Same Old Braves So Far

Tim Hudson

Tim Hudson

It’s only one game and only one series, but the Braves showed us something against the Brewers in Milwaukee. Atlanta won in typical Braves fashion, with pitching and defense and after the losses in the starting rotation, that is huge for team and fan confidence.

Aaron Harang just shut up all the naysayers who questioned the move in releasing Freddy Garcia to sign him.  His fastball was sitting at 91/92 with good movement and his location was excellent.  Only one walk in 6 1/3 innings, you gotta love that.

What can’t be discounted is how the Braves organization, philosophy and coaching provide the environment and the tools for players to be successful.  No different from any of us working for a company, in the right environment we thrive, in the wrong environment we shrivel up.

Some notables:  Jordan Schafer inserted in left in place of Justin Upton for defensive purposes, only one Braves regular hitting above .300, B.J. Upton now sitting at .083 (1 for 12) with 6 strikeouts and .008 ahead of his brother, Justin.

Craig Kimbrel looks to be in mid-season form with 2 saves in 2 attempts with 4 strikeouts in 2 innings.  Much better than he was last season after participating in the World Baseball Classic.

From the “in case you missed it file”…Tim Hudson debuted for the Giants in grand fashion, going 7 2/3 innings and giving up zero runs on only 3 hits to get the win.  He didn’t walk anybody and struck out 7 in a dominating performance.  If Harang hadn’t pitched as well as he did yesterday, the magpies would be lighting up  the internet about how the Braves should have resigned Hudson.

What are your thoughts on the Braves series against Milwaukee and heading into Washington to face the Nationals this weekend?

Profile photo of Jim Hart About Jim Hart

Jim has covered the Atlanta Braves since 2008 for local and national broadcast news organizations. He also appears regularly talking Braves baseball on WCCP-FM in Clemson, South Carolina, and the ESPN Radio affiliate, 1420 Sports in St. Augustine, Florida.

  • Atl59braves

    Please get Upton out of centerfield and out of the 2 hole. Jordan Schafer can play the position plus he makes contact and gets on base, plus he has speed once he gets there. I’d love to see him lead off and move Heyward to a more suitable spot in the lineup so as to utilize his power. Sometimes I think the Braves win in spite of their manager.

    • http://atlantabullpen.com/ Jim Hart

      Hard to eat $15 million per year without giving it every opportunity.

      • http://batman-news.com Atl59braves

        You have to pay him either way, I’d as soon give him the money and “not” have to watch him strikeout 3 out of every 4 times at bat.

      • Wayne Canon

        I don’t know how much more opportunity the Braves can stand.
        Jim, I still don’t understand the idea that if you paid a lot of money, you HAVE to play him. That’s a bunch of BS (Barnyard Sauce). I thought the object was to put your best nine players on the field. Best thing to do is admit the mistake, park him on the bench or down to the minors and put in Schafer. Every time Upton goes to the plate, it’s a big reminder of how much money was wasted.
        If he was hitting the ball solid and making outs, or looks like he had a different approach to hitting, it would be different. But he looks EXACTLY the same as he did all-last-year.
        Atl59braves, I think I would keep Jason at lead off. Something magical happened when he started hitting lead off. When they first moved him, I thought Freddi has lost his mind. (I still not convinced he hasn’t in other matters :)

        • http://batman-news.com Atl59braves

          Basically I agree with the Heyward thing, the leadoff spot transformed him….I’m just looking at any options
          that will get BJ out of the lineup. Didn’t we pay Derek Lowe millions to go pitch for another club?

          • Wayne Canon

            Yeah, we were in a generous mood that year. I’m sure Derek loved it.
            BJ is just going to have to go at some point. I don’t know how long Freddi plans to hang with him. And the shame of it all is that Schafer is just sitting on the bench.
            I was trying to think of a players name from years ago. He was great first baseman that Atlanta signed to a hefty contract in the off season. He developed vertigo in spring training and never played an inning for the Braves.
            Do you remember who I’m trying to think of?

          • http://batman-news.com Atl59braves

            Yes I do, that would be Nick Esasky. Your welcome. : )

          • Wayne Canon

            YES!!
            Thank you, Atl59braves! I hate it when that happens. It’s like when you watch an old movie and see an actor whose name you know as well as your own….but you just can’t seem to bring up.
            Thanks again.

        • http://atlantabullpen.com/ Jim Hart

          Wayne, I think they are hoping that last season was a one year mirage for B.J. The results sure look the same, actually worse.

          • Wayne Canon

            To be honest Jim, that’s what I was hoping too. I was thinking “new team, trying to justify a huge contract, etc.”.
            Our mirage has turned into a horrid flashback. And our horrid flashback is batting second, for God’s sake.

      • Mike Crowe

        No, it’s easy. “Sorry BJ, we made a mistake in signing you. Pack your things, you’re headed for Japan.” There, nothing to it. In fact, I would volunteer to be the one to tell him. It’s worth 15 mil a year to not have the aggrivation, and to serve as a reminder that you don’t spend 15 mil a year on an average player, who is fast becoming a ball and chain. This guy has done nothing but power fail in Atlanta. Make a good decision for once and live with the mistake.

  • NorthAlabamaGM

    As long as we win series, you can give BJ every opportunity he needs to see if he is worth any millions let alone 15. When we start losing series, something will have to change. (and he is only striking out 1 out of 2 at bats so far)
    Remember the only thing that really matters is scoring more runs than the other teams enough times to get into the playoffs (preferrably winning the division).
    Playing pitch and catch is what will win this team games.
    Let’s go Braves!

    • http://atlantabullpen.com/ Jim Hart

      That is probably how it will play out. If the Braves do fall behind Washington and are struggling, you will probably see Schafer. I can’t see batting him second, though. He should be eighth, maybe even ninth when Teheran pitches. (He hit over .220 last season)

      • Wayne Canon

        I can’t see Schafer batting second either. On the other hand, I certainly didn’t see Upton batting second either.
        If I had my ‘druthers’, I’d rather see Schafer batting second than Upton batting at all.

        • http://atlantabullpen.com/ Jim Hart

          Ooops, meant that I can’t see B.J. hitting second. Schafer should lead off when he plays, second wouldn’t be a bad spot either in some situations.

  • Al Simard

    Love your writing Jim, I think you have the pulse of this team

    • http://atlantabullpen.com/ Jim Hart

      Thanks Al, welcome to Atlanta Bullpen!

  • Mike Crowe

    Guess I’m a Magpie then.