Well this Sunday is Atlanta Braves @ the Anaheim Angels (F*** Artie Moreno, he's still in Anaeheim)
Probably Pitchers are
Atlanta Jorge Campillo (2-0 2.17 ERA)
Anaheim Joe Saunders (9-3 3.32 ERA)
Atlanta is currently 32-34 overall but a dismal 7-23 on the road
Anaheim is 41-26 overall and has a 20-14 home record.
Latest Atlanta Team Report (6/11)
Tuesday was not a good day for the Braves.
The club’s ace, John Smoltz, had season-ending shoulder surgery, while its All-Star third baseman, Chipper Jones, sat idle with a slight right quadriceps injury.
As if things weren’t bad enough for the road-weary Braves, their future Hall of Fame southpaw, Tom Glavine, blew a three-run lead before leaving the game after three innings with a sore left elbow. That injury will force the 42-year-old to miss his next start and possibly land him on the disabled list for the second time this season.
And, of course, the club went out and did what it does best—lose another one on the road.
In the past, Atlanta could rely on its stellar home record and its depth to get through the troubling times on the road. But last weekend’s poor performance against the Phillies showed the Braves can’t solely rely on some good ol’ Southern home cooking if they want to remain in the playoff chase.
They’re going to have to win games on the road.
The latest trip is to a bad start. Atlanta dropped the opener of its 10-day, 10-game, four-city road trip to the Cubs on Tuesday—the start of a crucial stretch that could determine the fate of their season.
Atlanta has to figure out a way to overcome the injury bug and road woes quickly or the club, which dominated in the 1990s, will find itself with tee times in October for the third consecutive year.
Cubs 10, Braves 5: The Braves once again faltered on the road, losing Tuesday for the 22nd time in 29 games away from Turner Field. Atlanta grabbed a 3—0 first-inning lead on Greg Norton’s homer, but Braves starter Tom Glavine could not hold it.
The veteran southpaw allowed four runs and six hits over three frames before leaving with a strained left elbow in the fourth. Atlanta crept back within a run in the eighth, but reliever Manny Acosta was tattooed for four runs in the bottom of the inning as the Cubs pulled away.
• 3B Chipper Jones missed his second consecutive start with a slightly torn right quadriceps muscle. The switch-hitting slugger, who leads the majors with a .420 average, walked as a pinch hitter. Jones hopes to return to the lineup Wednesday.
• Atlanta once again faltered without Jones in the lineup, falling to 0-7 in games in which its best hitter is not in the starting lineup. The Braves are also a major league-worst 7-22 on the road.
• RHP John Smoltz had season-ending arthroscopic surgery on his right rotator cuff Tuesday. The Braves declined to comment on the extent of the surgery, which was preformed by renowned orthopedic surgeon James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. It will be a few months before Smoltz can return to baseball activities.
• LHP Tom Glavine left Tuesday’s game with a strained left elbow after allowing four runs over three innings. The 42-year-old is expected to miss his next scheduled start and may be placed on the 15-day disabled list for the second time in his career.
• RHP Brian Lawrence signed a minor league contract with the Braves. The 32-year-old, who made six starts for the New York Mets last season, was 2-2 with a 3.81 ERA in eight starts for the Camden Riversharks of the independent Atlantic League. He failed to make the Royals’ roster this spring.
By The Numbers: 215—Sacrifice bunts by LHP Tom Glavine, the most of any active pitcher.
Quote To Note: “I don’t play baseball for the first and 15th of each month.” —3B Chipper Jones, responding to the observation that his $11 million salary is far below current market value.
Latest Angels Team report (6/11)
It sure looks like a roller coaster.
In his first two starts this season, Jered Weaver went 1-1 with three runs and 11 hits allowed in 13 1/3 innings (a 2.03 ERA). Then he fell into a six-start rut, going 1-4 with 27 runs and 44 hits allowed in 33 1/3 innings (a 7.02 ERA).
After some adjustments suggested by pitching coach Mike Butcher, Weaver went 2-0 in his next three starts with nine hits and two runs allowed in 20 1/3 innings (0.89). But he slipped backward in two starts before Tuesday, allowing 20 hits and 10 runs in 10 innings.
"Oh well. What are you going to do?" Weaver said. "You're not going out there trying to do that. You're always trying to put up zeros, trying to make adjustments.
“Obviously, it’s been a little roller-coaster ride for me, a little different than the past two years. That’s just guys making adjustments on me and me trying to make adjustments on them.”
He headed back in the right direction Tuesday, taking a shutout into the eighth inning of a 6-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. Weaver left the game after eight innings with just four hits allowed.
“I don’t think it’s been as much of a roller-coaster ride as you’re saying,” manager Mike Scioscia said after the game. “There have been some starts where he hasn’t had his best stuff or hasn’t been as crisp. But for the most part he’s given us a chance to win games.”
Angels 6, Rays 1: The Angels jumped on James Shields for four runs on six hits in the first inning Tuesday, including a two-run home run by Garret Anderson. The last time the Angels faced Shields, he shut them out on one hit. He went the distance again this time, but the Angels added two more runs in the fifth inning on a home run by Vladimir Guerrero. The six runs were the most by the Angels since a 10-2 rout of the Dodgers on May 18, a stretch of 19 games in which they scored five runs or fewer and averaged just over three runs per game.
• OF Vladimir Guerrero went 2-for-4 and is now 10-for-21 in the month of June after batting .219 in May. Guerrero has gone 9-for-19 with six RBIs in five games since returning from a hyperflexion of his right knee that forced him to miss three games.
• INF Maicer Izturis went 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Izturis is batting .432 (19-for-44) during the streak and also has at least one hit in 15 of his past 17 games. He has raised his batting average from .208 to .260 in that time.
• OF Gary Matthews Jr. didn’t play Tuesday after going 4-for-4 in Monday’s game. Matthews was examined by team physician Craig Milhouse after complaining of food-poisoning symptoms.
• INF Erick Aybar was cleared to start swinging a bat and hit soft-toss. Aybar has been out since May 21 with a dislocated finger on his right hand. He will gradually build up to taking batting practice and then could begin a minor league rehab assignment sometime next week.
• INF Chone Figgins (right hamstring) continued his injury-rehabilitation assignment with Class AAA Salt Lake on Tuesday. He went 0-for-2 with two walks and a run and played seven innings at third base. Figgins is on track to rejoin the Angels for their weekend series against the Atlanta Braves.
By The Numbers: 23—Consecutive saves without a blown save for RHP Francisco Rodriguez, a club record.
Quote To Note: “I was getting too many weird looks from weird people.”—Angels C Mike Napoli, on getting rid of his mohawk haircut—which he dubbed “the Rally ‘Hawk”—after only two days.
OF Gary Matthews Jr. (food-poisoning symptoms) didn’t play June 10.
RHP Chris Bootcheck (strained right forearm) went on the 15-day disabled list June 9.
UT Chone Figgins (mild right hamstring strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 4. He was activated May 21, but he sat out again May 22-29 with a sore right leg. He was placed on the disabled list on May 30. He began a rehabilitation assignment with Class AAA Salt Lake on June 9.