Friday, May 6, 2011

This is a big series in May for the Braves.

Posted by Mike
This is as big as a series gets in the month of May. The Braves trail the Phillies by 4.5 games, and have won 10 of their last 13 games. Win the series and you close the gap to 3.5 games. Lose and you you will be at 5.5. A sweep in favor of the Braves would get us to 1.5. Let's don't even think about the other option.

Next weekend is equally big when the Phillies come to the Ted. That's six games in 10 days vs. the league leaders.

A side note - Mediacom customers will miss two of these games next weekend.

David Hale reports that Roy Oswalt is back with the team, and is penciled in to start Saturday's game.

Tonight Lowe (2-3, 3.72 ERA) will pitch against Lee (2-2, 3.66 ERA). Saturday looks like Jurgens (3-0, 1.53 ERA) vs. Oswalt (3-1, 3.33 ERA), and Sunday will likely be Hanson (4-3, 2.63 ERA) vs. Hamels (4-1, 2.66 ERA)

Listening to Braves on radio will give you additional insight into the inner workings of the team. Maybe it is because their is more air time to fill and no graphics to fill it with. Here are few of the interesting points discussed in Thursday's game:

- Minor league pitching coach Dave Wallace has filled in perfectly for Roger McDowell. In the pregame remarks Leo Mazone said the organization is so soundly structured from top to bottom that Wallace knows his biggest challenge is to not over manage. The Braves have a coaching philosophy of "if it ain't broke don't fix it", and have stuck to that plan since his days rocking at Bobby's side. Mazone recalled the story of being on a team plane when some young rookie approached him and wanted to discuss flaws in Maddux's delivery and timing.

Mazone asked the kid "how many Cy Young's have you won?"

- Mazone also said the biggest challenge to developing a pipeline of talent is starts. The best talent in the organization is strung out in the minor league system to insure each pitcher gets his starts. The top two pitching prospects are Mike Minor and Julio Tehran. Both are on the Gwinett team.

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