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braves_recap_august_10 | August | 2009 Articles

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Braves Recap: August 10

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Braves fans, if you're out there, now is the time to be rooting for your team.  These next few weeks are going to be absolutely critical to the Braves' postseason hopes, with plenty of in-division competition to help advance the team in the standings.  Things seem to be firing on all cylinders right now, and that must continue.  Ken Rosenthal offered some props to Frank Wren on letting Smoltz and Glavine walk, and that just reminded me at how brilliantly Wren constructed his team this year.  Between shoring up his rotation with reliably durable pitchers in the winter, and making in-season adjustments to augment the offensive attack, he has really done a fantastic job.  I hope the Braves can make the playoffs so that the baseball world at large will recognize Wren's good work (and so that he'll have some money to work with after the revenue boost of a playoff appearance).  Cheer hard, everybody.

Minors
Gwinnett: Brandon Jones had two more hits in this game to raise his last month averages to .271/.354/.543.  He seems to be finding his power stroke once again, and could perhaps be propelling himself back into the Braves' outfield picture.  I'm still not sure he'll ever be a starter, but he could be a helluva fourth outfielder.  Gregor Blanco also went 2-for-3 and walked twice, but his miserable year at Triple-A has probably moved him out of the outfield picture.  Todd Redmond walked three and struck out two, but only allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings, but his peripherals remain nothing to be excited about.  Luis Valdez got the final two outs (both by K) for his 22nd save.

Mississippi: Brandon Hicks doubled twice and walked in four trips, but he's struggled mightily all year.  His high strikeout totals were cause for concern last season in spite of his success, and it appears that Southern League pitchers have exploited his inability to command the strike zone.  Jason Heyward tripled for his only hit of the game...what gives, Jason?  Only one hit?  Jeff Lyman had a tough relief appearance (3 ER in 1 2/3 innings), but Kevin Gunderson put out the fire with 1 1/3 scoreless frames to finish the game.  Both Lyman and Gunderson could get looks with the big club next spring.  Neither are exceptionally exciting, but hey, everybody needs middle relievers.

Rome: Another poor offensive showing from the R-Braves, with only Adam Milligan producing any fireworks: 2-for-4 with a double.  Fortunately, though, two runs were enough for the win, as J.J. Hoover allowed just one run in his six innings while issuing three free passes and whiffing five, and Rome's pen finished off with three shutout innings to preserve the victory.

GCL: Center fielder Kyle Rose is doing everything you like to see out of a leadoff hitter.  He's showing no power, but he's getting on base at a .406 clip, and he's stolen 19 bags in 23 tries.  He went 2-for-5 in this game.  Robinson Lopez has dominated to the tune of a 1.11 ERA in the GCL this year, but I am always suspect of international prospects in the complex league until they either succeed at a higher level or I hear a positive scouting report.

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