Barves lose: In fact, they were shutout for the 16th time this season, and the 3rd time in 4 games by Milwaukee! Hard to explain. I guess we should be glad that the Brewers and Padres are not playoff teams.
Wood to pen: Fredi Gonzalez announced yesterday that Alex Wood has been moved to the bullpen in order to prepare him for a possible postseason role in relief. Wood would give the Braves 3 left-handers out of the pen, joining Luis Avilan and super-LOOGY Scott Downs. Wood has a 2.29 ERA in 16 relief outings, with 21 Ks in 19.2 IP. He has retired 13 of the 16 first batters he’s faced, but allowed 3 of the 6 runners he’s inherited to score. I like this move as it gives the Braves pen another power arm — Wood’s stuff should play up in a short relief stint. Wood can also serve as an emergency long man in the pen along with Anthony Varvaro. Now we just need to wait and see what the postseason rotation will look like…
Postseason rotation: Really, it’s anyone’s guess. Mike Minor has been unable to avoid the speedbump inning recently, though he hasn’t pitched all that bad — but certainly not the shutdown stuff he showed early in the season. Kris Medlen has been terrific of late and will probably get the top spot, and Julio Teheran has arguably been just as good as Meds. It will probably come down to the team we’re facing in the first round, and which pitcher has done the best against them. Both Minor and Meds have handled all the possible first round teams well enough to get the nod. I would expect them to go 1-2, with Teheran pitching 3rd. As for who pitches 4th… maybe Freddy “he knows how to pitch” Garcia will somehow slip in there over Paul Maholm. <holds breath>
The tribute videos are back: It seems like someone makes a song about the Braves every year (every year they have a winning season, as least). We have got to have the most tribute-inclined fan base in the MLB. This was apparently done in partnership with the organization. Hey, it’s good to see Javy Lopez! Though he’s making me think he didn’t get the Latino gene for good dancing.
#Nattitude: With a loss to the Cardinals, and Pirates and Reds wins, the Washington Nationals were eliminated from playoff contention. That puts a smile on my face.
Braves sign Curacao shortstop: I missed this note from the September 8th BA minor league transactions where the Braves signed international free agent shortstop Bryan Philips from Curacao. The only story I can find on him is this one, which seems to be in Papamientu (a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English, French, and it also has some Arawak Indian and African influences). I did find a Papamientu translator engine on the web, but it’s merely a prototype. I get the feeling that the language is very difficult to translate without context. Also, the news website might be dedicated to the smaller island to the east of Curacao called Bonaire (and therefore speak a slightly different form of Papamientu), which is actually not part of Curacao, but part of the Netherlands (explained here–video). Anyway, I point out this signing because he’s from Curacao and we should all know by now how well the Braves scout that island (after all, our current shortstop is from Curacao). Of course Philips may turn out to be from Bonaire (so says his Twitter account), which seems to be significant since I can’t find any mention of a Major League player from that island, though several from Curacao seemed to have lived there for a short time. Don’t ever say I’m not thorough.
ESPN Power Rankings: The latest power rankings are up, and the Braves dropped 2 spots, which is not surprising. Once again this blogger wrote the snippet for the Braves.