Aug 21, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran (49) throws against the Cincinnati Reds in the second inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves Morning Chop/Box for 8/22

The Bats, They Were a Flyin’

8 hits (none from Freddie Freeman), 7 walks, a hit batsman (Freddie twice) and – most importantly – 8 runs plus a shutout win last night for the Braves.  Frankly, I look at the Reds and have to think “wow – we thought Atlanta was scuffling a couple of weeks ago.”  The Reds have now lost six straight and 11 of their last 13.

Jason Heyward stayed hot:  2 for 4 with a walk.  He’s now hitting .271 for the year.  Philip Gosselin, Freddie Freeman, and Justin Upton are all hitting at or above .290.  Justin (who Fred talked about this morning) now has a 12 game hit streak – the only thing slowing him down last night (2/3, walk, 3 RBI) was Aroldis Chapman‘s fastballs.

Oh – and Julio Teheran was dealing.  Six comfortable innings, 87 pitches, 3K, 0 BB, 4 hits.

Mike Minor is going up against Mat Latos tonight.  Minor’s homer-prone-ness certainly could come into play tonight, given the propensity of this park to parley pop-ups into paddle-wheeler horn blasts.

But before that – let’s review the numbers from last night:


No:  that is not a misprintB.J. Upton received three (3) walks last night – one of those of the “intentional” variety.


Playoff Watch

The Nationals won their 10th straight game – lead the NL East by 7 games.


The Giants split their semi-doubleheader with the Cubs, losing the suspended/protest game and winning the regular contest.

The Dodgers beat the Padres in the only other Wild Card-meaningful game.

The Braves are now 1 game behind San Fran for the last Wild Card spot; also 1.5 in front of Pittsburgh, and 3 in front of the Marlins.  Cincy and San Diego both fell way behind:  6 and 7 games behind Atlanta respectively.

You can review the upcoming schedules for each contender here.



Baseball repair list: Pardon Rose, quicken pace, shorten season


Bud Selig became baseball’s acting commissioner in 1992 because the incumbent, Fay Vincent, actually had a backbone and he criticized the owners for colluding against players in free agency, saying, “You stole $280 million from the players.” The owners didn’t want the truth, they wanted a sock puppet.

I’m not going to spend time evaluating Selig’s way-too-long tenure on the throne. He’s retiring. Owners have nominated Rob Manfred as his replacement. Braves CEO Terry McGuirk likes Manfred, but as he said, “Rob’s going to have to change the wheels on the bus while it’s 60 miles an hour.”

Baseball needs more than new wheels. Here’s the fix-it list:

1. Parole Pete Rose: I’ve banged this drum before but it’s appropriate to bring it up again, given the the fact it’s the 25-year anniversary of Rose being banned (and therefore ineligible for the Hall of Fame). What Rose did — bet on baseball — never was worthy of excommunication. That would be true for any player, let alone for baseball’s all-time hits leader.

[Editor's note:  we'll snip it right there - he goes on to discuss 10 suggestions to 'fix' baseball.  We'll have something to say later today... in our own way... about the Pace of the game.  Watch for it!]



Mo’ne Davis Signed Baseball Snags Big Bid on EBay


Aug 21, 2014; South Williamsport, PA, USA; Mo’ne Davis (3). Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

She’s pitch perfect — and apparently worth a lot of money. A ball allegedly signed by 13-year-old pitching ace Mo’ne Davis — a breakout star of this year’s Little League World Series — fetched a winning bid Wednesday of $510 on eBay. The initial asking price was $9.99, but the bids jumped considerably after the Philadelphia phenom won admiration for her 70-mile-per-hour fastball that helped her to throw a shutout last week. Her exploits and poise in the spotlight landed the cover of Sports Illustrated — the youngest athlete ever to earn the honor.

Now, several other baseballs claimed to have been signed by Davis are up for sale on eBay, as well as autographed Sports Illustrated covers. [snip]


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