A question mark coming into this season was how Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens would develop after off years in 2010. So far in 2011 they have been nothing short of extraordinary.
The good news for Braves fans is that their whole pitching staff is clicking on all cylinders. Derek Lowe and Tim Hudson are veterans who are keeping Atlanta in every game and Brandon Beachey, who earned the fifth spot in the rotation over Mike Minor has been fantastic with a 3.68 ERA, 31 K, and a team leading .217 BAA in 29.1 innings pitched. As the hitting begins to turn it around, expect the Braves and their 13-13 record to start winning a lot more ball games.
The Philadelphia Phillies replacement closer, Jose Contreras, will be out for the next 3-4 weeks due to a mild strain in his right forearm.
This is not the best news for Charlie Manuel and the rest of the team. First Brad Lidge and now Contreras, who had actually been performing well in the first month. That being said, Ryan Madson is just as capable as anyone to close games and I don’t think the team will miss a beat in Contreras’ absence.
Here’s some more injury news, this time coming out of Florida where Chris Coghlan left last nights game against the Los Angeles Dodgers due to pain in his throwing shoulder.
It’s important to note that this is the same shoulder that kept Coghlan out for an extended period of time during Spring Training. It’s a shame not only because fellow outfielder Logan Morrison is on the disabled list, but that Coghlan was actually having a productive season by hitting .297 with 4 home runs and 16 RBI. Coghlan says he will be ready to play in a few days, but honestly, given his past, I would think twice about putting him in the starting lineup anytime soon.
Last nights hero, Daniel Murphy, says the Mets are aiming to win 100 games this season, but is that idea too far fetched?
Realistically, the Mets will NOT win 100 games, but that shouldn’t stop them from trying. I truly believe that these aren’t the “same old Mets” but I’m reluctant to say that they are going to make a run for the division. First of all, their starting pitching needs to step it up. Mike Pelfrey and Jon Niese have been big disappointments and R.A. Dickey seems to have lost a little bit of the magic that carried him through last season. Is Jason Bay the catalyst for their current six game win streak…maybe, but lets see where they are at the All-Star break before we rush to any conclusions.
Livan Hernandez has found himself in a bit of trouble, and I’m not talking about having runners on the corners with nobody out.
Livan, who is scheduled to pitch tonight against the Mets, has a 2-2 record and 3.48 ERA this season. How he performs tonight will say a lot about how big of a distraction this issue will become. Currently, there is “no time table for the investigation” which makes me think that this is going to be dragged out for a while. It will be interesting to see how MLB handles the situation whether he is convicted or not.