Jurrjens aiming to prolong recent success

While watching Chipper Jones play catch with Kelly Johnson a few minutes ago, I couldn’t tell if his right elbow is healthy enough for him to return to the lineup tonight.  I’ll let you know when I return from the clubhouse.

But until then let’s talk about the fact that the Braves have already guaranteed a winning record for this road trip that Jair Jurrjens said would set the tone for the rest of the season.  Through the first six games of this trip, they’ve already removed the Phillies from first-place status and there’s a chance that they could perform the same act on the Mets by the time tomorrow’s series finale is complete. 

Jurrjens, who ranks fifth in the National League with a 2.01 ERA, has allowed six earned runs in his past five starts.  Oddly the three earned runs he’s combined to allow in his past two outings have come courtesy of solo homers hit by Lance Berkman and Hanley Ramirez (two).

Among those Major Leaguers who have completed at least 150 innings since the beginning of the 2008 season, Jurrjens ranks fifth with a 0.55 homers-per-nine innings mark.   Derek Lowe, who shut the Mets down for seven innings on Monday night, ranks sixth with a 0.56 mark. 

David Wright accounted for the only homer (another solo shot) that Jurrjens has surrendered in 18 career innings against the Mets.  Wright will be back in the lineup tonight, but Carlos Delgado, who is dealing with a hip ailment that could send him to the disabled list, likely will once again be absent.

This is good news for the Braves.  Delgado has hit .387 with four homers and a 1.102 OPS in his last 16 games against them.    


Mark, What are the chances of the Braves picking up Hudson’s option? Also is it a mutaul option?

So chipper is in the lineup tonight?

Chipper took BP and declared himself ready to play tonight…He says he still feels some slight discomfort while throwing.

Mark, What are the chances of the Braves picking up Hudson’s option? Also is it a mutaul option?

It is a mutual option for Hudson and about it being picked up, it will depend on how rehab goes.
David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said the Braves “fully intend to exercise it, barring some unexpected turn of events.” Hudson hopes to return in August from Tommy John surgery, and even seems willing to come back as a reliever to help more quickly.

I talked to Hudson a week ago in Florida. He was shagging flys in the outfield during bp, and he said his elbow feels great. He said he is still rehabbing and believes it’s going good. He said August hopefully is the return date.

Yunel has made me pretty angry lately. He never runs out the ball at all. It is so annoying. And then he gets mad when he gets thrown out. He would’ve beat the throw in the 4th but he jogged. Ugh

Tim Hudson’s option is a club option for 12 million dollars with a million dollar buyout. He also has the right to void it, so it’s effectively a mutual option. DOB said the Braves intend to exercise Hudson’s option if he’s healthy and Bowman reported that Hudson wants the Braves to exercise it, so I have a strong feeling it will be exercised.

I can’t remember a more frustrating Brave’s Team. They don’t know how to win.

I posted this on my site, but:

Pitch counts are in parenthesis.

May 5:
Down 2-1, Bobby uses Soriano in the 8th (14) and Gonzalez in the 9th (9). Gonzalez gives up 2 runs and the Braves eventually lose 4-3 after K-Rod gives up 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th.

May 6:
Up 8-6, Bobby uses Soriano in the 8th (15) and Gonzalez in the 9th (15). Braves win 8-6.

May 7:
Up 4-2, Bobby uses Soriano in the 8th (29) and Gonzalez in the 9th (13). Braves win 4-2.

May 8:
Off day for both Gonzalez and Soriano as we were down by multiple runs most of the game.

May 9:
Up 6-2, Bobby uses Gonzalez in the 9th (16). Braves win 6-2.

May 10:
Up 4-2, Bobby uses Gonzalez in the 8th (17) and Soriano in the 9th (12). Braves win 4-2.

May 11:
Up 8-3 with 2 runners on, Bobby calls for Gonzalez to warm up, though he isn?t used.

May 12:
Up 3-2, Bobby uses Gonzalez in the 9th (17). Blows the save, Bennett takes the loss in the 10th.

There?s 2 things you should take from this.

First, the back end of the bullpen is very effective in general. They?ve played a very large part in our recent success. And there is much reason to be encouraged by the bullpen.

Secondly, Bobby Cox is using the back end of this bullpen ENTIRELY TOO MUCH. He?s just completely mismanaged it. I know it?s good and he feels comfortable with it at the end of close games, but they?re relief aces for a reason, you moron. You can?t use them every time you want to. Because, when you REALLY NEED THEM, in the super-high leverage situations, they?ll be unavailable or ineffective. That?s what we saw tonight. Gonzalez has now pitched on 6 of the last 8 days and warmed up on a 7th. Soriano has pitched 5 of the last 8 days. This is just absolutely absurd. There?s a reason Tony LaRussa started using Eckersley exclusively in the 9th when his team is ahead by 3 or less. That?s the time that the opposition needs to score the most. And that?s presumably the time they?re trying the hardest to score. Save your relief aces for then. It?s simple.

On the 5th and 9th there was NO REASON to use Soriano or Gonzalez. When you?re down, you don?t use your relief ace unless he needs to get regular work. When you?re up 6-2, you don?t use your relief ace unless he needs regular work. And there was no reason for Bobby to even get Gonzalez warm on the 11th. With 2 outs and a 5 run lead, I don?t care if the sacks are juiced, you get your 4th or 5th best pitcher on the relief staff warm, not your relief ace.

I?ve been on various blogs talking about how I don?t approve of Bobby?s overuse of the back end of our bullpen for a few days now fearing a situation like this would happen. And it did. And we REALLY needed a relief ace. Unfortunately, one was unavailable and one was ineffective because he?d been overused for a week straight.

We need to call up Medlen just to give our relief pitchers a rest.

Something I don’t understand….WHY!? What in the world was Bennett thinking during that inning? Ok, Reyes gets on first, then you walk the next guy. Ok so two runners on. Then you intentionally walk the next guy, Ok, I’m still with you so far. You get the next hitter to 3 and 2 count, bases loaded, 2 outs and he throws it LOW!!!?? Why didn’t he just pitch for contact? With bases loaded, tie game, 2 outs, just about anything hit would have had at least a 50% chance to get a force out somewhere or a fly out. We played excellent the whole game. The only fly in the ointment was that blown call at 3rd base which cost us the game and Bennett flushed the rest.

I’ve said it before and now I will say it again. Gonzo, please stop throwing that damn slurve to good right handed batters. Everyone in the ball park new you were coming with that pitch to Beltran. You might get the bottom of the order guys with it, but time and time again good hitters have crushed that pitch. Next time, please just blow him away. YOU ARE THAT GOOD!

How much longer are we going to have to put up with Bennet’s garbage? He has given up twice as many hits as innings pitched. Not very good when you bring a guy in to get outs with runners on base. Boyer sure wasn’t given this many chances. I wonder if I could get a look from the Braves. I don’t throw very hard anymore, but I am quite capable of walking people and I’ll do it for league minimum. So, the results won’t change, but I’ll save them money.

So it’s 3-0 and it looks like the most successful road trip in years. Then Bobby uses Bennett in a tied game because of ridiculous moves earlier, and now we have Jo Jo to look forward to to finish off any momentum we may have had.
The true definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
Did ANYBODY think Bennett was going to get the Braves to the 11th inning?
Does ANYBODY think Jo Jo will put the Braves in position to win today?
Seriously Bobby, how can the best clubhouse manager of all time continue to be exposed as maybe the worst game manager in the league.

I have to think this a do-or-die situation for Jo-Jo. I hope for his sake and the Braves sake that can keep the Braves in the game but I’m probably not as optimistic as Cox is. I think that if he falters today we need to give Morton or Medlen a shot at spot #5 (unless miracuously Glavine is ready) until we decide to call up “The Answer”.

I watched the highlights on mlb.com. Defensively it looks like we made some great plays to keep us alive. I like Johnson’s move to block the bag with his foot on Reyes’ attempted steal. Maybe Chipper will use that move next time…

Niether of the last two batters even swung the bat. Pitiful to just give a game away like that.

I’ve got to be honest. If Jo Jo is in a do or die scenario today, I would rather he get lit up today so they could be done with him, than to have him show another “Glimmer” of hope and prolong the agony through another 4 or 5 losses, close or otherwise. He isn’t the answer, and I’m getting tired of the question.
Jo Jo, has to Go Go, because he has the Mo Jo, No Mo!!!!!

Oh and while I’m at it, Bennett has never “Been It” since he got here either.

Why start Infante? Johnson has some success about Niese.

And trust me, I’m HIGH on Infante – he should be the everyday starter, or at the very least 2/3 of the games.. Johnson at this point is not looking too good. Infante is looking amazing, even on bad days. But Johnson should start today.

First of all, I don’t think Bennett has ever thought of himself as “Been It”. He is not any better or worse than any of the rest of the relievers. Every one of them has good days and bad days even starters….Lay off…..Who died and made you people critics of the year? Think you could do better? I think NOT

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