Braves 10, Pirates 2

ESPN – Pirates vs. Braves – Box Score – April 02, 2008

That’s certainly preferable. The Braves jumped out to an early lead, and went into hibernation mode again… but the bullpen held up this time, someone hit the SHIFT key, and the offense woke up for seven late runs.

In the first, Prado (in for the wounded KJ, and here comes the platoon!) led off with a triple, and Chipper singled him home. In the third, Prado walked and went to third on Escobar’s single, then Chipper hit a sac fly. In the fourth, Diaz hit an opposite-field homer.

Meanwhile, Jair Jurrjens looked great for the first five, striking out five and not walking any, but got in trouble in the sixth. (Oh, no, it’s the curse of Chuck James!) He allowed a single and a walk, got LaRoche to ground out advancing the runners, then allowed a two-run single. After one more single, Bobby pulled him. None of the hits was that hard; arguably, the walk was the only mistake of the inning. Bennett got out of it, though, and Acosta got through the seventh with no problems this time. Moylan and Ring combined to stagger through the eighth.

Then the Braves exploded. Chipper walked, and Teixeira homered to deepest center. Francoeur, McCann, and Diaz hit singles to score one, and after Kotsay and Gotay failed to add on, Prado’s infield single scored McCann, followed by a blast by Escobar to finish it up. Ohman pitched the ninth, no problem.

The Braves had thirteen hits, with two apiece by Prado, Escobar, Chipper, Francoeur, and Diaz. Everyone but Kotsay had at least one.

69 thoughts on “Braves 10, Pirates 2”

  1. Heh. Lose a couple games by one, offensive outburst and a blowout next game? Really does seem reminiscent of last year. ^_^

    Still, nights like tonight were definitely the fun part of last year. If Escobar develops legit 20 HR power, kid’s going to be a top-teir SS before long.

    Good to see Jurrjens do well, but I really hope this “kind of hit a wall in the 6th” thing is just him getting stretched out combined with Bobby having an extra-deep bullpen these first few games.

  2. Mac, I love your jokes on the platoon and the Chuck James curse. Let’s hope they remain as jokes!!!

    Even if the Braves lose tonight, I would remind everyone that we swept the Phillies to open last season…and see what happened.

  3. not to correct you Mac, but Moylan, Ring, AND Resop staggered through the 8th. Although Resop probably wouldn’t have had to pitch if the umpire had actually given Moylan that obvious strike 3.

  4. Now that’s a Braves game. Early opportunistic offense, strong performance by the starting pitcher, then put it away against the opposing bullpen. Finally, it’s baseball season!

  5. Yes it is eerily similar to last year, but I’m still gonna enjoy this win. I may even watch all of Baseball Tonight just to see if they say anything nice about the Bravos today.
    Jurrjens could be a difference maker for this team. If he even gives us 3rd starter quality stuff, we will be in great shape. I don’t think him leaving in the fifth is a big story in his first start. This kid isn’t Chuck James. He actually has more than 2 pitches. James will never be a consistent pitcher in the majors until he throws something other than a fastball and changeup.

  6. I dont understand the dislike for Chuck James. The guy has only been in the majors for 2 years and from what I’ve seen he’s been pretty effective. He’s given us 286IP, a 4 ERA with a 1.32 WHIP. In 2006 he pitched 108 IP in 18 starts, avg. 6IP, and last year he gave us 30 starts but a low 161 IP, avg 5.36 IP. I’m willing to give him a little slack since he had a tear in his rotator cuff. He’s never going to be an ace, but he can be a very effective #3 or #4 type pitcher. I’m hoping we see him again and if he’s our #5 guy giving us a 4.0-4.25 and 5.5IP average then we’ll be just fine. Hopefully that slider is getting better also

  7. I like Chuck James. I hope he can be an effective #3 or #4 for Atlanta and for a long time. I just know that won’t happen until he gets an effective slider or curveball. He can keep people off balance the first or second time through the lineup. After that, major league batters are going to figure you out.
    I can’t wait to see Cy Young Hampton pitch tomorrow night.

  8. Seconded. Without the injury, his track record shows he might’ve been the decent #3 we were looking for last year.

  9. I agree. But the good news is that our depth is so good that he’s in the minor leagues…though I’m sure that will change with our ancient rotation being prone to injury.

  10. I think James starting in the minors is the best thing that could happen to him. He never developed an effective 3rd pitch in the minors because he didn’t have to – he was good everywhere he went without it. He wasn’t going to develop a 3rd pitch in the majors because it would be too risky – especially at first. He can focus on this in the minors and not worry too much about his ERA right now. Hopefully Hampton will be healthy long enough to allow him a few months to work on things.

    I hope that Jurrjens is here to stay, but he’s had a history of injuries also. Chuckie needs to get ready soon.

  11. Attended the Jays/Yanks game tonight in The Bronx. Froze my ass off. I’m just beginning to feel my toes. Felt like I was at a Jets/Pats game.

    Saw Burnett mow down the Pinstripers like they couldn’t wait to get back into the warmth of the dugout.

    Mussina get roughed up & A-Rod hit one of his patented centerfield bombs. Even saw Jeter with a rare baserunning error.

    A-Rod came up as the tying run late in the game & I told my friend, “If A-Rod hits another HR & we get extra innings, I’m taking a hostage.” He struck out & I was happy for no free (or freezing) baseball.

    But mostly I was watching the out-of-town scores. I think the Braves are going to mash this year.

  12. Yaya for the win!

    I am glad Chuck is in the minors (for now) and works on his ability to pitch late into games; if he doesn’t get traded this season, he will be on the staff in 2009 when Hampton leaves.

  13. I love Chucky, but you can’t deny the fact that he could not pitch past the fifth inning in last season. Hopefully this season is better…if he ever has a chance to break back into the rotation.

    I hope Moylan does indeed have a rubber arm because I foresee Bobby will use him 162 times this season.

  14. I actually hope Chucky can spend this season with Glavine besides him. The two are such similar pitchers that Chucky can not find a better pitcher to learn from. I don’t know if this season will be Tommy’s last season or not…

  15. What a difference a game makes! It was nice to get up and discover that not only did the Braves win, but they did so impressively. I am particularly encouraged by the fact that Yunel looks like he has started the way he finished last season.

    Of course, J-Man could make a huge difference and I don’t see him becoming another Chuck James type….

  16. The Braves have been great in developing young hitters but not pitchers, it’s very refreshing to see a young pitcher getting early success. Besides the J-Man, I surely hope the trio of Rohrbough, Hanson, and Locke will fare much better than the threesome of Davies, James, and Lerew. I don’t have much expectation of JoJo and Morton. Hopefully, Morton will become another Millwood.

    Few years ago, I thought Davies, James, and Lerew would start taking over rotation spots by now…but boy, that surely is not working out. Let’s hope our next wave of pitching talents will plan out this time.

  17. KC–I think that there are some real reasons to be hopeful. However, I also thought Davies was going to be the real deal (I never believed in Lerew) and I still like both Jo Jo and Morton.

    Its a bit early to say that Hanson, Rohrbough, Locke, Rogers, Evarts, Barrett, Otsuna or Oretegano are going to make it–but you have to like the really good number of promising arms. Unless the baseball gods are against us, some of these guys ought to come through.

    I am also keen to see how Parr and Cuevas pitch at AA and Venters, Cofeld and Sencion do at upper A.

    Teheran, Steve Kent and Rasmus even give us some arms below Rome.

    I am really excited about what we have on the farm this year….

  18. Stephen, I really don’t think JoJo can sort out his control problem. He had control problem when he was drafted and he still has this same problem now. I don’t think this is something he can sort out in such short time period if he has not sort out the problem by now…

    …he may be a candidate to be traded if we need a bullpen arm when the trading deadline comes this year.

  19. A team with a rotation consists of Smoltz, Glavine, Hampton, and Hudson surely need infusion of young talent VERY SOON. I guess this is why I am very excited by tonight’s performance of Jurrjens. The implication of his performance tonight is beyond just the first victory of this season.

  20. KC-I realize that I may not be seeing the full reality of Jo Jo’s control problem. However, what impresses me is that he went from High A in 2006 to majors in 2007. Therefore, I tend to believe that he has really good stuff and the capacity to keep improving. That said, his spring was rather disappointing.

    I couldn’t agree more about the importance of Jurrjens….

  21. Speaking of the farm, the MiLB season starts today.

    Mac, SHIFT key = Braves finally started to capitalize on their opportunities?

  22. Just watched the game on MLBtv. I was impressed by Jurrjens. I don’t think we should worry too much about him. He threw five different pitches for strikes last night. Escobar looks great… A nice first win. Go Braves!

  23. I actually hope Chucky can spend this season with Glavine besides him. The two are such similar pitchers that Chucky can not find a better pitcher to learn from.

    Indeed they are–Glavine couldn’t get past the 5th either.

    I like James, or, more precisely, think he has at least earned more time before people dump him. The Chucky-haters are awfully quiet about the 5 inning outings from Glavine and Jurrjens.

  24. Frank, it’s the first start of the year. Nobody expects 7-8 innings from a starter at this point. 5 quality innings is good enough. The bullpen pitchers need to get in games and work out their kinks too. If Tommy and Jair are still only going 5 in June, then we worry.

  25. Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly does MLBtv provide?

    (I was one of the few that thought “Braves in a Hurry” was a good idea … )

  26. The offense seems eerily similar to last year–score a lot of runs when they don’t need them (although Tex’s homer was a big one)to pad their numbers and struggle to score one or two when they do.

    I’m willing to take 5.1 at this point from the fifth starter in his first start. He didn’t throw that many pitches but I’m sure he was drained by the emotion and all.

    Tonight Hampton. He will take the mound, throw his first pitch, yell out “Take that Mac Thomason” and pull his hamstring. It will be your fault Mac. :)

  27. Any pitcher who can’t get past the 5th inning is a problem. It causes too much stress on a bullpen. If Huddy couldn’t get past the 5th, I would be worried and wondering what was wrong with him.
    I completely agree that the minors is the perfect place for Chuck. He was rushed to the major league rotation before he was ready. I know he can throw more pitches. He just needs the environment where he can develop confidence in a new pitch.

  28. By the way, on “Baseball Tonight”,one of the reporters, named Stephania Bell who is apparently a physical therapist, said that 4-6 weeks for Pedro might be optimistic.

  29. I don’t want to root for injury, but I finally figured out how to handle it emotionally. I’m not rooting for Pedro to get injured or stay injured, or any of the other Mets for that matter — but I am rooting for Mets fans to be horribly disappointed by whatever happens to them.

  30. Pedro not injured for any length of time is optimistic at this point. You can’t expect him to play baseball without hurting himself anymore. Before he got hurt, he didn’t look that good either. He was throwing in the mid to low 80s and I know great control pitchers like he and Maddux don’t need to throw heat, but that really isn’t Pedro’s game I don’t think.

    I am very much looking forward to seeing Hampton pitch. I’ve got a 9:45 flight out of town tonight and am hoping to catch a bit of his start before I have to head to the airport. I have such high hopes for him.

  31. Ububba,

    Planning a trip to Yankee Stadium this summer. Where’s the best place to sit for less than $100/ticket.

    Or anyone else that’s been to the Bronx frequently enough to know.
    Thanks

  32. Good line from the Daily News today:

    He was MRI’d by team medical director David Altchek. He was placed on the DL and will be out for four to six weeks with what was officially termed “a mild strain.”

    You have to understand the Mets use that adjective for everything. A player on this team could have a mild amputation of the right arm.

  33. Its official – the Dodgers are adding another former Braves…Marcus Giles was signed today

  34. I’m waiting for the day LA announces their team name change to the Los Angeles Western Braves.

  35. I like James, or, more precisely, think he has at least earned more time before people dump him. The Chucky-haters are awfully quiet about the 5 inning outings from Glavine and Jurrjens.

    The thing is that James wasn’t even good for five innings last year. The league had an OPS of nearly 900 in the fifth against him, after the fifth his batting average against was nearly .400 and OPS was well over 1000. He was really only good for four innings then after that it was fireworks time. It’s awfully hard on your pen to carry a guy like that all year.

    Obviously if Jair and Tommy are putting up 5.1s all year it will be a problem but it’s just one start. We have seasons worth of data on Chuck that indicates what we can expect of him.

  36. Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly does MLBtv provide?

    hankonly, You can watch all games of all teams live and afterwards on demand at any time if you are not living in a blackout area, which I am not, here in Europe.

  37. Quoting csg: “In 2006 he pitched 108 IP in 18 starts, avg. 6IP, and last year he gave us 30 starts but a low 161 IP, avg 5.36 IP.”

    The difference between the two seasons could be chalked up to Chuck’s injury. I don’t think it’s fair to assume that this is going to be an ongoing problem for him.

  38. It’s too early to be concerned but I’m more concerned about Glavine than I am Jurrjens. Glavine threw a lot more pitches and appears to have struggled more. I think Jurrjens just got caught up in the excitement of the moment. But, clearly, 5 innings isn’t going to cut it.

  39. I think Glav was alright for the first start of the season, too. Five innings pitched, 2 runs, only one earned.

    The only scary thing for me was the walks. You don’t like to see a guy as hittable as Glavine walk 2 guys in 5 innings.. But Joe West was giving him nothing behind the plate, for whatever that’s worth.

  40. Doubledawg,

    You don’t have to spend $100 a seat.

    Just go to yankees.com & start fishing around for dates. Mid-week games against non-stellar teams (especially day games) are the easiest for finding decent seats. Try to avoid the uppers in the extreme RF or LF corners. You can’t see a lot out there.

    In fact, you can buy a few seats at Yankee Stadium for less than $100. If you can get any upper tier seats between first & third, you’ll be alright. I think they’re $27 a pop now. My seats are in section U11 between home & first & they’re just fine.

    There’s also the bleachers, which are even cheaper. It’s an experience to do once—but it can be annoying, too. You might stop laughing around the fourth inning.

    Plus, there’s no booze sales out there. (An issue for me, but not everybody.) It’s something they suspended about 10 years ago for reasons that will become obvious to you once you see a game out there. (The morons always ruin it for the responsible people.)

    When I moved to NYC in 1990, I sat there all the time ($4.50 back then). But eventually I had to flee the creeping dum-dum factor.

    The bleacher regulars were fine—the rapper Melle Mel from The Furious 5 was always out there leading cheers—but when the Yanks got good around ’93-’94, it drew new people & became a “Let’s-See-Who-Can-Be-The-Biggest-Idiot” contest.

  41. #51 – thats just Glavine – he’s going to throw a ton of pitches and esp. when the ump isnt giving him the close strikes. He wont give in to any hitter, but I’m not concerned about him right now.

    stat for the day…

    ATL: LHP Mike Hampton (0-0, -.– ERA)
    Hampton hasn’t faced the Pirates since beating them on Sept. 7, 2003. He is 10-3 with a 2.71 ERA in 22 career games — 16 starts — against them.

  42. Re the Dodgers signing Marcus Giles–you’ll know they’ve really jumped the shark when they sign JS, Jr.

  43. I guess Bobby is wanting to see all of our relievers in action right now. One has to go when Smoltz comes back and the other when Gonzo returns. Pena looks to be an okay hitter off the bench and I would rather see him stay on our team over Corky. For some reason I dont see all 3 staying all year

  44. I think they jumped the shark when they signed Juan Pierre.

    But, yes, Jonathan Schuerholz would really be pushing it. Especially considering he’s retired.

  45. Prado has a chance to be a reasonable hitter; he was second in the IL in batting average last year. He will never hit for power, but he ought to be able to make a solid contribution….

  46. i hope Hampton gets a ten minute standing O tonight. if i’d been banking his checks the last couple years, i’d have a hard time finding motivation for getting back to any kind of serious work, but hes obviously done it…………. gotta admire that.

  47. So where does everyone here like to go when they’re in Vegas? Any particularly cool spots? I’m heading there in a few hours.

  48. Doubledawg,

    Ububba gave you very good advice on tackling Yankee Stadium. I feel like I should add to his denunciation of the bleachers, though, just in case you find the low prices hard to resist.

    Imagine the most stereotypically boneheaded “dis, dat, & dese” New Yo-aker you can, then multiply him across an entire seating section of a stadium. It’s absolutely intolerable. It’s a constant stream of vulgarity, homophobia, and sexism unlike anything else in baseball (even the idiots at Shea aren’t that bad).

    Also, don’t think that minding your own business will help you. If you even so much as clap for the other team, you’ll be defending yourself from a rain of insults and threats for the rest of the night. Generally they’ll back off if you demonstrate a willingness to silence them physically, but it’s really not worth the hassle.

    Yankee Stadium is definitely worth visiting, especially since its closing soon. Just don’t expect anything fancy, and stay away from those bleachers. Oh, stay away.

  49. Dix,
    For casinos, I like the Hard Rock.

    Clubs: Jet Lounge is hot and Tabu is a cool DJ lounge. Mandalay Bay is a younger crowd for all kinds of action.

    If you like crazy all-night house & techno action (like me) , try the Empire Ballroom on the strip.

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