Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Andruw Jones breaks out of slump and leads Braves

Atlanta kept with the theme of lose one-win one last night as they defeated the San Diego Padres, 3-2. Braves rookie, Anthony Lerew, got the start, it was his first of his big league career. He made the most of it too, he went 6 innings, giving up two runs(both off of solo homeruns) while striking out seven and only walking two batters. Also those two solo shots, were the only hits he gave up. I think it's safe to say that Mr. Lerew has earned himself a couple more starts. Lerew had his fastball up around 95 mph or so, a pretty nasty change up and he showed off a new pitch, a two-seam sinker that Atlanta's pitching coach, Roger McDowell, showed him.

"It's been my bread and butter since I started throwing it," Lerew said.

Said Cox: "That's the best I've ever seen Anthony. All he's got to do is throw that sinker like he's throwing it, throw the changeup and he's in business."

Lerew did make a mistake in the third inning, a mistake that Mike Cameron was more than willing to take advantage of. Lerew left a pitch up and over the middle of the plate and Cameron absolutely crushed it to left field for the first of two homeruns by the Padres. The second came in the fifth, this one to Padres' left fielder, Terrmel Sledge, also was hit very well and to left. I also should mention that the Padres spot starter, Justin Germano, pitched very well too, he was also called up before the game from AAA, much like Lerew.

As the title says, Andruw Jones finally broke out his slump, which reached to 0-21 before his RBI double in the 6th inning which scored Edgar Renteria. Before this game, he had been hitting .048(1-21) with no homers, only one RBI, just four walks and seven strikeouts in the month of May. But besides Andruw, the offense hadn't really been able to get going for us, that is until Heath Bell stumbled in the 8th inning. He gave up a lead-off single to the pinch-hitter, Matt Diaz, and then a triple to Edgar Renteria and then what proved to be the game-winning RBI single to non other than Andruw Jones. Oh and before I forget, I mentioned yesterday that Andruw had been trying to pull everything in sight, well both of his hits were to the opposite field. Goes to show you, if you settle down and stop trying to over exert yourself, good things will follow.

Our bullpen was once again, just plain filthy. Tyler Yates relieved Lerew in the seventh and need just nine pitches to retire the Padres. Followed behind him was Mike Gonzalez, who picked up the win, he also had a scoreless inning in which he did give up a single, but no harm done. And finally, Rafael Soriano, who is by far the nastiest guy in our bullpen right now, he picked up another save with his scoreless ninth in which he struck out two of the three batters he faced.

WP: Mike Gonzalez(2-0)
LP: Heath Bell(0-1)
SV: Rafael Soriano(3)

HR: SD- Mike Cameron(1) and Terrmel Sledge(4)

Our next game is tonight and it is a must see, best friends and teammates for 11 years will be going at each other for the first time. We have John Smoltz going and the Padres have Greg Maddux pitching. It starts 7:35 pm ET on FSN South. Be there!

Side Note: The Braves have designated Steve Colyer for assignment. He has exactly 10 days to either accept the assignment and return to Richmond or he can choose to become a free-agent.