Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Braves vs. Cards Friday

My dream matchup when the season began has come true. A one game playoff that should have been held last year between the Braves and Cards. I can't wait to see it. The Cards stole the Braves playoff spot last year and then went on to win the World Series. I'm hoping for a re-do on Friday. We shall see.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Braves we come!

The Braves are in the playoffs. I have 4 words for all of you.


Last year the Braves choked and the Cards took advantage. This year has a chance to make up for all of that. First of all, last year Freddy Freeman was the last out of the awful September. This year he had the game-winning HR to clinch a playoff berth. I hope we come back to win the division but we likely won't. I want the Cards. Then we can have our shot at the Nats.

Let's hope Bourn gets healthy and that the team continues to play like this. I don't remember the last time a Braves team came into the postseason playing this well. It might have been 1993 when we came back against the Giants. Speaking of which, I want revenge against the Giants too. We don't have Brooks Conrad on our roster this year.

Let's go Braves!


Friday, September 7, 2012

Braves win but the offense is, well, offensive!

The Braves magic number dwindled to 20 yesterday as for the second consecutive day the Braves won 1-0 on an unearned run. The offense hasn't scored an earned run since September 3rd. That's pretty scary. The bright side is that the pitching has been superb. Minor, Medlen and Hudson have been solid the last month or so. Maholm is decent. Hanson had a much better start the other day though his season has still been a disappointment.

The Braves continue to trot Dan Uggla out there and I still think it's the right thing to do because a HOT Dan Uggla can lead this team to a very successful postseason run. Brian McCann is a problem though. He is injured as it has been well-documented and the guy just can't hit right now. I think he'll be getting surgery after the season. The question becomes is he worth locking up for the next 5 or 6 years. Catchers start to become injury prone and their offensive numbers slow as they hit their thirties. I love McCann but we have Betencourt in the minors who is supposed to be a defensive stud and who will be ok offensively. I think you dangle McCann this offseason to see what you can get for him but also try to give him a 3-year deal on the cheap to see if he will take it after a poor year. If we were a team that spends over $150 million like the upper-echilon teams, I'd sign him for whatever but we don't have that luxury in Atlanta.

If the Braves do go the one-game playoff, here are three questions for you.

1) Who would you trot out there to pitch?

2) Who would you want to play and why?

3) Do you start Dan Uggla?

Here are 5 questions for you after this season:

1) Should Fredi lose his job if the Braves lose in the wildcard round? If you say "yes," who would you hire? Inside or outside the organization?

2) Should Frank Wren lose his job?

3) Should the Braves trade Brian McCann?

4) Who is your replacement for Chipper Jones?

Go Braves! 3 game series with the Mets tonight. I'd be happy with 2 out of 3 as the Mets are playing pretty well right now.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Braves win, Dodgers and Cardinals lose

The magic number to clinch a wildcard spot is 21 now after the Braves win and Dodgers loss. Also the Cardinals lost so we now have a 3 game lead for homefield advantage in the wildcard game. We are actually a better road team than a home team so this probably doesn't help much.

We wrap up the series with Colorado today. A win would be huge going into our next road trip. Dan Uggla continues to struggle as does McCann. The Braves don't have an earned run in their last 2 games which concerns me. The good news is that Mike Minor looked fantastic last night. Minor would be my number 3 in our rotation right now though I still don't completely trust him because he is prone to giving up the long ball. I'm hoping we see the real Tommy Hanson very soon. I think a healthy Tommy Hanson gives us a shot in the postseason. I think the old Dan Uggla would do the same. I look forward to Andrelton Simmons returning this weekend and flashing the leather and hitting some bombs.

Go Braves!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Since the Braves are not going to win the NL East, I will update the NL Wildcard standings daily including a magic number for the Braves to clinch. Remember that the top 2 teams play in the wildcard game with the team with the better record getting home field advantage in the one-game playoff.


76-60 .559 -- MAGIC NUMBER is 23!

St. Louis

74-62 .544 -- MAGIC NUMBER is 25!

LA Dodgers

73-64 .533 1.5


71-64 .526 2.5

Here are the schedules for the next week for the 4 teams in contention:

Atlanta - 2 games against Colorado, 3 at the Mets and 3 against Milwaukee - If all goes well, the Braves should go 5-3 in these 8 games.

St. Louis - 1 game against the Mets, 3 against Milwaukee and 3 at San Diego - If all goes well, the Cardinals should go 5-2 in these 7 games.

LA Dodgers - 1 game against San Diego, 3 at San Francisco and 2 at Arizona - If all goes well, the Dodgers should go 4-2 in these 6 games.

Pittsburgh - 1 game vs. Houston, 3 vs. the Cubs and 3 at Cincinnati - If all goes well, the Pirates should go 5-2.

Next week I'll look at how the team did vs. how I expected them to do...and let's hope the magic number comes down a bit. Go Braves!


When it started and where we stand today

Let me introduce myself. My name is Andy Lipman and I am one of the biggest Braves fans you will ever find. My love for the Braves started in 1982 when the team broke the record for most wins to start a season (13). I fell in love with the team and my role model became Dale Murphy.

In Murphy's illustrious career, he won 2 MVP's, many gold gloves and won several awards for his kindness and generosity off the field. Sadly, Murphy never won a playoff game.

In the 90's, Braves mania became huge in Atlanta and all around the country thanks to TBS and a young group of players who played with heart and tenacity. Sadly, the Braves only won one title in those years. I got to go to the game where they won it all in 1995 against the Cleveland Indians.

In the 2000's, the team won for a few more years before slowing falling into mediocrity as the Philadelphia Phillies took over the NL East. The Braves were bought by a big corporation called Liberty Media from AOL/Time Warner and went from one of the highest payrolls in baseball to one stuck in the middle.

The team can't spend the money it once could and has the 4th lowest payroll in its own division. The Mets would be ahead of them too had it not been for a man by the name of Bernie Madoff.

The Braves have not won a playoff series since they beat the Houston Astros in the division series in 2001. They have lost 6 playoff series in a row and almost always seem to lose the final game at home.

Last year the Braves did something even worse. They blew a 9 game lead in the final month of the season to the Cardinals in one of the worst collapses in baseball history. Of course, the Cardinals went on to win the World Series.

This year's team has been very streaky. They may win 6 in a row and then lose 5 in a row. I would rank them the 4th best team in the NL behind the Nationals, Reds and Giants.

This year, once again, the team is struggling to find their identity. The best players on the team have been Kimbrel, Beachy (who is out now sadly), Medlen, Simmons, Heyward and Freeman. The big disappointments have been Uggla, McCann and Hanson.

So what does this team need to do to be successful and not squander another lead?

I believe there are 5 main things:

1. Make productive outs. In other words, move runners over, score runs when there is a runner at third with less than 2 outs. Make contact.

2. Go to the following 5 man rotation. 1) Medlen, 2) Hudson, 3) Minor, 4) Maholm and 5) Sheets/Hanson.

3. Play Uggla and get his confidence back. Dan Uggla has been horrible this year but in order to win in the postseason we will need a solid Dan Uggla rather than a boring Paul Janish. Simmons will be our SS. If Uggla continues to struggle, I think they should have Prado at 2B and put Reed Johnson in LF.

4. Stop moving Heyward down in the lineup. I think there needs to be one lineup against lefties and one against righties but I believe Heyward is good enough that you keep him at the 3 spot regardless.

5. Get a hyperbaric chamber for Chipper. He needs to be healthy for us to win. This team feeds off of him and the guy is pretty clutch.

Now that it's September I will update this blog regularly about my feelings concerning the Braves.

Will this team make the playoffs?

Will they win a series?

Will they win THE series?

We'll know in a few months.

Go Braves!