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    • The Braves might be a problem..
  • To:All
  • 3/26/10
  • rod1029

I know alot of you don't want to acknowledge Atlanta as a seriuos threat to overtake the Phils, but the Braves can win this division.

If this kid Heyward is as good as the media is making him out to be, he might have a rookie season like Albert Pujols had for the Cardinals. This kid may end up putting up pretty darn good numbers for a rookie and all of a sudden the Braves might have that power bat that they needed.

The lineup will most likely be:

McLouth
Prado
Chipper
Glaus
McCann
Escobar
Heyward
Diaz/Melky

Thats not a bad lineup especially if Glaus stays healthy and Chipper can give them anything. We all know about the rotation and how deep it is. I think the Phils are the favorites but I also think some people on here are really discounting the Braves.

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  • 3/26/10
  • yankthisnewyork
this is a very good point. They're pitching last year shut us down because of their sinker ball style that keeps our home run hitters in the ball park. i heard a stat one time on mlb network that 45% of our runs came from the home run last year which is one of the highest percents of all time. if their hitting improves at all, our 8-10 record against them last year could quickly turn into the 6-12 range.
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  • 3/26/10
  • db143
I agree--the Braves worry me also. I don't believe they have a very good pen. I think they will have trouble getting the ball to Wagner. But that said, I am more than a little worried about our pen. I really have to wonder, even after he is completely healthy and ready to pitch, if Lidge will pitch a whole lot better than he did last year. I think we passed on a bunch of quality RP in the off-season. I just hope it won't come back and bite us.
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  • 3/26/10
  • rod1029

I think the Braves pen is their biggest question mark but so is ours. I just think alot of Phillies fans are just dicounting the Braves. If Lowe returns to form of 2007 and 2008 and if Hanson continues to develop, you're looking at a very good rotation and a lineup that is not featuring Kelly Johnson and Jordan Schafer anymore.

I think its the Phils division to lose but if that Braves rotation pitch the way it is capable of, that last series of the season vs the Braves may be for the division.

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  • 3/26/10
  • Eag510

"I know alot of you don't want to acknowledge Atlanta as a seriuos threat to overtake the Phils..."

Stop right there. I think it's pretty much assured by the heavy majority that the Braves are the threat to the Phils in the NL East, despite the high confidence levels that they can win their 4th straight division crown. In fact, an NLCS matchup isn't far-fetched considering the way the NL looks right now.

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  • 3/27/10
  • bravesokay

"I don't believe they have a very good pen. I think they will have trouble getting the ball to Wagner. "

Let me start by saying I think the Phils still have a sizable advantage. But, while middle relief is usually a year-to-year, sketchy area, hard to predict, Peter Moylan, Kris Medlen, and Scott Proctor look incredibly strong. Especially Peter and Kris (good grief, Peter Kris! Nevermind...). Both are logging awesome springs and have track records to match it.

I worry about Wags more than I worry about getting to him. Though I don't worry too much about either.

Lead off spot and clean up spot are major concerns. Chipper, too.

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  • 3/27/10
  • dude93
I don't know where you get the idea that people on here don't view the Braves as a serious threat. Almost everyone who has posted anything at all about the NL East this upcoming season has mentioned how the Braves are improved. They'll have to stay healthy (Hudson & Chipper especially) and the kid will have to be for real but the talent looks to be there.
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  • 3/27/10
  • rod1029
I didn't mean to generalize but some people shrug off the Braves lineup like its not very improved. If this kid Heyward can produce right away and Glaus can stay healthy, their lineup will be very formidable.
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  • 3/27/10
  • db143

"I think the Braves pen is their biggest question mark but so is ours"

Exactly--I am concerned about our pen. As I've said many times, I think we are gonna miss CHP a lot more than many of us think. He was an absolute saviour when all those injuries hit the pen last year.
Baez is the key--he has to do the job, idf not we are in trouble.

"Lowe returns to form of 2007 and 2008 and if Hanson continues to develop, you're looking at a very good rotation"

Agree--This kid Hanson is a stud. Honestly, I think Lowe has seen his best days. I think their pen may be even more suspect than ours. They might have trouble getting the ball to Billy Blowsave, but they have a good young lineup. If Glaus returns to form and hits 25-30 HR's, we are gonna be in for a dog fight.

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  • 3/27/10
  • db143

"Peter Moylan, Kris Medlen, and Scott Proctor look incredibly strong. Especially Peter and Kris"

I can tell you this much--I am 60 years old and if there is one thing I've learned over the years it's that ST is highly over-rated. ST performance not only means nothing, it is an indicator of nothing.
You see it happen a thousand times--Some guys come to ST and are in mid-season form,and once the bell rings, they can't buy a hit or get anybody out. Others it just takes the a while to get into their rythm, but once the bell rings they find their groove. I could give you many examples just on the Phillies alone. Chan Ho Park last year was Cy Young in ST--and once the bell rang, he proved what I said all along--he was no longer a srarting pitcher. he was beyond horrible until they sent him to the pen.
I think the Braves have a very good young team and will give the Phils a real run for the division title. I see both teams in the post-season, but putting any stock in ST is IMO---a mistake.

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  • 3/27/10
  • bravesokay

Respectfully, that's why I added that they have the track records to back it up.

2nd half of last year (significant because Medlen was a rookie and Moylan recovering from surgery):

Medlen: 2.80 ERA 1.21 WHIP
Moylan: 1.00 ERA 1.16 WHIP

Like I said, middle relief is so hard to predict, but if there is any trend to be seen, it isn't downward.

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  • 3/27/10
  • berkyjay
The only way I see them as a threat is in giving the Phils good competition for the division....which is what they need. But in the end, the Phils have such a huge lead in experience and continuity of players that they will still edge them out in the end. Even if every player in the Braves line up has a good season and their pitching staff maintains their level of dominance from last year.....all of which is never likely....the Braves will fall short due to their lack of experience. However, if the Braves keep this team together I can see them being atop the NL East in a few years.
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  • 3/27/10
  • squidsmokscrack
The Braves will win the division.
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  • 3/27/10
  • cashmoney1
yeah imagine if they still had Andrus and Neftali Feliz. We'd be in trouble short and longterm then.
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  • 3/27/10
  • rupert010
The Braves are the Braves. They've been "down" long enough. They can pitch and they have some hitters, and that kid Heyward looks like we'll be booing the heck out of him come May. hey, ABTM, right?
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  • 3/27/10
  • bravesokay

I agree that experience and swagger will give the Phils an advantage even added to their offensive advantage. But it's not so reliable that you can rest on it. It's just one more part of the equation. Sometimes experience becomes apathy and inexperience becomes energy. You couldn't have a better example of this than the Rays' run; the ultimate inexperienced, no-tradition team outlasting two powerhouses through both the season and the playoffs. (Before running into you guys, of course).

If momentum swings, you never know. Not saying it's all that likely, but it's baseball and funny stuff does happen every year.

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  • 3/27/10
  • rupert010
good post. the Phils had to make it over that hump and the Braves finally had their streak busted. it happens. both teams are pretty good though, this should be a good race this year, well the Braves have been in it technically lately but not really.
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  • 3/27/10
  • Defalt

It's a tough year for non division leaders when the Wild card winner has 92 wins.

But I to look forward to this year especially against the Phils. Lets see if we learned valuable lessons from the HR's Howard hit off our guys regularly like, If you are wearing a Braves uniform don't pitch to Ryan Howard unless absolutely necessary.


Edited 3/27/10   by  Defalt
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  • 3/27/10
  • bravesokay
Thanks for the good word. Looking forward to it.
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  • 3/27/10
  • bravesokay

These are the only times I would ever pitch to Ryan Howard:

1. With a LHP
2. Up by 5 past the 7th
3. Down by 5 past the 7th
4. Bases loaded with the winning run on 3rd in the bottom of the 9th. No choice.

Other than that, for pete's sake, just walk him. Maddux wasn't too good to walk Bonds. I can't count the times when I've been sitting there like, "Bobby just walk him... why are we pitching to this guy with a righty?... please just walk him... walk him... CRACK!"

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