Morning Chop: NLDS Edition – Summary of Atlanta Braves’ News
Braves, Dodgers play for real
It’s been a while since either team played a truly meaningful game.
The Los Angeles Dodgers took control of the NL West with an amazing 21⁄2-month stretch and were able to let off the gas during the final weeks.
The Atlanta Braves won the East going away, their commanding lead not at all threatened by a losing record during the final month.
Now, it’s time to get serious again. They meet tonight in Game 1 of the NL Division Series in Atlanta.
“I don’t think we necessarily let up,” Dodgers infielder Michael Young said yesterday. “In our situation, we had to get some guys healthy. A couple of guys needed a couple of days off, so we gave it to them. Now we’re ready to roll.”
The Dodgers are far from healthy for the playoffs.Slugger Matt Kemp is out for the postseason with an ankle injury, while outfielder Andre Ethier will likely be limited to pinch-hitting duties because of an ankle.
The Dodgers certainly won’t get any sympathy from the Braves, who lost seven players to season-ending injuries.
Braves not the ‘party police,’ but want respect
ATLANTA — Los Angeles Dodgers part owner Magic Johnson, sitting on Jay Leno’s couch, vowed this week to jump into the Arizona Diamondbacks pool — wearing nothing more than a Speedo — if the Dodgers win the World Series.
He was just clowning around, helping Leno draw a few laughs and a few ratings points.
MAGIC: Threatens to wear speedo
There was no talk of what Magic might do if the Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series, beginning today at Turner Field.
If you listen to the Braves, he better keep it that way.
The Braves don’t play that game.
2013 NLDS: Breaking Down the Odds of Brian McCann Starting A Fight During the NLDS
Neither the Atlanta Braves nor the Los Angeles Dodgers are strangers to bench-clearing brawls. The Braves have had two incidents during the past month and the Dodgers had the biggest fight of the season this April against the San Diego Padres.
So what are the chances that Braves catcher Brian McCann will start a fight in the NLDS against the Dodgers? He was an instigator both times the Braves threw down earlier this year, but would he do it again? The key to answering this question is determining what would set him off.
Maybe he won’t like getting hit with a pitch, and he’ll charge the mound like Carlos Quentin did against Zack Greinke. This is highly unlikely. McCann’s only been hit by a pitch five times this year, and there’s no way a Dodgers pitcher would intentionally throw at him (or anyone) in a playoff game – there’s too much on the line.
Dodgers are the big-market bullies on the block amid the small markets
Dodgers GM Ned Colletti was drenched in champagne, beer and relief after the Dodgers clinched a playoff berth two weeks ago, and he reflected back on the big expectations spawned by the Dodgers’ billion-dollar makeover and massive payroll this season.
During the weekend, Braves backup catcher Gerald Laird said his team has gotten “no love from anyone,” even while winning 96 games this season. And Game 1 starter Kris Medlen took ownership of that chip Wednesday.
“I think we have (played with a chip on our shoulders) all year, honestly,” Medlen said. “I mean, the Dodgers are a great team, some big-name players. But we had to play against them during the regular season, and we played pretty well.
“All the attention – I mean, we’re not running for prom king.”
NLDS Preview: Dodgers vs. Braves
ou can’t predict baseball, but you can at least lay out the parameters. So let’s take a look at what the Dodgers and Braves have in store for us in the National League Division Series.
Los Angeles Dodgers (92-70) vs. Atlanta Braves (96-66)
Game 1 Today in Atlanta: Clayton Kershaw vs.Kris Medlen
Game 2 Friday in Atlanta: Zack Greinke vs. Mike Minor
Game 3 Sunday in Los Angeles: Julio Teheran vs. Hyun-Jin Ryu
Game 4 (if necessary) Monday in Los Angeles: Freddy Garcia vs. Ricky Nolasco
Game 5 (if necessary) Wednesday in Atlanta