September 18, 2009 at 12:50 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Daily Post, Kelly Johnson Fan Club, Philadelphia Philthies, Pitching, Series Preview
7 games out, 23 games out, or whatever, it still feels good to sweep the Mets. It also feels good to watch Jeff Francoeur try to leap over the wall and catch Brian McCann’s home run to no avail. Yes, I did watch this one. After I turned off the GT Miami game in disgust. Anyway, I’m pretty sick of the Jeff Francoeur crap. The baseball media makes such a fucking huge deal about it when he comes to town. Get the fuck over it. He’s going to be coming to town 9 times next year because the Mets are stupid enough to tender him a contract.
Ryan Church vs. Jeff Francoeur
To those of you who think it was a bad trade:
Jeff Francoeur 2009 Mets WAR – -0.2
Ryan Church 2009 Braves WAR – 0.4
Ryan Church has been the better player–any way you slice it.
Continuing with both because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Again, starting in the East:
The Cubs are pretty much dead.
Phillies Come to Town
If the Braves have any shot at the division, they need to sweep the Phillies. Here’s how the pitching match-ups play out:
Tim Hudson vs. J. A. Happ
Hudson is completely unpredictable, but if he pitches like the Tim Hudson of 2007-2008, the Braves should be in pretty good shape. There’s also extra motivation to beat Happ in order to boost Hanson’s ROY hopes. I don’t know what to expect, I’m just going to close my eyes and hope for the best.
Javier Vazquez vs. Pedro Martinez
Though Pedro has pitched well for the Phillies, he’s thrown 119 and 130 pitches in his past two starts. Even though he gets 5 days rest before the game Saturday, you have to think the Braves have the advantage in this one. Vazquez is 1-1 with a 3.81 ERA vs. the Phillies in 4 starts this season.
Tommy Hanson vs. Cliff Lee
A crucial game for Hanson’s ROY campaign. Beating Cliff Lee is no small task. Lee threw a shutout in his last start, but had a 9.60 ERA in his previous three. Atlanta was in the middle of the first of those games, touching him up for 6 runs in 5 innings to start the streak. Hopefully we’ll see a deja-vu.
The good news is the Braves won’t face Cole Hamels who seems to have their number.
Kelly Johnson Fan Club
Prado and Infante have been swinging hot bats as of late, so I don’t suggest playing Kelly Johnson over one of them this series. To back my point up further, he’s struggled against Martinez (.455 OPS) and he’s 1-for-7 with a homer and no walks against Happ. Still, I think he should play Left Field this series, at least some. He’s a better bet defensively than Garret or Diaz and he’s been swinging the bat well lately, unlike Garret.
Stay Hot, Nate
Nate McLouth has been tearing it the fuck up since he came off the DL. He’s hit .413/.500/.652/1.152 with 3 HR, 2 2B, 8 BB, 6 K, and 9 RBI during that period. I’ll take a .500 OBP and a .239 ISO out of the leadoff spot any day of the week.
I did a Q&A for a buddy at the Phillies’ blog Macho Row. I’ll link to it when he gets it up.
That’s all I got.