Braves get much needed sweep against Rockies
Atlanta has been far gone from the post-season race. They are however still playing for their pride. They have all but clinched a losing record for the season. Despite their season long struggles, the Braves could play a big part in the playoff races. They have games remaining against contenders in the National League East.
This week the Braves took on the Rockies in Colorado. Game 1 had Jorge Campillo take on Aaron Cook. Campillo was solid, going 6 and 1/3 innings and allowing 3 earned runs. Cook was also decent going 6 innings and giving up 4 runs. Mike Gonzalez blew his first save in his last 40 chances. With the game tied at 4 in the bottom of the 10th, Taylor Buchholz balked and allowed Kelly Johnson to score from third base. In an odd ending, the Braves won 5-4.
Game 2 saw James Parr look for his second career win in as many starts. For the second time, James Parr threw 6 innings of shutout ball. The bullpen was unable to reward him with a win when Blaine Boyer allowed 3 runs in the 7th inning. Boyer has seen his fair share of struggles this year and can’t seem to turn things around. He has a troubling ERA of 5.89, which is well above the rest of the bullpen. Parr however, has been excellent in his first 2 career starts. If this continues he will easily win a rotation spot in spring training next year. He is a fresh arm for a beat up, and broken rotation. Despite a poor performance from the bullpen, Atlanta won 9-5.
Jair Jurrjens tried to improve on a strong rookie season in the series finale. He went 6 innings of 4 run ball. His 10 strikeouts highlighted this outing as he improved his record to 13-9. Mike Gonzalez came in the 9th to shut the door and earn the save. Chipper Jones went 1-4 and is still in the hunt for the National League batting title with Albert Pujols. Yunel Escobar appears to have returned to full health and is now batting in the 5th spot. Josh Anderson has been providing speed and base running ability from the leadoff spot to spark the offense.
Something that needs to be said is how great of a season Brian McCann is having. He has quickly jumped to the elite group of catchers in the majors and it has gone mostly unseen. McCann is batting .296 with 23 home runs and 81 runs batted in. Brian has had better power numbers at this point in his career than a guy named Johnny Bench. I would say he was pretty good. His great season has been overlooked by Chipper’s amazing season, and something needed to be said. McCann is one of the team’s best players and will be great for years to come. Great job Mac.
Next up is a crucial series for the Mets. Atlanta will travel to Queens to take on the Metropolitans. Game 1 is the battle of the lefties, Mike Hampton (2-2) vs. Johan Santana (13-7). Jo-Jo Reyes (3-10) will take on Pedro Martinez (5-4) in game 2. In the series finale Jorge Campillo (7-7) will duel it out with Oliver Perez (10-7). This could be a do or die series for the Mets.
By Ben Burrows
> View all of the MLB baseball news articles from ProBaseball-fans.com.