Apr 5, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Atlanta Braves pitcher Jordan Walden (52) and catcher Ryan Doumit (4) celebrate after a game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. The Braves defeated the Nationals 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves News 4/6/14

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Tomahawk Take

Good Morning Braves Fans!

It’s still very early in the season, but the Braves’ 6-2 win last night over the Washington Nationals served notice that the Nats won’t just walk away, as most predict, with the NL East.  The Braves have a history of taking it to the Nats ace, Stephen Strasburg, and last night’s game was no different.  With an injured rotation, and a very young core, the pitching has been great in the Braves’ first 5 games.  The bats have been a touch slow, but they came to life last night.  Here’s to hoping for more and more of that!  Check out the Braves’ numbers below from game 2 of the 3 game set, and grab the remote to watch your Braves try and sweep the Nationals in game 3 this afternoon!

Batting AB R H RBI BB SO BA OPS Pit Str
Jason Heyward RF 5 0 0 0 0 2 .167 .652 19 14
B.J. Upton CF 5 0 2 0 0 2 .143 .333 24 17 2B
Freddie Freeman 1B 2 1 2 0 3 0 .467 1.552 26 11 2B
Chris Johnson 3B 5 1 2 0 0 2 .300 .836 19 13
Justin Upton LF 4 2 2 0 1 1 .158 .396 18 10 SB
Dan Uggla 2B 5 1 1 2 0 1 .200 .500 14 8
Ryan Doumit C 5 0 1 1 0 0 .143 .286 22 12
Andrelton Simmons SS 4 1 1 1 0 0 .250 .576 15 11 2B,SF
Julio Teheran P 4 0 2 1 0 1 .400 .800 12 9
   Ian Thomas P 0 0 0 0 0 0
   Jordan Schafer PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 1 1
   Jordan Walden P 0 0 0 0 0 0
Team Totals 40 6 13 5 4 9 .325 .778 170 106
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/6/2014.

 

Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA BF Pit Str Ctct StS StL GB FB LD
Julio Teheran, W (1-1) 7 3 2 2 4 6 1 2.77 28 111 63 36 10 17 4 13 4
Ian Thomas 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 4 22 14 8 4 2 0 2 1
Jordan Walden 1 1 0 0 1 2 0 0.00 5 18 13 6 3 4 0 2 1
Team Totals 9 5 2 2 5 10 1 2.00 37 151 90 50 17 23 4 17 6
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/6/2014.

 

 

MLB Video

Tomahawk Take Editorial Comment:

Check out B.J. Upton‘s tremendous throw in last night’s game, courtesy of MLB Video.  For all the grief we fans give B.J. (myself chief among them), he had a great game last night, both defensively as the video shows, but also offensively!  Is the elder Upton coming around?

 

 

 

MLB

Braves looking to maintain mastery of rival Nats

Wood opposite Washington’s Jordan as Atlanta looks to sweep

The Braves won the first five games played against the Nationals last season and ended up going 13-6 during the season series against their division rivals.

While Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez is obviously cognizant of this fact, he has mimicked his predecessor Bobby Cox‘s approach by preaching that his players should not allow themselves to get too encouraged or discouraged as they play six games against the Nationals during this season’s first two weeks.

The Braves have won the first two games of this year’s season series and will attempt to complete a three-game sweep when they send Alex Wood to the mound to oppose Taylor Jordan in Sunday afternoon’s series finale at Nationals Park.

“It doesn’t matter how many times you play them,” Gonzalez said. “It’s early April and you’ve got to try to win every single game and every series. We always preach [take] two out of three. It doesn’t change anything when you play them.”

Since beginning their season with a three-game sweep of the Mets in New York, the Nationals have been reminded of the trouble that they have recently had against the Braves, who have won four straight games since their Opening Day loss in Milwaukee.

“It’s not going to be the last time we lose two in a row. It’s just happens to be against the guys who have given us trouble the last few years” Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche said. “They seem to get the upper hand on us every night. Yeah, it gets frustrating, but I wouldn’t sweat two games.”

 

 

Rant Sports

B.J., Justin Upton Showing Struggles Are All in the Family

Everyone knows that the Atlanta Braves had their worries in 2013 with B.J. Upton. People believed that everything would change in 2014 since he spent a lot of time in the off season working on his mechanics at the plate. He believed that when his stance was lower and more closed than last season, his timing would come back to what it once was. Well, that didn’t help so far.

With Fredi Gonzalez putting B.J. at the No. 2 spot in the lineup, he was supposed to be getting more pitches to hit with Freddie Freeman behind him. That hasn’t been the case because he has had 16 at-bats through the first four games of the season and struck out nine times. That’s no typo. He also just has one hit, giving him an astoundingly low average of .063. Yet, over half of his at-bats he has failed to put the ball into play.

It doesn’t matter where he is in the lineup, he’s not going to be a hitter anywhere close to what he was in Tampa. It doesn’t matter what kind of timing he develops over the course of the season, he can’t even put the bat on the ball to have a chance to get on base. It seems that the Braves have simply wasted $75 million and unless they find a very desperate team, they will be stuck with him for the remainder of that contract. What is making in worse for Braves fans is the fact that his brother, Justin Upton, appears to be a shell of himself this season also.

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