earlier that Texeira wins MVP if the Braves win the division: MAYBE.

    Right now, if he plays 140+ games, my money’s on Chipper. Despite the hammy issue, Chip’s playing like a man possessed. I think he & Smoltzie are determined to carry this entire organization on their backs into the playoffs. God love ’em.

  50. #35 urlhix

    They actually haven’t been there very long – just a year & a half. They started off in one house they hated and just found another one literally 2 weeks ago they love and they like the area a lot. Their move to NC was their choice after my dad’s retirement in December of 2006.

    The funniest thing for me to see over the weekend was the flags hanging outside of the houses, those “House Divided” flags and the 2 houses and the one car sticker I saw were both UNC-NC State. It’s funny because my association with that gimmick is SEC…Bama/Auburn, UGA/Auburn, Bama/Tenn, UGA/Fla, Fla/Tenn etc.

    I saw some Duke shirts too of course…from what my parents say, the alumni they see walking around are rather evenly divided between Duke, UNC and NC State, though based on hoopsd success, they see a bit more UNC and Duke than NC State.

  51. Sorry, one more thing to comment on and be happy about regarding this 4 game win streak to get us back to .500:

    Not only did we just SWEEP a series with NO Hudson, NO Glavine and NO Smoltz pitching (seriously, Bennett, James and Jurrgjens – that’s a valuable sweep!), plus Glavine and Hampton (yes, I realize the ladder is expected to be hurt, but still) injured and our 2 most valuable relievers in Moylan and Soriano out (not to mentuon still no Mike Gonzalez for a while) AND McCann pulled from Sunday’s lineup for Corky Freaking Miller – and we still won our 4th straight.

    That’s impressive.

    And I didn’t (though I may) read the game thread but my guess is there was some silence during Andruw’s 3 strikeouts…maybe a familiar, eery, uncomfortable vibe.

  52. 49: when we have to replace Smoltz, Glavine, Hampton, and possibly Hudson over the next 1-3 years.

    Replacing Hampton—at least not the Hampton of 2006-2007—won’t be too diffcult. :-)

  53. Has anyone heard from Alyssa Milano after we swept her beloved Dodgers last weekend?
    I was certain that she and Smitty had tattoo bet (she has eight)this weekend and I’d love to see a Braves logo prominently displayed somewhere (anywhere) on her.

    Go Braves!

  54. I hate to say this, even with the outstanding defence Chipper has been playing, but next year if we can get Furcal, move Escobar to third.

  55. #62

    Kevin…yes. She had a bet going with the Braves organization and as a result of losing the bet, Alyssa Milano is forced to marry one Earl J. Hickey.

  56. Doesn’t Hudson’s contract go way up for next season? That would eliminate anything the Braves gain from knocking Glavine off the books.

    Also, is 2009 a team or player option for Glavine?

  57. If we are going to move KJ or Yunel it makes more sense to bring up Lillibridge. Anyway I’m really not entering the argument on that rediculous idea from DOB, but I just wanted to say that about Lillibridge.

  58. I could see moving KJ to first but acquiring Furcal? The ‘Braves source’ that DOB was getting this from must have been smoking crack. Makes no sense when you are organizationally strong in the middle infield. (to Mac’s point)

    I think that KJ does make a decent 1b or back to corner outfield. But his greatest value is as a weak defending above league average offensive second basemen.

  59. Not this year, but soon and for the rest of his life (er, career), how ’bout moving Smoltz back to closer.

    I’ve rarely seen anyone as dominating for three or four innings …

  60. Doesn’t Hudson’s contract go way up for next season?

    It went up from last season to this one and remains constant for next year, IIRC.

    KJ is too short to play first, but I like the option better than Thorman.

    I hate to say this, even with the outstanding defence Chipper has been playing, but next year if we can get Furcal, move Escobar to third.

    Smitty is drunk at 7 o’clock in the morning.

    …what’s to stop a deal with the Natspos centering around KJ and Nick Johnson?

    Frank Wren, I hope. Johnson would immediately become our most injury-prone player, which is really saying something on this team.

    I will go out on a limb to say he will be a top-20 prospect by year-end and will be the best pure hitter to come through the Braves’ system since Chipper.

    I don’t think either of those statements requires going out on a limb. They’re both fairly universally held as true, according to what I’ve read.

    …we do not have a bona fide ace in the system (maybe, Teheran).

    Tommy Hanson at Myrtle Beach thus far:
    22 IP
    0.00 ERA
    0.50 WHIP
    13.09 K/9
    5.33 K/BB

    It’s early, but he belongs in that discussion.

  61. That was my first chance to see Jurrgjens. I can’t believe the Tigers traded him away from Renteria. Now I understand their fans’ angst with the move.

    I’m a lot more comfortable with the prospects of finding a decent hitting SS with mediocre range than I am of finding a young pitcher who can throw a 95 mph fastball and get a curve over for a strike.

  62. Why do folks have a hard on for Furcal?

    He was a good player for us, yes, but he’s not a guy you break the bank to acquire. There are better defensive shortstops and there are better offensive shortstops. He’s a good, solid shortstop but not a star.

    He has value to a team, but can’t lead it. Why would we go out of our way, in terms of shifting players around to accomodate him, for that? You do THAT for Alex Rodriguez, not Rafael Furcal.

  63. I was recovering from a wicked hangover so unfortunately I “missed” the game. But it sure is nice to wake up to a sweep.

    Beautiful day.

  64. Yay on Chipper on the lineup.

    What were the Tigers thinking when they traded away Jurrjens? Whatever complaints any of us may have about Wren, he did a great job on that trade.

  65. 75 — mac, that’s just incredible. And yet, absolutely expected and probably how it should be, right? My favorite parts:

    “There is no question about it, you don’t have a guy with a 100-mile-per-hour fastball and keep him as a setup guy. You just don’t do that. You have to be an idiot to do that.”

    Regarding using Joba in the pen last year: “I had no say in it last year and I wouldn’t have allowed it.”

    Poor Joe Girardi. He knew what he was getting into, though.

  66. and if lighting up the gun is hank’s criteria for the starting rotation (not saying that joba wouldn’t do fine in the role), then I think we could work a trade with some particular bullpen parts we’ve got…

  67. There are several reasons it doesn’t make sense to bring Furcal back.

    First, to give up the #1 power source in the lineup (Tex) to get back an aging SS who’s best asset is speed – which is nice – but with Chipper aging, how do you replace Tex’s power?

    (if Tex leaves and Chipper goes down, the power left in the lineup is inconsistent from Francouer and McCann – that’s about it).

    Second, Furcal makes a ton of $ and won’t accept a “dip” to return to Atlanta. Why wouldn’t you save money on the middle infield and go with either Escoabr/Lillibridge or Escobar/KJ? Then you can spend your money on Tex?

    Sorry, the idea of KJ at first is laughable to me. The idea of breaking the bank to bring Furcal back, when we should be spending our dough on Tex just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

  68. Alex,

    Dead on! The one thing our system has been cranking out is middle infielders and outfielders. We definitely do not need to be spending money on Furcal. I am praying that somehow we can keep Tex.

  69. Attn: RobBroad4th

    I have an extra ticket for Friday night’s game at Shea. It’s in Mezz, Sec 7 behind home plate.

    Interested? Lemme know.

  70. #86 – ZING!

    Of course, if the Braves aren’t in it by the trading deadline (though I think and hope we will be) the argument will be moot because Teixeira will be traded to the Yankees.

  71. Anyone aware of the likely pitching match-ups for the Mets this weekend? Looking at the sked:

    Friday should be Jurrgens v. Pelfrey

    Saturday should be Hudson v. Maine

    Sunday should be Smoltz v. Figueroa

    Unless Randolph does some re-jiggering, it appears we’re going to miss Johann (not that I’m afraid, still, I am always happy not to chance it).

    I like the way the schedule shakes out this week, though Bennett & James against a still playing well Marlins team on Wednesday and Thursday is a mid week challenge.

    I will be interested to see how the Braves handle this week and potentially build off the 4 game win streak, despite no Glavine or Moylan. (though it appears Soriano’s coming back tomorrow?).

  72. Alex R. and all,

    Unless something new is out, AJC reports today that Soriano will not be activated tomorrow (4/22). He has yet to throw off of a mound. But he is expected to be activated by the end of this week.

    At least we haven’t burned his arm up in the last 2 weeks.

  73. Re: the Heyward limb – yeah, that is kind of short. I actually had top ten, which I still believe and then changed it. But, to be fair, I did think the statement was stronger as to him being the best hitter since Chipper.

    Re: Furcal – If you are going to spend that kind of money on a position player, no doubt, you spend a little more and sign Tex.

    Re: Siging Tex – Yeah. I would love to see us do it, but it would probably be a bad move if this organization does not significantly increase its payroll. If we have to choose between Tex and a starting pitcher, it is a choice between taking us in the direction of the Braves success in the ’90’s or going in the direction of the Texas Rangers.

    Re: Hanson as bona fide ace – I sure hope that he is, but those stats are no more impressive than what Chuck James did for a full year between High-A and AAA. I did not then and do not now think that Chuck will be the ace of a Major League staff.

  74. I’m not optimistic about Soriano coming back this week – my guess is that it will be at least one more week, IF there are no setbacks. When he does get sent down, I would think Carlyle will be the odd man out. Campillo has impressed so far, but I’m not betting that it will continue – he at least needs more chances though.

    Let’s hope that Resop is let go when we get both Glavine and Soriano back. The radar gun experiment has lasted long enough.

  75. Jeff Taylor is a good pick up for Vandy, will help them finish second in the SEC East, but still better than Kentucky.

  76. Jeff Taylor is a good pick up for Vandy, will help them finish second in the SEC East, but still better than Kentucky.

    We’ll do well to finish second next year, even if we also land Tinsley. (By the way, our incoming class is already better than UT’s.) But 2009-10 could be mighty special in Nashville.

  77. Parish,

    Chuck doesn’t have a mid 90’s fastball with two other plus pitches. Hanson has dominating stuff. Chuck was a polished pitcher. Still Chuckie has had some success getting out big league hitters, but he will never have ace type stuff. Hanson has that potential.

  78. I love the Hank Steinbrenner stuff. I need a pinstriped storyline & he’s added to it. Thanks, Hank.

    I mean, if you didn’t want Ian Kennedy in your rotation, you should’ve packaged him for “the best pitcher in baseball.”

    Somehow, I knew it would come to this.

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