Quantcast 2008 Atlanta Braves: Braves stomp Padres to take series
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Braves stomp Padres to take series

The Atlanta Braves entered a three game series with the San Diego Padres to finish off the first half of the year. Game 1 of the series was on Friday and put Padre ace Jake Peavy against Atlanta’s youngster Jo-Jo Reyes. Peavy brought some of his best stuff limiting the Braves to only 4 hits over 7 innings. He also struck out seven batters on his way to his 7th victory. Jo-Jo did not have his best stuff as he lasted only 4 innings and gave up 5 hits and 2 earned runs. The Padres had solid relief appearances from Heath Bell and Mike Adams while holding the Braves scoreless during the 7th and 8th innings. Trevor Hoffman did was he does best and notched his 17th save of the season. It was an easy win for the Padres as they cruised to a 4-0 victory in game 1.

Braves hats & merchandise Game 2 on Saturday did not fair so well for the Padres. Charlie Morton took on Greg Maddux and the young hurler got the best of Maddux this time. Morton went 5 and 1/3 innings while giving up only 1 run. Maddux held the Braves to 3 earned runs in his 7 innings of work but got the loss. Jeff Francoeur provided the big hit that scored two in the 6th inning and helped the Braves take the game 4-1. This start from Morton could be a good sign of the future for Atlanta fans as he will likely be in the rotation for the duration of the year in 2009. His stay in Atlanta this year may be over as Mike Hampton could return to the rotation soon. Morton is the odd man out and would be sent back to Richmond to make room for Hampton. Knowing Hampton’s past he will likely get hurt and we will see more of Charlie.

Game 3 on Sunday wasn’t much of a contest as the Braves stomped the Padres 12-3. Jorge Campillo was strong in his 6 innings of work giving up 2 earned runs on 5 hits. Randy Wolf has had better days as he was shelled for 6 runs on 6 hits while walking 3 batters. Brian McCann had a good game as he drove in 3 runs and hit his 18th home run of the season. This game was key for the rest of the season as the Braves are now 6 and 1/2 games back of the Phillies. General Manager Frank Wren did not want to fall more than 7 games back. This means Mark Teixeira will likely stay the rest of the season if Atlanta does not fall further back. The same cannot be said for lefty reliever Will Ohman. Ohman will be a free agent at the end of the season but Atlanta will not give him the money he wants. We could see him gone soon if the Braves don’t make a push for the playoffs.

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Atlanta will send 2 players to the 2008 All-Star game. Third basemen Chipper Jones was voted by the fans to start the game and the players voted Brian McCann on as a back up catcher. In injury news Yunel Escobar will have a MRI on his shoulder that he aggravated during batting practice. He could be out for some time leaving Brent Lillibridge to start at shortstop in his place. During this years futures game Atlanta prospect Gorkys Hernandez played the entire game for the World team while going hitless in 4 at bats. Hernandez was acquired in the deal sending Edger Renteria to the Detroit Tigers for Jair Jurrjens and Hernandez. Gorkys is credited with having the best speed in the organization after he stole over 50 bases last year in the minors.

The Braves resume play on Friday the 18th when they take on the Washington Nationals at Turner Field in Atlanta. There are no probable pitchers at this point but due to the long weekend both teams will likely send their 1, 2, and 3 starters to the mound in the 3 game series. The first 5 to 10 games after the break could determine if Atlanta will make a run at the playoffs or concede the season and look to the future by dealing big names like Mark Teixeira and Will Ohman for young prospects.


By Ben Burrows
Atlanta Braves Correspondent

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