Riding the momentum of a humiliating extra-innings loss, the Phillies walk back into Citizens Bank Park to face the ridiculous Braves with their silly nonthreatening win streak.
1. Is Craig Kimbrel’s Rookie of the Month award a good consolation prize for being a solid runner-up team during the first half of the season?
Not particularly. As you know, they don’t give out halfway trophies. That noise you hear is the sound of the Braves’ offensive engine starting up. Get to know it well, as it’s about to power the Braves to the top of the NL East standings.
2. Chipper Jones is just one of a long line of players who rip into an ump for doing a pretty shoddy job, only backpedal out of fear of never getting the benefit of the doubt on a play again. Don’t you think it’s somewhat of a tired formula for players to criticize an umpire, then retract their complaints, and get fined by MLB?
Not in this case. Chipper has earned the right to speak his mind, especially when it comes to an atrocious job being done by an ump on balls and strikes. There aren’t many guys who have over 440 HR’s who have more walks than strikeouts; Chipper does.
I think Chipper only backed off what he realized was something said in the heat of battle about the overall state of umpiring. Since Fredi has sworn off arguing with the umpires, someone has to inherit Bobby Cox’s arguing mantle J.
3. How many Braves are/aren’t in the All-Star Game and why should there be more/less?
As of right now, Chipper Jones, Jair Jurrjens, Brian McCann, and Jonny Venters made the team. I think there’s a reasonable chance that Craig Kimbrel will be added this weekend to replace a pitcher who starts on Sunday. He should be on the team anyway, as he leads the league in strikeouts by a reliever and saves, whilst setting the all-time record for saves by a rookie. And his stuff is so far beyond electric that it’s nuclear.
4. Don’t you think Dan Uggla could have benefited from enrollment in the Boys & Girls Club Free Skills Clinic the Braves hosted last week? Missed opportunity by the Braves front office.
I’m really glad that you took this opportunity to rag on Uggla. It seems that someone hit his “on” switch this week, just in time for the series. I’m thinking he’ll hit at least three dingers in that bandbox you guys call home (in your defense, it is a pretty bandbox, though).
5. What are your thoughts on the Beachy-for-Carlos Quentin rumor that crawled out of the ChiSox sewer? Just lies spun by the wretched tradewheel this time of year or something with shocking, terrible pertinence?
I think this is just smoke and mirrors. For a whole bunch of reasons, mostly the offense coming out of hibernation and Jordan Schafer finally getting the hang of hitting leadoff while adding over 40 points to his batting average, I think the only trades the Braves will make will be for the bench. Lucky for you guys…
6. How important is this series for the Braves going into the All-Star Break? Or to ask that question in a less stupid way, how critical is the momentum the Braves could get from a series win? You know what, that’s exactly the same question. You know what I’m asking. Just… just tell me.
OK, I’ll see your trite question and raise you one trite answer. The key is to use 20/20 hindsight. If the Braves win the series, then it will have been critical to the team’s momentum and confidence.
If they don’t, then these games are no more important than any others and there’s still nearly half a season ahead of us. See how easy this is? Feel free to use this same answer any time someone asks you this question, too!