Diaz back in the leadoff role for series finale

If it ain’t broke, then don’t try to fix it. 

Braves manager Bobby Cox won Wednesday night’s game with Matt Diaz at the top of the lineup and thus it makes sense for him to place the unconventional leadoff hitter back in that same role for this afternoon’s series finale against the Padres.

Regardless of how the Braves fare against Mat Latos and the Padres this afternoon, many of you are going to look back on this road trip with the belief that it should have included one or two more wins (Friday and Sunday’s games).   There’s nothing wrong with that.  Debates are what make the baseball world go round.

Still when you consider how that this trip started with a cross-country flight after a night game in Atlanta that was followed by an emotionally-draining 13-inning loss on Friday,  you have to agree the Braves will have to feel lucky if they are able to complete this California swing with a 3-3 record.

And if that isn’t enough to convince you, how about throwing in the fact that they waited through a 4-hour, 9-minute rain delay only to draw the challenge that Tim Lincecum presented during Sunday afternoon’s loss? 

Regardless of how you assess this trip, a win today keeps the Braves in pretty good position as they head home on Friday to begin a tough six-game stretch against the Rockies and Phillies.

BRAVES LINEUP vs. Padres 4/15

Diaz 7
Prado 4
Jones 5
McCann 2
Glaus 3
Escobar 6
Heyward 9
McLouth 8
Hudson 1      

39 Comments

YOOOHOOOO!!!! WAY TO GO !! BOUT TIME DIAZ GOT BACK IN THERE!!!

Has Bobby been thrown out this year? I heard he was but don’t remember which game…

He was tossed in the San Francisco game that went into extras.

Tim Hudson is officially the “Ace” of the Atlanta Braves. He is dealing tonite like he has been all year. This was Frank Little Bird’s best move of the offseason.

Dealing? He’s okay, but he’s loaded the bases twice and his pitch count is super high. He’s still an amazing pitcher and is definitely an ace, as he has been. But I’m not sure I’d say dealing.

But I take your point. He has certainly gotten out of some jams tonight…

Now he just “dealt” in the fifth inning, though.

anyway, titles don’t matter. results do… and its 3-0. So..

Hinske is quickly becoming my favorite bench guy since Mike Mordecai!

My comment was intended to bring into sharp focus the mantle that had been bestowed upon Lowe. He got signed for way too much money, he struggled, he retooled his delivery, and then he can’t find the plate in the new season. Tim Hudson has one of the best winning percentages of any pitcher ALL TIME. He is number 21 in the history of baseball. He got hurt, he came back, he has been really consistent since he came back. It’s his title, and his to lose. Derek Lowe hasn’t done diddly as a Brave. The decision to make him the opening day starter was an effort to make the front office look better for having signed him. Huddy is the stud, and no pitcher in that dugout questions that, not even Lowe.

They made Lowe the opening day starter to show that the organization still has some faith in him.

Chipper with a SB a day after Mac gets one… Bobby’s shaking things up his last year, no?

That’s his second this year… Dunno whats up with that. The first one was just a bad play on the part of the opposing team, but still.

Hudson is definitely our guy. One of my favorite pitchers, including all of the Braves greats.

Saito, Hinske…. Man. Some big days for our position players, too, but dang. Hinske is a hell of a bench player.

Why do I see a bunch of comments saying Medlen is a bum? He’s one of our most valuable pitchers, especially considering his salary, versatility, and youth…

The only thing Hudson was dealing was magic. He was an escape artist. I thought he looked terrible and was lucky he didn’t get bombed.

It’s interesting but concerning that except for Escobar and Heyward, every other guy in the lineup either is hitting great or terrible. No wonder that have trouble with stringing together runs and being consistent. I know Bobby won’t do it yet but I’d like to see Heyward and Escobar bat right behind McCann with Glaus at 7 until he proves himself.

Man do the Braves look terrible. Can we just sell everyone off already and start preparing for next year? I mean, Hudson gave up 2 WHOLE RUNS TODAY and had to pitch out of trouble. That’s not good for anyone’s nerves. If Heyward can’t get turn those doubles into homers on a daily basis, then we might as well get rid of him too. Prado should be hitting .500 but just doesn’t have the talent to do it. Saito is a has been. Just wait. He’s gonna give up a run sooner or later. Same for that bum Moylan. He thinks he can be a closer one of these days just cause he hasn’t given up a run in his last 15 appearances. Wagner can only hit 96-98 regularly.. if he can’t hit 100+ what’s the point in having him around. Just because Hinske, Infante, and Ross are the best bench players in baseball, you would think we actually had a good bench. And that wuss Brooks Conrad.. please. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m jumping ship. This summer isn’t gonna be fun AT ALL.

Tim Hudson is one of my favorite Braves pitchers of all time. Not so much for what he does on the field, but for what he does off the field. He is a true class act who I think Atlanta should be proud to represent their city.

Vivabeta FTW.

Bobby was right about the sound of the ball off the bat of Heyward. Also I’ve seen few players who wallop the ball like he does. It kind of seems like Paul Bunyan hitting a baseball with an oak tree.

Ok, I think I am stating the obvious, but how about a line-up shake-up that puts Prado at leadoff and Heyward 2nd?? It seems like a no brainer to have the guys with the best OBP hitting in front of Chipper and McCann? Plus, would anybody really mind seeing Heyward get 1 extra AB a game? Seems like a great idea to me.

The teams looks good. I do worry a bit about Glaus and the CF position, but the season is young and all three guys have proven track records. They do have the option of playing Heward in CF and allowing Hinske to play a corner OF position if Melky and McClouth continue to struggle. The man can simply hit!!! Also, Hinske can fill in for Glaus if Glaus struggles (not that he is at this point).
Pitching still looks great and line-up has fewer holes than PY 1st half (remember Schaeffer, Francouer, and KJ)

Go Braves

acziffer – I’m opposed to moving Heyward to #2. It is a bad move. He’s leading the team in rbi’s and top ten in the league in driving in runs. Moving him up in the order takes away all of those ribbies. We need to wait and see what happens with Diaz. Also, McClouth hit the ball very hard last night. He might be coming around. Prado is on fire at the 2 spot and I wouldn’t touch him. Leave him where he is… because eventually there will be a lead off man who can get on base when Prado is at the plate.
As of now – the real lineup move should be to move Glaus out of #5 and move Escobar and Heyward up in the order. Glaus, the way he is hitting should be 7th.
Either way – I still like our team. We’re still going to win 90 games. We REALLY need a true leadoff hitter. I’ve been screaming that from the mountains for two years now. Actually, ever since Furcal left.

Wow, Bravo. I agree with everything you said. Is it raining up, are dogs and cats sleeping together, is the end of the world near? Something strange has to be happening.

Only other player I could see batting leadoff is Escobar. I mean, sure, he’s an RBI guy, but compared to years past, we can get RBIs from more spots in the lineup now.

I knew you’d come around eventually, billreef :)

Au Contraire my Brave friend, you surely know that these views you recently espouse are WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING!!!! I thought that this was an olive branch of sorts, instead of admitting the past error of your ways, you just restated my informed opinion. In any case it’s nice to have you on board, pirate, but I’m sure our swords will cross again soon. I am hoping some home cooking is good for the lads, god knows that road trip was by Vlad the Impaler. I am really hoping Derek can find the plate with his recalibrated sinker. I mean 10 walks in 12 innings, I remember when some on here were challenging Kimbrel’s 6 per 9.

Filing in for Mark, here is the very interesting line-up for tonight

McCouth
Prado
Chipper
Hinske
Esky
Heyward
Melky
Ross
Lowe

Any feekback is appreciated.

I’m not sure what feekback is, but it sounds kinda kinky

I kinda like Hinske in that slot replacing BMac, Melky and McLouth are kinda a tossup, I really would like to see Diaz get some more bats against RH so he can get his bat going

Obviously I love the offensive output tonite, but even better than that Derek seems to have found the proper release point for his recalibrated delivery. He looks the best that I have seen him as a Brave. If he gets in a groove this is gonna be fun.

When’s the last time Chipper’s strong side of the plate was the right side? He seems rather slow on the left, but on the money from the right…

Did Deunte Heath get released?

Medlen was filthy in the 9th. Some moron on here was suggesting we dump Medlen. The line would wrap around the block if we did.

Smoltz was talking about how Medlen has adapted maturely to his role as middle reliever in the Braves’ pen after coming up as a starter. It will be worth the Braves’ while to keep this young man around, especially if he keeps the positive attitude.
I say the #5 spot in the rotation is his once Kawakami’s contract is done.

I don’t know who this guy is that’s filling in for Mark, but in his game summary story he says that Heyward and Melky were in an 0 for 15 slump coming into this game. That is not quite accurate considering Heyward had 2 hits last night.

Remember when Oscar Villarreal won 9 games as the long reliever due to the starters’ misfortunes and received the nickname “The Vulture?” Maybe they should give Lowe the nickname “The Glutton.” He gets more run support than any pitcher that I have ever seen.
Oh and have I mentioned how awesome it is to have Hinske on this team?

Yeah I made a post yesterday about how its stupid how all of these idiots, and it isn’t just one, say Medlen needs to go. WTF? Where do you get that? Because his first start was bad? Come on.. that was a year ago. Look at his stats…

Anyway, good game, overall. Everything went pretty good. Lowe is showing why he got 15 wins last year, too. Run support…

My comments on Lowe are this, some guys tend to win 6-5, some guys tend to lose 6-5, I’m glad the guy we have wins, period. I’ve seen guys do just enough to lose, and have a better ERA, etc. The bottom line is they get paid to keep the team in the game or ahead, he does that every night.

AJ Burnett has won how many games for the World Champions since he didn’t sign with Atlanta? 14, for the team with the best lineup and best record in baseball. Lowe is at 18 having a pretty rough go of it mechanically, playing for a non-playoff team to this point.

We paid $60 million, the Yankmes paid well over $100 for a guy who had won more than 12 games only once. We got WAYYYYY the better of it last summer. And, Lowe is significantly better in the clubhouse.

“Stuff” makes you a member of Dick Vitale’s “All Airport” team, heart makes you a winner. Lowe can take the ball every 5 days for me.

I agree with you rother, simply put Lowe is a winner. No matter how much run support he recieves he still gets the all important “W”. Hinske needs to get some more starting time, and martin prado is on fire that guy is a gamer. Chipper might be coming around, hopefully we see more lefty’s cause he is much stronger from the right side of the plate right now.

One good thing about Hinske is that he can play four positions (1B, 3B, LF, RF). Shouldn’t be hard to put him somewhere every so often.

I am still trying to give Lowe the benefit of the doubt but even he admits he stunk up the joint last year. He has been inconsistent so far this year. His control has been pretty bad at times but at times his sinker has been unhittable. I am still waiting to see if he can produce good pitching with consistency. As to all this talk about heart( I thought I was the one who promoted intangibles) and having some control over who wins or loses has a lot more to do with the team than it does with the pitcher. The position players have to do the scoring, the pitcher can certainly “lose” a game, but rarely win one on their own.

Braves lineup 4/17 vs. Rockies:

McLouth 8
Prado 4
Chipper 5
McCann 2
Glaus 3
Escobar 6
Heyward 9
Cabrera 7
Kawakami 1

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