Found July 03, 2012 on
Fox Sports South:
A lot of folks dread Mondays, but perhaps none more than the Braves.
They've played 11 games on Monday this year. They've lost all 11.
That's right. Count them.
Three or four might be a fluke. Seven or eight might be a trend.
That's worse than a Monday Malaise.
Call it a Monday Malfunction.
It's become a curse.
No. 11 became official when Cubs center fielder Tony Campana squeezed the last out in a 4-1 victory over the Braves at Turner Field, extending their Monday Misery one more week.
The Braves have been equal opportunity losers on Mondays.
They've lost to good teams (the Dodgers, the Reds, the Cardinals and the Yankees). They've lost to terrible teams (the Astros and the Cubs twice).
They've been blown out (8-3, 9-3, 8-2) and they've lost tight games (3-1, 3-0).
They've been one Monday worse at home (0-6) than they have been on the road (0-5).
Their 4-1 loss at Cincinnati on May 21 kicked off a season-worst eight-game losing streak.
They've scored a total of 17 runs on those 11 Mondays.
Only June brought some respite, and that's because the Braves thanks to scheduled off days -- didn't play on the Mondays that so graciously fell on June 4 or June 25.
June came and went, but the Braves went right back to their losing ways on the second day of July.
What are they doing, preparing for Monday games by listening to the Mamas and the Papas on their iPads?
Remember, they sang, "But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes, You can find me cryin' all of the time.
Or maybe they mellow out to Karen Carpenter's "Rainy Days and Mondays in their clubhouse before the games.
They always get the Braves down, too.
It was more of the same on this Monday, thanks to Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs.
It didn't matter that Samardzija was 0-4 with a 10.41 ERA in June. And it didn't matter that the Cubs were facing the Braves' Tommy Hanson, who was 4-0 with a 3.13 ERA in June.
June is over.
And this game was on a Monday.
Have you caught on by now?
The Braves don't win on Mondays.
Samardzija had one more strikeout than he has letters in his last name (11 to 10), setting a career high, and held the Braves to four hits and a walk in seven innings.
It was a near repeat of his victory over the Braves on May 7, when he struck out seven Braves and gave up five hits and two runs in a 5-1 victory.
Oh, by the way, that game was on a Monday.
May 7, to be exact.
"I said earlier, this team at times plays brilliantly, Chipper Jones said Monday. "We play great. And then other times, we more resemble the Bad News Bears. And that doesn't cut it up here.
The Braves' Monday Blues actually didn't start this season. They extend to the end of 2011.
They dropped all four of their Monday games during their September swoon, losing twice to the Phillies and twice to the Marlins, making the streak at 15 Mondays and counting.
The Braves didn't play on Aug. 29, 2011, meaning their last win on a Monday came on Aug. 22, when they defeated the Cubs 3-0.
This loss was the Braves' last Monday game before the All-Star Break. Maybe they can exorcise their Monday Misery during their four days of R&R.
The schedule even gives them a break after the break.
They're off on July 16, the first Monday back, meaning they won't be able to break their winless Monday streak until they play at Miami on July 23.
The Baltimore Orioles were the last club to lose this many consecutive Monday games, dropping 20 straight in a streak that spanned the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
Ten more Mondays await the Braves in 2012.
Is there a Magical Monday in there somewhere?
Only time will tell.
BEST OF MAXIM
The Atlanta Braves signed veteran starter Ben Sheets to a minor-league contract Sunday.
The 33-year-old Sheets will report to Double-A Mississippi on Wednesday.
The right-hander last pitched in 2010 with Oakland, going 4-9 with a 4.53 ERA in 20 starts.
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A LAST HURRAH
The Braves legend has been named to the National League All-Star Team as an injury replacement for Matt Kemp in his 19th and final MLB season.
Bryce Harper is believed by many to be the favorite to win the annual MLB All-Star Game Final Vote out of the National League. His steepest competition will be Chipper Jones, who has said that this will be his last major league season meaning this would likely be his final All-Star appearance. Chipper has made seven All-Star teams in his 19-year career, and many believe number eight...
A 5-for-5 day is a relative rarity in baseball, as common for hitters as a complete game shutout is for most modern pitchers. It happens once in a while, but a player has to be pretty good to pull it off -- and great to pull it off on cue. Chipper Jones added another jewel to the crown of his major league career on Tuesday night, going 5-for-5 on the same day he was named as the...
This season's National League Final Vote has its usual field of five candidates, but let's be real here, it's essentially a two-horse race between 19-year-old phenom Bryce Harper and 40-year-old future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones. The truth, however, is that neither player deserves an All-Star nod. If we're voting based on entertainment value, yes, Harper deserves...
Jenna tweeting in the suite!
Fox Sports South hosted an event called Tweet in the Suite, where they invited a few of us who regularly tweet with them during games to enjoy the game from the Bobby Cox suite and meet the FSS on-air personalities. As a bonus, we also got to visit with Javy Lopez, who was at the Ted to promote his autobiography, Behind the Plate.
The suite was in...
Braves third baseman Chipper Jones is replacing Dodgers third baseman Matt Kemp on the NL All-Star roster.
Jones had been a candidate to be voted onto the team by fans in baseball's Final Vote campaign. Instead, the 40-year-old Jones is replacing Kemp, who is on the disabled list with a hamstring injury but plans to participate in the All-Star home run derby.
The Braves announced...
Shortstop Andrelton Simmons had a 14-pitch at bat Sunday versus Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez, fouling off nine pitches -- eight in a row -- before drawing a walk. Monday, he was named rookie of the month for June. Simmons made the jump from Class AA Mississippi on June 2 because of his eye-popping defense. But in the 27 games he's played since then, he has 10-multi-hit...
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The Atlanta Braves have signed Ben Sheets to a minor league deal, the team announced. The right-hander will report to Double-A where he will make his first start on July 4th.
Sheets was last pitched in the Majors in July of 2010 for the Oakland A's. He eventually was shut down and underwent flexor tendon surgery.
Dave O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution caught up...
The Atlanta Braves have signed free agent pitcher Ben Sheets to a minor-league contract, the team announced Sunday. Sheets, 34, has undergone two elbow surgeries and last pitched in 2010 with the Oakland Athletics. He had his best years with the Milwaukee Brewers where he was a four-time All-Star. He has a 90-92 record with a 3.79 earned run average. "You look at him being...
Monday: Chicago at Atlanta, 7:10 p.m. (SportSouth); Jeff Samardzija (5-7, 5.09 ERA) vs. Tommy Hanson (9-4, 3.59)
Tuesday: Chicago at Atlanta, 7:10 p.m. (SportSouth); Chris Volstad (0-6, 7.46) vs. Jair Jurrjens (1-2, 6.07)
Wednesday: Chicago at Atlanta, 7:10 p.m. (SportSouth); Paul Malhom (5-6, 4.84) vs. Randall Delgado (4-8, 4.52)
Thursday: Chicago at Atlanta, 7:10 p.m. (SportSouth...
By ANDREW GRUMAN
Ben Sheets is going to give baseball one more shot.
After not pitching in almost two years, the former Brewers' All-Star has signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves.
The club announced the signing Sunday after Sheets threw a bullpen session at Turner Field in Atlanta. He will report to Double-A Mississippi and make his...