Without Holliday, Coors Field might feel like a vacation spot for Lowe

Once Todd Helton retires or at least ends his long career with the Rockies, Tim Hudson will finally understand what it’s like to exit Coors Field without frustration.   This belief is strengthened by what transpired last year when Derek Lowe learned how tranquil Denver can be without the presence of Matt Holliday.
 
Against Lowe, Holliday hasn’t matched the perfection that Helton has produced while recording hits in each of the eight at-bats he’s ever recorded against Hudson at Coors Field.  

But Holliday is certainly a primary reason that Lowe will return to Blake Street tonight having gone 3-4 with a 5.66 ERA in nine career starts at Coors Field.    The All-Star outfielder batted .650  (13-for-20) with a 1.167 OPS against the veteran sinkerballer in Denver.  He has been just a .333 (5-for-15) hitter against  him in environments that don’t include the thin Rocky Mountain air.

When Lowe made his Coors Field debut for the Red Sox during Holliday’s 2004 rookie season, he tossed seven scoreless innings.  He has allowed four earned runs or more in five of his other eight starts at this spacious park that is an offensive haven, with or without the humidor. 

When Holliday was a member of the A’s on July 10 of last year, Lowe exorcised some of his Coors Field demons by limiting the Rockies to one run and four hits over six innings.  During his third start of this season,  he recorded yet another win against  the Holliday-less Rockies.  

Lowe has gone 4-1 with a 2.14 ERA in his past five starts against the Rockies, dating back to June 2, 2008.   It should be noted that just one of these starts was made in Denver. 
Another thing going for Lowe is the fact that the Rockies aren’t planning to wear “Nationals” across their chests tonight.  

Lowe has gone 3-6 with a 3.65 ERA in his past 13 starts.   In the 10 starts that weren’t made against the Nationals during this span, he has gone 3-3 with a 2.93 ERA.  

Heyward heating up
:  Before grounding into a double play to end the seventh inning last night, Jason Heyward had reached base safely in 10 consecutive plate appearances and recorded hits in seven consecutive at-bats.
  
Over his past three games, Heyward has recorded nine hits in 13 at-bats.   Not bad considering he had totaled just nine hits in his previous 56 at-bats this month.   Before starting this mini-surge on Saturday, the rookie All-Star had hit .171 over his previous 21 games. 

After Sunday’s four-hit, two-homer performance at Wrigley Field, Heyward admitted  he’s still feeling some discomfort in the bruised right thumb that plagued him throughout June and sidelined him during the two weeks leading up to the All-Star break.  

Still while health has played a part, his inconsistencies are also a product of the fact that this 21-year-old outfielder is still going through the sometimes cruel initiation process that has welcomed almost everybody who has had the opportunity to play in the Majors. 

Through May, Heyward was on pace for a 30-homer season and seemingly destined to be named the National League’s Rookie of the Year.   The thumb injury opened the door for Giants catcher Buster Posey and Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez to join the Braves outfielder as top NL ROY candidates.

If the past couple days are an indication of things to come, Heyward could certainly end the season hitting above .280 with 18-20 homers and 80-plus RBIs.  Entering his first Major League season, I don’t think much more should have been expected from him.

One more late night:  If any of you need to go to bed before the conclusion of tonight’s game, but still want to know the outcome before you wake up, I suggest you simply watch what transpires in Philadelphia tonight.
 
Since trading wins and losses on Aug. 13 and 14, the Braves and Phillies have experienced the same verdict during each of the past eight days that they both have played games.

The Braves own the same 2 -game lead they held over the Phillies at the end of play on Aug. 1.  They are also 3 1/2 games in front of the Cardinals and Giants, who both sit a game behind the front-running Phillies in the NL Wild Card race. 
 

53 Comments

here what the braves should do in the offseason

trade for either Matt Kemp BJ Upton Prince Fielder or decent cf or 1b

Trade KK lowe gonzo and Mclouth

Mclouth KK and Gonzo to KC for Yuniesky Betancourt Blake Wood and aaron crowe

trade for a decent leadoff hitter

Melky Hicks and Dunn for BJ Upton
wes timmons diaz and Redmond to Sf for Torres Matt Cain

I’ll take that deal and what if they make all those deals huh? And if chipper does come back Viva and be productive and have a Chipper jones year I wanna know who your drug dealer is. I am saying that one of those trades may happen the one i wanna see is either for Kemp or torres bc they both can be a damn good Cf.

I’m starting to think that NC and saltlake are the same person.
Do your fingers have turrets (spelling?) or something that make you spew out random nonsense while typing?

Nc, here’s what the Braves won’t do in the offseason: insert your comment here.

First off: BJ Upton is just a hair above McLouth.
Second: Kemp and Fielder are too expensive.
Third: Nobody want’s KK or McLouth, and please tell me when you find a good reason for trading the only SS we have.

I think I might put my networking bachelors to work and block NC’s IP address from this site, anyone with me?

Do you watch or even enjoy the game of baseball? Are you interested in the game one bit at all? Or do you just only care about coming up with insane transactions that have zero chance of happening? Now that the trade deadline has passed, you can only think of the offseason. I bet you’re pretty bummed that Chipper wants to come back.. that’s one position that we can’t fill with a new player.
If ONE of those deals you just mentioned goes down, I will personally bring you $1,000 in cash. I swear. I’m assuming you’re in North Carolina. I’ll drive straight there from NY. I promise. But if we don’t get one of the players from your mile long grocery list, then you can’t make any more of these proposals on Mark’s blog. Ever again. Deal???

I’m with you, viva.

Sounds like a good deal, you better take it NC.

viva save you time and money I will go from SC and sweeten the pot to $1,000.01 which is his kind of deal. That way he would be gone faster.

I have a question: How big does the roster grow in September?

NC, **** and GTFO. Wait, I’ll type it to where you can read it.

**** and gtfo and why don’t we trade diaz melky hicks kawakami for andruw then trade him farnsworth medlen and mclouth for fielder and randy wolf

Ok i will take it and if the Braves make all the deals i want 10,000 dollars and viva if chipper comes back next year and has a Chipper Jones season and hits 300+ 30+ and 100+ i will never post on this blog again and seeing that wont happen I will keep on keeping on.

NCBravesfan, use punctuation. Punctuation may increase your ability to persuade people of trades. It is sad when people constantly have to ask about punctuation on an adult blog. I think its a matter of time before this offense breaks out again. Lee is going to lead that way. I think that he is the professional hitter that we knew and got and they, on occasion, become human. Same with McCann. This is the time of the year when leaders of the club house perform and it just trickles down to everyone. I am loving this team this year. Been a Braves fan all of my life (21 in 5 days), and this is by far the best since I can remember. To be taken seriously you have to appear to have the ability to be taken seriously, I’ll leave everyone with that for now.

If by “breaks out again” you mean score 16 runs again, then ok. But the offense has been pretty good for the past few weeks. 85 runs in the past 15 games, which is an average of 5.7 runs/game (10-5 record). Not too shabby, especially with our pitching staff. The entire top of the lineup has been killing it, and once Lee starts playing like he can then we’re really in business.

That’s true, but they went through the stretch of no run support, especially for Lowe. I am saying a more consistent scoring of runs. And the reason we scored all those runs is because of the top order, like you said. We need the heart of the order to be doing something here soon, and the bottom. But that is whats special about this team, everyone is on their own streak to keep the team going. If you can imagine the Cards without Pujols they can’t go on offensive terrors. We have a mini Pujols biweekly that sparks something (almost) every game.

I guess I’ll just come up to the Big League Blog when the roster expands. I am also curious as to how big the roster expands to though, it’s always confused me. Watching Heyward strike out again there against a lefty makes me notice how he has been swinging a lot at the sliders outside from a LHP. He hasn’t been able to lay off the low and outside off-speed pitch and I think pitchers are exposing that, especially since it looks like he might have moved off the plate a bit too.

It would really be lovely to see the English language written here with a modicum of respect to it’s original form. Half these posts aren’t made of sentences and another quarter don’t make any sense. Jive turkey, you may be challenging NcBrave for the most illiterate title at the end of the season. I don’t usually complain about a few spelling and grammatical errors, but this butchery has to stop.

Derek Lowe = awesome. (lie)

Well, bill, if we were true to the original form of English, words like ‘don’t’ do not exist.

You know, is it possible for someone on the Braves to NOT ground into a double play with a runner on 1st? If Matt Diaz even strikes out, we’re tied.

Speaking of double plays, Glaus has made an error at Gwinnett tonight…

I do not know what you are talking about.

Bill’s bf is up. PH homer???

Make that 2 errors now.

Boy DLee is looking more than a bit like an easy out. No excuses about being in Chicago, trying too hard and the wind was blowing in, will suffice. It would be nice for once to trade for someone who is in the prime of their career rather than on the downslide. Granted these guys all come cheap, but then there is a reason for that.

Rollins homers in the bottom of the ninth to tie Houston

And, as if right on cue, Glaus hits a 3-run HR.

Werth singles Ibanez to the plate 2 outs, bottom of tenth.

This team really is agonizing to watch in innings 1-7.

Way to go, meat.

billreef – “It would really be lovely to see the English language written here with a modicum of respect to it’s original form.”
Correct word is “its.” :-P

Stat from earlier: Gonzalez is 3rd in the NL in RBI for the month of August, as of the beginning of the game. He’s been quietly providing much of the run production, evidently.

Can no one on this team hit a f***ing flyball or line drive?!

OK, that was new. Mac had to have been crossed up, because there’s no way he misses that pitch otherwise.

This has been such a boring game to watch. They are so lucky (hopefully tonight) that the Phills have been blowing games lately too, there is no way we should have the lead we do with these two games going like this and even before the Cubs series. There is always hope in the 7/8/9th inning, but you can’t bank on that as a team. It will wear you out so fast. They always talk about stressful innings on a pitcher versus pitch count. The same applies to a team, you can’t emotionally handle that many come backs and be successful later on in the season. They need to become a complete team throughout the game, and not the last innings. Lowe pitched well today, the pitching hasn’t been as hot as it was previously so we can’t rely on that every game, it isn’t fair to the pitchers.

Oh, Papi. if you think it’s a problem, I’ll start correcting YOUR grammar. And if youun tinks I am dum, you mite be enclined to disagree.

Hey, you said it was a problem, not me. I just found it funny that you threw stones about others’ imperfect English in their comments but, in the process, hit one of the walls in your glass house.
And, by all means, find something wrong with the grammar in any of my posts. I dare you.

We need to learn to win on the road. That’s the end of what I have to say about the game… and the series, for that matter.

BTW, if the Astros hang on (they’re up by 2 in the 15th), the Braves owe them a set of fungo bats, or something.

Papi, since you challenged me. The … , an ellipsis, is used improperly in your second sentence. The proper punctuation would be a comma in this instance. Even if one were to use an ellipsis, to indicate a pause in the sentence, the comma would still be required to make the sentence proper. See, that did not take that long.

Man.. 2 on 2 out bottom of the 16th inning with the left fielder Roy Oswalt up.. and he grounds out. Weird. If we can’t win or lose without the Phillies doing the same, what happens when we play each other again? Does time stand still? A black hole appears?

More importantly, the Astros, clipped the Phils, in 16 innings.

Oh, and Papi, more importantly than the grammar, The Astros, did not score in the 15th. They scored in the 16th and won.

Papi’s in a parallel universe, where the number 16 is blurred by beer and looks like a 15.

It was the 16th? Sorry about that. I was going by what I (thought I) saw on my non-HDTV through my due-for-replacement glasses. No beer for this one though; I don’t touch the stuff.
Oh, and the ellipsis earlier indicated my pause in thought. Since what I’m typing is narrative intended to convey my stream of consciousness and not a research paper, an ellipsis is perfectly fine.

Wow. It was painful enough sitting through our excuse of an offense last night. Now I have to sit through a grammar argument? Jesus.
…and I have a feeling that NC’s head exploded reading about the proper use of an ellipsis.

Everyone makes typos and spelling errors now and again. But there is nothing wrong with correcting someone who makes the same error over and over again demonstrating they are oblivious to their error or errors. Of course, it a totally different matter when after disagreeing with a poster on the substance of his or her post you point out grammar and spelling errors as sort of a smoke screen.

wtf is happening to this blog?

At this point in the season I believe the front runners for ROY are Buster Posey and Jonny Venters. Heyward is behind these guys in a pack of three or four other players. It might be a different story had Heyward not gotten hurt. But it is what it is and Heyward did get hurt. But the silver lining for Braves fans in Heyward’s situation is that it opens up an opportunity for Venters which I believe he would not have had otherwise. Venters only downside to date is that he has only converted one out of four save oppotunities. Not really his job, I understand, but a prominent stat for a relief pitcher nevertheless.

I’m more interested in making the playoffs than in having Heyward ROY. He lost that the day Bobby moved him to the two hole. It has been a really big year for very talented rookies in both leagues. Sanchez, Stanton, Heyward, Posey, Venters, Wallace, Johnson, Brown, Jackson, Rhymes, Boesch, Alvarez, and that’s just off the top of my head. A new wave has landed in MLB, and that is pretty cool.

Somehow, I imagine NC’s head exploding when he reads about Snuffy Smif and Lucy and Charlie. Unfortunately I think Venters will be a longshot because he is a pitcher, but he has sure turned some players heads(not to mention their bats) along the way.

pherrisphain, the thing about relievers is that even if they come in during the 6th inning and lose a lead, that counts against them as a blown save. It’s not quite the same as what Wags is paid to do. Nevertheless, he has to get some recognition for what he’s done this season. Forget about all the sexy stats and see who has been dominant day in and day out. (I say that last sentence to the people who hand out the awards.)
Rother, I agree completely. For a while, when he was batting lower in the order, he led the league in RBI. Now that he has fewer chances to drive guys in, it’s hurt not only his stats, but also the Braves’ offensive output. Moving him to 3rd can only help both him and the team.

…. and then Prado moves back to the 2 hole. It’s like Deja Vu all over again.

Thanks Yogi, no problem Boo Boo.

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