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Topic: Jason Grilli

Colby Wilson’s Atlanta Braves Report: Long September

 

Atlanta BravesClarksville, TN – As the calendar readies a turn to September and the Braves postseason chances officially dwindle to zero, it’s time to take stock of what’s important.

The Atlanta Braves are in third place in the National League East, but need a telescope to see the top of the division and are somehow even further back in the Wild Card hunt. Barring a season-ending run the likes of which have never been seen (to reach 85 wins, Atlanta would need to go 31-4 the rest of the way as of Wednesday, and even that may not be enough to garner a postseason bid), the competitive part of the season is over.

Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons (19) is congratulated by first baseman Nick Swisher (23) after scoring a run against the Colorado Rockies in the fifth inning at Turner Field. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons (19) is congratulated by first baseman Nick Swisher (23) after scoring a run against the Colorado Rockies in the fifth inning at Turner Field. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

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Colby Wilson’s Atlanta Braves Report: Arms Racing

 

Atlanta BravesClarksville, TN – As I’m writing this, the Braves are imploding against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Actually, that’s not an accurate assessment of the situation. The Braves bullpen took a three-run lead into the bottom of the seventh on Wednesday night in Tampa and turned it into a three-run deficit in about four seconds. Matt Marksberry is looking, well, like a guy who was in A-ball to start the season—no shame on him either, that’s just what the situation calls for now.

It’s not fair to him that he has to play above his ski’s right now, but there’s just not much left in the cupboard. No Jason Grilli. No Jim Johnson. No Luis Avilan. If Arodys Vizcaino and Andrew McKirahan are the class of your bullpen, that doesn’t speak volumes so much as shout them, Lewis Black-style, from a mountaintop of crap, inexperience and ineptitude.

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Matt Marksberry (66) throws a pitch during the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Matt Marksberry (66) throws a pitch during the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

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Colby Wilson’s Atlanta Braves Report: Checking it Twice

 

Atlanta BravesClarksville, TN – If you made a checklist entitled ‘Worst Ways for a Professional Baseball Team to enter/exit the All-Star Break’, let’s see how your 2015 Atlanta Braves might have fared:

  • Go to a hitter’s park, fail to hit.

Four games in hitter’s haven Colorado – 11 total runs. So… check.

  • Mount a losing streak, ensuring that you will both head into and out of the All-Star break with no momentum.

Five straight losses after being .500 and four games back in the division race – still in the hunt! – as recently as July 7th (That’s longform for ‘check’)

Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Jason Grilli (center) is attended to by Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez (left) and team trainer Jeff Porter   (right), and teammates after being injured during the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Rockies won 3-2. (Chris   Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports)

Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Jason Grilli (center) is attended to by Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez (left) and team trainer Jeff Porter (right), and teammates after being injured during the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Rockies won 3-2. (Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports)

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Colby Wilson’s Atlanta Braves Report: The Middies!

 

Atlanta BravesClarksville, TN – That’s right, it’s time for everyone’s favorite hacky midseason awards column… The Middies!

The Braves hit the halfway point on Saturday night – a dominant 9-5 win against the Phillies that was over by the fifth inning and brought the Braves within a game of .500 at 40-41.

And that this team – with one consistently good starting pitcher, a revolving door of castoffs for a bullpen and an offense best described as ‘Freddie Freeman, Cameron Maybin and six guys you may have heard of’ – is sniffing the possibility of .500 ball and maybe not selling at the deadline is Fredi Gonzalez’s greatest achievement. Well done.

Atlanta Braves center fielder Cameron Maybin (25) hits a RBI single against the Philadelphia Phillies in the fourth inning at Turner Field. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

Atlanta Braves center fielder Cameron Maybin (25) hits a RBI single against the Philadelphia Phillies in the fourth inning at Turner Field. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

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Colby Wilson’s Atlanta Braves Report: John Smoltz goes to the MLB Hall of Fame

 

Written by Colby Wilson

I hate these ‘If my life depended on it, I’d do blah blah blah’ scenarios, because no one’s life has ever depended on finding the perfect French dip sandwich or being able to drive from Nashville to Memphis in less than two-and-a-half hours. It’s a very hack way of saying ‘I find this thing to be better than any other of a list of a similar things’, but the first way is more eye-catching, so that’s how most people say it.

Having said that, if my life depended on the outcome of a baseball game, I’d want John Smoltz to get the ball.

Former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz (left) during MLB Winter Meetings at Manchester Grand Hyatt. (Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports)

Former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz (left) during MLB Winter Meetings at Manchester Grand Hyatt. (Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports)

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