Jair Jurrjens has finally returned to the Braves starting rotation, making his first appearance since April 29th after spending two months on the disabled list due to a hamstring injury. Jurrjens was impressive, going five innings allowing one run and striking out six. Not bad considering he was facing the struggling Nationals lineup. Atlanta's rotation is shaping up to be pretty dangerous for the second half with Jurrjens, Lowe, Hudson, and Hanson, who in thirteenth in the NL with 90 strikeouts. Atlantas next three opponents are all division rivals in three game sets against Florida, Philadelphia, and New York. The Braves look to widen their lead against these teams as the dog days of summer are upon us.
What a difference a month makes, especially for the New York Mets and David Wright.
Wrights month of June should be enough to propel him past the injured Placido Polanco for the starting job at third base in the All-Star game, but unfortunately the process isn't that easy. It is hard to believe that Wright is the Met in franchise history to hit at least .400 with 25 or more RBI in one month. The Mets have had sluggers like Darryl Strawberry and Mike Piazza in their clubhouse so it is surprising that Wright comes as the first. For all the criticism Wright has had through the years, being the face of the collapse(s), having a terrible 2009 season in which he only hit 10 home runs, and being labeled as a streaky player, in the end, he clearly is one of the top players in the league. Can you imagine where the Mets would be now if they actually did break up the core like a select few demanded?
Bobby Valentine takes a shot at the Marlins organization during an explanation as to why his plans to join the team fell through.
The Florida Marlins become more dysfunctional by the day. How did this team win two championships with two completely different teams in the franchises first ten years? To say that the negotiations were "disturbing, confusing, and insulting" makes you wonder who in their right mind would want to take any position for that team. Seriously, how bad could the talks have gone that Valentine would return to the Baseball Tonight program and say things like that? Its time for Jeffrey Loria and David Samson to take a look in the mirror and realize that maybe the problem with the organization is themselves.
With trade talk heating up, Federal Baseball provides some news and notes surrounding the Nationals.
The next month will be chaos as far as player movement is concerned with the MLB trade deadline and NBA free agency. I don't see the Nats making any dramatic moves. Earlier this season there was a lot of speculation that they were going to acquire Roy Oswalt but those talks have fell through. I think Mike Rizzo realizes that this will not be the year the Nationals finally break through into the playoffs but he is happy with the pieces they have in place for the future and is not willing to give up any of them. Even if they did some how get Oswalt or even Cliff Lee, there is no way Washington would be able to compete with the Braves, Phillies, and Mets for the top spot in the division, 2010 just simply wasn't meant to be their year.
Phillies Nation explores the idea of having Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Dan Haren all on the same roster.
Talk about a three-headed monster. I just don't see Haren staying in the desert much longer, the team has underachieved and he is fifth in all of baseball with 115 strikeouts, meaning Haren still has tons of value for the Diamondbacks to get something good in return. Philadelphia is pushing hard for another starting pitcher and would welcome their old friend Cliff Lee back with open arms. They have also been looking at Jose Lopez, to help out with the Phillie infield. Although Lopez has not lived up to expectations this year after he hit 25 home runs with 96 RBI in 2009, he is still a solid player to have on your roster.