Holiday weekend so this will be short and sweet. After a road trip salvaging 2 game mini-sweep of the Pirates, the Braves returned home off a 3-4 road tilt looking to get things going at home. Despite a still underperforming offense, the Braves were able to take 2 of 3 against the Cincinnati Reds over the Memorial Day weekend in front of some solid Turner Field crowds. Only 1 run scored by the home team on Friday, as Tommy Hanson and the Bravos went down 5-1. Derek Lowe couldn’t hold an early 5-0 lead on Saturday, leading to yet another extra innings game, but thankfully Chipper Jones delivered a game-winning single in the bottom of the 12th scoring the speedy Jordan Schafer from 2nd for the 7-6 win. Even with all the offense coming from Martin Prado’s 2-run homer in the 6th (he also gunned down the potential tying run at the plate from left field) on Sunday Night’s ESPN Game of the Week, luckily that’s all Jair Jurrjens would need, only issuing an early solo homer to league leader Jay Bruce, as he outdueled Reds starter Johnny Cueto through 8 strong and the Braves eeked out a 2-1 win in the rubber match.
The Braves (30-24, 3.5 GB) have a quick turnaround after the Sunday Night game and open a 3 game set with the San Diego Padres on Monday afternoon. Tim Hudson has apparently recovered from his sore back and will get the start. Braves handled the Padres nicely in San Diego, hope to see more of that this week.
The Good: Jair Jurrjens is leading the NL in ERA (1.51) and is pitching not just like he could make the All-Star game in Arizona, but start it…Craig Kimbrel is looking to right the ship, and picked up 2 clutch 1-run saves in the Reds series…Jordan Schafer has done a worthy job filling in for the injured Nate McLouth and has provided a nice speed element at the top of the lineup…Brian McCann’s power is coming around, 2 multi-homer games in the last 10 days.
The Bad: Offense needs to get it going. Maybe the 2 off days last week will help.
The Ugly: What else? Dan Uggla still isn’t hitting. But his BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) is second worst in the league, so he’s been getting a bit unlucky. He’s at least cut back on the strikeouts and eventually some of the hard hit balls should start falling. There is a glimmer of hope!
Happy Memorial Day!
About the Author
Written by Marcus Young
"A lotta room in right-center, if he hits one there we can dance in the streets. The 2-1. Swung, line drive left field! One run is in! Here comes Bream! Here's the throw to the plate! He is...SAFE! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win!...Braves win!" The late great Skip Caray with my favorite sports call of all time as a lumbering Sid Bream was able to beat Barry Bonds' three-hopper to the plate by an eyelash in the old Atlanta Fulton County Stadium to secure the Atlanta Braves' miraculous back-to-back World Series trips in 1991 and 1992. I grew up in Atlanta, I am still a die hard Braves, Falcons, and Hawks fan and am hungry for another championship to put alongside that lonely 1995 World Series trophy! I graduated from Wake Forest University in 2002 and am back living in Hot-lanta now. Go Deacs and Go Dawgs! My favorite athletes are John Smoltz, Magic Johnson, and Brett Favre. Braves are on a mission in 2011 in the 20th anniversary of that magical 1991 season!