Odds and ends: Giants return to Atlanta; Hanson needed extra rest

Coming off Sunday’s disappointing loss, the Braves will open a four-game series tonight against the Giants, who are making their first return to Atlanta since clinching the National League Division Series in October.

The defending world champion Giants come to town having won just five of their previous 16 games.   With Sunday’s victory over the Marlins, they notched a second consecutive win for the first time since beating the Phillies on July 27 and 28.

During this 16-game skid, they have batted .245 and averaged 2.4 runs.   Their pitchers have posted a 3.74 ERA during this short span.

But obviously statistics from small sample sizes really do not matter at this time of year.  Remember that vaunted Giants pitching staff that dominated October.  Well it posted a 4.55 ERA in August last year.

The Braves took three of four from the Giants when they were in Altanta last August.   They could certainly strengthen their postseason hopes if they are able to do the same thing this week.

As Tim Hudson prepares to battle Madison Bumgarner in tonight’s series opener, the Braves own a four-game lead over the Giants in the Wild Card race.   The Cardinals are five games back and there isn’t another NL team within 10 games of the Braves, who had won five straight before losing this weekend’s final two games against the Cubs.

Hudson certainly didn’t mind seeing Carlos Beltran leave the National League East when he wast traded to the Giants a few weeks ago.   Beltran has hit .351 with  four homers and a 1.016 OPS in 74 career at-bats against the Braves veteran hurler.

Fortunately for Hudson, Beltran has been bothered by a strained right hand since he was traded and he has not played since Aug. 7.

As the Braves squandered  four-run lead yesterday, there were obviously a number of things that went wrong.  At the end it was yet another game where you had to question the quality of depth in the bullpen.

Coming fresh off the disabled list without a rehab appearance, Scott Linebrink allowed singles to the only three batters he faced in the sixth inning.  Then showing he can handle the stress of a tight situation, Arodys Vizcaino struck out the only three batters he faced.

In the process, Vizcaino was charged with a wild pitch that Brian McCann was unable to block in the dirt.  This allowed the Cubs to tie the game.  McCann had caught just five innings in the previous 18 days and he was not too familiar with Vizcaino’s sharp curveball.  This proved to be a bad mix.

With that being said, the Braves certainly had reason to be encouraged with what they saw from Vizcaino yesterday after he entered a tight situation for the first time in his career.  Last week, I wondered whether the 20-year-old reliever was ready and there was more reason to wonder after his debut.

But in his past two outings, Vizcaino has impressed and given reason to believe the Braves might be able to rely on him being that reliable extra right-handed reliever they’ve needed for the past couple weeks.

It also looks like Peter Moylan is prepared to show he can fill that need.  Moylan, sidelined since having back surgery in May, threw live batting practice at Turner Field this afternoon.  Check braves.com later today to get his thoughts.

Moylan has told teammates that he has been feeling great.  He’s seemingly nearing that point where he will be cleared to make the Minor League rehab appearances (probably at least three) he will need to make before being activated.

When Randall Delgado takes the mound to start in place of the injured Tommy Hanson tomorrow night, he will likely be much more comfortable than he was in June when he was scratched just before a Minor League start and then made his Major League debut against the Rangers the next night.  Delgado has worked 13 consecutive scoreless since being promoted to Triple-A Gwinnett.

The Braves certainly made the right move giving Hanson a few extra days to rest his shoulder after he was diagnosed with tendinitis for the second time in two months.   In fact there probably should have a possibility of him making Tuesday night’s start.

Before Sunday’s game, Hanson said when he returned from the DL in June to face the Mariners, he was still feeling some tightness.  Thus, the Braves simply need to give him as much time as necessary to make sure he’ll be ready to be a factor down the stretch.

 

 

 

30 Comments

Vizcaino is absoluely filthy. McCann needs to get some bullpen time with him!
We basically lost the game on those two strikeouts!

Chipper is out with sore knee from running to 1st yesterday. It’s getting time to hang up those cleats Chip, you got no wheels left. Looks like my prediction of 300-400 ABs this year won’t be too far off

Your prediction was that he wouldn’t even make 300. But if anyone realistically expected more than 450 PA’s from Chipper, I’d find Michael J. Fox and tell him to take them back to 2003.

Sheeet, If Chipper makes 450 ABs I’ll replace the bottle of amaretto that you’ve been filching out of your mama’s liquor cabinet. My premise stands, he just ain’t up to it anymore. His wheels are done.

Let’s face it Fredi doesn’t have a clue. Having Hudson bunt in the bottom of the sixth??? WTF is he thinking?

Now with the HR he looks even more ridiculous. God, what a lousy decision. I’ve said it before, it looks like Fredi doesn’t even care if the team wins or loses.No sense of urgency at all.

Everyone has been predicting that Georgie will eventually come back to Earth. I am not so sure he is going to. His approach at the plate has been picture perfect since he came up. It’s not a swing that has crash and burn figured into it. I’m loving watching him play right now. Heyward not so much.

I just saw a bird fly out of wilsons beard.

Freddie freeman- Ice Water from the rookie.

ROY ROY ROY ROY

That was a good 9th inning all around. Well, except for Joe West hosing Dan Uggla on those first two pitches.

It’s reasons like Craig Kimbrel and Freddie Freeman that there needs to be a separate ROY award for pitchers and position players. This could be interesting.

If Kimbrel pitches even remotely like he has, then he’ll beat Freddie out for ROY. The voters love records and Craig is poised to demolish Neftali’s rookie save record from last year. And there’s the whole fact that Kimbrel is probably the most dominant reliever in the game at this point. It’s just crazy what he’s doing this season. But yeah, it would make sense to have separate ROY honors for a pitcher and a position player.

Reposting in this thread for Zidane:

A) I’m hardly “worked up”. It’s laughable that you assume so based on a paragraph post where I state my case and show why yours is pathetically biased towards small sample sizes.
B) Prado has multiple years in the Big Leagues where he was not a starter, but used as a utility man. His consistency and reliability in that role forced the Braves to turn him into a starter, and he has not looked back since.
C) You are contradicting yourself once again by assuming Heyward’s potential. “If Heyward gets it together he will be a lot better than Prado.” Says who? I thought you reserved your judgement for guys with 5-10 years in the league? And even if he IS that much better than Prado, what makes you think Prado will sit? Prado is a lot better than Constanza, regardless if he is “hot” or not.
D) Your post did nothing to convince me of why Constanza would ever start over Prado, which was our original debate right? All I got out of your post is that you like to whine and pull random stuff out of thin air (like an Albert Pujols reference our of nowhere?). You said to look at the facts, but then you stated nothing. Your “fact” was that Prado has been a starter for a year and a half, which humorously enough trumps the sub 20 games Constanza has played, so I don’t know what argument you are trying to support there.
E) Look, I’m glad Constanza is tearing it up and that we’re finding places to put him in the lineup. But if Heyward was producing and Chipper was healthy, Constanza wouldn’t touch the field. If you disagree with that, then you’re just wrong. When Prado’s average dips to .220 then maybe you have a case, but until then, you’re standing on a soapbox preaching to an empty crowd, man. Prado will not sit to make room for Constanza. Period.

Koovoon, you can’t argue with a drunk 13 yr old. Believe me I’ve tried. The little twit just comes in here to splash his latest moronic post and then goes to whatever little hole it climbed out of.

Oh I see – That quote is yours, Koovoon? I thought it was a Zidane quote you were trying to throw back in his face or something. I’m reading it and agreeing with it and trying to figure out why you would use it against him, lol

So Koovvon – are you reposting that to mock Zidane because you belive Prado should be sitting over Costanza? Do you really believe Prado should be benched? I agree with the statement “If Heyward was producing and Chipper was healthy, Constanza wouldn’t touch the field.” Do you disagree with that? I actually kind of agree with Zidane there. Where exactly are you calling him out?

He by no means said that prado should be benched. That is what zidane implied in his last reply to koovooooooon

I dont want prado benched. Unless Constanza stays scorching hot and heyward gets it together. Thats what I was saying. There is no way you can keep constanza out of the team tomorrow, for instance. Lets say heyward was mashing like he could do, then prado would, and should, sit. But most likely constanza will cool off and then its an irrelevent discussion.All I was saying is that prado should be benched if constanza keeps hitting like he is and heyward gets it together. End of story. Theory being you cantg bench a guy hitting .400 (untill he cools off), you cant bench jones, and you cant bench heyward (in this theoritcal scenario where heyward begins to fulfill his potential). If you disagree with this then I disagree with you.

U are absolutely fooling youself if u think they would ever sit martin withou injury. I don’t know for sure how I feel about it but I see chipper as being more likely to just get much more time off than to sit prado. Chip’s offense could be crucial down the stretch but if he just can’t go its wasted.

40 games left. Let’s win 25 of them. That should seal the deal for the playoffs.

This is a pretty good team for October IF Jurrjens and Hanson are healthy going in. Having the addition speed coming from places that don’t feel the need to fly out in search of the elusive HR has been a nice addition. Constanza has been fantastic. Bourn has been consistent. Adding Viscaino and Moylan for the stretch really makes things solid in the BP. Chipper is going to pick his spots, and that is fine with the current make up of the team. He can see the sunset, and he has a shiny pickup truck all ready to get in and head in that direction when the time comes. The pieces are in place. If Heyward rises to the occasion here at the end, this team is going to sneak up on somebody in October. Let’s stay healthy and enjoy the ride.

Really nice win. Sunday was tough – Cubs had 18 strikeouts and 4 errors, and WON??? How in the world does that happen? Last night, giants scored 2 runs without the benefit of a hit. If we had lost that game, it would have been very distressing.

We need to go ahead and take 3 of 4 from these guys. Sweep them, and we could actually do a lot to eliminate them.

Freddie and Uggla have carried this team for the last 3 or 4 weeks. It is great to see Mac back. If we can somehow find a way to get Heyward off the schnide. I say since Constanza is here doing so well, why not send Jason down to Gwinnett to Jamie Dismuke and get his swing, his confidence and his MO JO back? It would help Gwinnett in a playoff run too. Just makes too much sense to me – with the team being just up the road. I would have done it weeks ago.

Sending Heyward down to Gwinnett today, and back up for roster expansion September 1 makes all the sense in the world right now. Dismuke is that good.

They should of done this 2 weeks ago.

We’re only talking two weeks here.

This season:

Heyward: .699 OPS 6Sb 2CS. B+ in OF
Prado: .730 OPS 4 Sb 7 Cs. C- in OF

Look, heyward has been terrible. But prado has been just as bad this year and nobody ever talks about it.

Nice selective stats, Zidane. a .280 hitter just as bad as a .215 hitter??? Are you serious?

Problem with that is Prado is your 3B. Chipper will be no more than part time at this stage. Also, beware of giving too much credit to the box score. Prado spent the first month blasting balls at people. Heyward is popping up and rolling over grounders to 2B. Good managers know the difference. Some guys get to 4 and 5 pitch ABs being selective, and fighting off pitcher’s pitches. Others get there like Blanco used to, because they can’t put the good pitches in play hard anywhere. Again, good managers know the difference. Statistics become very sterile over time, and out of context. For two years now Heyward has had a hard time getting the ball in the air. When he does, he is lethal, but he seldom does. That needs to be fixed. Prado is as likely as any other Brave, more likely than most, to get scorching hot and carry this team for a month. Heyward has been pedestrian at best this year. Francoeur has been significantly better than Heyward has. Even Melky Cabrera has been dramatically better than Heyward this year. Right now, Jason is equivalent to that 7 foot high school player you drafted that really should be better than he has been, sitting behind the 6-9 guy that is mixing it up with positive results every time he is in the game. Potential is the curse that kills the most sports executives careers. I know he can, I’m just not sure he will…..

Remember Zippy wanted to trade Uggla and keep McLouth in CF too. A manager would do well to do just the opposite of what he says. And now he’s sure that Georgie will crater. What happened to supporting the whole team, Zip? Constanza got OB 4 times last night has the best range of anyone in the OF and he is devastating on the basepaths. Just shut up and let the guy play.

When am i sure constaza will crater? I think you misread something

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