Cardinals, Braves not so similar in postseason
When the Best Fans in Baseball draw near during this four-game series, they see two franchises that occupy the same block but strangely reside in different area codes.The Cardinals and Braves possess the National League’s two best records from 2000-present. The Cardinals entered Thursday night with 1,250 regular season wins the last 14 years, the Braves with 1,243.Each has known only two managers during the term. Both have undergone front-office transformations in recent years, the Cards from Walt Jocketty to current general manager John Mozeliak and the Braves from John Schuerholz (now the club’s president) to Frank Wren.
If there was a better manager in the National League during the run than Tony La Russa, it was the Braves’ Bobby Cox. If there was better than Cox, it was TLR.
Atlanta Braves: Replacing Jason Heyward
COMMENTARY | For the Atlanta Braves, replacing stud right fielder Jason Heyward after fracturing his jaw Wednesday, Aug. 21 is going to be a challenge.
The team is certainly in a cushy enough position in the standings that it has some room to experiment, but the options available to manager Fredi Gonzalez are far from a sure thing.
Upton and Uggla should be the ones pulling the Braves’ wagon
ATLANTA — During his tenure as Braves general manager, Frank Wren has had far more success in the areas of player development, low-level trades and waiver pickups than in finding the right player to give obscene amounts of money to. We cite as money pits: Derek Lowe, Kenshin Kawakami, Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton.
Pro sports teams rarely get by with major financial mistakes. That’s why the Braves’ regular season to this point has been so remarkable. They have the best record in baseball despite the fact that their two most expensive players, Uggla ($13.2 million) and Upton ($13.05 million), are hitting a combined .185 with 267 strikeouts.
That margin for error may just have been eliminated. Note to Upton and Uggla: This is your wake-up call.
Recap: St. Louis vs. Atlanta
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) – Matt Carpenter, Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday stroked consecutive run-scoring doubles during the decisive fifth inning to help the St. Louis Cardinals down the Atlanta Braves, 6-2, Thursday in the opener of a four-game series at Busch Stadium.
David Freese finished with two RBI, while the first three hitters in St. Louis’ lineup — Carpenter, Beltran and Holliday — combined for six hits and four runs scored for the Cardinals, who have won five of their last six games.
The Cardinals remained in second place in the NL Central, a game behind the Pirates, who won in San Francisco Thursday night.
St. Louis starter Joe Kelly (5-3) held the Braves to two runs on seven hits and two walks over six frames to notch his fifth victory in his last seven starts. He’s unbeaten since a June 5 loss to Arizona.
Dan Uggla to play 1-2 rehab games
Dan Uggla (eye surgery) will play in 1-2 rehab games before being activated from the disabled list on August 28.