HOT Adam LaRoche, 1B: .440/.500/.960. The second half shenanigans for LaRoche continue...seriously, did anyone expect him to be THIS good his first 3 weeks as a Brave this go around? He's contributed .964 WPA in 3 weeks of play! Heres one more fun little stat that pretty much forced my eyes to bug out of my skull...LaRoche's slugging percentage as a Brave is higher than Casey Kotchman's OPS over the whole season. Now THAT...is an upgrade. With Freddie Freeman's recent struggles down in Mississippi, I'd actually be pretty receptive to giving LaRoche a 2 year deal to hold first down in the interim. Matt Diaz, OF: .391/.481/.826. Matt Diaz has come into his own this year, and I'm absolutely thrilled. The major knock on Diaz throughout his entire career, aside from the fact that he wasn't too hot at hitting righties, was that the dude just could not take a walk. Diaz's career high walk rate, majors and minors, was 6.8% back in 2002 in AA Orlando. His career high in the majors, given a season where he got at least 100 plate appearances, was 4.3%. That is really...really...REALLY...bad. This year, its sitting at 8.1%, which could be considered respectable. His strikeouts have also increased to a career high level, but the BB:K is still sitting at a career high mark. I'm down with that. He's also probably going to hit career highs in homers, runs, and RBI. He's completely become a guy who should be starting 5 or so games a week at the minimum, and I don't think any Braves fan would disagree at this point. Soriano, Moylan, O'Flaherty, Gonzalez, Medlen, RP: 0-0, 0.00. OK, so this is kind of a copout. But the 5 key members of the bullpen were fantastic this week. The quintet pitched 13 innings, allowed 15 baserunners, struck out 14, and didn't allow a run. All of the runs allowed by the pen were charged to Logan and Acosta, who combined to allow 3 in 5 2/3 innings. I'm a little confused as to why those 2 got so many innings of work, then I realized we had a couple of blowouts last week and that took care of that. I'd rather save my 5 best for games like today, which came down to the wire and the team needed to stop the bleeding. For the record, the pen was fantastic again today, allowing 3 baserunners in 4 scoreless innings in relief of Derek Lowe. God bless Kris Medlen coming into his own this month and becoming a reliable arm for the pen in a rough situation. NOT Derek Lowe, SP: 0-1, 19.64. Derek must be exhaling, because if his start today was included...well, his ERA actually would have improved a bit, but it would have still been pretty crappy. It was a bad start Tuesday against the Mets, but its excusable because of the hand issues he suffered all game. Due to some computer issues, I could only really catch bits and pieces of the game today, and I didn't hear Boog & Joe mention if his hand was bothering him at all...anyone catch anything? Lowe heading to the DL wouldn't necessarily be a horrible thing if he's injured, since Tim Hudson should be ready to come back shortly (Huddy pitched very well in a rehab start today for Gwinnett: 3 runs allowed over 6 innings). Chipper Jones, 3B: .045/.214/.045. Jeez Louise. That .045 you see is what happens when you get 1 hit over 22 at bats over the course of a week. Chipper also struck out NINE TIMES during the week, which is shocking considering who it is. Thankfully, he walked 5 times to kind of salvage the week. But man...if he was even putting up an average week with the bat, who knows what could have happened in either of the 2 losses. Javier Vazquez, SP: 0-2, 5.93. Big. Inning. Javy. I guess this is what Ozzie Guillen was talking about. Homers took Javy's soul this week, as 2 by Ryan Howard accounted for all 4 of Philly's runs on Sunday, while dingers by Jeremy Hermida and Hanley Ramirez on Friday in the 7th inning contributed 3 of the 5 runs allowed by JV in that game. Thankfully, the other 2 peripherals are cracking along at a great pace, with a 15:3 K:BB ratio in those 2 starts. The start against Florida was also the first time since the beginning of July that he didn't crack 7 innings in a start. At least he's giving the bullpen some time off, right? Alright, so plans...I've got my game back and will be back to blogging regularly this week. No series recaps are coming from the 2 series prior to the Marlins...that recap will be up tonight or tomorrow. The preview for the Padres series will also be up tomorrow (possibly around lunch time...depends if I can gain possession of a computer during my lunch break around 1). Don't expect that one to be very beefy, since we just visited San Diego 3 weeks ago. I want to do more minor league stuff, but with their seasons ending very shortly, I figure I'll just wait until then, and revisit the reports I did back in June and July. Alright? Alright.In the interest of full disclosure...I didn't want to do this piece without having Matt Diaz's awesome game today being included. But stat sites don't update sortable stats until the next morning...and since tomorrow is going to be an absolute nightmare for me considering its the first day of fall semester...yeah. Have no fear BravesHeartaholics (thats a mouthful), MattyD is still featured this week! Who else is...well clicky clicky!