Braves have chance to alter the tide against the Nationals

Like the Braves had success against the Phillies before the All-Star break in 2009 and 2010, the Nationals had their way with the Braves during the first half of this season.

Now the Braves can only hope to follow the same second-half path the Phillies traveled during those two previous seasons.

The Braves went 7-2 against the Phillies before the 2009 All-Star break and 3-6 against them after the break.  They finished seven games behind Philadelphia that season.

The Braves went 7-5 against the Phillies before the 2010 break and then won just one of the six matchups in the second half.  That one win came on the regular season’s final day, when Philadelphia had already celebrated a fourth consecutive division title.

With the aid of six wins in this year’s first eight head-to-head matchups, the first-place Nationals enter this weekend’s four-game series with a 3 1/2-game lead over the Braves, who have righted themselves while winning eight of their past 10 games.

After Thursday’s much-needed win over the Giants, Tim Hudson said the Braves need to at least split this weekend’s four-game series.  While it’s easy to understand the logic in this statement, the Braves could certainly make a statement by winning three of four.

Looking toward the season’s final two months, the primary concern about the Nationals’ starting rotation seems to center around how many innings Stephen Strasburg might complete before being shut down.   As he prepares to face the Braves for the fourth time this season tonight, Strasburg has completed 105 innings.

Since the start of the season, there has been a belief that Strasburg would likely be limited to approximately 160 innings.  Now it sounds like Nationals GM Mike Rizzo will not utilize a definitive stopping point.  Instead he will monitor his prized right-hander over the next few weeks to get a feel for when he might shut him down.

Regardless of what has been said in the past, just a hunch that the division standings might influence the decision.

As for the Braves, the focus on their rotation centers around who might be added before the Trade Deadline.

The Braves recently asked the Red Sox about Jon Lester, who does not appear to be available at this time.  In addition, they have closely monitored Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster, who remains scheduled to start tonight’s game against the Cardinals.

Still the Braves primary focus appears to remain on Brewers right-hander Zack Greinke, who stands as the one available pitcher who could best match up against the other top starters that would be pitching in the playoffs.

With the Dodgers and Cubs struggling to complete a deal, the Braves are among the teams who could end up landing Dempster.  Braves general manager Frank Wren and manager Fredi Gonzalez have known Dempster for approximately 15 years, dating back to the days when they were with the Marlins together.

Because there is some demand for him right now, the Braves might have to put together a decent package to land Dempster, who will be a free agent at the end of this season.

Still even if the cost is not significant as the one needed to lure Greinke out of Milwaukee, the Braves might be more willing to go with Greinke, as long as they are confident they could keep him in Atlanta beyond this season.

The Braves are not interested in mortgaging their future for a two-month rental.  So their interest in Greinke continues to hinge on the confidence they have in being able to sign the former Cy Young Award winner to a multi-year deal.

It appears they are willing to provide the former Cy Young Award winner approximately $20 million a year  — a price that would rival what Matt Cain recently received.

In addition, Greinke has made it known that he would like to play for the Braves, who annually hold Spring Training within 20 minutes of the neighborhood he was raised in Orlando.  So even if the Braves do not land Greinke via trade, there is a good chance they will make a run at him on the free agent market this winter.

 

26 Comments

i say Screw Uggla and trade him to Detroit because they are looking for 2nd base help and be perfect for that lineup. Then offer the D-backs Francisco Pastornicky and Christian Martinez for Upton and Bloomquist then offer Minor Delgado and Janish to the Twins for Liriano and bench help

You got those trades backwards you idiot! Upton would require the bigger package. Haven’t you realized by all of us telling you this, all your ideas suck!!!

OK then how bout this Francisco Pastornicky Martinez and Spruill for Upton and Bloomquist. Janish Medlen and Gartrell for Liriano Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Esmerling Vasquez

Dude, you are just sad. Let anyone who actually has a clue make trade suggestions. You should just stop.

Uggs goes 3-4 w/ 2 walks and makes an incredible defensive play to end the game. It’s about that time. UGGLA time.

WTF… I know it’s Friday, but it’s not Friday the 13th. I think the bullpen was sitting around watching that movie Freaky Friday and Kimbrell and Durbin decided to switch uni’s for the night. You know, just for fun. To shake things up. Atleast they kept fighting tonight. A win is a win.

I hear you, but I think this game was deserving of a much better compliment than “a win’s a win.” It definitely wasn’t pretty, but a game like this gets me excited about the team we have on the field. Hanson/Avilan put the Braves in a 9 run hole and an offense with Paul Janish (who played great tonight) in the lineup were able to battle back again this week, this time for the win… that’s a huge accomplishment, especially against a staff like the Nats. The positives far outweigh the negatives… most notably Chipper able to celebrate on the night he nabbed the third baseman RBI record. Big congrats to him.

You are correct. I didn’t intend that in a negative way. To overcome a nine run deficit is huge. It sucks that we were put in that position to begin with, but very proud of the fight.

I also meant to say, maybe last nights game, will be the type of game that sends the Nationals into a tail spin. Kind of like the games the Braves have had in the past that leads to long term slumps. The game that comes to mind was a few years ago when Kelly Johnson dropped an easy pop up in foul territory that would have ended the inning and we would have probably won the game, but instead that inning cost the game and we didn’t win again for like a month. That play, or lack of play, by Zimmerman on Prado’s bullet kind of has that feel to me. Yes, the ball was hit hard, but a pro 3rd baseman has to make that play. And yes, Chipper has flubbed those before too. Here’s to hoping!

Did I mention, welcome to Atlanta Mr. Sheets?

Yeah no kidding… It sure is nice seeing 2-0 0.00 era

Sure would be nice to take both of these today!

Prado and Heyward on track for 20+ steals, Bourn already with 28 and sure to hit at least 40. I don’t think the Braves have been this aggressive on the basepaths in my lifetime. Or at least not since the late 90′s.

Why do the Braves Managers have so much reluctance to removing a pitcher when it is so obvious that the game is slipping away? If the Braves could find one good manager we would not always be the bride maids, we might could go all the way.

BTW, tonight’s game is a perfect example. The Braves only have a chance of one thing. Maybe making the playoffs as a wild card but that’s as far as they will go with the current management.

Any chance Tyler can get a start at 2nd or LF? Maybe Uggs just needs a few days to get his head on straight. With the exception of Franceour, I don’t recall a Brave going through this type of extended slump – 6 weeks now. He did the same thing last year. I have noticed he has changed his approach. Instead of swinging and missing, he is now taking called strikes. A nice 3 run bomb from him last night may have made the game interesting. I don’t see how he is worth $15 million per year. Hopefully, the Braves did not make a huge mistake (KK, Lowe)

It is very tough to play with 3 automatic outs in a line-up. I am counting Yanish and the pitcher. I am not too impressed with Janish so far, but I will give him another week.

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Um, didn’t Yanish hit the game winning single on Friday? Didn’t he have a couple of hits yesterday, one of them a double? He was not brought in for his bat. He is here to give us a glove at short until Simmons can return.

Well said!!!

Make the move for Greinke now or this season is for nothing. Have seen enough of Jurrgens.

I don’t understand why he is still in uniform. By all accounts he sucks! And management makes it worse, they will leave him in a game until it is totally out of reach. Why not get some new management and some pitching!

Yeah i say trade Jurrgens(anyone stupid enough to be interested) for another good relief pitcher to take some of the load off Kimbrells shoulder.

Jurrjens has got to go…Make a trade or bring somebody up…He is done…Perfect opportunity to catch the Nats and when I saw he was pitching, I knew we were done. The team is playing great and they deserve better.

Poor coaching job. After leaving Jurrjens in as long as Gonzalez did, it would have taken a miracle to catch up…Anybody know where Bobby Cox is?

Sounds like Jair is going to be used in either trading for Dempster or Garza. I am wondering if they will think bout packaging him along with Uggla to the Tigers for Jhonny Peralta and Duane Below, then Offer Peralta Medlen and Lipka to the D-backs for Upton and Bloomquist. Use Bloomuist as the 2nd baseman and Upton in LF.

I say we trade Pastornicky Lipka and Medlen to SD for Headley, then offer Headley Parraz Delgado and Terdo for Upton Bloomquist and Josh Bell

Stop reading names on the internet and trying to throw them into trade scenarios. You have no idea what you’re talking about, how have you not realized this yet?

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