Tag Archives: Chuck James

Braves Beast (and least) of the Week

The Braves Beast of the Week is…

Brian McCann, C (.345, .387, .655, 1 HR, 9 RBI on the week).  We award this honor to Brian with apologies to Chipper Jones, who also had a stellar week (.462, .548, .654, 1 HR, 3 RBI). But come on, Chipper, you can’t win every week. Chipper, who hits right in front of Brian in the Braves lineup, is a big part of McCann’s success, giving him plenty of RBI opportunities. Both players combine to make for a formidable middle of the Atlanta lineup.

Runners-Up: Chipper Jones, Kelly Johnson, Mark Kotsay

We bestow the least of the week distinction upon…

Chuck James, LHP. James optioned to Triple-A Richmond after a terrible start last Thursday against the Phillies, in which he surrendered 5 earned runs on 6 hits in 4 innings, walking 5 and striking out none. He’ll be replaced by Jorge Campillo in the rotation.

Runners-down: Royce Ring, Mark Teixiera

 

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Postgame: Phillies 5 – Braves 0 [BEAST-OFF]

Cole Hamels is a monster.  9 innings, 4 hits, 6 strikeouts, 3 walks, no runs.  He had 120 pitches, with 85 of them being strikes.  This was Hamels’ fifth win of the season, and his first career complete game shutout.  Finally, Hamels pitches a game this season without having that one tough inning, especially early.

Hamels got run support too, which can sometimes be tough for him as the team seems to relax when he’s on the mound.  Pedro Feliz, Ryan Howard, and Shane Victorino all homered.  Howard is back.  There, I’ve said it.  I almost think he likes having to prove everybody wrong year after year.  All the homers came off of Braves pitcher Chuck James.  Pedro Feliz added another RBI in the third, scoring Pat Burrell on a single to left.

In a way, this was a statement win for the Phils.  Hamels went the distance, dominating batters throughout;  Ryan Howard continued his mini-hot streak; and the team took two of three from a division rival.  That can never be underestimated.  And on the same day, the Mets lost a tough 1-0 game to the Nats, losing three of four to Leasts of the East.  The Mets are reeling.  Now if only the Marlins would start to mail it in….

Do the Braves need to trade for a starter?

MLBTR says the Braves should start looking for starting pitching, with the latest injury to Mike Hampton and the possibility of John Smoltz rejoining the team as a reliever. They mention Kevin Millwood and Joe Blanton as possible pitchers for Frank Wren to trade for.

If the Braves want to contend this year, they’re going to need to do something about their pitching, as both the rotation and bullpen are heavily depleted at the moment. The question is, can they win with guys like Jo-Jo Reyes and Chuck James starting games, or do they need to trade away some of the great young talent in their farm system for a more established starter? Should be interesting to see how Wren deals with this quandry.