Quantcast 2008 Atlanta Braves: Braves struggle against L.A. pitching, look to rebound in San Diego
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Braves struggle against L.A. pitching, look to rebound in San Diego

The Atlanta Braves dropped this week’s series against the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1. On Monday Hiroki Kuroda tried to play the roll of Randy Johnson in 2004 and throw a perfect game against Atlanta, he almost succeeded. Kuroda took a perfect game into the eighth until Mark Teixeira broke it up by leading off the inning with a double down the right field line. Kuroda lost the perfect game but got the shutout. Kuroda pitched 9 strong innings, giving up only Teixeira’s double and striking out 6.

Braves hats & merchandise Atlanta snapped out of the offensive drought in game 2 on Tuesday by beating the Dodgers 9-3. Brian McCann lead the offense by hitting two solo home runs in the 6th and 9th innings. Jair Jurrjens pitched 6 innings and surrendered only 1 earned run while striking out 6 and earning the win for Atlanta. Mike Gonzalez pitched 2/3 of an inning and struck out both batters he faced. This outing helped prove he is healthy while coming back from Tommy John surgery. Another bright spot for Atlanta was the return of Jeff Francoeur to the lineup. Jeff had one hit in five at bats after being recalled from AA Mississippi to try to fix his hitting woes.

In game 3 Derek Lowe tried to accomplish what Hiroki Kuroda almost did on Monday. For the second time in three days a Dodger pitcher had a perfect game go into at least seventh inning. Derek Lowe had a perfect game until Gregor Blanco lined a single up the middle for Atlanta’s first hit in the top of the 7th inning. Lowe’s performance overshadowed Tim Hudson who also had a perfect game through 4 innings. Unfortunately for the Braves Hudson gave up runs in the 6th and 7th innings. Those two runs were all the Dodgers needed. Long time Brave Andurw Jones provided what would be the game-winning hit with a single in the seventh against Hudson to extend the Dodger lead to 2-0. Francoeur provided Atlanta’s only run with a solo home run in the 8th inning.

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Next up for Atlanta is a day off on Thursday the 10th. On Friday the Braves begin a 3 game series against the San Diego Padres. Friday’s match up will put Jo-Jo Reyes (3-7) up against Padre ace Jake Peavy (6-5). Saturday is scheduled for rookie Charlie Morton (1-2) to face Josh Banks (2-4). The final game of the series is on Sunday and the Braves will send the surprising Jorge Campillo (3-4) to the mound to square off against Randy Wolf (6-8). This series should be interesting as Atlanta is 13-31 on the road this year while San Diego is only 22-28 at home. This is also a key series for Atlanta as it could determine what happens the rest of the season. It has been rumored Atlanta General Manager Frank Wren does not want to be more than 7 games back of first place in the NL East at the All-Star break. The Braves are currently 6.5 games back of Philadelphia. This means if the Braves fall further back during the series Wren may start shopping Mark Teixeira who will become a free agent at the end of the year.



By Ben Burrows
Atlanta Braves Correspondent

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