Found July 18, 2012 on
Fox Sports South:
San Francisco Giants
ATLANTA If the Braves needed a reminder that they must find another starter, they received it in the form a giant punch in the nose.
Jair Jurrjens had been seemingly rejuvenated, revitalized and refreshed since his return to Atlanta a month ago. He also was undefeated.
Even better for the Braves, Jurrjens had pitched well in those four starts, giving them hope that he would help stabilize their shaky rotation.
That could still happen, but Jurrjens jumped in Doc Brown's time-traveling DeLorean and took a trip to April on Tuesday night.
He displayed little of the determination and desire that he had demonstrated since his return from the minors.
Jurrjens was knocked around worse than he had been in any of his April starts, giving up eight hits and eight runs in 3 13 innings as San Francisco defeated the Braves 9-0.
And that's quite an amazing accomplishment considering Jurrjens had a 9.37 ERA before he was exiled to Triple-A Gwinnett.
"Since the first hitter, you could see I didn't have my command. I was battling to get strike one," Jurrjens said. "I made a lot of bad pitches, and they got hits on them."
His performance shows that the Braves need to explore every option when it comes to acquiring a top-flight starting pitcher. They have been getting better starts of late, but still don't have an ace.
Tommy Hanson entered the season as the club's No. 1 starter, and he's mostly pitched well, going 10-5. But his ERA is at 4.02 and he also struggled in his last start.
Tim Hudson just turned 37 years old and didn't make it out of the fourth inning of his last start.
Mike Minor is in the rotation because he's shown glimpses of promise in his past six starts.
The Braves already made a move of desperation when they signed Ben Sheets, who hadn't pitched in the majors in two years. To their credit, Sheets was stellar in his first start on Sunday, but that win is no guarantee of future results.
So they still need another starter, preferably somebody at the front of the rotation, and they continue to be linked with several pitchers.
Zack Greinke is the guy at the top of everybody's wish list because he's the only true No. 1 starter spinning on the Braves' rumor mill.
Ryan Dempster is the master of an amazing 33-inning scoreless streak and leads the NL with a 1.86 ERA. He would provide depth, as would Matt Garza and Francisco Liriano.
But none of them could take over the top spot in the rotation like Greinke.
That would bump everybody else down a turn, giving the Braves more depth with Hanson, Hudson, Jurrjens and some sort of combination of Sheets and Minor or Delgado, or even top prospect Julio Teheran, depending on who's left after the proposed trade.
Jurrjens certainly isn't the top-of-the-rotation starter he was in the past, even though he had made a remarkable recovery from his abysmal April and resulting trip to the minors.
He worked out some issues and came back to Atlanta, where he had been 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA in four starts before Tuesday's disaster.
Conditions have to be perfect for Jurrjens these days, and they certainly weren't on Tuesday.
The Braves didn't commit any errors, but the Giants took the extra base on balls hit to the outfield. They took advantage of Jurrjens missing the bag while covering first and again when Chipper Jones couldn't field Barry Zito's bouncer to third in what became a six-run fourth inning. Two of his three walks ended up scoring.
One loss doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of a baseball season, especially when the Braves had just won seven consecutive games.
But it continues to show that they don't have a shutdown starter, that their deck is missing an ace.
The Braves have 37 quality starts, a total that puts them ahead of only Colorado in the National League, and manager Fredi Gonzalez has said many times that everything begins with the starting pitchers.
Which means the Braves need another one if they want to stay in the pennant chase.
BEST OF MAXIM
While editing the pictures from Saturday afternoon's game, I noticed a few things. 1. Many of them came out well, because of the full sun. 2. I take more pictures when I go to games with Alison. 3. I took a LOT of pictures of Luis Avilan in his first major league game. I didn't want them to get lost in the gameday post (hello! MLB debut!), so he gets his own post...
The Atlanta Braves and Major League Baseball are being sued by the father of a girl who was struck by a foul ball on her skull two seasons ago. The father of the girl, who was 6 years old at the time, seeks unspecified damages for the girl's pain and suffering, punitive damages and more than $100,000 in medical expenses, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported from court...
The tweets trickled in at first.
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Braves fans, enamored with Martin Prados emergency move to shortstop, flooded Twitterverse with hyperbole about the Braves' versatile star.
"I heard Martin Prado delivered Brian McCann's baby earlier this afternoon.''
"Prado will have cured cancer before this...
ATLANTA (AP) -- Manager Fredi Gonzalez wants the Braves to move past an ugly loss as quickly as possible.
Jair Jurrjens gave up eight runs in only 3 1-3 innings and Atlanta's seven-game winning streak ended Tuesday night with a 9-0 loss to Barry Zito and the San Francisco Giants.
"Get it out of the way," Gonzalez said of the loss. "It's probably one of the...
Melky Cabrera antagonized Braves fans for the second day in a row, and this time Chipper Jones called him out for his actions.
During the third inning of Tuesday’s series opener between the Braves and Giants, Cabrera did a “suck it” crotch chop to the Braves fans after making a catch.
Cabrera repeated the gesture at least twice during the Giants’ 9-4 win on Wednesday....
Melky Cabrera gave some Atlanta Braves fans payback when he did the DX suck it to them after being taunted. Seriously didn't want to post this being a huge Braves fan, but I'm also a huge fan of D-X so I had to respect Melky for pulling this out. The video is below if you missed it.
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SS Paul Janish made his Braves debut over the weekend
Fresh off a sweep of the rival Phillies, the Braves went into the All-Star break knowing that they would continue to contend in the National League East. The questions about starting pitching and the injury to shortstop Andrelton Simmons were partially answered over the weekend as the Braves swept the New York Mets.
Gwinnett Braves 8, Indianapolis Indians 5
Chase d’Arnaud tripled and scored in the 1st inning.
Braves’ SS Josh Wilson was an Indianapolis Indian back in 2008, when he appeared in 97 games for the Tribe before being traded away to the Red Sox organization. Since that season, Wilson has been playing in the Pacific Coast League, so this series between the Indians...
The Atlanta Braves received a solid pitching performance from an unexpected source in their most recent contest to help extend their winning streak to a season-best seven games.
Jair Jurrjens' personal hot stretch also has been impressive given his earlier struggles.
The right-hander looks to remain unbeaten since being recalled from the minors when surging Atlanta hosts former...
Gameday post ~ Avilan post
ATLANTA (AP) -- Brandon Crawford and Gregor Blanco hit three-run homers in the 11th inning and the San Francisco Giants recovered after blowing a two-run lead in the 10th to beat the Atlanta Braves 9-4 on Wednesday night.
Anthony Varvaro (1-1) hit Eli Whiteside with a pitch to open the 11th before walking Brandon Belt. Chad Durbin replaced Varvaro and struck out Joaquin Arias.
The Weekend Takeaway
The Braves came into the All-Star break having won four games in a row, with Brian McCann trending upward and the Mets—just half a game behind Atlanta—coming to town for a three-game set at Turner Field. Pitching depth was the team’s primary concern.
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