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711-game-thread-at-least-we-didnt-lose-yesterday | July | 2008 Articles

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7/11 Game Thread: At Least We Didn't Lose Yesterday!

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Yesterday was a good day to be a Braves fan: it was an off day, so we all could wake up this morning without seeing the number in the loss column get any bigger. Unfortunately, that pleasure is likely to be a bit short-lived, as we're about to face some guy named Peavy tonight. Peavy grew up as a huge Braves fan, and it shows in his splits: his career ERA is 3.26, but it's 4.70 when he faces the Braves. He's 1-4 in 6 starts against us, 38 1/3 IP, 52 K against only 13 BB, but he gave up 10 homers in those 6 starts. But we haven't seen him in two years, which means (if you can believe it) that only 4 players in our lineup have faced him before: McCann, Frenchy, Chipper, and Norton. But they love what they see: in a combined 36 PA, those four are batting .406/.472/.844, with 4 homers. In 15 career PA against Peavy, Chipper's batting .500/.600/1.417, with 3 homers. Of course, considering that we nearly got perfect gamed by Hiroki Kuroda and Derek Lowe, it's probably more likely that we'll strike out 27 times than that we'll light him up. Unfortunately, while our hitting has been atrocious this month -- as a team, we're batting .201/.276/.336 since the calender turned to July -- our starting pitching, still third best in the league, has quietly turned terrible at the exact same time, with a 5.44 ERA and only 51 1/3 innings pitched in 9 starts. Jo-Jo Reyes, tonight's pitcher, has mostly been adequate this year, but has a frustrating occasional tendency to get knocked out of games early. In his last five starts, he's pitched 28 2/3 innings with a 3.77 ERA but 16 strikeouts against a disturbingly high 13 walks. This is shaping up as a very solid sophomore year for Jo-Jo, who still has a great arm and is throwing with increased confidence, but that K/BB ratio simply won't cut it in this league, and Peavy won't give him much margin for error. I'm pretty much prepared to write this game off because it's Peavy, but while the Braves this year have lost a ton of games they should have won, they've won a number of games I would have expected them to lose. I'm not expecting much, but there's a faint yet distinct possibility that they might be able to make this interesting. I hope.
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