Found May 09, 2012 on
Fox Sports South:
The Atlanta Braves are having the type of road trip that's needed to win a division championship.
Atlanta's baseball club improved to 4-1 on its nine-game trip with a 3-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.
The win put the Braves back even with the young Washington Nationals, who lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Braves won with the bats in a three-game sweep and did it with pitching and some good old-fashioned Chipper Jones defense at third base on Tuesday.
The bullpen seemingly got off its Rocky Mountain low to hurl 4 23 innings of scoreless baseball at the storied corner of Clark and Addison, while Chipper continues to amaze in the season he turned 40.
Atlanta knew it wasn't going to get many runs off Ryan Dempster, who led the majors with a 0.95 ERA coming into this one. But the Cubs usually didn't score when Dempster was on the mound, and rookie hurler Randall Delgado was effective enough to keep the Braves in the game before Dan Uggla got to Kerry Wood.
Things are not going so well for Wood right now, who fired his glove and hat into the stands after this one.
The Braves, on the other hand? They showed they are in it to win it in the NL East.
The Braves are a major league-best 19-8 since starting the season with three straight losses. That has helped them put five games between themselves and the NL East-favorite Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East.
-CF Michael Bourn had a hit in Atlanta's two-run eighth to extend his streak to 12 games on Tuesday. He is batting .352 (19-for-54) during that stretch.
-RHP Craig Kimbrel notched his second straight save after blowing his first of the year on May 1 against the Phillies. Kimbrel snapped a streak of three straight games of giving up a run by hurling a perfect ninth.
-RHP Randall Delgado made his first major league start against the Cubs on Thursday, scattering one run and three hits over 5 23 frames. He walked three and struck out five and threw 61 of his 101 pitches for strikes.
-LHP Eric O'Flaherty recorded the last out of the sixth. It was the first hitless appearance in the month of May for O'Flaherty, who has allowed four runs and six hits over four frames. O'Flaherty reached his 2011 total of runs allowed with eight in Monday's 5-1 loss to the Cubs.
-Cubs RHP Ryan Dempster allowed just one run over seven frames, but was once again saddled with a no-decision due to the Cubs' anemic offense. The winless Dempster, who is 2-12 with a 4.56 ERA lifetime against the Braves, has the major's best ERA at 1.02 this year. However, his team is averaging just 1.6 runs per game when Dempster starts.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"There isn't anything glaring or crazy. Anytime you (post a 0.98 ERA) and then all of a sudden you give up some runs, people are going to wonder, 'What's the matter with you?' But I think he's fine." -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, to the team's beatwriters in Chicago about RHP Eric O'Flaherty's disappointing start to the 2012 season.
BEST OF MAXIM
The guy with the answers is never too far away whenever Craig Kimbrel needs advice or an opinion, or could just use a laugh.
He can usually just turn to his left or right to find his knowledgeable teammate, the veteran who is quick to share his wisdom, a joke or two, and a smile that disappears only when he enters a game.
Kimbrel, the Braves overpowering young closer, has come...
Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Kris Medlen chatted with a group of young fans at Wrigley Field before Tuesday night's game against the Chicago Cubs, but only had one baseball to give them. Rather than picking one kid over the other using the "eenie, meenie, miney, moe" method, Medlen just tossed the ball into the stands and let the kids race after it.
Now to preface, my lovely friend Pam is a Cubs fan. She's also highly entertaining, which you would know if you follow her @PRod85 on Twitter!
@BravesLove lol I MAY b going wed!!!!!!
— Pam (@PRod85) May 6, 2012
@BravesLove omg. Is he scheduled to pitch that day!??????!??!???!!!!
— Pam (@PRod85) May 6, 2012
@BravesLove OHMYGOD YES!
— Pam (@PRod85) May 6, 2012
Former Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens threw well in his second start in the minor leagues, allowing two runs in eight innings with a walk and three strikeouts. In his first start at Triple-A, he allowed one run in seven innings with four strikeouts. Jurrjens would likely have a slight edge over AAA teammate Julio Teheran if the Braves needed a starter from the...
Dan Uggla hit a tiebreaking two-run single in the eighth inning and the Atlanta Braves beat the Chicago Cubs 3-1 Tuesday night.
Michael Bourn reached on a leadoff single and Kerry Wood issued two walks before Uggla drove a 1-1 pitch back up the middle for his third hit of the game. Freddie Freeman helped set up the big inning by hustling down the line to prevent a potential double...
CHICAGO (AP) -- Dan Uggla hit a tiebreaking two-run single in the eighth inning and the Atlanta Braves beat the Chicago Cubs 3-1 Tuesday night.
Michael Bourn reached on a leadoff single and Kerry Wood issued two walks before Uggla drove a 1-1 pitch back up the middle for his third hit of the game. Freddie Freeman helped set up the big inning by hustling down the line to prevent...
CHICAGO (AP) -- Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was ejected in the seventh inning of Monday night's game against the Chicago Cubs by home plate umpire Chris Conroy.
After Chicago's David DeJesus was hit by a pitch from reliever Eric O'Flaherty, Conroy warned both benches, prompting Gonzalez to come out of the dugout and seconds later he was ejected. Atlanta'...
CHICAGO (AP) -- Paul Maholm outpitched Tim Hudson to win his fourth straight start, Bryan LaHair hit a go-ahead single in the seventh inning and the Chicago Cubs beat the Atlanta Braves 1-0 Wednesday.
Maholm (4-2) allowed three hits in seven innings and combined with James Russell and Rafael Dolis on a four-hitter.
Maholm walked three and struck out three as Chicago took two of...
Ryan Dempster, he of a 0.95 ERA on the season, goes tonight in search of his first win in his last 13 starts. That win was versus the Nationals last year on August 11th. It's his 5th start of this season and he hasn't given up an earned run in 14.1 straight innings.
I already took a look at the team batting numbers, and now we'll look at the bright spot in the Cubs roster: starting pitching. Here's how the seven pitchers who have started games thus far have performed. Player GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 GB% BABIP ERA FIP xFIP Ryan Dempster 4 28.1 9.21 2.86 0.32 [...]