After Jair Jurrjens disappointing performance on Tuesday many Braves fans were not looking forward to Derek Lowe taking the hill tonight. They were wrong. Lowe went six strong and gave up only one run on three hits – a homer to Mike Morse – struck out six and walked a pair. The slider was biting and the sinker killed a lot of worms out in front of home plate. Oh and Lower hit his first major league home run at the age of 38. Not bad at all, it looks like September Derek arrived a day early. Each of his last three starts have been a little better and he looks like the big game guy from last year. With Jurrjens struggling and Hanson’s should uncertain we need Lowe, Mike Minor, Brandon Beachy and Tim Hudson at their best.
The day was more memorable for Braves fans Matt Diaz returned from exile in Pittsburgh for a player to be named later . Matt loved being back and promptly went 2-3 off lefty John Lannan before giving way to pinch runner Jason Heyward. Chipper Jones hit homer number 450 and Craig Kimbrel put the icing ion the game cake with his record breaking 41st major league save as a rookie. Fans were still celebrating Kimbrel’s save when the Braves announced that they had traded for Jack Wilson from the Seattle Mariners. The Braves get some cash as well and the Mariners will choose one of those famous players to be named later.
Matt Diaz is a know quantity in Atlanta but Jack Wilson has been exiled to the great northwest where the weather is cooler but the baseball is never post season anymore. Before moving to the AL in 2009 Wilson’s career line was .269/.311/.376. The AL wasn’t comfy for him however, a situation not helped by the managerial malaise that beset the Mariners during his stay. Word is that Wilson was not Eric Wedge’s favorite player and thus was relegated to the farthest corner of the dugout. He played in only 62 games this year and is currently on the DL with a bruised heel. He comes of the DL Friday. This more than likely spells the end Julio Lugo. I still don’t know how he ever got a contract, our pitchers out hit him.
Wilson brings something we have been lacking this year as well, a shortstop that can hit with men on base an din high leverage situations. Wilson may not be as slick as Alex Gonzalez but he’s twice the hitter when the chips are down.
|2 out RISP||.253||.332||.330||3||152|
|Late & Close||.267||.310||.360||10||70|
|2 out man on 3rd||.270||.354||.355||1||80|
You get the idea; he’s been clutch his whole career.
I said when he went after and signed Michael Bourn that our problem wasn’t power, it was getting men on then getting them home with something other than a home run. Wilson particularly answers that need significantly better than Alex Gonzalez. While Matt Diaz isn’t exactly Chipper Jones he hasn’t had a bad career either.
|2 out RISP||.230||.317||.304||2||51|
|Late & Close||.256||.315||.377||7||45|
|2 out man on 3rd||.221||.294||.312||1||26|
Better late than never they say and this couldn’t have been much later as Wilson’s trade was announced with about three hours left before the deadline. Both signings do however bolster a bench that I’ve said all year was weak. Personally I’d rather not have had to wait until the last minute to make that change but the drama of adding players to your post season roster as the clock winds down is certainly a way to pump up the fans. Now, if we can just get JJ back on track and send Scott Linebrink on a long and well earned much needed by fans vacation we’ll be set to kick some Philly tail and take on the Rangers – it’s danged cold in Boston during the season and Arlington is just down the road from me – in the World Series.