Found May 19, 2013 on
Fox Sports South:
Los Angeles Dodgers
ATLANTA There are two ways to view the Braves' weekend sweep of the Dodgers:
The pessimist might point out how Atlanta encountered a deficit heading into the sixth inning all three games, an odd sight for a first-place, home-standing club taking on a last-place team seemingly on the road to nowhere.
The optimist would characterize Sunday's comeback victory where the Braves rallied for four runs in the eighth inning to forge a 5-2 win as yet another example of a championship contender coming up big in clutch situations.
They might also note how the Braves trotted out a starting lineup that didn't include B.J. Upton, Chris Johnson, Evan Gattis or Dan Uggla and still ended up with a positive result.
Either way, Atlanta has plenty to be thankful for Sunday night from the umpires who didn't call the game early after two long rain delays (one before first pitch and a 33-minute interruption in the 6th) ... to the cavalcade of small-ball playmakers who helped the Braves become the first National League East club to 25 wins.
"It's just the way this team is. We play 27 outs, we play till the end," said catcher Gerald Laird, whose pinch-hit RBI single tied the game at 2 in the 8th. "This team knows what they're doing, especially when we can get some guys on base. We've won a lot of games with the long ball, but today, we played 'small ball' and got ourselves in a good situation."
For the second straight outing, the Braves pitchers allowed three or less hits against the struggling Dodgers (17-25). Kris Medlen and Co. stifled the Los Angeles bats on Saturday; and Mike Minor, Anthony Varvaro, Luis Avilan and Craig Kimbrel took care of business on Sunday with the final three hurlers allowing zero hits for innings 7-9.
"Our pitching was good, really good," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez in his postgame address. "We hung around, and (the pitchers) gave us a chance to win."
In six strong innings (preceding the second rain delay), Minor fanned nine batters and allowed just two runs on three hits, with none coming after Matt Kemp's RBI double in the 3rd.
"(Minor) did a helluva job, wiggled himself out of a few situations," beamed Gonzalez. "It's to the point where you can't wait for his next start ... because he just keeps getting better and better."
For a while, it seemed like Minor would suffer his third defeat of the season, with the Braves struggling at the plate (and on the base paths). But everything ultimately changed in the 8th, beginning with a seemingly innocent single from Freddie Freeman (1 for 4).
That prompted a Brian McCann walk, a Dodgers error on Andrelton Simmons' picture-perfect bunt on the wet grass and Laird's RBI single the surprising result of five days between appearances. So much for layoff rust, as Laird crushed Brandon League's first pitch into right field to score Freeman.
"It's just one of those things ... you have to get the best pitch you can, and sometimes, it's that first pitch," said Laird, who opted for League's fastball, instead of waiting on his wicked slider.
The Braves' mood-altering inning continued with Ramiro Pena's sacrifice-fly RBI (scoring McCann), Chris Johnson's pinch-hit single (scoring Simmons) and Jordan Schafer's textbook sacrifice bunt Atlanta's second successful drag of the stanza scoring Laird.
"It was a big win. And it just goes to show guys (again) we can win at anytime," said Laird.
With the roaring weekend just a memory now, the Braves can look forward to 10 consecutive games against sub-.500 clubs starting with the Twins (home), Mets (road) and a four-game set with the American League's Blue Jays, as part of a Major League Baseball initiative to spice up 15 Interleague encounters, from May 27-30, with home-and-home series for every matchup.
Visa issues aside (when entering Canada), the pessimist would have trouble finding fault with the Braves' remaining May docket.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Braves right fielder Jason Heyward
If variety is the spice of life, then as a Braves fan you have to love manager Fredi Gonzalez‘s line-up selections. They are rarely the same two days in a row.
The left-handed hitting Jordan Schafer will start in center field and bat lead-off today against Dodgers’ right-hander, Matt Nagli. Schafer is hitting .302 on the season, with a ...
It’s safe to say that the Atlanta Braves put their horrid road trip behind them with a home sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers. And the timing could not have been better given the blows to the Braves of late, especially in their injury decimated bullpen.
Before a rundown of the injuries the Braves are currently faced with, the line scores from the 3-game set against the Dodgers:...
The Atlanta Braves made room on their roster for activated
outfielder Jason Heyward by placing late-inning reliever Jordan Walden on the
disabled list, the team announced.
The Braves have activated OF Jason Heyward (appendectomy) from DL. RHP Jordan Walden has been placed on DL with right shoulder inflammation.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) May 17, 2013
Heyward had been...
ATLANTA -- Gerald Laird hadn't played in five days; Chris Johnson was getting a day off.
But with the bases loaded, the two came in as pinch-hitters, delivering RBI singles -- along with Ramiro Pena -- in a four-run eighth inning as the Braves rallied for a rain-delayed 5-2 win over the Dodgers.
"We've won a lot of games with the long ball but today we put some balls...
A LITTLE HOARSE
In case you were wondering...yes, that was WWE legend Jake Roberts on the mic treating the Atlanta Braves crowd to "Take Me Out to the Ballgame". In what I can only imagine was an attempt to prove he was still alive (because he sure as Hell isn't relevant), "The Snake" grabbed the microphone Friday night and started singing. And as you might expect, the...
The Atlanta Braves placed left-handed reliever Eric O’Flaherty
on the disabled list yesterday due to a strained elbow. David O’Brien of The
Atlanta Journal-Constitution later reported that O’Flaherty was dealing with a
UCL tear, an injury that usually requires Tommy John surgery.
#Braves don't have an appt. yet with Andrews, but figure it'll be next couple days...
Teheran pitched a career high 8 1/3 innings Monday night
The Braves defeated the Twins 5-1 Monday night in the opener of a 3-game series. Braves starter Julio Teheran took a 3-hit shutout into the ninth before surrendering a couple more hits, including Josh Willingham‘s sixth home run of the year with one out. Teheran pitched a career high 8 1/3 innings, striking out 4 and...
Gerald Laird will start tonight and hit fifth
Always interesting to see what the Braves line-up will be on a game-to-game basis. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez is always good for a surprise or two.
Today’s line-up against the Twins is no exception. Gerald Laird will catch and bat.. fifth!! Laird has been catching Teheran most games this season, so no surprise that he is in...
The Braves first two weeks of the season started as well as anyone could have hoped. Since that time, Atlanta is 13-17, and has had some big time struggles.
I understand that teams are going to have struggles during the year, and players aren’t always going to hit well all the time. In the Braves’ case though, it is much more than just a slump.
People have talked at great...
Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves got absolutely robbed of a home run on Saturday night by an incredible defensive catch made by Matt Kemp. Kemp was able to time his jump perfectly to snag the ball just before it made its way over the left-center wall. Instead of being frustrated or angry, Heyward pulled a classy move and gave Kemp tip of the helmet. Game respect game.
ATLANTA The effect of the injuries to Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty, along with multiple other Braves relievers to a lesser extent, is yet to be determined.
For now, Atlanta's bullpen is in a bit of a bind.
In addition to Venters and O'Flaherty, two of the team's top relievers over the past few seasons, Jordan Walden (shoulder inflammation, Christhian Martinez...
The Atlanta Braves' pitching staff has been pretty stingy lately, and that may bode well heading into a series against a slumping Minnesota Twins team that's struggling to score.
Atlanta seeks to win a fourth straight game while dealing visiting Minnesota a sixth consecutive defeat Monday night.
The Braves (25-18) had lost five of six going into the weekend, but completed...
The injury-prone Atlanta Braves have taken yet another tough hit this weekend, but the 2013 snakebitten NL East frontrunners will soldier on. Within two days, injuries have swooped into the bullpen and...The post Bullpen Setbacks Won’t Take Chop Out of Atlanta Braves appeared first on Bohemian Baseball.
Ramiro Pena had a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in a four-run eighth inning, Jordan Schafer drove in two runs and the Atlanta Braves rallied against the Los Angeles Dodgers' beleaguered bullpen for a 5-2 victory on a rain-soaked Sunday.
Kenley Jansen (1-3) was the loser for the second straight game, this time allowing one hit, two runs and a walk while getting just one out in a...
Fox Sports South has released a video of Jake “The Snake” Roberts singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” from the Atlanta Braves game on Friday.