- 2:01 pm Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 by David O'Brien
Does it seem like a long time ago when the Braves won nine in a row? It was less than a month-and-a-half ago when they finished that run, going 9-0 with a 2.22 ERA from June 27 through July 5. They hit .277 and scored 50 runs in that stretch, despite just three homers. They were 5-0 in games decided by one or two runs during that winning streak.
So, how have things gone so wrong for this Braves team? Let us count the ways.
Since that streak ended the Braves have gone 11-21 with a 3.90 ERA and .244 batting average, [More]
- 2:19 pm Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 by David O'Brien
If it feels like it’s been quite a tedious stretch of mediocrity from the Braves this season, well, there’s a reason. After their 17-7 start, when a patched-together pitching staff performed at an otherworldly level, the Braves have since gone 43-51 with a 3.77 ERA, .244 batting average and only 350 runs and 65 homers in their past 94 games, an average of 3.7 runs per game.
In their past 31 home games, the Braves are 15-16 with a 3.54 ERA. They’ve scored two or fewer runs in 10 of their past 24 home games.
Yep, that’s mediocrity. Or worse. In the [More]
- 2:36 pm Monday, August 11th, 2014 by David O'Brien
Jason Heyward turned 25 on Saturday, and lately the right fielder has been hitting like the player most of us expected him to be by this point in his career. Well, not with as much power as we anticipated, but otherwise, like that line-driving-hitting, aggressive-on-the-bases offensive force we envisioned but had seen only in spurts of a few weeks here and there since the spectacular first half of his rookie season in 2010.
Defensively, the strong-armed, speedy right fielder is as good or better than anyone in the game at his position. But offensively, Heyward is the first to admit he’s [More]
- 2:19 pm Saturday, August 9th, 2014 by David O'Brien
If it had been any other team that moved 4 ½ games of the Braves after Atlanta’s dispiriting, abysmal 0-8 West Coast road trip, then maybe the situation would have been as dire as some observers indicated. After all, the Braves had given little reason for hope and shown mostly signs of a team headed in the wrong direction at the worst time, with August here and playoff races starting to heat up.
Ah, but it was the Nationals who had that 4 ½-game lead over the Braves. And as much as some Braves skeptics and Nationals loyalists might not believe [More]
- 5:22 pm Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 by David O'Brien
SEATTLE – The Braves have hit .230 and totaled 53 runs and seven homers over their past 16 games, including two or fewer runs in nine of those games. And now they bring a six-game losing skid and offensive ills with them to Safeco Field to face a Mariners team with a majors-best 3.05 ERA.
Oh, and tonight they face “King” Felix Hernandez, who is at least the American League’s best pitcher and the only MLB pitcher who’s on a current roll as impressive as the one that Clayton Kershaw brought into his matchup against the Braves last week in [More]
- 2:14 pm Saturday, August 2nd, 2014 by David O'Brien
SAN DIEGO – Such a sad day. Pete Van Wieren, who died early this morning, was truly one of the good guys, in addition to being a damn fine broadcaster and perfect partner for the irreverent Skip Caray. Wonderful tandem, and before that a wonderful trio with Ernie Johnson.
Now they’re all gone.
They lived hard, they worked hard, they made days and nights a lot better for a long time for Braves fans, and for many of us baseball fans who didn’t live in major cities with baseball teams and only had [More]
- 5:36 pm Friday, August 1st, 2014 by David O'Brien
SAN DIEGO – Part of me hated to see Jordan Schafer DFA’d, because I like him and still believe he’s a good player who can help a winning team. But for his sake and the sake of the Braves, today’s move was the best one, and now we’ll find out whether another team has seen enough of him to claim him off waivers and give him a shot at the playing time he wasn’t going to get here because of contracts and commitments to others.
He’s still young enough (27) and still has game-changing speed and strong defensive skills. Works hard, wants [More]
- 8:37 pm Thursday, July 31st, 2014 by David O'Brien
LOS ANGELES – Julio Teheran faces Clayton Kershaw tonight in a matchup of aces in the Braves-Dodgers series finale. Needless to say the Braves need Teheran to pitch like the pitcher he’s been most games this season, not the pitcher he’s been in most games on the West Coast, including starts at San Francisco this season and Dodger Stadium in the playoffs last year.
First, let’s focus on Kershaw, who has won two of the past three NL Cy Young awards and is the hottest pitcher in baseball right now. The left-hander is – are you ready for this? — 9-0 [More]
- 4:37 pm Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 by David O'Brien
LOS ANGELES – As the non-waiver trade deadline approaches (4 p.m. Thursday), the Braves were still trying to add Boston’s Andrew Miller or another quality left-handed reliever without giving up too much in the way of quality prospects. But the Red Sox were asking for at least one top prospect in a deal for Miller, and it remained to be seen if there would be middle ground for a deal with the Braves.
They have the prospects to make it happen, but the Braves don’t want to sacrifice talent they’re counting upon for the long term in exchange for 2-3 [More]
- 5:15 pm Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 by David O'Brien
LOS ANGELES – Andrelton Simmons made two spectacular plays Monday against San Diego that reminded everyone why the Braves shortstop is widely regarded as not only the best defensive shortstop in the National League, but arguably the best defender at any position in the majors.
He laid out to make a diving stop going to his left on the first play, but topped that with a sensational bare-handed grab-and-throw later in the game. The bouncing ball took a peculiar hop and was spinning away from him when he snatched it out of the air and threw to first base in [More]