April 14, 2012 at 11:46 am by David Lee under Atlanta Braves
Braves Go For Fourth Straight
After losing their first four games of the season, the Braves have responded with three straight wins, including Friday’s 10-8 win. Brian McCann and Matt Diaz went deep to lead an Atlanta offense that scored double digits for the first time since Aug. 12, 2011, which was the infamous Carlos Zambrano ejection game, as well as Bobby Cox’s number retirement game. It appears the Braves only bring out the big bats for special occasions.
Today’s game starts at 7:10 on Fox Sports South and MLB Network. Mike Minor faces Shaun Marcum.
Chipper Jones was unable to go on Friday because of fluid in his left knee. In DOB’s quotes following Friday’s games, Chipper said he doubts he will go today, unless he feels amazing. So don’t count on him.
Jair Jurrjens had enough trouble himself against the right-handed bats of the Brewers. Left-hander Mike Minor will have to be on point against a lineup that is still potent without Prince Fielder. Minor has a career 3.88 xFIP against right-handed batters compared to 2.89 against left-handed batters. Of course, in only 128.1 innings.
Baseball Analytics takes a look at Corey Hart’s hot streak to open the season. And it continued on Friday as he hit a home run and was the most valuable player for the Brewers in the game.
Ken Rosenthal’s latest video speaks on the Braves’ TV deal and the impact it could have on extending Brian McCann.
Braves pitchers have failed to reach six innings in any of their starts so far, tying the major league record.
Jayson Stark of ESPN spoke with John Schuerholz on Stan Kasten’s role with the Dodgers, going back to his days with the Braves in predicting how he would handle the team in Los Angeles. Also, Schuerholz spoke on a possible extension with Brian McCann, remaining optimistic but saying there are no guarantees.
David O’Brien’s latest blog post on Michael Bourn’s struggles and Jason Heyward hitting better. Also something interesting that I hadn’t noticed before, Eric O’Flaherty had a 22-inning scoreless streak snapped in Houston. After allowing three runs on Friday, that’s now back-to-back outings giving up runs following that streak.
The Braves honored Furman Bisher prior to the game on Friday with a moment of silence, and placed a plaque in his honor in the press box.
Tom Verducci of SI writes on the Braves and Red Sox struggling out of the gate following their late-season collapse last year. Except, of course, the Braves have won three in a row, and it’s April 14, and past teams’ experiences don’t mean anything to the 2012 Braves. But, yeah.
Around the NL East
It was reported on Friday that the Braves were interested in Mike Fontenot, but the reports ended quickly with the news that he signed with the Phillies. Fontenot will give Philly much-needed infield depth, perhaps more than was needed for the Braves.
Rick Ankiel is set to return from the disabled list today and join the Nationals on Saturday against the Reds. Ankiel had been sidelined with a left quad injury.
David Wright could go on the disabled list with his fractured right pinkie, depending on how he feels today. He was cleared to resume activities on Thursday, but his pinkie has not responded, and he’s unable to swing the bat like he needs to.
Update (12:50p): Wright is in the lineup today, says Adam Rubin.
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